Sunday, August 27, 2006

Fatties of the USA Unite! (Oh, and watch Veronica Mars!!!)

It's almost that time of year again ... The Biggest Loser! I was really excited when Emily emailed me with a link to the official site, and perhaps to compensate for the fact that I don't have access to TV, I devoured the entire interactive page. The tagline is, "50 states. 50 contestants. Weighing over 14,000 pounds. But that's all about to change." I read the bio on everyone and studied pictures pretty closely, and I have come to one conclusion: I should have been one of the people who picked the cast because they are a little lite on women. Pun intended.

Now I may be wrong, and all of my info is based on a 2 paragraph bio and a picture from the neck up, but I am vaguely sure that I am fatter then all the women on the show! I also disappointed that the producers of TBL don't read Fatty McBlog, because if they did, they would know that there are women in America who weigh (significantly) more than 250 lbs, and we want to see ourselves on television! Plus, it seems so much more compelling to watch people lose weight when they were really heavy before. Sure, it's possible that some of the women were like last year's Susie and their faces are all little and the weight is all contained below the belt, but from the look of the pics I saw, there is maybe one woman over 270. Maybe. And I find that disappointing. Especially since there are 50 contestants, one from each state...I desperately wanted to see a really really fat chick from somewhere in the deep south. Because I love stereotypes.

My early favorites are Poppi from New Jersey, Tim from Oregon, and Brian from California because I have a soft spot for dads with beards, biker/preachers, and fat comediennes. If and when I get access to TV, I may update my favorites.

But there is a clear winner in the Favorite Foods lists. Most contestants put what you might imagine. There were myriads of Chinese, pizza, burgers, fried stuff, ice cream, etc. Mine would have been sushi with spicy mayo, and anything with sugar. But then Mark from Montana came out with this doozy, "Homemade pasta Alfredo with sauce kneaded into the pasta dough and extra sauce on top, top off the pasta Alfredo with a massive chicken breast stuffed with cashews and garlic, baked and swathed in a honey almond glaze". Wow. Talk about specific. I applaud the detail, and my chest hurts just from reading about it.

All in all I am excited about the new season and disappointed that the women seem so "small" and divided into either women who want to lose their baby weight or women who want to lose weight so they can meet a man and have babies. I'm sure if I get to watch it I will be pleasantly surprised and then as the weeks go one I will get increasingly more bitter and resentful.

Emily and I did seriously consider trying out for this season, but in the end we were too chickenshit to be seen on TV with our real weights. Hmmm, maybe that's why there are no women on it who are our size...

So watch The Biggest Loser.

And, as a side note: Watch Veronica Mars!!!! It is my personal mission to get more people to watch this show so it doesn't get cancelled! My suggestion is to go out and rent or buy seasons 1 and 2 on dvd, get caught up, and then watch it when the season returns October 3rd at 9pm on the new CW network. For real, it's a good show, even if the main character is super tiny.

94 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for The Biggest Loser to start, I love it every year. But I also would like if the women were slightly larger.

It is also interesting that you said to watch Veronica Mars. I have always wondered about that show. I have never bought TV on DVD, but I may have to give it a chance.

shaynapunam said...

I agree--it looks good, but there should be more women. Right now, 'til BL comes on, I am watching Celebrity Fit Club, which is fun, except when they act like pampered celebrities--like someone is going to lose the weight for them. We are big Veronica Mars fans at our house...where we used to live combined the Fox affiliate and the UPN one, so they ran VM at 2 in the morning. Thank God for Tivo!!

vegancore said...

I love Veronica Mars! I was so happy to see it plugged on one of my favorite blogs, too. I've always meant to watch The Biggest Loser, but somehow I never remembered when it was one. I'm going to make it appointment TV this season, I think.

Kate said...

I find shows like "The Biggest Loser" and "The Swan" about as offensive as it gets. They both buy into the "beauty=worth" mindset that is so destructive.

I love Veronica Mars, though.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, I just got into VM and Netflixed both seasons. So, so good! And Biggest Loser? I've been dying to sign up for that show, but am too afraid that people from high school will see me...and I'm in my late 20s!

I think they would pick you and Emily in a heartbeat!

Lois said...

Kate: BL has NOTHING to do with beauty. It has to do with people getting healthy and losing weight.

bloomie said...

My favorite bloggers mentioned my favorite show - yeah! Veronica Mars is me and my best friends show (and we're Jewish girls in NY and CA as well!)

I hate the biggest loser, but when I'm around friends who are watching it, I do find myself getting sucked in. First off, I don't find it healthy to lose that much weight, that quickly. It's just not good for your body and the odds are that you'll put it back on in the next few years.

Also, it seems like the men are always fatter and married and are doing it to get "healthy for their kids" while the women are smaller and single and "want to find a man." That just pisses me off.

But yeah for the VM plug. Funny how it has like no viewers, yet it seems like people who read this blog watch it in higher numbers than average.

Kate said...

Lois, BL has EVERYTHING to do with being a socially-acceptable size (i.e. beauty), even if it's camoflaged in the myth that one's BMI is an indicator of health.

BMI is a completely bogus measurement, since is doesn't account for body composition and NO ONE has proven a causal relationship between fat and any known disease. Recent AARP and CDC studies concluded that being overweight actually reduces one's chance of having heart problems.

Anonymous said...

Kate: I think you fear losing weight and hate anyone that does. What's this BS about fat people being less at risk for heart problems. What kind of crap is that? And I'm not one of those tucker max people...I'm a fat girl.

Heather said...

I tried posting this earlier and it didn't show up. Hopefully it won't show up twice!

Kate, I love reading your comments and respect your opinions. However, I have to disagree the idea fat and disease are not linked. Maybe there isn't any proof, but speaking from my own experience, I would say that the 2 go hand in hand. I feel safe in saying that 95% of my medical issues are indeed linked to my weight. I have no scientific proof of this, however I do have the following facts: I am the only person in my family who is overweight and I have more medical issues than all family members combined. I was at a healthy weight until my mid 30s. The issues were non-existant until I had been lugging the added weight around for about a year. I have no doubt that, had I stayed at my normal weight, I would not be suffering from the various ailments that I am now.

Regarding the statement about the "myth that BMI is an indicator of health". I personally know of nobody who is fat that doesn't have at least on serious health issue. Of course, I only know a small sampling of the population. I'm sure that there are people out there who can be fat and still be healthy. Perhaps you are one of those people...if so, count your blessings girl!!!!

Kate said...

My complete response got eaten by the system and I have a meeting to get to, so this'll be short.

I don't fear losing weight, I've just given up on it. I don't hate people who lose weight, and although I'll admit to being jealous of the naturally slender, I don't hate them either.

From this NY Times article http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/20/health/20fat.html?ex=1156910400&en=0a8c2e0d475bf40c&ei=5070:

People who are overweight but not obese have a lower risk of death than those of normal weight, federal researchers are reporting today.

The researchers - statisticians and epidemiologists from the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - also found that increased risk of death from obesity was seen for the most part in the extremely obese, a group constituting only 8 percent of Americans.

And being very thin, even though the thinness was longstanding and unlikely to stem from disease, caused a slight increase in the risk of death, the researchers said.

Anonymous said...

I tried out for BL this winter...I made it to the 2nd interview...but they didn't pick me. As I looked around and scoped out the women in line, I knew that most of them were too big to get chosen for that show. Men can be 400+ and get picked, but I think 250 is probably max for the show. I am 5'10" and weigh 225. I felt like a size zero model standing in line for that show. I feel like they wanted to pick women that could get down to a size 6-10 and women weighing over 250 maybe just wouldn't have had time. Its total bull in my opinion...they should give the 250+ women a chance...who cares is they don't get down to size 6...they could still lose a ton of weight...and no matter what there would be a difference.

Anonymous said...

And a new study came out shortly thereafter that shows even a small amount of extra weight can be healthy.

All of these studies are based on statistical correlations, since as Kate pointed out, there is no "proof that fat causes health problems." Of course there is also no proof that smoking causes lung cancer, we just have statistical correlations. It's interesting that Kate finds statistical correlations convincing when they support her thesis and dismissable when they don't.

Pointing out the weaknesses in using BMI as a health indicator is something of a straw man. It's entirely correct that BMI is at best a rough guide, since it doesn't measure your actual bodyfat percentage, but you're only pointing out flaws in the measurement, not what it's measuring.

As for "Biggest Loser," I also find it oddly compelling, but I think it's extremely misleading, especially for the overweight people watching it who think it's going to tell them how to lose weight. First of all, contestants lose ridiculous amounts of weight -- like 8-10 pounds a week! Unless you're hugely obese, you are not going to lose that much weight on any kind of healthy diet and fitness program, and even if you are so obese that you can shed that much that quickly, it will still only happen in the first few weeks. Even someone who weighs 500 pounds can't expect to lose 10 pounds a week until he gets down to a healthy weight. 1-2 pounds a week is a safer, healthier and more realistic target.

Second, since of course everything is compressed into a one-hour show, they make it seem as if the contestants are pretty much exercising 24 hours a day. I doubt this very much, though they may well be over-exercising. At least on BL, they do show weight training and not just aerobic exercise, but they don't seem to emphasize that you should be exercising in short, intense sessions, like one hour a day, 4-6 times per week. Anyone who decides to go do 2 hours of running a day, 7 days a week, especially if they are overweight, is probably going to hurt themself.

