Friday, October 27, 2006

I Lost It!

As many if you know, I will watch and/or read just about anything relating to fat people. And I just found a new show thanks to the amazing invention known as tivo!

Monday through Friday my tivo records for me a show called "I Lost It!". It's on the Discovery Health Channel and it's basic format consists of chronicling the stories of two people who have had weight related issues and the different ways they dealt with their issues and their weight. It's pretty sappy and there is a makeover portion where they get new clothes for their new bodies (in my opinion the new clothes are often really ugly), but I can deal with a little bit of cheesiness.

I discovered this show late last week so I have only seen a few episodes so far, but I am really enjoying the stories. I think a lot of fat people think that when and if they ever lose weight suddenly their lives will magically be better and all the obstacles in their way will suddenly disappear...and I know it's bullshit. But in many ways it's hard not to hold onto that hope because even though I know my life would definitely not be perfect if I lost weight, it's hard to imagine that many aspects of my life wouldn't be easier. I don't imagine that I would have a perfect life if I were thin, but I still cling to the hope that it would be better then it is right now.

And the show "I Lost It!" seems to glorify weight loss in a way that both resonates with me and pisses me off. During the half hour you hear the story and see the pictures of a sad fat person, listen to how and why they changed their eating/exercise habits, watch a lame makeover, and see how their life changed from when they were fat. It's both hopeful and depressing.

Has anyone ever seen the show? What part of your life do you think would be better if you lost weight? What part of your life do you think it would have no effect on?

129 comments:

Anonymous said...

I found that afterlosinf over 100 pounds my life was indeed much easier. I had more self esteem,society treated me better, and certain problems did disapear.

But my overall issues were still there as before.

Losing weight certainly helps. But it doesn't make anything perfect.

Sammy said...

Why don't I have that channel??? I want to watch! I love fat TV also, even if it's only about how being fat sucks!

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine recently lost quite a bit of weight, and she is really no happier, she thought by losing around 50 lbs or so she would find a great guy, enjoy college life more, and enjoy buying clothes more. I think the only thing that's been easier is the buying clothes part, it's easier to find clothes in her size. The only thing that makes me upset about it all is her mother is so outrageously happy that her daughter is thinner, even if it means her daughter is smoking ALOT more to keep her appetite away.

Anonymous said...

Being less fat makes your life easier. Especially if you were really fat to begin with. Going from 300 lbs to 150 lbs is going to make a huge difference in your life.

Being fat sucks.

Elsie the Cow said...

BuffPuff is going to kick your ass!

She loves being fat, and thinks weight loss stories are myths/lies.

Karen said...

Seriously, I would just like to be comfortable in my own body. And I think losing weight may help me to do so. I mean, right now it sucks to fly cause of spill over, it sucks to sit in a meeting because the chairs are tight, it sucks to go to supposedly "fun" events because I hate what I'm wearing because why invest in clothes when I'm always "about to lose weight". I'm sick of it! Sick of it.

And if anyone responds to this comment with weight loss advice I will find you a beat you up. So shut it. We all know how to lose weight. Just certain things are getting in the way.

AnaBell said...

I've watched every single episode of that show. There is one episode were a woman keeps using the same watch even when it was way too large just to remind her she used to be so fat the band hardly fit.It started using bracelets for a while to see if that pushed me to lose weight (it didn't)
Still, it's an annoying show (I just can't stop watching it).
Every single one of the former fatties had an epiphany one way or the other and lost weight. For a while I was waiting for that damn epiphany to come to me but nothing.
And it's not even an informative show, they do not dwell on health aspects. It's mostly a "See you fatty? weight can be lost so move your ass!"

Suzy_Q said...

I used to be extremely overweight. I never expected that losing weight would make my life better, but it has. I got a better paid, more secure and more prestigious job, people treat me a lot better, I have far more confidence, feel a lot better about myself, and I can buy much nicer, and less expensive, clothes.

The downside is that I spend most of my spare time working out. But I enjoy being fit and seeing what my body is capable of.

Anabell - don't wait for an epiphany. Just start losing and see how much better things get!

another_troll said...

BuffPuff is going to kick your ass!

She loves being fat, and thinks weight loss stories are myths/lies.


Judging by some of the hateful and hate-filled remarks she has posted here, somehow I don't think she really "loves being fat", do you? She seems to have a lot of anger issues.

emily pound said...

I love shows like that too. Here in Canada we have one called "X-Weighted", same premise, a fat person is unhappy with their appearance/health, they go through a month of diet/exercise, then they do the makeover.

I watched an Oprah show on gastric bypass surgery the other day, and she was talking about how now there is this new phenomenon of gastric bypass patients becoming addicted to something else after they have the surgery. Since they can't eat comfortably anymore, or the way they used to, a lot of them become alcoholics, drug abusers, and sex addicts. I think she said it was 30% of gastric bypass patients have this problem now, because the fat comes off, but they don't deal with the underlying issues that make food the addiction.

It's so bloody complicated, isn't it?

Denise said...

For me, I think that the only thing that would change if I were to get to a lower weight would be the decrease in my risk for heart attack or stroke (I'm diabetic). I already have a really neat life even while obese because I've purposefully gone out and made it that way. I used to hang back and not do certain things because of my weight but that's no longer true. It might be that I'll always be fat (I'm a binge eater), but I will also be active and happy. I guess, if it comes down to it, I'd rather have 20 more years of happiness and activity than 40 where I have to weigh, measure, and obsess over every bite that goes into my mouth, but that's just me.

Suzy_Q said...

I guess, if it comes down to it, I'd rather have 20 more years of happiness and activity than 40 where I have to weigh, measure, and obsess over every bite that goes into my mouth, but that's just me.

It sounds as though you're equating "happiness" with "food".

Anonymous said...

"It sounds as though you're equating "happiness" with "food". "

I didn't get that at all. It sounds to me as though "happy and active" is just not equated with constant monitoring and worrying about weight. I don't get how that means that food is happiness.

Suzy_Q said...

I didn't get that at all. It sounds to me as though "happy and active" is just not equated with constant monitoring and worrying about weight. I don't get how that means that food is happiness.

OK, I see how you could read it that way too.

If the Devil appeared before me right now and offered me another ten years of life if I went back to being obese, I'd say no. But if he offered to shorten my life by ten years if I could live it over again at my current weight, I'd say yes.

But that's just me. :-)

Anonymous said...

For me, I think that the only thing that would change if I were to get to a lower weight would be the decrease in my risk for heart attack or stroke (I'm diabetic)

It's your funeral.

bloomie said...

Well I've lost like 70-80 pounds -unintentionally- and there's been a lot of changes. Some good (more clothing options, more people asking me out on dates, etc...) and the bad. Like I feel that I used to be louder and less afraid to take up space and speak my mind. And that as I've shrunk, so have other things about me that I didn't want to see shrunk - like possibly my personality. AND even though the weight came off unintentionally, now I find myself way more obsessed about my weight and what I eat and all that at a size 14 than I did when i was a size 24 - which I HATE, but keep doing anyways.

buffpuff said...

For me, I think that the only thing that would change if I were to get to a lower weight would be the decrease in my risk for heart attack or stroke (I'm diabetic)

It's your funeral.


Of course that's not a hateful remark, is it?

Anonymous said...

For me, almost the best thing about having lost weight is not having to go through the exhausting pretence that being fat didn't bother me. Not having to have a smart answer ready for every put-down. Just getting through life easily instead of having to try so hard all the time.

Oh, and being able to get clothes just anywhere: that's good too.

I could not cope with being fat again, so I hope all the dire warnings that I'm doomed to failure are mistaken.

punkindunkin said...

They say that dieting has to be a “life style change” in order for it to stick. No one told me that my ENTIRE LIFE would change. I went from 275 to 197 and obviously I no longer resemble the person I once was. I often morn for the old me because I was so used to her habits & thought patterns. I have been overweight since I was 8, obese since some time in middle school, and that’s more than 20 years in the same body type. I lost my sexuality and my self-esteem pretty early on. Now I’m regaining them and I’m both fearful and overjoyed. I feel like a teenager again, unsure of my every move but conscious of some sort of power I hold within myself as well as over members of the opposite sex. I thought when I hit 199 (the magical number) that my life would become perfect. I’d be married, I’d be popular and pretty, and I wouldn’t hate my body even one little bit. (Here’s where the game show wrong answer buzzer goes off) It didn’t work like that. Just because I have more options in my wardrobe choices and more men to date, it doesn’t mean everything is wonderful. I just have a different set of problems. I put myself out in the world more often now and I’ve had to retreat to lick some wounds now and then that I never experienced when I was larger & more withdrawn in general. I still find faults with my body and I’m always wishing I looked different from the way I do.