I would also really like to see follow-ups -- how many of the past BL contestants have kept the weight off?

Anonymous said...

Correction on previous comment...

"And a new study came out shortly thereafter that shows even a small amount of extra weight can be unhealthy."

Kate said...

If you look at the raw data of that "new" study, it's almost identical to the Fleagal study. They then proceeded to throw out any data that did not support the conclusion they wanted.

From the story at http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/opinion_columnists/article/0,2777,DRMN_23972_4934018,00.html

Yet even after limiting their analysis to never-smokers, the authors found no increased mortality risk among the "overweight" when compared to so-called "normal weight" people. So they then engaged in the methodological equivalent of waterboarding. Bizarrely, rather than using the weights of the subjects at the time they entered the study, the authors asked the subjects what they had weighed at age 50, and used this weight instead. (All the subjects were over 50 at the study's start, and some were as old as 71; 40 percent did not even respond to the question about what they weighed at age 50, which says something about the reliability of the responses the authors did get.)
[…]
Since the "overweight" people in the study still had the lowest death risk, even after the authors tossed out 70 percent of their subject pool by limiting their analysis to never-smokers, the study found "overweight" associated with an increased risk of death only among a particular subgroup: people who had been "overweight" at age 50, but were at a "normal weight" when they later entered the study.
In other words, what the study really found is that, for middle-aged "overweight" people, weight loss increases the risk of death significantly! (This, by the way, is a very common finding in studies of this sort).


And, yes, there is convincing data that tobacco use does significantly increase cancer risk.

Anonymous said...

There is also convincing data that obesity significantly increases cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other risks.

Data can be massaged in a variety of ways and it's probably true that you're better off being a little overweight than a little underweight, and what many studies have suggested is that past a certain age the benefits of losing weight diminish significantly, but when you argue that being seriously overweight is not a health risk, you are in the same position as tobocco apologists who claim there is no proof of a causal connection between toboccao and cancer.

Anonymous said...

Argh. Tobacco. Yes, I really can spell. Just not in these darn Blogger text windows.

JessiferSeabs said...

You know, I find The Swan wholly disgusting and degrading.

But BL I rather like. because while you could definitely argue that it has a lot to do with looks, and I agree that BMI is questionable as a measure of health, it DOES get people exercising and eating healthily, and many of them continue those habits after leaving the show.

Whereas with the Swan, they basically just give you a boob job and a new wardrobe and tell you that life is grand. I LOATHE The Swan.

AnaBell said...

I do not like BL. They seem to over exercise and the not letting bigger women enter is misleading unless it's specified on the entering rules: No women over 250lbs can enter since they won't end being tiny-mini.

Nina said...

I used to think my weight was a slow metabolism, genetics, etc. But then one day I got sick of it, and started recording everything I ate in a food diary, and recorded any intervals of significant exersize. I found out quite quickly it was, in fact, my fault. So I continued this, while also beginning an exersize and diet regimine. Every time I started to stop seeing results, I'd look critically at my diary. And, lo and behold, it was my fault.

Make all the excuses you want for your weight, delude yourself into thinking you're healthy how you are (though unless you have a physical that will actually tell you so, I will never believe you're healthy and obese), and pretend you're happy with your size. Grasp onto studies that prove you had nothing to do with your girth all you like. But in the end, it IS your fault. Genetics hinder, but they don't prevent. You'll just have to work harder. If you have an underactive thyroid, get medicine. There is no excuse.

Maybe they do lose weight too fast on BL, but you know what, I'd rather lose weight too fast than stay obese and uncomfortable. BL is not about beauty. It's about losing weight and becoming healthy. Just because it upsets you, Kate, doesn't mean it's wrong. I'm sorry it strikes a cord and probably makes you think of the weight YOU should be losing, but that doesn't mean you get to slam a great show. If it was about beauty, they'd get a makeover at the end. It's about saving lives, ultimately. It's a good show, showing people how to change their lives for the better, when they otherwise would have stayed in their same habbits.

Why do you think they're so happy by the end of the show, even if they lose? Because in the end, everyone who loses weight wins. Even the people kicked off early usually end up svelte and healthy. The show makes them see the error of their ways, and they fix it. I applaud that.

Anonymous said...

Nina...

I don't understand why people come to a blog FOR, ABOUT, and BY fat people and then post some angry comment about how "if you'd just eat less and exercise more, you'd lose weight". If fat people expressing their complaints (or their acceptance) of their size bothers you so much, why are you even here?!?!?! I'm sure there are plenty of other blogs out there that deal with topics more pleasant for you.


Perhaps the point is to simply stir up trouble. If that's the case, allow me to point out that many others have done the same thing in recent weeks...it's getting a bit stale. Time to come up with something new.

Kate said...

Anon 12:25 - Correlation is NOT causation. For all anyone knows, diabetes, which truly has been linked to obesity, causes its accompanying obesity. It could also be that both have the same cause. NO scientific study has ever actually proven anything more than a link. (There's a link between water consumption and disease, too. Especially among diabetics. Surely it's preposterous to think that water causes diabetes.)

I have no interest in making my life miserable just to extend that misery, especially when the only consistent finding is that losing weight at my age increases my mortality risk, whether you believe it or not.

Nina, I "get to" slam any show I want to (and it's "greatness" is purely subjective), just as you're free to tell me that I should live my life by your priorities (i.e. exercise and eat less) and I'm free to ignore your suggestion.

That's what makes America great.

Buffpuff said...

Tell me, Nina, do you see yourself as some kind of missionary with a vocation to make fat people see "the error of their ways" and repent?

Or does having to stick to a monotonous diet and exercise regime simply make you so ill-tempered you feel you have to snipe at any fat person who doesn't view themselves with seething self-hatred and/or isn't interested in sharing your pain?

Seriously, I'd love to know why you think my health is your business.

mikey said...

I must admit that I'm not a fan of the whole "reality" television scene. Having said that I have watched BL a couple of times and find it quite disturbing. I have absolutely no problem with people wanting to lose weight for, well, whatever reason or reasons they may have. And I assume everyone on this show is there of their own free will. Still something about it bugs me. And that something is this: at the end of the day, the whole thing is based upon embarrassment.

I don't think fat people should have to be embarrassed about being fat, and I REALLY don't understand why the contestants on this show would want to put themselves into the position of potential embarrassment. But they do, and lots of people watch, so I guess I'm missing something big here. To me it just seems like being picked last in gym class (again) with millions of people watching. And I was picked last a LOT and it bugged me that maybe 25 people saw it...

I guess I honestly don't see what these types of things really help; it seems to me that someone who can lose 50 or however-many pounds by being on this show could've done it otherwise and maybe even used some personal embarrassment as motivation without sharing his or her need for it to the entire world.

Just what I think; to each his own.

Nina said...

For the record, I love this blog. I go to it because it reminds me of the experiences I had being overweight. Painful or otherwise. I have no issues with people who choose to be fat. I just don't want to hear them complain, or go on about how it isn't their fault because the latest study shows so, and blah blah blah. The reason I LIKE this blog is these girls DO acknowledge it is their fault. They don't blame society.

Yes, they compain, but it is in good humor. I say that if you're seriously complaining about the treatment you receive as a fat person, it is time to do something about it.

The fact that you called the process by which I lost weight monotonous, or insinuated I was bitchy because of it, however, just says something about you and your attitude toward weight loss and health. So does the idea that because we're in America, it's ok to be excessive and lazy. It doesn't make it ok.

Be fat. That's fine. But take responcibility (you have no one to blame but yourself) and don't complain about inconveniences in your daily life, because ultimately, you caused them.

Though I do think that there should be more clothing options...a lot more. I HATED shopping when I was fat. It was traumatizing.

Anonymous said...

I prefer the shorter "special edition" Biggest Loser episodes. More of the intense weight loss and less of the reality show drama.

Eridani Black said...

Hey! I don't remember when it was mentioned, but I remember one of you girls saying you wished you could have a chocolate fountain. I don't know if I'm being an enabler, but anyway, you can buy one for your home! I saw it at Linens and Things. They're not that big, either, so they'll be easily stored in a cupboard probably. I saw it at Linens and Things. :D

Anonymous said...

If you look at the Biggest Loser contestants, especially the women, most of them are very attractive. BL is supposed to be a Cinderella story where the would-be-hotties become actual hotties with just a little exercise and learning to stop shoving food in their pie whole...
at least I think that's what they're going for. By the end, they want the audience to be "whoa, that fat girl/guy is really hot now!"

BL isn't about becoming healthy. That isn't the aim of the show. If it were the weightloss would likely be much less rapid and embarassing for the contestants...but that doesn't make good tv.

And they DO get a makeover in the end. For the results show they get their hair and makeup done. Maybe not plastic surgery but certainly a makeover.

floradoragirl37 said...

hey everyone
I think different people lose weight for different reasons. We are all individuals. Some of us lose weight easily, while others struggle with it their whole lives. I was told by my doctor (who is a great doctor) that because I was wearing a few extra pounds, my bones would not be in danger of losing calcium.
I could have been in danger of that because of a medication I was taking.
He does, however promote healthy weight loss. He would never push it on me. I don't mind being bbw. I actually enjoy it sometimes, because I feel like I am beautiful but different than most of the skinny minnies in my neighborhood. I did lose a few pounds, but because I had arthritis setting in my knees. I dropped about 10, and my knees don't hurt anymore. Doesn't do anything for my hands, though.
I believe it's a free country. If you wish to lose weight, you can. If you can't or don't want to, it's a personal decision.

Anonymous said...

I know correlation is not causation, Kate. Like I keep pointing out, there is only correlation between smoking and lung cancer, no proof of causation.

Reams and reams and reams of correlation and a model to explain causation that fits observable reality better than any of your made-up alternative explanations carefully constructed to deny the possibility that fat is unhealthy does, however, strongly suggest that causation should be considered.

Anonymous said...

I know this is a wrong, wrong, wrong thing to say, but I love Biggest Loser. There is something beautifully schadenfreudey about scoffing down a packet of TimTams and watching people even fatter than me (I weigh 90kg!) crying because they had to walk 5 metres. Mint!

Kimberly said...

I ♥ VM with all my ♥

If it gets cancelled, I will cry my ♥ out.

Keep pimpin' it. I'll be watching.

Anonymous said...

I just don't want to hear them...go on about how it isn't their fault because the latest study shows so...

That is hilarious. "Scientific research be damned! Fat people are all lazy gluttons! That was my experience so obviously it's true of everyone!"

Anonymous said...

"Emily and I did seriously consider trying out for this season, but in the end we were too chickenshit to be seen on TV with our real weights."

OMG -- What do you guys weigh?!?!?!

Anonymous said...

I've heard from a fairly knowledgeable friend that the reason they have a weight cutoff is for medical reasons. Someone who weighs 250+ has a MASSIVE risk of heart failure, joint problems, etc. when put into that kind of exercise program, and there's only so much liability the show is going to risk for ratings.

Also, for the new anons, most of the statistics Kate posts are utter BS (remember the 95% diet failure rate argument she got pwned on?) Arguing with her is futile - she'll post the two studies which marginally prop up her position, while ignoring the 8 million doctors and researchers that say obesity is unhealthy, period.

Kate said...

Ah, Anon, still too lazy to use a definitive monniker, I see.

Although I conceded your point that the 95% statistic was based on old studies, you seem to have conveniently forgotten that BuffPuff then cited a 1996 study (Grodstein, Levine, Spencer, Colditz and Stampfer) with the same dismal result. It's hardly my fault that there have been so few studies designed to either prove or disprove this statistic.

It's certainly in big pharma's interest not to disprove it, since it means that any drug they come up with that has a better than 10% success rate can be touted as "more than twice as effective as conventional dieting." It's definitely in the interest of weight loss programs and products not to prove it, because no one would pay for their goods and services with that bleak a prospect of success.

I think it's rich that you cite the "8 million doctors" who rely on old information (and as often as not, studies funded by the diet industry and big pharma, who have a vested interest in fat=bad outcomes) to support their belief that fat is bad while simultaneously claiming that I've been "pwned" for repeating a statistic of the same vintage.

There are dozens of, not two, studies supporting the idea that weight isn't the simple formula you would have it be. Just because you close your eyes, put your fingers in your ears and sing "la, la, la, la" so that you don't have to acknowledge them doesn't mean that they don't exist, or that they aren't valid.

Anonymous said...

"Diets" in the conventional sense are overwhelmingly unsuccessful. It does not therefore follow that it's futile to lose weight, only that you actually have to do some research on fitness and nutrition and commit to changing your lifestyle, rather than hoping that some combination of Diet X + Drug Y will melt the pounds off and then you can resume your previous habits and not gain the weight back.

And FWIW (yes, I am another lazy anon), I'm not trying to harangue anybody about how they should lose weight. If you are happy with the body you have, that's fine. But I find it appallingly disingenuous to claim that fat isn't unhealthy just because you've made a personal decision not to lose weight for your own reasons and it makes you feel better if you try to justify that choice with straw men and misquoted studies.

Buffpuff said...

Nina,

It interests me that you say you frequent this blog because it reminds you of your own experiences while fat. Some of the most vituperative comments on other threads have been posted by previously fat people who now claim to have their weight under control and decide that gives them the right to bully, insult or pull moral rank on those of us who haven’t or choose not to. If pain was, as you allege, part of your fat experience why, pray, possibly exacerbate the pain of others by making unthinking generalisations couched in harsh, judgemental language? Did you drop the ability to empathise along with a couple of dress sizes?

People become – and remain – fat for a very wide variety of reasons, not all of them necessarily yours; and thus far no one, as far as I can see, has attempted to “blame society” for their fat. However, I certainly do blame society’s current attitude to fat for setting a damaging precedent you, among others, feel obliged to follow – namely automatically equating fat with greed, laziness, ill-health, ignorance, (hello, anonymous at 2.25! most ex-dieters probably know more about nutrition than you do), self-loathing, victim mentality, self-deception, lack of discipline/moral fibre and a propensity for lying and "misquoting".

The fact that you called the process by which I lost weight monotonous, or insinuated I was bitchy because of it, however, just says something about you and your attitude toward weight loss and health.

Indeed it does. I was a serial-dieter for half my life, having been put on my first at around 10 years old. Since I cycled and swam on a regular basis, ate no more junk than my thinner friends, (it was unavailable at school and monitored at home by my fat, dutifully self-hating and serial-dieting parents), and rarely lacked for energy, I surmised I was being punished for the way I looked. When folk like yourself embark on yet another tedious harangue-for-the-supposed-good-of-my-health I get exactly the same whiff of bullshit I got then. One of the reasons I finally elected to make peace with my body is that my experience of dieting resulted in my becoming crazy, bitchy, food-obsessed...and fatter. (Which is to say considerably fatter than I would ever have been, had I not been encouraged to diminish myself from an early age). I know, from personal experience, that in order to maintain the loss of a substantial amount of weight I would have to remain on a diet and stick to a punishing exercise regime for the rest of my natural life. And I know that drastic a "lifestyle change" would make me utterly miserable and a bitch to be around. I do, however, choose to eat healthily most of the time and exercise in moderation, so don’t presume you know diddly about anybody’s health save your own.

I say that if you're seriously complaining about the treatment you receive as a fat person, it is time to do something about it.

Too right. In my case, that starts with refusing to take moral lectures disguised as health information from opportunist trolls on fat-centric websites or, for that matter, bigoted journalists in the media. I’m fortunate that I’ve never been discriminated against on the grounds of size in my professional life, but many have. If an employer internalises the idea that a person’s size is reflective of their intelligence, honesty, dependability or capacity to work hard based on nothing but the ceaseless promotion of crass stereotypes it is time to challenge them. Don’t kid yourself society’s ever-increasing hatred for and neuroticism around fat benefits anybody’s health. All it does is compound self-hatred and fuel prejudice.

Anonymous said...

The only thing I don't like about BL is the unrealistic way in which the contestants lose their weight. Their calorie intake must be severely restricted to lose the amounts of weight that they do. Also, they can dedicate their entire day to exercise if they wish. Presumably, they have no work, errands or family matters to deal with and I'm sure they are encouraged to exercise as much as possible. So they drop enormous amounts of weight. But are they able to keep it off?

Last BL in which Suzie was a finalist, she got to meet her "inspiration/idol" from the very first BL, I believe her name was Kelly and she was one of the three finalists for the that edition of BL. It looked to me like she put on some of her lost weight. Not all, but definitely more than at the end of the show. Which of course you'd expect since it was probably impossible to keep up the diet and exercise program she had at the BL ranch. I'd really like to see how the others are doing today. I bet she wasn't the only one who gained some (or perhaps all) of their weight back.

That being said, I still watch all the BL episodes!

Anonymous said...

"(hello, anonymous at 2.25! most ex-dieters probably know more about nutrition than you do)"

Unlikely.

"I know, from personal experience, that in order to maintain the loss of a substantial amount of weight I would have to remain on a diet and stick to a punishing exercise regime for the rest of my natural life. And I know that drastic a "lifestyle change" would make me utterly miserable and a bitch to be around."

You very carefully frame the idea of a healthy lifestyle in pejorative terms -- "punishing," "drastic," etc.

I don't know what your idea of "eating healthy most of the time" is, but most people who claim that (fat or thin), when questioned, will admit that yes, they eat fast food meals more than once a week, that bagels, donuts, ice cream, cookies, frappucinos, and the like appear regularly in their diets (maybe not every day but certainly multiple times per week), they eat a lot of white bread, white rice and pasta, full-fat dairy, and on and on.

Sorry, the fact that you also eat salads and may eat more fruits and vegetables than the average person doesn't mean your diet is healthy.

And oh yes, people need to exercise, vigorously, multiple times per week. Fat or thin (yes, yes, I know all about the thin people who also can't run up three flights of stairs). Sorry if you consider that "punishing" or "monotonous" or whatever, but the human body is designed to expend a fair amount of energy in vigorous physical exercise that our modern lifestyles don't provide unless you go out of your way to do it.

And if you choose not to, that is certainly your choice. I'm not telling you how to live your life or that you are wrong to not change your lifestyle.