I can’t think of a single area in my life where losing weight DIDN’T have some sort of an effect. Overall I’m happier now. BUT DON’T GET ME WRONG- it’s not all weight related. There was a shift in thinking that I went through too. I would have liked to have had that shift in thinking- what others here are calling an epiphany (what the f*** do I care what others think and why don’t I just dress like I’m a gorgeous woman regardless of my weight and why don’t I just demand respect??!) even at 275. I don’t know if that was possible or not. But maybe it is for other women. At least I’d like to hope so.

Stacia said...

I was quite large up until I was about 14 years old - 170 lbs at 5 feet tall. Then I dropped down to a size 6 over the summer (lost about 55 lbs) and stayed that size for years. I can't say it changed much about my life at all. To stay that thin I was decidedly unhealthy (I didn't eat, and passed out in gym class twice... got "caught" the 2nd time and my lack of eating was finally exposed.)

I have obviously gained since then and I'm not greatly comfortable at my weight now, but was comfortable at the decidedly fat size of about an 18-20, or about 185 lbs.

As for people treating me better when I was thinner, having boyfriends, etc? Nope. I got more action when I was fat than when I was thin. And I had a lot more "girlfights" and craptastic drama in my life when I was thin. It's all attitude. I don't freakin' care about petty people anymore and THAT is what's changed my life. The size of my ass had nothing to do with it.

Anonymous said...

If being thin isn't better than being fat, then how come you heifers haven't deliberately gained the weight back in order to be happy again?

Stop whining.

Miz Lilly said...

i, too, hate the exaggerated "my life sucked fat, but now that i'm think i party like a rock star" media perspective on weightloss....
however, i do have to say that while my life didn't suck at 400#, i am truly much happier now. i think the main reason is because things are not as physcially difficult-- but i can't discount the social aspects. i'm still fat. but to say that weightloss has not improved my quality of life dramatically would be a blatant lie.

Anonymous said...

If being thin isn't better than being fat, then how come you heifers haven't deliberately gained the weight back in order to be happy again?

That's BuffPuff's strategy.

deb said...

i'm 49 years old and have been extremely overweight my whole life. thru various methods, i've lost significant amounts of weight over the years...always thinking if i lost weight i'd have a perfect life. and it never worked out that way (of course!) i feel that each of those experiences have helped me to realize being fat is the cause of some less-than-perfect aspects of my life, but not ALL of them. when i lost weight in my 20s, i thought i'd find the perfect mate and live happily ever after. when i lost weight in my 30s, i was totally focused on my appearance - and the yards of excess skin totally derailed me. now, i've lost 270 lbs in the past 20 months, and i think i may have finally gotten it right. i knew the skin issues were coming, and i'm no longer convinced i need another human to make my life complete. i just FEEL better now, both physically and mentally. i think i'm happy now.

Anonymous said...

I lost it has been on since 2003. I've seen every episode. I wish they had new ones because these are all old.

I would watch it when I was in the depths of eating despair and it would give me hope for five minutes.

It's a pretty good show, but they are all old episodes...that might be the reason for the hapless makeovers.

suzy_q said...

i've lost 270 lbs in the past 20 months, and i think i may have finally gotten it right. i knew the skin issues were coming, and i'm no longer convinced i need another human to make my life complete. i just FEEL better now, both physically and mentally. i think i'm happy now.

Deb - congratulations on your weight loss! That's an amazing accomplishment. Are you planning to have surgery? I'm having a tummy tuck and boob lift next month and I'm looking forward to finally having a flat stomach. :-)

Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

Anonymous said...

Hmm... is it just me, or has this blog been taken over by the formerly fat?

Anonymous said...

We all know how to lose weight. Just certain things are getting in the way.

Lemme guess what some of those things are... McDonalds, Burger King, pastries, Ben & Jerry's, M&Ms, cheeseburgers, pizza, pie, soda, PB&J, Cold Stone, Twinkies, Little Debbies, Ho-Hos, Doritos, Snickers...

Do I get a prize?

Tara said...

I love those shows, even though they make me nuts. Like many other people I think they sell some false expectations for weight loss.

To answer the questons posed:
The parts of my life that are better as a result of weighing 200 instead of 400, is I'm able to fly without worrying about being asked to pay double. I can sit anywhere I want without pain. I'm not treated like a circus freak-no one has thrown eggs at me or mooed lately. The health is better.

Worse: I now have to worry about weighing and measuring and fretting about food more than I ever have. My metabolism SUCKS! I have so much skin I look like I'm melting. I have to run five miles a day in order not to gain weight.

What part of my life has not changed: Still no dates. I love shopping as much as I ever have. I had great size 32-34 clothes and I have fantastic size 16. Where I live there are plenty of large sizes available. I do what I want to do, I don't stay in now because I'm fat and didn't three years ago.

peace,
Tara

Anonymous said...

Tara,
Did you really have eggs thrwon at you??? Why no dates?

Anonymous said...

Why no dates?

I think the answer is here:

as a result of weighing 200

Sadly, despite losing an impressive amount of weight, Tara is still obese.

littlem said...

"i, too, hate the exaggerated "my life sucked fat, but now that i'm thin i party like a rock star" media perspective on weightloss...."

Thank you, Mz. Lilly. A lot of it really is distorted.

I'm really grateful to the people above (Punkin comes to mind) who remind us that you don't lose your problems when you lose weight as a woman in this society -- you just end up with a different set. I remember being a size 4 for about a year in grad school, and although I remember a lot of new clothes & high heels, I also vividly remember
1) that my butt-bones REALLY hurt when I sat down on anything hard and
2) that I was CONSTANTLY harrassed by trifling men wanting dates. No one had any suggestions on how to deal with those issues, or any like them, and I was accused more than once of whining ("that's what womens' lives are supposed to be about"). Mis-aligned knees from "professionally required" high heels? Endless sexual harrassment? No thank you.

I can't help but think that the fact that issues like that aren't addressed can't help but contribute to the reasons people gain weight back (assuming they wanted to lose it in the first place). It's like the reasons 21st-century relationships get so screwed up -- it's not like we get lessons on how to deal with these interpersonal issues; everyone just pretends like they know (when a lot of the time they DON'T), and like you're stupid if you don't know (but have the nerve to ask).

How do other people here deal with a) the things that don't change (your jerk colleagues remain jerks) and b) the things that do (some of your friends don't treat you the same way) post weight loss?

(And no smart-*ss responses from anonymous trolls, PLEASE -- this is a REAL question for NAMED PEOPLE who REALLY PARTICIPATE on this blog.)

(And for anyone wondering, this is absolutely not to say that you have to be smaller to be struggling with interpersonal issues; certainly not. I just don't think yo-yo dieting is healthy for anyone, and the fact that we have no resources to deal with the interpersonal ramifications of fluctuating weight tends to contribute to it. JMHO.)

Oh -- everyone in the U.S. remember to turn your clocks back. :D

Suzy_Q said...

How do other people here deal with a) the things that don't change (your jerk colleagues remain jerks) and b) the things that do (some of your friends don't treat you the same way) post weight loss?

I hear you on the butt-bones thing! In fact, I was going to mention that as one of the drawbacks to losing weight, LOL!

My friends definitely treat me differently - I have actually shed quite a few "friends" along with the extra pounds. I guess they valued the old me as someone they could feel superior to. As for my jerk colleagues, they're always commenting on my food, "Ooh, that looks healthy" etc. It drives me crazy.

tara said...

replying to posts:
yes, I've had eggs thrown at me, you know how kids can be.

No dates: It doesn't really have anything to do with still being fat (despite what the condescending troll thinks). It has more to do with the fact that when approached I run in the other direction. Deep rooted problems that I still need to deal with. Since all the other friends and family who are also fat (some more than my 400lbs) have no problems with dates and husbands, I know that the problem is with my mind, not my weight.


Dealing with friends: That is really difficult. For some bizarre reason all of my closest friends have all gained wieght as I've lost. One in particar is quite sensitive about it, getting angry at me because I still consider myself fat. I understand this. I get mad a skinny women who talk about how fat they are, but I ain't skinny by a long shot! I am really careful not to offer advice unless asked...and even then. The sensitive friend asked and still got angry when I told her what I did, so I just don't bring it up period. I have to walk a fine line there.

Tara

Suzy_Q said...

I am really careful not to offer advice unless asked...and even then.

Oh, I hear you on that one! In my experience people don't *really* want to know, KWIM?

Anonymous said...

tara said: "I have to run five miles a day in order not to gain weight."

Hmm.. you weigh 200lbs and you run 5 miles a day?

Sorry, I have to call BS here. If you kept this up more than a few weeks you wouldn't have any knees left. That's a 30 mile week you're talking about, even allowing for a day off..

another_troll said...

I wondered about that too. Maybe Tara meant "running" on an elliptical?

Anonymous said...

It never ceases to amaze me how the trolls find it so hard to believe that fat people exercise, and can actually be healthier than their thinner friends.

I weigh a lot (over 300 lbs, I'm 5'9"), and last summer I exercised doing deep water walking for an hour a day 5 days a week. Great fat-burning/muscle building exercise! I would water walk in neck-deep water and do nearly 2 km of walking each day. The reason I water walked rather than other exercise is not because of my weight, but because I have one screwed knee due to a car accident 10 years ago.

One of my thin friends who considered herself to be "average" in fitness (and of course must be a lot fitter than fat me) tried water walking and couldn't even do 1/2 km in the same pool. My blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar levels etc are all fine. Yet I cop the assumptions that I must be terribly unhealthy because I'm obese. Just shows how brainwashed people are that think that fat always = unhealthy.

Aussie gal

Anonymous said...

And it never ceases to amaze me how the overweight and obese are always so anxious to assure everyone how "healthy" they are.

If you're so concerned about your health why don't you lose weight and take the strain off your heart?

Anonymous said...

I don't care whether people think I'm "healthy" or not, I just want to look good. I don't buy this inner beauty is all that matters stuff. I've got plenty of gorgeous friends who are lovely people too. And I also don't buy the theory that everyone would see fat as beautiful if it were not for the media. Again, in the real world, the people I see around me who look beautiful aren't all 100 pounds, but they sure as hell aren't 200 like me. I don't hate myself, but I resent all this extra fat that I've built up and which is getting in my way. If I got rid of it, which I'm trying to do, I would still be me, just me without the aching back and bulging stomach.

The problem I have with fat accepters is the way they all claim they eat next to nothing. I'd have more respect for their stance if they just said yeah, we like food and we naturally eat more than most. But this pretence that you can be 100 or 200 pounds above average and yet only take in about 1200 calories a day is just ludicrous. Their metabolism is screwed? If that were true there would be no starving people in famine areas, they would all keep healthy on a handful of rice a day. Or does this mysterious metabolic shutdown for some reason only occur in countries with takeout?

Anonymous said...

Duh, don't read into my comments what you want to see. I exercise regularly, and I *have* lost weight - 22 kg to date (nearly 50 lbs) and continue to lose. Part of that exercise is water-walking, part is weights, part is riding an exercise bike.

However, I don't want to lose weight for health reasons or to lessen some imagined potential health problem, I want to lose weight so I can buy reasonable clothes and not face as much discrimination as I do now from ignorant people who assume fat = unhealthy.

Aussie gal.

Tara said...

Hmm.. you weigh 200lbs and you run 5 miles a day?

Sorry, I have to call BS here. If you kept this up more than a few weeks you wouldn't have any knees left.
----------------------------

Your right on all counts. I don't do it every day anymore, I try to take a day off with no exercise (except a little walk), and a day with 2 miles instead of 5. And because of all the exercise I now have severe osteoarthritis in my knees, I have to take an advil before running or I will be in pain all day. I was doing more but I was told I would destroy my legs if I kept it up. Another reason I've decided to stay where I am, even though still fat. That and I'm not willing to go below 14 to 1500 calories per day.

Tara

Heather said...

You know, men avoid me like the plague now that I'm fat. There are many days when I'm positive that if I could just get skinny again, I'd find the perfect man and have the perfect life (house in the 'burbs, white picket fence, nice car, kids, dog).

But then I remember how dating was when I was skinny. The men didn't avoid me. Instead they were smarmy bastards who weren't capable of keeping their willies in their pants.

So I guess fat or thin, I'd still have to deal with the fact that most men are a-holes and that if I want any of the above things, I'll just need to earn it myself.

Yes, I am aware that was a completely male-prejudiced comment.

I would like to lose weight just for the fact that I could buy clothes that looked good in just about any store rather than going on some weekend-long expedition just to find one or 2 pieces that are passable. However, I would have to assume that a lot of the self esteem issues that cause me to turn to food would still be in place and that ONLY losing weight will not be enough to make me a happy person.

Anonymous said...

It's a simple fact of life. The people who are not fat will always critiize and have negative thoughts about fatties. They will assume that, just because they are thin, anyone who is fat is that way because they either choose to be or that they are not doing enough to lose the weight. They will never accept the fact that there are people out there like Tara, who quite simply cannot do enough exercise to get down to non-plus sizes. Or that the fat person they see on the street may be half the size they once were and are actually moving towards a healthier weight. They will still label them, scorn them, dismiss them. It doesn't matter whether the haters have always been thin or whether they used to be fat and lost the weight. To them, fat people symbolize something repulsive.

It's very sad when you can only look at others with contempt rather than compassion.

Anonymous said...

anon at 8:01am - I'm the one who called BS on Tara running 5 miles a day.

Actually, that's a lot more common that you'd think. At the gym where I work out, every year like clockwork on Jan 2nd, we have people who are 50-60 lbs overweight come in and just go crazy - 2 to 3 hour workouts every day, 5 times a week.

By early March they're all gone with assorted joint damage or burnout and us regulars go back to our normal schedule.

I don't know why so many people don't get this. It's not a choice between staying fat and osteoarthritis. You shouldn't be doing 30 mile run weeks unless you're training for a full marathon, and you only start that kind of regimen when you're already in fantastic shape.

Set realistic goals and scrape together some dough for at least a few sessions with a personal trainer. Of all the people I've talked to who claim that losing weight is more trouble than it's worth, 99% are in the same boat as Tara - just lacking the proper knowledge to create a good training regimen.

It's not that I have any contempt for people like that, it's just frustration that they're making something so incredibly difficult for themselves.

suzy_q said...

Another reason I've decided to stay where I am, even though still fat. That and I'm not willing to go below 14 to 1500 calories per day.

Tara - it sounds as though you're not eating enough and this has made your metabolism slow down. You need only a small calorie deficit - 20 or 30% - to lose weight. There is a calorie calculator at www.freedietiing.com which tells you how many calories you need to maintain. Deduct 20 or 30% from that figure, slowly increase your calories to that level and you should start losing weight again.

And guys, please don't flame me because I'm being "condescending" or whatever.

tara said...

I've been both thin and heavy (I am heavy now, but on an eating plan and losing weight).

Being fat has made life easier in some ways -- no unwanted attention from men, especially downtown which can be really demeaning and feel dangerous, no one at work feels intimidated by me, women are nicer to me.

Being slimmer has its advantages, too, and to me they outweigh (heh) the fat ones, which is why I am losing weight. I guess I worked out some, um, issues... so I do want male attention again. I want to buy cute clothes again, feel fit again, I want to not worry if I will fit in the chairs, if I look fat, if I can climb all those stairs. Mostly I'm ready for my life to begin again... because the "best" thing about being fat is it gives you an excuse to hide. (It's also the worst thing about being fat, you're always hiding, just waiting to live life, or at least I was.) So maybe I'm tired of hiding.

Also:

Gosh, some of the anonymous commenters here take such pleasure in being mean. I don't know why there's so much hatefulness. This is just a webpage, it's not like someone is trying to force-feed you KFC bowls to become fatties. Doesn't it seem kind of dumb to spend time online harassing people about their weight? Shouldn't you be off working out and being perfect? ;)

tara (the second one) said...

Oh, also, I am not the same tara as the other tara, whoops. Me = tara @11:28

tara (the second one) said...

littlem asked:
"How do other people here deal with a) the things that don't change (your jerk colleagues remain jerks) and b) the things that do (some of your friends don't treat you the same way) post weight loss?"

1) Men
I think it's funny how many fat girls are actually VERY pretty girls, and I think one of the reasons they stay fat is to keep the men away. Hey, it works doesn't it? Especially if you live in a big city, take public transportation, dealing with men slobbering is hard.

So, this one I had to have a strategy for dealing with (when I am thinner I get propositioned a lot) and I decided to take a different mass transit (less people), wear glasses or sunglasses downtown when walking (and a hat, this seems to help) and carry pepper spray. If someone approaches me, I am polite, and if they try grabbing my arm, I spray them. That will be my strategy anyway!

2) Iffy coworkers
When they ask me if I've lost weight, I always say, "I don't know. Have you?" It works most of the time. If they persist, I say, in a nice but surprised way, "Wow, you seem really interested in my weight." and then I look at them questioningly, like "Are you all right in the head?" That seems to work, too. If all else fails, I say, "You seem really interested in talking about weight. Are you trying to diet or something?" Deflect, deflect deflect.

3) Friends.
My friends have all seen me thin and fat, so they're the actual "through thick and thin": friends LOL

The one I'm having trouble with is this:
Once you lose weight, how do you make it right in your mind that the people who used to think you were repulsive or ugly (i.e. some men, and also apparently some commenters here) find you attractive ... even though you are the exact same person? I have a hard time with that one.

ezpy said...

Following duodenal switch surgery (a form of gastric bypass) I've gone from 367 to 179 in the last 18 months.