However, I am telling you you're wrong to claim that being fat is just your fate and that only nigh-superhuman discipline and suffering could change that.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, have you heard of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?

dusty said...

They choose women who they think at the end of the show will look like they have lost all the weight that they needed/wanted. I agree they should also have women who weigh more.

Re: (anonymous) Biggest Loser has a weight cutoff is for medical reasons.
If that were so, how does that explain how some of the men have weighed over 400 lbs.?

...and while I'm on the subject,
You notice they don't choose/have never chosen any older women? But older men, sure.

Anonymous said...

kate, again, more BS. The study you just quoted was of 192 participants in the Sandoz nutrition diet program. Hint, hint.. maybe that particular program doesn't work - which is why none of us have actually heard of it?!

Ok, let's take YOUR study and run with it. Here's a nice quote from the abstract which is at:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=8651838&dopt=Abstract

"The frequency of exercise after the diet program was the strongest predictor of weight loss maintenance, while television viewing predicted a gain in weight."

Jeez.. what a surprise.. the people who exercised and stayed off the couch lost weight, the ones who went back to their old life style did not..

Again, how exactly does this study even remotely suggest a 95% failure rate of diets? The ones who failed didn't fail due to the diet, they failed due to their lack of discipline.

Oh, but please allow me to toss around some studies of my own -

(1) Obesity linked to impotence:
http://www.commonvoice.com/article.asp?colid=5352

(2) Obesity linked to heart disease:
http://www.rxpgnews.com/research/metabolism/obesity/article_4059.shtml

(3) Obesity linked to depression:
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003103301_obese04.html

(4) Obesity linked to colorectal cancers:
http://www.foodnavigator.com/news/ng.asp?n=60030-colorectal-cancer-risk

(5) Obesity linked to diabetes:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=5&ObjectID=10361973

(6) Obesity linked to Alzheimer's disease:
http://healthfully.org/health/id17.html

(7) Obesity linked to strokes:
http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2002/12.12/12-stroke.html

(8) Obesity linked to cavities (my favorite):
http://www.colgate.com/app/Colgate/US/OC/Information/ADA/Article_2005_12_ADAObesityandCavities.cvsp

I could go on, trust me - there are more. But I'm sure all those were done by unscrupulous researchers employed by the weight loss industry, right?

buffpuff - I understand your frustration, but understand this: In your lifetime, nothing will change. Fat people are going to be treated pretty much the way they are now. Anna Wintour is not going to break down in tears and admit that she discriminates against the chubby. The U.S. Army (and the SAS) are not going to suddenly open the gates to morbidly obese recruits. I'm not going to get a SI swimsuit issue in my mailbox dedicated to the plus-sized. If you choose to stay fat, then accept the consequences. Notice the word "choose" - if you must disagree, that's the place to do so..

fatfairy said...

Yes, it's my fault I'm fat . It's my fault that genetics and brain damage during birth left me unable to survive without psychiatric medications that cause weight gain.
I could have not been born disabled if I wanted to. It is also my fault that 5+ years of caring for an elderly, brain-impaired parent, which was far beyond my physical and mental ability, did extensive damage to my physical health and means I'm to sick to exersize a lot of the time.I'm so glad to give you someone to hate. Feel free to tell me I have no knowlege of my own body, am lazy, gluttonous and could wave a wand turn myself into somebody else any time I want to

Anonymous said...

fatfairy: I'm just gonna focus on two words from your autobiography - "brain damage". Enough said, GBTW..

fatfairy said...

Nice to know the fat haters also hate disabled people.

Anonymous said...

"brain damaged" fatfairy: I don't hate disabled people, I hate stupid ones.. you qualify.. GBTW..

fatfairy said...

That's amazing. Everybody I know tells me I'm one of the smartest people they know (and I scored 145 on my elementary school IQ test ) and you know better because I don't agree with you. Interesting.Most of the people I've known who judged me like that were sociopathic or close.

la la la la la said...

anonymous 8:21 PM (aka the fat hater who hangs out at fatty websites)

you are preachy, annoying, obnoxious and very very BORING!! And you're also an attention whore.

Go away with your copy/paste studies and your backward and insipid personality. It's not our fault that you couldn't get into medical school and that you flunked out of preacher school.

Oh, and also, GET A LIFE ALREADY!

Sam said...

What's GBTW???

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, have you heard of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?

Yes, I'm aware there are health conditions that make it much more difficult for some people to lose weight (though even PCOS doesn't make it impossible to avoid obesity). The playing field isn't even, some people are genetically gifted and can maintain a lean body without effort, others (like me) really have to work at it, and others have to work really, really hard just to avoid becoming obese.

However, PCOS and other disorders only account for a small fraction of overweight adults. Most are overweight because (surprise) they eat poorly and don't exercise enough.

Btw, I am not the same anon making snarky comments above, I don't hate fat people, and if Buffpuff and Kate limited their arguments to "Fat people deserve to be treated humanely and with respect, regardless of their size or how they got that way," I'd have no disagreement with them. When they try to argue that fat is just genetic destiny over which they have no control and therefore any and all attempts to maintain a healthy body weight are evil and misguided (or that there is no such thing as a "healthy body weight" because you can be "healthy at any size"), then we have a disagreement.

Kate said...

Buffpuff and Kate limited their arguments to "Fat people deserve to be treated humanely and with respect, regardless of their size or how they got that way," I'd have no disagreement with them

BuffPuff and I have both made this particular statment repeatedly.

If I cite studies that show that, for me, fighting fat is fighting genetics, it's mostly to support my decision to live my life doing things that I actually enjoy.

I have been slender; I have actually been underweight. Looking back on how little I ate and how much I exercised, I was probably approaching anorexic (although, at the time, I was convinced that I was fat). Even eating next to nothing and exercising almost every moment I wasn't in class, (I also had a physically active curriculum, which included movement, dance, and set-construction classes - I was extremely muscular and could lift and carry more weight than most of the guys in my classes) I still had a BMI of 19.9. (127# and 5'7")

I have had resistance body comp testing done. I now have more lean body weight than my total weight was in college.

I'm the one who actually lives in my body and I know it better than anyone else. I know that to maintain a socially acceptabale size I would have to spend every waking moment either working, working out, or obsessing over every bite I eat. I did that about 5 years ago. I lost 50 pounds. I was MISERABLE and, quite frankly, miserable to be around.

I CHOOSE to enjoy my life. You assume that means parking my butt in front of the tv, gorging. Your assumptions mean nothing as you don't actually know me, but even if they were true, MY LIFE, MY CHOICE.

You fat-hating Anonymi choose to hang around where you're neither wanted nor appreciated, badgering people you don't even know to adopt your priorities, claiming some sort of moral superiority. If your priorities work for you, I couldn't be happier for you, but that doesn't give you the right to disparage, demean, harangue, berate and sermonize at those who don't espouse your chosen lifestyle.

Sorry, not interested. My friends (and I actually have a lot of them, in all shapes and sizes) love me the way I am and I don't really care a rat's fart what some fatphobic bigot thinks of me.

Mikey, back to no vowels...

Jenny said...

Ah, PCOS. Such a fucking easy way out. I think my doctor said it perfectly when he said: You're fat because you have it and you have it because you're fat.

LOSING WEIGHT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE! What is with these people who say they can't lose weight. Any weight. 5lbs! Anyone who eats right and gets mobile will lose weight. Not rapidly...not overnight...but in time. If one of you fatties ever gave it more than an hour you would see it would work for you too!

Anonymous said...

Dial down the anger, Kate. I have not insulted you or berated you. (And yes, I know, you can't distinguish between us "anonymi" -- maybe I'll get around to establishing a Blogger ID.)

I know that to maintain a socially acceptabale size I would have to spend every waking moment either working, working out, or obsessing over every bite I eat. I did that about 5 years ago. I lost 50 pounds. I was MISERABLE and, quite frankly, miserable to be around.

The fact that the only options that have worked for you in the past are extreme dieting and exercise, or else obesity, does not mean that those are your only options. There are ways to maintain a healthy weight (sorry, I am not letting you switch that to "socially acceptable size," I honestly don't care what you look like in a bikini and do not expect you to care about my opinion) that don't require starvation diets and overtraining. In fact, starvation diets and overtraining are extremely unhealthy and no one who knows anything about fitness and nutrition would advocate them, despite the fact that that is how most overweight people try to lose weight (and yes, of course that leads to failure and weight regain).

I CHOOSE to enjoy my life. You assume that means parking my butt in front of the tv, gorging. Your assumptions mean nothing as you don't actually know me, but even if they were true, MY LIFE, MY CHOICE.

I make no such assumptions. And yes, absolutely, it's your life, your choice. I am not disagreeing with you about the choices you make. I'm disagreeing with you that "I choose to be fat, therefore fat isn't unhealthy and even if it is, I actually don't have a choice." You're arguing about emotions and how the facts about fitness and obesity make you feel, I'm arguing about physiology and not claiming that you should do anything, only that you can't force facts to fit an agenda that is more emotionally comfortable for you.

You fat-hating Anonymi choose to hang around where you're neither wanted nor appreciated, badgering people you don't even know to adopt your priorities, claiming some sort of moral superiority. If your priorities work for you, I couldn't be happier for you, but that doesn't give you the right to disparage, demean, harangue, berate and sermonize at those who don't espouse your chosen lifestyle.