Yes, everything changes. My body feels different and better for the weight loss -- even my vision changed and improved as the loss of weight reduced my astigmatism. Clothes are a lot easier to find in size 12 (though being spoiled for choice comes to mind) and a heck of a lot cheaper. Flying is easier. Exercise is easier and a lot more fun.

The hardest thing has been adjusting to the way people see me now. Being very overweight, I didn't really realize how invisible I'd become. People avoided seeing me. Now people go out of their way to be nice to me -- men and women both. That's rather disconserting. In my field, it's a bit surprising how much more seriously my opinions / work is take now than it was a year ago.

I feel much more vulnerable and shy then I ever did when I was super obese. Not that I was extroverted then or anything. But I feel much more introverted now.

In my personal life, well, that's pretty much the same. My husband loved me before and loves me now. In that sense, he doesn't see me as different and I'm endlessly grateful for that.

suzy_q said...

The one I'm having trouble with is this:
Once you lose weight, how do you make it right in your mind that the people who used to think you were repulsive or ugly (i.e. some men, and also apparently some commenters here) find you attractive ... even though you are the exact same person? I have a hard time with that one.


I don't know. I still haven't figured out that one. Am I supposed to forget how mean those very same people were to me when I was fat?

Heather said...

How do you get the words in italics?!?!?!
<<< The one I'm having trouble with is this: Once you lose weight, how do you make it right in your mind that the people who used to think you were repulsive or ugly (i.e. some men, and also apparently some commenters here) find you attractive ... even though you are the exact same person? I have a hard time with that one.>>>>


Tara (#2) and Suzy_q: This is a case where I simply leave them alone. I have no interest in maintaining a relationship or friendship with those who are mean to me (or ignore me completely) when fat and suddenly come sucking up to me when thin. If it's a coworker, where I have no choice to be with them, then I am civil to them (no more, no less).

RR said...

I find it interesting that people are still stuck in the fat =unhealthy mentality. My guess is the media, they do not verify their information especially not peer reviewed papers that deal with the subject of obesity and fat.

all one has to do is read pubmed central review papers. they are very enlightening, but the news media would refuse to post any of this in their tv or newspapers because it would blow their fat=unhealthy myth to bits.

It is about convincing people even perfectly healthy people who are not really over fat or overweight to lose weight. Why? Fat is equated with moral failings. If you are fat you obviously are a glutton or pig otherwise you wouldn't be fat. They haven't met some of my thin friends who seem to eat all the time and stay thin and do not exercise any more than I do.

I have lost 100's of pounds over the years, doing what I am supposed to do, eat less and exercise more. If I knew then what I know now I wouldn't of did it and would still weigh 160. since that is the stable weight I kept for many years. until I was said to be to fat and went on a food restricted diet, (which still amounted to 1800 calories) which is considered a healthy diet. Of course this started the yo yoing.

And today I would probably still be 160 or so. Not over 250. If I would of known that undereating is interpreted by my body as a famine I would of never dieted. I would of understood about setpoint and would of kept mine stable instead of rising it by dieting.

By the way my definiton of diet is any food restriction regardless of method. Or eating to lose weight (or actually not eat).

i would of understood how the body fights my efforts to lose weight, because it sees a famine not attempts to lose weight. So my failure was not me, but the medical advice was wrong. And it is still wrong (the info they push on tv magezines and newspapers.)

I can believe someone who is 200 pounds can jog 5 miles, if I lost 60 pounds I know I can. I jogged last week and did a 1/2 mile nonstop and I walk, hike and jog alot (even if not always a half mile non stop but with short breaks) and my knees are fine, my legs fine my hips fine. I even down and out run, up hills too.

Of course if my old knee injury (due to tripping over a stick in the dark with my hands full of two buckets of grain for my horses I had at the time) starts to ache I will just walk, if downright hurts I take the day off, funny tho I have only had to avoid any exercise twice in the past four years from my achy knee.

If I lost enough weight (provided it is mostly fat and very little muscle)to be 200 pounds I could jog 5 miles, no problem.

I would still be obese by the charts but I wouldn't care, I am only interested in performance weight since I love to run.

right now I am trying a different way to lose weight (based on pubmed central and my own experiences and others) it is only a theory and only time will tell if it will work. if only I could get over this infection I have.

RR

rr said...

Oh I forgot to mention, yes you have to overeat (i call it overeating if it causes weight gain) to gain weight the question is why would someone overeat? Could it because they underate and lost some weight? Appetite and satiaty is physiological, not psychological. It is not something you can control by willpower, only your body can control your appetite.

I never met an overeater that wasn't also a undereater at times.

RR

Inverarity said...

The people who lost a lot of weight solely through aerobic exercise and need to keep doing aerobics or running to keep it off haven't added the other part of the equation to their routine yet: strength training. Aerobic exercise burns calories, but it also burns off muscle as well as fat and it doesn't do much to raise your metabolism.

Lifting weights will add muscle mass and increase your metabolism. It's a crucial part of maintenance. It will also strengthen your bones and help prevent osteoarthritis.

Tara, you should try adding a serious weightlifting component to your exercise routine. You'll probably have a lot more success losing weight and keeping it off, without having to run 5 miles a day, and you won't have to decrease your caloric intake. (In fact, you should probably increase it -- 1500 per day is too low!)

Anonymous said...

i am pretty much an overeater. Sometimes i eat what would be considered normal, but i NEVER undereat. I eat healthy though and exercise a lot. My weight is normal (BMI 23).

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I agree with anybody who says not to restrict your eating too much (in order not to wreck your metabolism) , but exercise and if you're not thin enough, FOREVER scrap the junk food. Nobody needs that shit.

ShortDave said...

I am on a weight gain program right now, I am at an all time high of 215lbs at 5'6" my blood pressure stills falls into the normal range but it is higher than ever before, and I definately notice that.
Breathing is more difficult, especially when I sleep on my back, the extra weight on my chest and neck is causing a mild sleep apnea, and snoring. This means that I am not as well rested the next morning, which means I am more lethargic at work.

On the plus side I am much stronger than before.

My face is HYOOOOOGE.

I can feel the extra fat around my midsection when I move, it is disorienting.

Girls think I am 'too big' or intimidating, thus less dates.

My metabolism is through the roof, I have to be constantly eating to gain weight(this isn't bragging) I have grown to hate food because of this.

I retain way more water than before.


These are all things associated with my recent weight gain, I personally wouldn't change a thing about it. These are all sacrifices I am willing to make to get what I want.


-SDave

Tara (the first one) said...

Tara, you should try adding a serious weightlifting component to your exercise routine.
--------------------------------
I have a regular weight routine, 2 to three days a week. It helped me get this far, it is an important part of my routine. It doesn't help with weightloss anymore, (or getting rid of yards of hanging skin-which might account for some of the weight) but like I said I'm fine where I am, fat and so much more healthy.



Tara

Anonymous said...

I wish people could understand that fat people (usually) know more about diet and exercise and what to eat and when to eat and carbs/fat/calories and dieting in general than anyone could imagine. We're experts at it, since we've usually lost more weight than anyone else. And gained it back of course.

Most of us secretly read every fitness thing in magazines and online, and oh yeah... we always have "helpful" thin people telling us just THE right way to lose weight.

If someone thinks the reason I got fat is because I got lazy, or didn't work out, or because I don't know what to eat ... that's nuts.

I got fat because I have issues. I'm sure if you peer into the life of a skinny person, they might have issues too but they do it in ways that don't show up in size 18, 22, 24... maybe they suck at handling money, or they drink too much, or can't stand to go to the doctor, or have a fear of touching door handles. I don't know.

People who have issues have issues, and telling a fat person to "go exercise" because that will solve EVERYTHING is kinda like telling a cat to start speaking spanish. Ain't gonna work.

Anonymous said...

anon at 3:07pm: I don't think you're lazy, or that you don't know anything about nutrition and exercise. The problem is that you don't know that one particular thing that will make everything work for you (obviously neither do I, I just know what worked for me). It's fairly easy to say "diet and exercise", and yes, it's 100% true, but the implementation is pretty different from person to person.

And yes, I realize that many fat people overeat due to emotional or other pressure. It's the FA crowd claiming that everyone just comes naturally in different sizes. If the issues cause you to overeat, you have to deal with the issues. It's no different than alcoholism - it's pretty pointless to say "well, just quit drinking".

Jill said...

Breathing is more difficult, especially when I sleep on my back, the extra weight on my chest and neck is causing a mild sleep apnea, and snoring. This means that I am not as well rested the next morning, which means I am more lethargic at work.

Girls think I am 'too big' or intimidating, thus less dates.

I can feel the extra fat around my midsection when I move, it is disorienting.

I retain way more water than before.

These are all things associated with my recent weight gain, I personally wouldn't change a thing about it. These are all sacrifices I am willing to make to get what I want.


What do you want to achieve, gain muscle mass?

I am not able to understand why you are doing that.
Anything that would making breathing harder can't be worth the results, whatever those may be. For me, that would be terrifying.

Anonymous said...

shortdave - AHHH!! I thought you had a high BMI because you were a weight lifter and/or bodybuilder. What you're describing sounds like a nightmare. Having enough fat on your chest to affect breathing is called "Pickwickian syndrome", it's exclusive to the morbidly obese.

Out of curiosity, why are you trying to gain weight at this point? 215lbs at 5'6" is world class if you're body building and have a good ratio. If you're powerlifting does the non-muscle weight even matter?

suzy_q said...

I wish people could understand that fat people (usually) know more about diet and exercise and what to eat and when to eat and carbs/fat/calories and dieting in general than anyone could imagine. We're experts at it, since we've usually lost more weight than anyone else. And gained it back of course.

Sigh... Why do people always assume that when you lose weight, you're going to gain it all back - of course?

I was fat because I a) alternately starved and binged b) "hated" exercise and c) didn't know enough about nutrition. When I finally figured it all out and realised I actually enjoy working out, I turned the corner.

As for the emotional issues that led me to overeat, they seem to have stemmed from being fat in the first place. Once I started to look "normal" and enjoy being fitter, the urge to overeat disappeared. Of course, I still have "issues" (who doesn't?) but at least I realise that I can't find the answer in a bag of chips.

It's very dispiriting to make the effort to lose the weight and be constantly told you're going to regain.

Sorry for the rant, but I had to get that off my chest!

suzy_q said...

Having enough fat on your chest to affect breathing is called "Pickwickian syndrome", it's exclusive to the morbidly obese.

I used to have that too. It was scary!

Anonymous said...

rr said: "By the way my definiton of diet is any food restriction regardless of method. Or eating to lose weight (or actually not eat)."

By that definition most of the planet is on a diet. If you consider not eating KFC a "restriction", then there's your problem right there. And it's hardest to get past that stage - too many fat people fear "ascetism", but the truth is that after a while, you're not going to miss certain foods. There is just no reason for me to ever eat a Burger King quad stacker. Ever. Not even once. And you know what? I don't feel I'm restricting myself in the least, I would rather eat my mousepad than crap like that.

suzy_q said...

And it's hardest to get past that stage - too many fat people fear "ascetism", but the truth is that after a while, you're not going to miss certain foods. There is just no reason for me to ever eat a Burger King quad stacker. Ever. Not even once. And you know what? I don't feel I'm restricting myself in the least, I would rather eat my mousepad than crap like that.

Word.

Anonymous said...

"When they ask me if I've lost weight, I always say, "I don't know. Have you?" It works most of the time."

Why are you so hostile to your co-workers re your weight loss? I mean, they probably are happy for you.

ezpy said...

anon (4:10): I'm not the original commenter, and I don't tend to give that sort of answer, but I do tend to divert a lot -- just saying "thanks, I feel pretty good and you look great too" and moving on. I'll actually discuss the losses with friends, but most of my office mates don't fall into that category.

Why do react that way? I'm not sure. Mostly I think it's instictive -- I'm a pretty private person and don't talk about my body with strangers, except, of course, the ones who read my blog. Also, I don't really think they care that much -- it's just something to talk about.

Probably added to that is that if I mention that I had a form of weight loss surgery, I seem to trigger their horror story about their sister-in-law's cousin's friend. If I don't mention it but engage in a longer conversation, I feel dishonest.

Anonymous said...

I always gush over friends who lose weight, and love hearing it from people when I lose weight.

It makes me happy, since I have trouble seeing difference in the mirror.

ShortDave said...

anon 3:29

My BMI is high because I am a bodybuilder, the extra weight on my chest and neck is muscle which can be quite heavy at times, my bodyfat has gone up, I am sitting at around 15% BF right now, still not fat, but not competition lean by any stretch of the word.

I do this because I enjoy it, and I don't mean to offend people with this next statement but I probably will, I don't agree with skinny people looking down on fat people, but I understand it to a degree because oftentimes I will find myself looking at people and questioning how they can be content with being average.

Anonymous said...

re the show "I Lost it," I too am fascinated by anything involving weight loss. I am dying to see this HBO documentary next month called "Thin" about girls with eating disorders.

I have been searching Youtube for fat-loss videos, to no avail.

Like, I would love to see a picture of someone snapped every day, then speeded up so you could see their weight loss.

suzy_q said...

Why do react that way? I'm not sure. Mostly I think it's instictive -- I'm a pretty private person and don't talk about my body with strangers, except, of course, the ones who read my blog. Also, I don't really think they care that much -- it's just something to talk about.

I feel like that too. It's my body and my business. I'm kinda dreading going back to work after my surgery because I will look quite different and I don't want to answer anyone's questions.

tara (the first) said...

I feel like that too. It's my body and my business.
--------------------------------

I'm not short with people but sometimes it gets on my nerves just because they act like I was a monster before, and act as if I am a better more moral human being because there is less of me. But I know that people mean well, and it also part of my own insecurity.

What is really bothering me are the folks at work who really do their best to sabotage me, bringing in all sorts of candy and sweets to my desk, knowing that I don't want to be tempted. They say things like 'come on it's time to stop, your too skinny now, just one, go on, eat it'...at almost 200lbs there's no way I'm to skinny. There is something kind of mean about that, or maybe it is just ignorance of people who have never had issues with food.

K.C. said...

I think for me... I react in a negative way when people say "Oh it looks like you've lost weight!" because it's like they act like I've found the cure for cancer or something. Stop making it seem like it's the biggest thing in my world (even though it may possibly be) It's just weight girls calm down.

Also, I know it's socially acceptable to comment on weight loss as opposed to weight gain in most places in the US. However there's something that *feels* (regardless of intention) somewhat backhanded about the comment.

I don't know... these people are obviously tuned into the weight on my body. And in essence that means they recognized me gaining the weight and actually had some type of thought process around censoring the fact that they noticed I was getting bigger. I dunno, it just makes me feel a bit yucky.

I mean, duh, of COURSE they noticed I gained a bunch of pounds, but I hate knowing that they've seen the consequence of this emotional process of mine.

buffpuff said...

...I know it's socially acceptable to comment on weight loss as opposed to weight gain in most places in the US. However there's something that *feels* (regardless of intention) somewhat backhanded about the comment.

...these people are obviously tuned into the weight on my body. And in essence that means they recognized me gaining the weight and actually had some type of thought process around censoring the fact that they noticed I was getting bigger. I dunno, it just makes me feel a bit yucky
.

I hear you, 8.23. I think most people, (for which read most women), who comment on weight loss believe it will be taken as a compliment - likewise, most women will take it as one, particularly if they make it known that weight is an issue for them, (either through actively pursuing weight loss or by saying disparaging things about their real or perceived fat or simply by acting wiggy around certain foodstuffs, "Oh, I shouldn't. I'm so bad. Oh, go on then!") It's a matter of social conditioning, compounded by the fact that many women's magazines showcase celebrity weight gain and/or loss on a front page, weekly basis, thereby encouraging women to scrutinise and pass comment on each other's bodies.

When I was younger and still dieted I would regularly put myself down for being fat - and certain people would greet me with, "Haven't you lost weight!" practically every time I saw them. Given that these individuals were fond of me and wanted me to feel good about myself, I now realise they were simply telling me what society – and I myself – had convinced them fat people wanted to hear. However, at the time I simply assumed they were remembering me as fatter than I actually was which, if anything, had a negative effect on my self-esteem.

Over the course of this summer I've dropped about half a stone, by happenstance rather than design – and although I'm pleased to be able to reacquaint myself with a couple of garments that had become rather snug, I'm equally delighted to discover I no longer predicate my sense of self-worth on this achievement. (Because much as the Troll Squad would like to believe otherwise, that, for me, is exactly what FA is about). Consequently, my reaction to those who have remarked on my weight loss has been different too.

Thus far only one of my close friends has even mentioned it and only in passing at that. Since most of them are aware of and respect my views, the only other comments I've received have been from colleagues. One diplomatically begged my forgiveness for mentioning something so personal since she understands I live in peace with my fat; (and no, trolletes, I'm not given to ranting at work. I can only assume she picked up on this because I don't diet, denigrate myself, sanction the self-denigration of others or have the vapours if someone offers me a chocolate); the other, who knows me less well, made the classic, "Wow, haven't you lost weight? You look great!" remark.

Yes, part of me suspects they might have an issue with my size and thus feel obliged to praise my slightly less fat status – but, again, society is encouraged to believe other people's weight is their business. Since I'm not, contrary to opinion, a humourless frother, and I know these comments aren't made with any malicious intent, I see no reason to rail. Understanding the origin of these "compliments", I simply smile, shrug, say, "yeah, I have lost a bit" and truck on with my working day.