I have seen there have been some "anonymi" (cute term, btw) who are insulting and badgering, but I'm not. Not everyone who disagrees with you is a "fat-hating bigot," Kate. I am being polite when I post here, but my understanding is the blog-mistresses have not banned dissenting viewpoints. (If they post a message saying "Disagreeing with Fat Acceptance advocates is verboten," I'll respect that, though I'll be disappointed -- you already have Big Fat Blog when you need an uncritical echo chamber.)

Inverarity said...

Last comment was me, btw. Just so now you have a name to scream at. ;)

Anonymous said...

"Ah, PCOS. Such a fucking easy way out."

Oh shut your fucking trap. If you have it too, you should understand the suffering that comes to a person when they have a period heavily for two months straight due to it.

No, PCOS doesn't force a person to be obese, but it does make it extremely hard to fit into a BMI category that's considered "healthy." Hell, at my current weight (that my doctor considers fine, btw) I'm pretty sure most people would still consider me overweight.

Anonymous said...

OMG, the studies and the arguing and the back and forth, so boring. ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz. You guys... I think you love each other for reals. You are perfectly suited to one another. You mutually masturbate each other... HERE. Yawn.

Kate said...

inverarity,

I'm angry in part because I'm tired of the same "yuh huh/nuh uh" argument and in part because people have been telling me my entire life that my value as a human being is directly proportional to my weight, and I'm freakin' sick of it.

I wasn't angry at you, per se, I quoted you because you claimed that BP and I haven't espoused a position that you could support when in fact we both have more than once (just not in this thread).

Has it even occurred to you that I might have actually tried those "other options" and they didn't work for me? I keep telling you that I know what works on my body? Why do you assume that you know better? Not only is it preposterous, it's the height of hubris.

For all of you who think that because something worked for you, it will work for everybody, I've got news for you; you're wrong. Not all cars get the same gas mileage and not all bodies have the same calorie burn rate. Yes, anyone who controls his/her calorie intake and exercises will lose weight, but many of us will lose 5% to 10%. If one starts at above 200 lbs, that amount of weight loss still leaves us in the so-called "unhealthy" range.

So what if I don't want to spend more than an hour a day exercising? So what if I'd rather eat the things that I like, when I I'm hungry (generally once a day, thank you very much) and not worry about whether it costs me a year or two off my life.

I see the doctor generally once a year. Not that it's any of your business, but my vital stats are all well within the "healthy" range. A doctor looking at my chart without my weight on it would determine that I'm the picture of health. (Of course, he wouldn't see the sub-clinical hypothyroidism, but that's why it's called "sub-clinical.")

If my BP, cholesteral, blood sugar, etc. are all in the healthy range, then what, pray tell makes my obesity so damned "unhealthy?" Because you say so? I'm not buying it.

Inverarity said...

For all of you who think that because something worked for you, it will work for everybody, I've got news for you; you're wrong.

Barring something that makes your physiology markedly different from mine (like an endocrine problem), no, I'm not.

Not all cars get the same gas mileage and not all bodies have the same calorie burn rate.

This is true. Some people have faster metabolisms. I never said it's equally easy for everyone to lose weight. For some people it's much harder than others. But "hard" is not the same as "impossible." And yes, it's your right to decide that "hard" is not worth it to you. Just don't claim you can't do it or that it would take extreme measures to do so, or worse, that most fat people can't lose weight because their bodies are programmed to be fat unless they starve themselves. That's just not true.

Yes, anyone who controls his/her calorie intake and exercises will lose weight, but many of us will lose 5% to 10%.

Depends on the length and intensity of your fitness program. Everyone experiences plateaus.

So what if I don't want to spend more than an hour a day exercising?

You shouldn't spend more than an hour a day exercising. It's counter-productive. People who spend that much time in the gym are just overtraining, unless they are professional athletes, bodybuilders, or the like. You've bought into the myth that the best way to lose weight is to spend hours and hours on a treadmill. Knowledgeable people don't advocate that. Overweight people who haven't done their homework try that and fail because of course no one wants to spend hours every day in the gym.

So what if I'd rather eat the things that I like, when I I'm hungry (generally once a day, thank you very much)

Eating once a day is also unhealthy and counterproductive, especially if you are trying to lose weight.

As for "eating the things you like" -- sure, you can do that. I like all kinds of junk food and high-fat, high-sugar foods, and if I could eat them to my heart's content without getting fat, I would. Unfortunately, I can't. I choose to eat a healthy diet and save the unhealthy stuff for very infrequent treats. That's my choice. You made a different one. That's your right.

Notice, however, that you've pretty much conceded here that your weight is the result of choices you have made.

If my BP, cholesteral, blood sugar, etc. are all in the healthy range, then what, pray tell makes my obesity so damned "unhealthy?" Because you say so? I'm not buying it.

No, because study after study says so.

I'm glad all your vital signs are in the healthy range. Lots of smokers also have vital signs that are still in the healthy range. Many lifelong smokers manage to die of old age without lung cancer, heart disease, or emphysema. That doesn't prove smoking isn't unhealthy, only that some people get lucky. Likewise, of course not every fat person has fat-related health problems. But enough of them do to make the elevated risk factors pretty obvious.

Anonymous said...

Bravo Inverarity!
there is so a difference between can't and won't. I love when fat people, and I'm fat myself, say they only eat once a day or basically nothing at all when we all know that a well balanced diet consists of eating good, wholesome food every 3 hours or so in small portions. No, I don't follow that routine, but when I want to lose weight, I'll know what I'll be doing to do so.

la la la la la said...

anonymous 6:05 AM "Btw, I am not the same anon making snarky comments above"


and

jenny


Boy oh boy, you guys are ALSO boring! Little wannabe whiny preachers. You mean losing weight is possible? Wow! what a discovery! Thanks so much, we couldn't have known this without people like you to tell us! *rolls eyes* Do you people honestly think that anyone here CARES about what you have to say?? Save your energy and sickening self-righteousness for someone unfortunate enough to know you personally. Now go away and eat your delicious dry rice cakes.

la la la la la said...

and the above comment also applies to Inverarity who is equally boring, preachy, obnoxious and annoying.

Go get some plastic surgery, you're ugly and it's all your fault, do something about it, cuz people can't stand looking at your funny face and you don't fit into soceity anyway. Please do the world a favor and get some plastic surgery, pronto. And also, do something about your tummy, it's not fat but it's not chiseled either and you might die from a illness caused by unchiseled abs. And that concerns me, a total stranger, soooooo much. I have every right to tell you what's wrong with your body, because, well because some people think that they have a right to tell people that there's something wrong with their fatness... so I have a right, and ugly people don't...so there.

Ooops, got carried away with mimicking the "stop making excuuusses"bitchy preachies on this forum, my bad.

Anonymous said...

la la la la lala lalalalalalala,

it's not very nice to call people ugly.

Anonymous said...

lalalalalalpatheticloser
what a piece of crap you are
you are everything that's wrong with humanity.
Go crawl back into your fridge where you belong. You may do society a favor and die in there.

la la la la la said...

anonymous 2:44 PM, ever heard of sarcasm? guess not...

anonymous 3:53 PM

How predictable you whiny preachers are. I was just waiting for you to once again try in your own childish way to offend and annoy by calling people fat. Wow! How original! Bravo.

Not that it matters, but I'm not fat, unless you can refer to a 5'4" 140 lbs girl as fat. What I am is tired of your whining! It has never crossed my mind to go up to a total stranger and comment on their weight and personal choices and/or health. So, what business is other people's weight to you??? Dudes and dudettes, you're the losers. You've become groupies to people that you hate, how pathetic is that???? You must really be dying for attention when you have to come to a blog and try your hardest to get some attention by PREACHING. Why don't you just stand in a street corner and preach your health studies and diets to fat people passing by. I would love to see you do that, but of course, you're the type that hide in anonymity and who don't have an ounce of courage and personality in them. Damn... that's sad.

Buffpuff said...

Anon at 4.49 You very carefully frame the idea of a healthy lifestyle in pejorative terms -- "punishing," "drastic," etc

Er, hello? I Believe I told you I practice a healthy lifestyle; which is to say one I find tolerable and feel I can sustain. If your definition of a healthy lifestyle involves morbid fear of the bagel and the odd frapuccino, (I’ve had precisely one of those this year, by the way, and without the whipped cream, not that it’s any of your beeswax), I would suggest you look up orthorexia in the dictionary. And regarding your assertion, “people need to exercise, vigorously, multiple times per week, it might interest you to know I had a full medical a couple of months back, (my local health authority was feeling generous so I thought I might as well take advantage of the facility). The heart doctor who conducted it told me all he ever recommends to keep the ticker in good working order, (he pronounced mine to be in excellent fettle by the way), was a brisk 15 – 20 minute walk a day, which works out nicely since I don’t drive. Suits me. Suits him. It’s really too bad if it doesn’t suit you.

Likewise, Inverarity, enough with assuming you know more about folks’ bodies and what’s good for them than the owners of said bodies. I have chosen to accept, nourish and exercise mine as it is, which might constitute failure in your book but is one of my proudest accomplishments – and one I have worked at for over 20 years. Unlike pursuing what I will call a socially acceptable body whether you like it or not, this attitude has benefitted my spirit, self esteem and sanity and I believe it to be the healthiest option for me.