Anonymous said...

I used to watch this show regularly, and like you it both resonates and ticks me off. Sometimes they do a good job portraying the person before, sometimes not. But I guess for me, the show gave me some glimmer of hope that "if they could do it, I could" achieve decent health at somepoint.

Do I think losing weight makes eveything perfect? No! There are reasons we overeat, that's how we got fat. Until we figure out what the "payoff" is for being fat or figure out whatever it is we'r hiding from , we will always be fat. (sorry had to steal the "payoff" thing from Dr. Phil, because it is the perfect word.)

For me, I was the Fat girl that defied the stereotype. I have a successful career, a nice home, I am smart, have all of my teeth, I'm not lazy (did a triathlon at 240 lbs. and tap danced at 300 lbs.). I was the bomb-diggity of fat chicks... or so I believed, so I played the role of defying the stereotype over and over. The payoff: praise and acceptance by other because of the things I did. Why would I want to lose weight?

It was harder for me to shed that role, than it was to lose 105 lbs.

In just 15 days I'm having Lap RNY. I'm scared shitless -- wondering if I'm doing the right thing. My health depends on this surgery, and while it's not about vanity. I do think about the physical changes that will occur? Hell yeah! At 300 lbs, I'd be lying if I didn't admit it.

If losing the weight effects any other part of my life, outside of improving my medical conditions, I would hope that the dissmissive glances stop. I mean, I know they'll continue in one way or another, but that "oh-my-god-shes-so-fat look... that one that just makes me forget about everything I've ever done right and makes me want to crawl into a hole. I want THAT look to go away. I guess I can hope, or at least trade one evil for another.

As for another, I think I will feel like I can be a better Mom to my 2 year old. I mean, physically it's challenging to keep up with her. I can't play with her the way she needs me to, and most recently, couldn't ride the rides at an amusement park with her -- of course that made me feel like shit.

I think the big thing too is not setting expectations, because everyone is absolutely, positively different.

Just my two cents...

suzy_q said...

Hi Donna - I just peeked at your blog. Your surgery is scheduled for the day after mine. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

i just think people shouldn't overanalyze compliments.

if a friend got her hair done or eyebrows waxed and looked more beautiful i would gush. Same thing if she busts her ass dieting and working out.

And buffpuff, congrats on the half-a-stone.

suzy_q said...

i just think people shouldn't overanalyze compliments.

Agree. The thing is, if you are - or have been - overweight you'll probably be hyper-sensitive to any comments about your size or weight.

buffpuff said...

Like I said, anonymous at 10.21, the loss wasn't deliberate, nor am I seeking to crow about it; it is what it is and no more. But thanks anyway :-)

Anonymous said...

i just think people shouldn't overanalyze compliments.

But sometimes this is a strange sort of compliment. I only get it from family members whh have not seen me for some time. And since I weight the same for about 8 years now, it always makes me feel that I looked like hell the last time they saw me and that I am fatter in their mind than IRL.

If someone has not told you about a diet or something similar, that is an awkward compliment.

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ezpy said...

Personally I don't mind people saying I look good. What I don't like is feeling some sort of expectation to witness about weight loss.

I also wouldn't want a co-worker eyeing my legs, saying they look nice and smooth and then asking if I shave or did the whole leg wax...and if I did wax, did I go brazilian. (And yes, someone at my office *did* ask that.) It just feels wrong and creepy for someone I know casually to be talking about my body.

Erin said...

buffpuff: "Yes, part of me suspects they might have an issue with my size and thus feel obliged to praise my slightly less fat status – but, again, society is encouraged to believe other people's weight is their business."

I wouldn't just assume that someone who notices you lost weight and compliments you on it has an "issue" with your size. Whether it is right or not, most people are socialized that being overweight is at the very least unhealthy (among a myriad of other negative and largely - no pun intended - untrue stereotypes), and that losing weight is a positive thing, whether it makes you look "better" or more healthy or whatever. Assuming that a compliment about weight loss means that the complimenter has an issue with your size seems silly to me, like that kid on a playground picking a fight with someone else for no good reason.

buffpuff said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
buffpuff said...

Erin, I'm in no disagreement with you regarding fat stereotypes but, when you think about it, remarking on somebody's body is a pretty personal thing to do. All I meant by that comment was that most people have an issue (or perhaps preoccupation would be a better word), with fat, period.

I certainly had a preoccupation with my own in the days people used to constantly ask me if I'd lost weight. In actual fact I wasn't very fat at all but I suffered with body dysmorphia, a legacy of childhood dieting. I also talked about my perceived fatness all the time, thereby inviting everybody else to join in – something I don't do now.

Erin said...

buff - I agree that remarking on somebody's body is a pretty personal thing to do, but this is what people do. If you got your haircut or a new shirt or new glasses or something else that changed your physical appearance, it's likely that someone would notice and comment on it, and you probably wouldn't be offended. I suppose it's just people being people, noticing things and commenting on them, whatever the reason.

Anonymous said...

buffpuff, I don't think other people have a preoccupation with fat, I think you do. When someone comes up to me and says:

"Hey Jimmy, what's up? Looking good - have you lost weight?"

I just take it as a compliment. I think 99% of the people out there do the same thing.

You seem to have fat tied up into your identity so thoroughly that you don't know anymore where you end and the obesity begins. For the rest of us, it's just a number, not a political movement.

another_troll said...

You seem to have fat tied up into your identity so thoroughly that you don't know anymore where you end and the obesity begins. For the rest of us, it's just a number, not a political movement.

Well said.

In actual fact I wasn't very fat at all but I suffered with body dysmorphia.

BuffPuff- The fact that you described yourself in another thread as "relatively diminuitive" suggests you still suffer from body dysmorphia.

Kate said...

Oh, for crying out loud. BuffPuff called herself "relatively diminuative" in relation to the hypothetical 400-pound straw man that always gets dragged into these discussions. (With all the action that hypothetical dude gets, he should have wasted away to nothing by now.) She was not saying that she was "relatively diminuative" in comparison to you, to the general population of posters on this blog, or to humanity at large (if you'll pardon the expression).

If you're going to harp on a post, please at least keep the context in mind so that you don't sound like you're fixated.

Inverarity said...

Yeah, but Kate, Buffpuff makes comments like that all the time.

"I'm relatively diminutive (compared to other fat people)," "I wasn't that fat," "I don't look like Gilbert Grape's mom," etc. She always has to emphasize how she's fat but not that fat...

She preaches fat acceptance, but it's pretty clear she is neither truly at peace with herself and her body, nor does she truly identify with all other fat people -- I'm sure she's not mean to people who are fatter than her, but in her heart of hearts I'd bet she really does give thanks that she's not them.

Just like even though she tried to downplay her recent (slight) weight loss, she still felt a need to mention it, and her carefully-worded statements still make it pretty clear she's happy about it. Whereas if she were truly into "Fat acceptance" it would be absolutely meaningless to her, not even worthy of comment.

I know she gets beaten up a lot by trolls (and you'll probably accuse me of being one, even though I'm not trying to beat up Buffpuff, I'm sure she's a very nice lady), but her defensiveness and her painfully visible hotbuttons that stand in such stark contrast to her stated positions are, well, revealing. I think if she could magically shrink to a size 4, she'd walk away from the FA movement and not look back.

another_troll said...

Inverarity - totally agree with your entire post. And by continually reminding us that she's not "that" fat - ie distinguishing between people who are not that fat and people who are really fat- isn't BuffPuff contradicting her stated FA philosophy? Isn't FA about accepting all fat people regardless of their level of fatness?

By distinguishing herself from really fat people, Puffy is telling us she's not really proud to be fat.

Anonymous said...

another_troll: what you're talking about is hardly new. Paul Campos has stated that the FA movement shoots itself in the foot by trying to claim all sizes can be healthy (including the 900lb people),when a sane approach would be to concentrate on the vast majority who are 20lbs or so overweight.

Whenever this topic comes up, buffpuff ducks out. She still did not answer the question from the other thread of whether ANY 900lb person could be healthy. It's always "for the sake of argument", or "let's hypothetically say". The 900lb guy ("freak of nature" in her eloquent words) is a bogeyman because her argument falls flat on its face as soon as he enters the room.

GoBetty said...

Word, Inverarity. Though I enjoy or at least look for BuffPuffs posts... I get what you said.

GoBetty said...

In fact, there's a LOT of ppl here whose posts I look for. Sometimes I get cross-eyed over the sheer verbosity of some folks, but I do love it all right down to my toes. I tend not to take sides, I just like watching it all unfold, like an old time smash-up derby.

Anonymous said...

"hypothetical 400-pound straw man"

Umm.. I have weighed over 400 lbs at my heaviest. Didn't realize I was "hypothetical"..

troll said...

There are almost half a million of those hypothetical straw men in the U.S. only.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about buffpuff, I don't have any problem with other people being fat or thin, but it's very hard for me to see myself accurately, whatever my weight it. This was true when I was a bulimic teen, 115 pounds and size 2, true when I was over 300 pounds and size 28 and true now that I'm at a long last at a healthy weight and size 6. My image is probably best now, but I'm still always shocked when people see me as "thin" or "fit."

Telling someone who has body issues to just accept themselves is like telling someone who's depressed to snap out of it.

buffpuff said...

Inverarity, you'll never make a psychic, or even a psychoanalyst, but fair play for trying to get inside my head.

I don't tend to mention things of a personal nature unless I believe them to be germane to the discussion in hand. That includes my weight loss, about which I feel exactly as I have said, for exactly the reasons I stated. I also believe in challenging stereotypes, especially when directed at me. If someone is justifying their obnoxious behaviour towards me on the grounds of my heinous fat oozing into their personal space when they fly, why shouldn't I put them right? If I weighed 130 lbs back in the days folks repeatedly commented on my weight, why shouldn't I point out I wasn't particularly fat? The fact was relevant to the point I was trying to make.

And of course I don't identify with all other fat people any more than I identify with all other women, all other white people or all other people with blue eyes. Beyond the bigotry directed our way, we are all individuals. And how the hell do you know what goes on in my heart of hearts? Kindly keep your insulting opinions to yourself. Likewise your projections. In nobody's universe would I look anything other than grotesque as a size 4. And unless I woke up with a lifetime's experience of being fat in a world obsessed with thinness having been completely erased from my brain, there is no way on earth I would ever turn my back on fat acceptance.

Anonymous said...

The 900lb guy ("freak of nature" in her eloquent words) is a bogeyman because her argument falls flat on its face as soon as he enters the room.

Um, the 900 pound man wouldn't be able to enter the room. Unless the doorway was widened, that is.

Kate said...

That was a typo. It was supposed to be "the hypothetical 900 pound straw man." But BuffPuff's size would be "comparatively diminuative" to a 400 pound person, too.

Anonymous said...

Gee, Kate - Puffy's just said she doesn't like people trying to read her mind and now you're assuming she made a typo. Maybe she didn't.

Anonymous said...

Hey Buffpuff
Your blog should be very amusing... i can imagine you've realised how popular Fatty Mcgee's blog is and you're going to imitate them and try and gain popularity. I won't be suprised if your musings are uncannily similair to those of Fatty Mcgee. Good luck on your hopeless imitation

another_troll said...

To date, Puffy's had three people comment on her blog. That's about one a week. So no, she's not exactly threatening the McGees in the popularity department.

troll said...

Oh, come on, her blog is funny:
she said "Assuming three geezers and a dog might possibly be reading this" and there are exactly 4 people who have commented.

another_troll said...

Oh, come on, her blog is funny:
she said "Assuming three geezers and a dog might possibly be reading this" and there are exactly 4 people who have commented.


Bwah-ha-ha! Now that *is* funny!

Stacia said...

For god's sake, buffpuff, leave the trolls alone. Not every thread has to turn into 2-3 trolls and you battling it out. Do you really think you're going to change their minds? No. They just like getting a rise out of you.

buffpuff said...

Stacia, my name was taken in vain numerous times before I even entered into this conversation and I have, considering the disproportionate amount of flak that's been directed my way, done my best to avoid rising to the bait.

Anonymous said...

If a thin person was sprawled over into my seat on a plane I would be annoyed and would ask them to move. I know in the case of a fat person there would be nothing they could do about it right then, so I wouldn't say anything. But I would still be less comfortable than I could reasonably expect to have been, given that most people, even larger ones, fit quite easily into a seat belt that accomodates up to 54 inches. If anyone is bigger than that it's from choice. No one has to be that fat. And if it's their choice, and that choice conflicts with my comfort and safety, why should I have to like it, even though common decency would prevent me from being rude or trying to make anyone feel embarrassed?

And anyway, what if I did believe that most fat people are the way they are because they do the things they do? I'm quite capable of making up my own mind and I am just as aware of media hype and marketing pressures as any fat activist. And when it comes to making unsupported assumptions about people - for example, that anyone who disagrees with them must therefore be a fat-hating, self-hating bigot, the FA crowd take some beating.

People don't make fun of fat activists on this blog because they are fat - or not fat, because some give out mixed messages on this point - but because they come across as obsessive, self-righteous, self-pitying and patronizing.

Tara and Donna and Deb and Suzy Q. and people like them - sincere and self-aware, with no political agenda which blinds them to everything else - are the reason I read this blog, not the fat-power rants.

Kate said...

Gee, Kate - Puffy's just said she doesn't like people trying to read her mind and now you're assuming she made a typo. Maybe she didn't.

I made the typo; I'm fairly certain that I have my own permission to speak for myself.

Tara said...

"Tara and Donna and Deb and Suzy Q. and people like them - sincere and self-aware, with no political agenda which blinds them to everything else"
------------------------------------
I wish I had it together enough to figure out the html tags, hope it worked.
I'm not sure which Tara you were talking about, so you may not have meant me.

But the thing is, I do have a political agenda, I don't want anyone to think I don't. I consider myself a fat advocate, I've protested, written, was in NAAFA for years, just because I think everyone deserves to be treated a certain way-with respect.

It's just that I started to lose wieght really unintentionally at first, then when I felt the benefits, quite delibrately. I feel much better (and sadly am now treated with more respect)now that I am just fat and not super obese. I still feel though that people who don't make the same choices as I do don't deserve to be villanized.

I don't want to be self-righteous or judgementalabout weight loss. At the same time I won't apologize for my choices, and I think that some of my compatriots have problems with that (not on this board).

If you weren't talking about me...um..nevermind:0)

sorry if this post makes multiple appearances, it doesn't appear to be going through!

Anonymous said...

....when it comes to making unsupported assumptions about people - for example, that anyone who disagrees with them must therefore be a fat-hating, self-hating bigot, the FA crowd take some beating.

True. Why does the FA crowd assume that anyone who deliberately loses weight must be self-loathing? As someone pointed out very eloquentlty on another thread, you need - at the very least - to be judgemental about your fat self before you can make the huge commitment to losing weight.

That doesn't mean that you must hate yourself. You may just hate your fat, or your lifestyle, which is a totally different thing. Self-love and self-acceptance are great, but if they lead you to remain 100, 150 or more pounds overweight that's not a good thing.

Inverarity said...


It's just that I started to lose wieght really unintentionally at first, then when I felt the benefits, quite delibrately. I feel much better (and sadly am now treated with more respect)now that I am just fat and not super obese. I still feel though that people who don't make the same choices as I do don't deserve to be villanized.


No one should be villainized or treated badly. But the FA folks (as you alluded in your post) will villainize anyone who suggests that losing weight might actually be healthful. You realized that being obese is uncomfortable and being less obese makes you feel better, but over on places like BFB, they'll scream and turn on their own if anyone expresses the slightest doubt that fat (any amount of fat, even 200, 300, 400, 900 pounds of it) is all perfectly healthy and natural and beautiful.

The reason you've been lambasted by your compatriots is that they want to live in a fantasy world where someone can weigh 300 pounds at 40% bodyfat because that's just what their individual "set point" is and there's nothing they can do about it, and when another fat person loses the weight, it makes them feel bad. So rather than admit that someone else did something they'd like to do but can't muster the will to attempt, they'll instead make up theories about how nothing is generalizable and morbid obesity is biological destiny and any visible counterexamples are self-hating traitors who are doomed to gain all the weight back.

You should see the way the folks at BFB turn on each other with cries of "healthism!" if any fat person admits that she tries to eat a healthy diet and exercises.

And Buffpuff, darlin', you doth protest way, way too much.

disordered girl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kate said...

Inverarity - you are laughably wrong about this. I know many Size Acceptance (a term many of us prefer to "Fat Acceptance") advocates. The whole concept is that regardless of health (or lack thereof), people should not be demonized based on their BMIs.

As for "villaniz[ing] anyone who suggests that losing weight might actually be healthful," that's simply not the case. We disagree with those people, and state our disagreement, but that is not the same as "villanizing" them. We do, on occasion, tend to fall into the trap of pillorying those who ooze a a sense moral superiority over us simply because of our relative weights, but if they're dishing it out, they should be prepared to take it in turn.

The actuality is that if society gets to the point where the fat are accepted, regardless of whether or not they are healthy, then everyone benefits from no longer having to waste precious energy on worrying about gaining a few ounces. If a person feels better dieting and exercizing, or does it solely because s/he enjoys it, great, but no one should be forced into it by societal expectations.