Anon at 8.21 I understand your frustration...If you choose to stay fat, then accept the consequences.

The consequences being I have to suck up accusations of stupidity, uncleanliness, sexual desperation, greed, laziness and all manner of erroneous random nonsense without demur? You understand nothing, you facetious, trivialising jackass. I can’t even be bothered to argue with you.

Anonymous said...

haha

why would you say you can't be bothered to argue with someone after you just spent a really long time arguing? you're such a hypocrite in so many ways..

Inverarity said...

lalalalala,

One more time, slowly....

I don't preach. I have never gone up to a stranger and made a comment about their weight or their eating habits. I have not told anyone here they should lose weight. I have no problem with you and Buffpuff and Kate choosing to accept your present physical condition as something you consider healthy and attractive. Nor do I expect you to care what I consider healthy and attractive.

I have a problem with only one thing, which is erroneous statements not supported by scientific evidence. (Well, that and straw men.) I know Kate and Buffpuff have argued that fat people should be treated decently, but that's not all they argue. They also argue that fat people have little or no ability to become less fat, that even if they could it would require extraordinary and grueling efforts, and even if they did it wouldn't matter because fat isn't unhealthy. All of those things are false.

I think the "Fat Acceptance" folks are the ones preaching.

Buffpuff, sorry to disappoint you, but I don't live in "morbid fear of a bagel or a frappucino." More of your carefully constructed straw men to cast healthy choices in a negative light. I just choose not to indulge in things I know have a poor nutritional profile, except rarely. And lalalala, I don't eat rice cakes. Very little nutritional value and not very tasty.

Anonymous said...

Let's just face it girls.....everyone is going to be who they are, no matter what.

The preachy ones are going to continue giving sermons about how we should live our lives.

The fat-haters are going to continue to assume us heavy gals are all lazy and stupid.

And those of us who are fat are going to continue to be annoyed by the above people for the simple fact that they lump people together based on generalizations and we are all individuals.

Therefore, I vote for letting the preachers and the haters go along their merry way, happy and secure in the bubble of "I am right and you are wrong" or "I am better than you".

Buffpuff said...

Sister, I second that emotion.

Heather said...

Can I have an A-MEN!!!!

la la la la la said...

inverarity

(and the noxious anonymous)

I am not fat, why do you have to assume that those of us who take this stance have to be fat? Your middle name must be "generalizer". At one point I was 25 lbs heavier than my current 140 lbs. Is that why I'm into fatty culture? I don't know but at 165 lbs I wan't exactly an obvious fatty. But I do know now that when I was a teenager those 25 extra pounds were not only about extra weight but about complicated emotional issues that can not be simplified into a black and white explanation and treated with a black and white solution.

I haven't posted comments on this blog before until now when the critics, whiners and preachers finally just got to me. I really just had it with the likes of you and the anonymous posters. You might not be an obvious fat hater, but your self-righteousness is equally disturbing and annoying as that of the fat haters. So you get bothered by people that accept themselves for what they are and pay no attention to what some doctors say about them? Wow, aren't you a meddling and easily bothered individual?

If you have not noticed this before, Kate and buffpuff are very intelligent and educated women. When you go around citing scientific studies (that I'm sure you don't even fully understand), in order to make them see the error of their views, that's just wrong. You are no one to be insulting the intelligence of anyone. These women feel OK with their bodies, that's what matters. Mental and emotional health is just as important as physical health. Some people have chosen not to deal with fat anguish every single day, good for them! Ultimately, their health is of no concern to you. Can you prove to us that you're a scientist and a certified obesity expert? If so, then start you own "data blog". Btw, you're over-stating a point that everybody has heard ad nauseum! Hello! We've heard this same argument countless of times! Why assume that we don't know about obesity studies? And why be so repetitive?

You have a problem with how some people view and deal with their bodies? Deal with it, or start a blog, don't hit us over the head with the same monotonous arguments that have finally outworn their welcome!

Buffpuff said...

Well, Heather, I reckon that's an amen-and-a-half.

Standing ovation for la la la la la.

Inverarity said...

lalalalala,

Sorry, you are making the assumptions. I didn't assume you're fat. I said: I have no problem with you and Buffpuff and Kate choosing to accept your present physical condition as something you consider healthy and attractive. I don't know if you're fat, thin, or anywhere in-between. I only assumed you consider fat not to be unhealthy, which is the point I am disagreeing with. I haven't said anyone shouldn't accept herself, and I haven't offered any black and white solutions. I have only said that I believe fat is unhealthy and that fat people, if they choose to, can lose weight, and it doesn't require extreme dieting or extreme amounts of exercise. I only argued with Kate and Buffpuff when they were implying otherwise, not when they were simply asserting that fat people shouldn't be insulted and treated as second-class citizens. I find the anons who post here name-calling to be offensive and ignorant. I certainly never implied that Kate and Buffpuff are anything other than intelligent and educated women. That doesn't mean their arguments are convincing.

Kate said...

I have only said that I believe fat is unhealthy and that fat people, if they choose to, can lose weight, and it doesn't require extreme dieting or extreme amounts of exercise.

We heard you loud and clear the first (and every subsequent) time you said it, and if "eat right and exercise right" isn't a "black and white" solution, pray tell what is?

These are "the same monotonous arguments that have finally outworn their welcome" referenced above. Not only have we all heard them ad nauseum, they go against our own personal experiences. Just because something is true for your body doesn't necessarily mean that it's true for everyone's.

None of us is claiming that you are "deluded" in believing that you know your body well enough to know works for you, why can't you grant us the same courtesy?

Neither of us is ever going to convince the other, so we might as well just agree to disagree.

Inverarity said...

We heard you loud and clear the first (and every subsequent) time you said it, and if "eat right and exercise right" isn't a "black and white" solution, pray tell what is?

"Eat right and exercise right" is an extremely simplistic way to put it. Yes, that's the solution in a nutshell, but if someone were actually asking me for advice on how to lose weight (yes, I know you are not) I wouldn't just say "Eat right and exercise right." Exercise and diet do need to be customized for the individual based on all sorts of factors, and all the factors that go into resistance training + aerobic exercise + caloric balance + macronutrient balance + factoring in special needs cannot be condensed into a glib one-liner.

Nonetheless, the above "recipe," tailored for the individual, will work for anyone without an unusual medical condition. It is true for my body, it is true for yours. You won't believe me and you'll insist I'm wrong, I don't believe you and I know you're wrong (not dishonest, but mistaken), but we couldn't prove it unless you actually spelled out what you've done in the past in painstaking detail and I explained why what you did in the past was wrong, and of course neither of us is interested in doing that. So yeah, it'll have to end with us agreeing to disagree.

That said, I'm not going anywhere and inasmuch as I am "repeating ad nauseum" my opinion, so are you. What else does anyone do on these here Innernets.... ;)

Buffpuff said...

...all the factors that go into resistance training + aerobic exercise + caloric balance + macronutrient balance + factoring in special needs cannot be condensed into a glib one-liner

Actually, I rather think it can: Life’s Too Short.

For pity’s sake, Inverarity, anyone who is not a dedicated athlete, (for whom their body is their life), or in the business of making money out of hapless, self-hating saps, (for whom my body is their livelihood), would have to be obsessed beyond belief with their health to want to live in such a crankish, regimented, joyless, unspontaneous manner. And, yes, there I go again, with my damning language to describe a lifestyle you find altogether reasonable. But the thing is, I don't - and it's me you're trying to convince.

If my choosing to live what I view as a normal life in my fat body – which I also choose to accept as normal for me – results in my cashing in my chips eighteen months before you do, then so be it. Though, given that I’m female and my (mostly fat) female forbears have a tendency to long life, there’s a good chance I’ll outlive you anyway. But guess what? We're both going to die eventually and, assuming you make old bones, you'll have your share of aches, pains, age-related frailties and bodily malfunctions just like every other elderly person.

You really are like a born-again Bible-basher, you know, genuinely grieving for my hellbound soul because I cannot see the light as you perceive it. And just like all evangelists you view your belief system as The Truth and anyone else’s as skewed, unenlightened or just plain wrong. Well, I’m sorry, but to me, the Bible’s just an antiquated guidebook, full of myths, allegories and conflicting moral advice, punctuated by occasional historical fact – and one of several such guidebooks at that. This doesn’t make me an atheist or even, necessarily, an agnostic. It simply means I am open to other ideas; I’m a pick ’n’ mix kinda gal, living by experience and tenets that resonate with my own individual spirit.

Ditto, there are lies, damn lies and statistics. We can play ping-pong in perpetuity, quoting conflicting studies of various kinds but I prefer to stick with empirical evidence: the pursuit of a body I wasn’t ever meant to have in the first place did that body harm. It screwed with my mind, robbed me of the innate childhood ability to eat intuitively, gave me body dysmorphia and wounded my spirit. From extensive personal experience, I can see no way your, to my mind, extreme interpretation of healthy living would benefit me. You want to count calories; tie weights to your body to replicate the load-bearing workout my fat body gets daily as a matter of course; refuse your friends' home made cakes on the grounds of their lack of nutritional value and so forth, that's your privilege. Just as believing a fat body can be healthy if it's treated right is mine.

Brad said...

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Anonymous said...

You're not welcome here, brad.

Buffpuff said...

But since you're lurking anyway, can I just say what excellent taste in movies you have? Kudos, Brad.

Inverarity said...

For pity’s sake, Inverarity, anyone who is not a dedicated athlete, (for whom their body is their life), or in the business of making money out of hapless, self-hating saps, (for whom my body is their livelihood), would have to be obsessed beyond belief with their health to want to live in such a crankish, regimented, joyless, unspontaneous manner. And, yes, there I go again, with my damning language to describe a lifestyle you find altogether reasonable. But the thing is, I don't - and it's me you're trying to convince.

The damning language is what spurs me to argue with you, more than your personal lifestyle choices. Because that damning language is what betrays the essential dishonesty of your position.

I am not a dedicated athlete, and my life is far from "joyless and crankish." FYI, I go to the gym about 3-4 times a week, for a little over an hour each time, so it's not like I live and breathe exercise. I'm neither a bodybuilder nor a marathon runner, nor do I play any kind of sports regularly. I'm an average guy and if I could stay in shape eating anything I want and without exercising, believe me, I would.

The difference between your life and mine is probably not as great as you imagine. You may prefer to think that I'm an obsessive wonk doing pushups every night before I go to bed, and running screaming from frappucinos, but I'm not. The difference between us is more one of small choices made every day, consistently.

But I don't obsess over calories, measure everything I eat, or refuse the occasional piece homemade cake.

You have to imagine me that way because it's the only way you can keep insisting that those of us who have made such choices are freaks, neurotics, or genetically gifted to do what you tell yourself you cannot.

I'm not trying to convert you. (The Bible-thumping comparison is pretty funny since I am an atheist.) As I've said before, if you just stuck to "We're fat, for whatever reason, and people shouldn't insult us because of it," I'd not argue with you. I don't go around preaching to fat people or watching what they put in their grocery baskets.

But it's you who does the preaching, because you keep making the factually incorrect claim that fat people are fat because "their bodies chose that shape" and "losing weight requires being a joyless calorie-counting gym-monkey" and so on. As long as you keep insisting it's a choice between being fat or sucking all the joy out of a too-short life, I'm going to call you on it.

Make the choices you want, that is absolutely your right. And if making the choice not to exercise or deny yourself whatever treat you fancy eating is what makes you happy, then that's fine too. Just don't deny it's a choice! That's all I ask.

Anonymous said...

Inverarity, I have to ask. What are your feelings on people who are naturally underweight? Do you think that that's a choice as well?

Inverarity said...

OK, I'll take a whack at that, anon 10:55, though I know where you're going with it.

People do have different body types that are to some degree genetically predetermined. Some people are naturally skinny (or "underweight"), some people are naturally heavy (or "overweight"). That means that with nearly identical environmental factors (i.e., diet and exercise), they'll fall to one end or the other of the bell curve.

A genetic predisposition is not impossible to overcome, but it is difficult. A naturally heavy person will have a hell of a time getting thin, and a naturally skinny person will have a hell of a time bulking up with muscle. The degree to which anyone might want to fight their genes is of course an individual decision. Assuming that someone isn't perfectly happy with their natural body shape, usually a significant degree of change is possible with only a little work, while major changes are possibly only with a lot of hard work.

So, before you jump up and say "Aha! You're admitting that fat people are naturally fat and can only lose weight by fighting their genes and doing more work than is reasonable!" -- no, generally not, on two counts.

That bell curve. You may have a natural tendency to look less svelte than the average guy/gal, but unless you're in that tiny minority that's way out at the end of the bell curve, you don't have a natural tendency to be 50, 100 or more pounds overweight. My personal opinion (and backed up by studies of the effects of weight on health) is that being 20 pounds or so "overweight" is probably not a big deal, and not worth fighting unless you really want to lose it for aesthetic reasons. But being in the "obese" category, with massively more excess weight than that? Let's get real, for 99% of the folks in that category, it's not genes that caused them to gain that much weight, it's environment -- i.e., lifestyle choices. You can blame a little middle-aged spread or a tendency towards apple or pear shape on your parents, but not a bodyfat percentage in the 30s or 40s. And most of the Fat Acceptance folks seem to be people who are not just a little overweight, but very, very overweight... yet they want to claim that weighing 300 pounds is either (a) perfectly natural and healthy or (b) what their metabolism stuck them with and impossible to change unless they're willing to live on celery.

So a shorter answer to your question is no, someone who is naturally underweight isn't making a choice, but someone who's seriously overweight is not naturally so any more than someone who starves herself skinny or suffers from anorexia or bulemia is "naturally underweight."

Anonymous said...

Gah, the computer just ate my comment. I'll try to repost it from memory.

I agree with your view on it, Inverarity. The reason I posted that question is because it's kind of hard to understand what amount of 'overweight' you're talking about, since most standards for overweight/obese vary from person to person. I don't think morbid obesity should be included in the 'naturally overweight' range.

Of course, I mean morbidly obese by a doctor's standards, not Hollywood's.

Buffpuff said...

you keep making the factually incorrect claim that fat people are fat because "their bodies chose that shape"

Actually I don't. I think there are many, many contributory factors as to why an individual might be fat and have discussed them at length elsewhere on this blog; ditto the contributory factors to my own fat.

that damning language is what betrays the essential dishonesty of your position

No, it reflects my personal experience of dieting, diet-mentality, metabolic damage and subsequent weight gain – and I'm sorry but you don't get to "call me on it" and you certainly don't get to call me a liar.

Every time I dieted, regardless of what kind of diet I followed, and how active a lifestyle I was leading, I regained the weight and more when I reverted back to my normal eating patterns – which, no doubt, you will assume were excessive, nutritionally poor and heavy on convenience foods, saturated fats etc., even though you would be wrong. Every single dieter I have ever known did likewise.

If you starve the body it will find ways of storing fat more efficiently in the event of future famine. This is an irreversible process and every time one slows the process down again, the less calories it will take to have the (un)desired effect. Therefore, in order to lose weight and keep it off forever, I would have to embark on what you would call a lifestyle change and I would call a diet: as in all-out calorie restricting, foodstuff-banning, craving-inducing, obsessive, bitchy purgatory for me.

The same goes for exercise. I used to attend a gym where I did a 40 minute workout 2 – 3 times a week. I kept this up for a year and a half. It bored the living bejesus out of me. It cost me money I could ill afford. And it took altogether too large a chunk out of my day. I felt energised but it didn’t make a great deal of difference to my weight. However, stopping it did. I got fatter. I’ve witnessed this in others too.

What I “choose”, as I said earlier, is to live what I perceive to be a normal life in the body I have now. Good, varied diet, moderate amount of exercise. Not an excessive life of idle, cream cake-scoffing debauchery. Just something I can sustain, comfortably.

And now I choose to get on with my working day.

Adios – or, (given the world summit on the obesity scourge/pandemic is currently in progress down under as we speak) – adipose, muchacho.

Inverarity said...

No, it reflects my personal experience of dieting, diet-mentality, metabolic damage and subsequent weight gain – and I'm sorry but you don't get to "call me on it" and you certainly don't get to call me a liar.

I do "get to" correct you when you state things that are false. The idea of "metabolic damage" from dieting is very popular (especially among people who are fat and have suffered through numerous failed diets) but there's really not much evidence to support the idea that your metabolism permanently and irrevocably changes when you diet. Yes, it will slow down or speed up depending on current diet and activity levels. Dieting does not, however, move your permanent "set point" down. That is an excuse so people who have tried foolish diets in the past can blame the failure of said diets for their "inability" to lose weight now.

Every time I dieted, regardless of what kind of diet I followed, and how active a lifestyle I was leading, I regained the weight and more when I reverted back to my normal eating patterns – which, no doubt, you will assume were excessive, nutritionally poor and heavy on convenience foods, saturated fats etc., even though you would be wrong.

I don't assume that. However, I do assume that your "normal eating patterns" consist of more calories consumed than you expend. And here's the dirty little secret that ironically neither the diet industry nor you want to admit: of course if you "diet" (meaning, temporarily restrict calories) and then return to your "normal eating patterns," you will regain the weight. If your normal eating/exercise patterns resulted in a certain body, then obviously, no matter what you do in the way of temporary changes, if you then return to that same pattern, your body will return to the condition that results.

Permanent changes in your body composition require a permanent (yes, here's that dreaded phrase again) lifestyle change. Which may or may not involve fewer calories than you currently consume, actually, depending on the source of your calories, but it almost certainly will involve permanent, regular exercise. Yes, you may find exercise boring (though I'll bet you were also doing the wrong kind of exercise at the wrong intensity and wrong frequency -- bet you were pretty much doing all cardio at a low to moderate intensity for long durations, right?), but our bodies require it. There's no way around that little biological fact. Make exercise a regular part of your life or most people will get fat. Now if it's not worth it to you to do that, fine, but once again, it's a choice, it's not your inevitable destiny because your body just won't lose fat. Saying that you're biologically screwed because you get fat when you don't exercise and you just hate exercising is kind of like saying you're biologically screwed when you get sick because you don't eat enough vitamins.