Some of us find the constant diligence required for us (as individuals, in our own personal bodies) to maintain a socially-acceptable body to be a joy-sucking waste of energy that we'd rather expend doing things that we actually enjoy. We are frequently vilified for choosing not to make food and exercise the center of our universes by those who think that in doing so, we are choosing to be "unhealthful."

Anonymous said...

We are frequently vilified for choosing not to make food and exercise the center of our universes

Come on Kate - are you telling me that food isn't already the centre of your universe?

Or more to the point, don't you find your continual defense of your right to remain fat "a joy-sucking waste of energy"?

Anonymous said...

Kate, you say that you disagree that losing weight can ever be healthful. Are you a doctor? What credentials do you have (besides reading stuff online, which anyone can do) that qualifies you to make such judgments?

I'm not saying that doctors are always right. They make lots of mistakes, but I'm inclined to believe that they make fewer mistakes than if people who hadn't been through 10+ years of schooling would make. Do you think we should listen to you, an online stranger, for health advice, or a doctor? Do you think you know more than doctors about health? Or do you really believe that all doctors are so biased against fat for no reason except they are that shallow, and they have no medical basis for encouraging patients to lose weight?

another_troll said...

anonymous @ 10.35 - Someone on a recent thread expressed concern that Kate may develop diabetes due to her obesity - oops, I meant to say "size acceptance". But Kate came back with a waterproof response. She had researched the data, crunched the numbers and was happy to report to the concerned poster that, acording to her calculations, she was not at risk of developing diabetes.

So yes, in that sense, she DOES believe that she knows more than doctors.

Inverarity said...

Inverarity - you are laughably wrong about this. I know many Size Acceptance (a term many of us prefer to "Fat Acceptance") advocates. The whole concept is that regardless of health (or lack thereof), people should not be demonized based on their BMIs.

Kate, if that were the "whole concept" behind fat/size acceptance, I wouldn't think the movement is full of deluded people who are akin to creationists in their willingness to eschew science that doesn't match their ideology.

I don't think fat people should be demonized.

But I've read what the FA movement puts out. "Health at every size." Of course you scream when the "bogeyman" of a man weighing 400 pounds (or 600 pounds, or 900 pounds) is brought out, but if HAES literally means health at every size, then that should include someone who weights a quarter-ton or more, shouldn't it? But we all know quite well that while it's debatable whether being 20 or 30 pounds overweight is harmful, it is not debatable (by any sane person) that being 200 pounds overweight is unhealthy.

Should someone who weighs 400 pounds be demonized and mistreated? No, of course not, but he shouldn't be sold a line of BS by FA activists who say "Don't worry, sleep apnea, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and joint problems won't necessarily happen to you, and even if they do, we can produce lots of studies showing that there's no proof that your weight is responsible." (Just like tobacco companies can produce studies showing there is no proof that any particular smoker who contracts lung cancer or emphysema got it from smoking.)

And I'm not "laughably wrong" about what FA posters say on their boards.

You're fighting a noble fight to stop the fat jokes, but when you mix it with unscientific, unhealthful BS about how 100 pounds of extra fat is neither unhealthy nor anything you can reasonably do something about ('cause your life would just be so joyless and miserable if you actually engaged in vigorous regular exercise and made some changes in your diet), you completely dilute your message and make it fodder for mockery and dismissal.

Tara said...

Though I'm not a doctor, I've read some of those same studies and I agree with size acceptance activists to a point.

I don't believe that obesity is the cause of all the diseases attributed to it. But what I do believe (just from experience, not claiming to be an expert) is that if you have a family history of a certain disease, than obesity, lack of exercise and unhealthy diet can bring on a problem that might have been delayed, if not eliminated by healthy diet, exercise and a lower wieght.

I don't think it is a coincidence that after I lost weight my cholesteral and blood pressure went back to normal. I was exercising 5 days a week at my highest wieght, so the only thing that has changed is that I weigh less. That tells me that weight has something to do with it.

On the other hand, losing weight has not changed the fact that I remain pre-diabetic (that disease runs in my family, fat and thin members). So I think that blaming everything on wieght without taking into account family history and lifestyle is a mistake that doctors make. But fat activists who make the argument that obesity does not affect health in anyway are fooling themselves.
(again I'm not talking about the FA folks on this board, your arguments tend to get distorted at times by people who disagree with you so I'm not arguing with your views).

If I appear to be on both sides it is because I don't think that everthing is binary. There is a middle ground here and I think that is where the truth lies.

Tara

Anonymous said...

Tara - I was anonymous 4.32, and I did mean you! I always get a lot of of reading what you say because it is so open and truthful. What I meant was that you remain intellectually honest even if the result sometimes conflicts with your political stance. This is not something that everyone achieves.

Kate said...

Come on Kate - are you telling me that food isn't already the centre of your universe?

That's exactly what I'm telling you. It's a common misperception that all fat people gorge themselves all the time. Do I eat as healthily as I should? No, but I'm not eating all day every day. Ask any office mate I've ever had. The last one claimed that I never eat. When the company goes out to lunch, I always eat as much as I want and still end up taking half my meal home. (Restaurants serve obscene proportions.) I eat when I'm hungry, and I stop when I'm not. That's not making food the center of my universe.

Or more to the point, don't you find your continual defense of your right to remain fat "a joy-sucking waste of energy"?

Yes, I do find continually being attacked "joy-sucking." For that reason, I will no longer be participating in these threads.

Anonymous said...

haha, as soon as she is questioned about her credentials, she leaves. interesting that she didn't answer any questions about what makes her more qualified than doctors to make these sorts of assertions.

again, i think doctors can be very wrong, and they have lots of weaknesses and biases, but they also have a hell of a lot more knowledge than someone who just reads stuff online.

another_troll said...

Bravo Inverarity and Tara, for your excellent posts! (Applauds wildly)

haha, as soon as [Kate} is questioned about her credentials, she leaves. interesting that she didn't answer any questions about what makes her more qualified than doctors to make these sorts of assertions.

Yep. I was expecting her to trot out some more of her studies which "prove" that being overweight doesn't reduce your health. Kate is obviously a lovely person and I'd like to have her as a friend - seriously - but she is SO deluded.

suzy_q said...

Re the health aspects of being overweight, other than sleep apnea, which is very scary and serious, being obese didn't affect my health in any way *that I'm aware of*. But of course, like many overweight people, I avoided going to the doctor. If there was a problem I didn't want to know about it.

Since losing weight and getting fit - and I'm stressing that these are different, but related, things - I have passed a stress (heart function) test with flying colours and my bloodwork is excellent. More generally, I just feel a lot better - less tired, more optimistic and better equipped to handle what life throws at me.

I used to be very active on a South Beach Diet board and almost every day, someone would report that since getting their weight and diet under control - and again, I'm stressing that these are different, but related things - they have been able to ditch medication to lower their blood pressure and/or cholesterol, that they are managing their blood sugar levels, or that they have been able to conceive when they couldn't before, or their health has improved in other ways. You can't read all those testimonials without being convinced that there is a very strong link between weight and health.

Anonymous said...

I think that if I lost weight absolutely nothing would change, except that other women might treat me better.

See, I've no probelm with men, at all. But women? There's a girl at school who weighs more than me, but because I weigh more than the other grad student girls save one *I* and the other non emaciated chick become her targets. Every email she sends out refers to our work and how wrong we are--and I'm getting really tired of it.

I assume that I'd never have a lit cigarrette butt thrown at me again from a laughing skinny chick in a car.

I assume that I'd never have a skinny chick either hold a store's door closed or shove it open directly in my face and laugh at me.

I assume I wouldn't get those "Why are you buying food?" looks at the grocery store and restaurants, and since I work 14 hours straight 2 days a week I have no hope of NOT having to buy food in front of other people sometimes.

Oh, and I hope I'd never have a girl student get in my face and say that she doesn't have to listen to me because I weigh more than her, and that she's smarter than me because she's skinnier than me, ever again.

But you know, I don't know that those things would stop HERE unless I was underweight like so many of the girls my age that are here. And I don't want to be unhealthy that way either. I'm actually in the very upper end of "normal" BMI anyway, but you'd think I was morbidly obese to talk to other women about it. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

It may be understandable that fat people think they are the only ones who get disrespect based on their appearance, but this is the tactic of everyone who wants for whatever reason to put another person down. If you weren't fat, but were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, ignorant and inadequate people would choose something else - your face, your clothes, whether you wear glasses, lack of height, age, accent, car...there is no way of shutting them up, but you can choose to ignore it and not take it to heart. As for the girl student who refused to do the assignment you set, this is a matter of academic discipline and needs to be dealt with at that level.

Why are you at a school with such a high proportion of stupid people?

Anonymous said...

I apologise, on re-reading I see that you do not describe yourself as fat, and I did not intend to categorise you. I was using the word in the sense that size accepters generally use it - any size above emaciated.