If you starve the body it will find ways of storing fat more efficiently in the event of future famine. This is an irreversible process and every time one slows the process down again, the less calories it will take to have the (un)desired effect.

The first part is true, though you make the fallacious assumption that you have to "starve yourself" to lose weight. (Some people actually need to increase their caloric intake to lose weight, to get their bodies out of starvation mode!) The second part is unsubstantiated by any scientific evidence I'm aware of.

Therefore, in order to lose weight and keep it off forever, I would have to embark on what you would call a lifestyle change and I would call a diet: as in all-out calorie restricting, foodstuff-banning, craving-inducing, obsessive, bitchy purgatory for me.

No, you wouldn't. Sorry, this is just factually incorrect.

What I “choose”, as I said earlier, is to live what I perceive to be a normal life in the body I have now. Good, varied diet, moderate amount of exercise. Not an excessive life of idle, cream cake-scoffing debauchery. Just something I can sustain, comfortably.

What you choose is rationalizations, straw men, and deliberately recasting a healthy lifestyle as something awful and torturous. I don't think you live an excessive life of cream cakes and pork rinds, but I'd bet money your diet would, under any kind of objective evaluation, come up short both nutritionally and in terms of how many calories you take in every day, and that what you call "moderate exercise" is probably minimal exercise. The fact that you may walk around the block every evening and take the stairs rather than the elevator is nice, and better than being completely sedentary, but it doesn't mean you "exercise" to a meaningful degree.

buffpuff said...

Since you obviously know so very much more about my life experiences than I do, Inverarity, there is no point in my continuing this discussion.

You may pride yourself on couching your views in polite language but you remain as arrogant, blinkered, sanctimonious, condescending and judgemental as every other troll who has called me a lazy, ignorant, undisciplined, self-deluding failure.

Try telling it to someone who wishes to hear it and is willing to own it because I'm not.

Inverarity said...

And you are like every person who fancies herself open-minded and able to evaluate evidence objectively, but retreats to ad hominems launched at people who disagree with her, Buffpuff.

You could, of course, prove me wrong by telling me exactly what factual errors I made, but I rather suspect that your "storming off in a huff" post (third time now, in'nit?) was because I hit uncomfortably close to home.

I'm not trolling and I didn't insult you. This is a persistent complaint of yours, that people who don't buy into FA and HAES are rude and insulting and small-minded, yet when engaged on the issues rather than on you as a person, you are the one who explodes with namecalling and emotional retorts.

fatfairy said...

This is really about someone who thinks they have the answer, and if somebody else says, i have dealt with this and my experience was different than yours, calling her a liar, refusing to listen to a word she says,and saying you're the one with the problem when she asks you to just pay attention. And she has told you repeatedly, what has happened to her, why she disagrees with you,what "facts" you are citing that are not in line with her life, and you refuse to listen and keep yelling liar and you're not answering me. I'm sorry, this is not how someone who wants to have an exchange acts.

Inverarity said...

I haven't called anyone a liar. I said Buffpuff's position is dishonest. I don't think she's lying, because she really believes what she is saying, but I think she constructs dishonest arguments ("The only way for a fat person to lose weight is to engage in unhealthy starvation diets and spend hours and hours and hours on a treadmill and do that for the rest of your life!"). I am hearing what she is saying, and I am sticking to my facts because she has offered nothing factual to rebut them. She has not demonstrated that my facts are not in line with her life because as I pointed out, her experiences are with the usual ineffective methods that she keeps citing as reasons why she can't lose weight (starvation diets, endless cardio).

Once again, if she or anyone else makes a rational decision that the effort involved (and yes, it does require effort and discipline) to lose weight is not worth it, that is fine. I don't belittle people for making that choice, nor am I interested in trying to harass or shame fat people into losing weight.

The reason I won't back off is because Buffpuff pretty much admitted in this thread that her being fat is a choice, yet generally the FA people go ballistic if anyone says that being fat is a choice, and most of them spout HAES philosophy that either deemphasizes or denies altogether the negative health effects of fat. It's one thing to choose to remain fat because you're content, it's another to try to push an agenda that would have people pretending that there are no adverse consequences for those who make this choice.

Buffpuff said...

Okay, Inverarity, since you seem to be so hell-bent on pulling my tongue, I will make one final attempt to state my case, if only to address the way you are flagrantly twisting my words.

Firstly, I did not say, "The only way for a fat person to lose weight is to engage in unhealthy starvation diets and spend hours and hours and hours on a treadmill and do that for the rest of your life". I said it is my belief, drawn from extensive first hand experience, that the only way this particular fat person will lose a significant amount of weight and keep it off is to make permanent dietary and calorific restrictions beyond what I consider to be comfortable or reasonable, and to exercise more strenuously and for longer periods of time than I have the will, money or time to maintain for the rest of my life. Regardless of what euphemism you might employ to describe the process of my eating and exercising according to your satisfaction and diktats, almost 40 years on from my first diet, I recognise a honking great trigger when I see one. It took me a long time to shake off many of the detrimental feelings and habits I associate with dieting. I’m not going there again, least of all at the recommendation of someone who views these matters so simplistically – i.e. solely in physical terms.

Secondly, my only reference to starvation was in regard to irreversable metabolic damage sustained by repeated dieting – and, in that context, simply describes the act of taking in significantly less calories than a body is accustomed to for a sustained period of time. I don’t give a flying one whether you have scientific evidence to substantiate my claim of less calories needed to regain lost weight each time a diet is ceased. That has been my personal experience. (And the set point is racheted up, by the by, never down). I would suggest that the reason the theory is so very popular is because others have experienced a similar outcome. You may well have never gone up to a stranger and made a comment about their weight or their eating habits but negating the first hand experience of others as “an excuse so people who have tried foolish diets in the past can blame the failure of said diets for their “inability" to lose weight now” is very much tantamount to calling someone a lazy, ignorant, undisciplined, self-deluding failure. Just as casting aspertions on the “meaningfulness” and efficacy of my current exercise habits and the probable “wrongness” of my previous ones, (I had a professional fitness instructor and upper back problems at the time. I did as he advised in the circumstances), and making assumptions that my diet “would, under any kind of objective evaluation, come up short both nutritionally and in terms of how many calories (I) take in every day” is presumptuous, patronising and rude. Read my lips: weight loss is not my objective, ergo calorie count is irrelevant here. I eat a varied, balanced diet with occasional treats, just like you claim to.

Besides, whose “objective evaluation”? Yours? Jesus, you’ve got more faces than the proverbial town clock, Inverarity. One minute you’re just an average Joe who just does his thang down the gym then trucks on with life; the next you’re professing yourself qualified to be able to make detailed analyses of my personal habits in order to prove me deluded in thinking I could possibly be significantly benefiting my health by following the guidelines of the British sodding Heart Foundation. (“walk around the block”? And you seriously don’t see why I called you condescending?) Not to mention spouting inscrutable mumbo-gym-bo like, “resistance training + aerobic exercise + caloric balance + macronutrient balance + factoring in special needs”. I think it might safely be assumed you’re a little more concerned with health matters than average, though in very truth I don’t care – just as long as you stop telling me you know better than I do what’s best for my health.


The causation versus correlation argument was one you were having with Kate, not me. While I don’t believe fat is an automatic death sentence I do believe there are certain health problems that can be caused or exacerbated by fat, however, I believe other factors, (such as heredity, smoking, drinking, medication, and sedentary lifestyle), can be contributory to the overall severity of these problems if and when they occur. I also think fat frequently provides lazy, prejudiced members of the medical profession with an excuse not to look further than their own noses, (such as the woman who recently made the US press having had a thirty-plus pound tumour removed from her stomach, having been repeatedly told to go away and diet), and a highly convenient scapegoat for pretty much every medical and societal ill going.

Unlike you I don’t claim to speak for large bodies of folks with large bodies but it seems to me that the reason some FA people go ballistic about the notion of “choosing” to be fat is because that alleged choice is then used as a weapon to beat them over the head with, (as in “you brought this on yourself so don’t expect any help from the health service you’ve contributed towards all your working life”), and, also, because – gasp! – some of us don’t view being fat as a choice. Few would choose to be fat in the current social climate. I didn’t choose to be fat any more than I chose to be immersed in diet culture as a prepubescent child. What I chose was self-love over self-loathing – and if you think that’s a cop-out or demands no strength of will, let’s see you try it my way. Likewise, having done a physically demanding job for some years while fat, I know it’s possible – for me – to be fat and fit.

mikey... said...

Nothing too much to say except these two things:

First: wishing Kate would get a vowel or two or more:-)

Second: if 350-pound football linemen can make great livings and become heroes for grabbing other each other 16 hours a year, how the hell does society dare to stomp on fat women (or men) who spend their lives in more relevant and valuable pursuits and occupations?

I really don't get it. And I know I'm signing in late on this, but it's put me in a wtf mood and I had to say something.

But whadda I know? Anyway, Kate: wishing you happiness and an "i".

Whitney said...

Am I the only person that thinks it is weird that the host is overweight?

Whitney
www.eatthenfast.blogspot.com

buffpuff said...

Yes, Whitney, given the title of the blog, I rather think you might be.