Monday, May 14, 2012

Dances with Fat responds to my rant: It IS okay to be fat!

Last week, I wrote a blog about Dances With Fat:

Today, I received a response to my post:

I also received a comment from one of Ragen's fans, which was very nicely worded but clearly calling me out for not being familiar enough with Ragen's purpose: 

"So, it's okay to love your body at any size and it's also okay to listen to your body and take care of your health when the time is right for you."

You say (and Jessica has indicated) that loving your body at any size and taking care of your health are mutually exclusive. They are not. Possibly you have not read enough of Health At Every Size literature, or enough of Ragen's blog, or just got confused. The point is that when someone loves and appreciates their body, they are more likely to take care of it, regardless of size and regardless of weight loss. If we do healthy things only for weight loss and these things do not cause weight loss, what is the reason to continue? If we do things to promote health and those things make us healthier (which generally happens more often than weight loss) we will be more likely to continue to do those things. Research has born this out.

You seem to have discovered for yourself that taking care of yourself through exercise and healthy diet have had positive effects on your health regardless of continued weight loss. That is the point trying to be made. :) Accepting one's body size and being willing to live fully in that body (not waiting to start living until one loses X lbs) is an important component to improving health. Loving one's self is not the first step to "destruction by fat", it is the first step to resurrection and health.

Look, I admit it.  I am a mess when it comes to fat issues, weight issues, food issues, self-esteem issues.  I grew up the oldest of four children (with more to come later after my parents split up).  I was always a big kid and, from a very young age, I was made to feel that my size was not okay.  I am fucked up and I am the first one to admit that.  I mean, I RE-ARRANGED my insides to be "skinny."  And I'm not skinny.  Sure, I did it to be "healthier" but guess what, I heaped on myself a whole different set of health issues now that I'm malabsorptive, so I can't guarantee that I'm even healthier post-surgery.  And let's be honest, at least 50% of the reason I did it was to be skinnier (i.e., prettier, in my mind). 

I'm six feet tall.  That's pretty big for a girl.  I was never going to be a tiny person.  And I was always treated like something was wrong.  From a very young age, I was told that big (i.e., in my head, and probably theirs: FAT) wasn't okay.  

I also watched my little sister, Lindsey, who is also a tall girl, go through some issues as a kid:

I remember someone saying once that fat-bashing was the last "acceptable" prejudice.  It wasn't okay to make fun of mentally challenged people or different races.  But it was a free-for-all if you were a fatty.  How is that okay? 

Anyway, I don't have a beef with anyone one else who is fat in the world.  Like I said in my last post: I don't care if you think your tax dollars go to fund obesity related issues.  My tax dollars also fund programs having to do with your smoking habit or your children or your drug problem.  I don't care if anyone else is fat/chooses to be fat/wants to be fat/doesn't want to be fat but just is/isn't fat/doesn't care about being fat...I only care about me (okay, that sounded selfish, but hopefully you understand where I'm going here).  For me, being overweight brings pain (physical pain, not just the mental pain).  I don't like that.  I am not diabetic.  I don't have high blood pressure.  I just have an old lady hip that hurts when I have some extra pounds.  So for me, taking a few extra pounds off, is a priority.  But I also know from the past, that, as suggested by DeAun (Ragen's fan who left a comment on my previous post):  ...taking care of yourself through exercise and healthy diet have had positive effects on your health regardless of continued weight loss.

Losing weight is a goal but it is not my priority, if that makes sense.  If I eat right and exercise, the hope is that some weight will come off (and the pain will lessen).  But if I push too hard, the obsessive stuff kicks in and actually works against me.  

I really appreciate Ragen's response to me.  I know she's a busy lady and I appreciate all of her posts and all of the hard work she is doing.  I would appreciate any and all comments on this post.  I sit here sad and wishing I was a stronger person to just get up every day knowing I'm the bomb.  But my brain doesn't work that way.  I have many years of bullshit that I am muddling through. 


  1. Girl, your already gorgeous to begin with. Im jealous of your height, im 5'4 and always desired to be tall. Im one of 3 children and im the shortest.

    I see thier point and I see your point. For me, if im healthy - why does it matter what size I am? That number on the scale and that number on your jeans will never determine what your life is going to be like. Im all for that if you dont like something about yourself - fix it. Weight is something I have struggled with my whole life. I have never been skinny, ive always been the curvy one from the group. As ive gotten older, ive learned to accept it more and more.

    1. Lulu! You do not want to be this tall! Do you know how hard it is to lift legs this long??? lololol!! I admire you, lady, because you put yourself out there and you have a great attitude. When girls come in saying they can't pole dance, I show them your videos and say, absolutely you can pole dance! I will never be skinny, and I'm okay with that. What I need to wrap my head around is that I'm okay NOW anyway!

  2. I think that you are amazing - you are clear that you are on a journey, you are making decisions and really thinking things through. We live in a society that is severely effed up when it comes to weight and beauty and health so it's no wonder that so many of us are really struggling. The work that you've done is inspiring. I really appreciate the opportunity to have these kinds of dialogs. Thanks for making the original post and asking the question and being awesome.

    Big Fat Hugs,


    1. Thank you so much, Ragen. I really appreciate everything you say. I don't know why I need "permission" to be fat. But I was reading your posts and it finally clicked, really, truly IS ok to be fat. Or not fat. Or whatever I am right this second. How much of my life have I wasted trying to be somewhere other than where I am right this second. I need to enjoy my time here, not waste my entire life being unhappy because society tells me I'm not "perfect."

  3. Lori - thank you! Your honesty and grace is refreshing and is helping me become a better person. You'll see my lessons learned on my blog but in case your future readers are interested, it's at

    1. I love response blogs!! Thank you for adding to the conversation. I still battle it...IS it okay to be fat? Of course it's okay for people to be overweight. They/we are not bad people. But I still think there's a point where the extra weight does cause health problems. So I'm still mulling this one over!!!!

  4. I know this is a bit late, but I feel compelled to comment. Consider that your pain is only partly (or not at all) caused by your weight.

    Two years ago I was at my lowest weight of the last 2 decades, 211 lbs. Not thin, but 40 lbs lighter than I had been 2 years before that. As I was losing weight, my pain (low back, from multiple car accidents, knees, shoulders, elbows and ankles) was increasing, to the point where I was wondering how much longer I would be able to avoid a wheelchair. I had given up sugar years before, wheat a year before, and even alcohol. I was taking a lot of supplements and if I had had medical insurance I'm sure I would have had a lot of prescriptions, too, but I just took a lot of ibuprofen first thing in the morning to get me through the day.

    I was in the middle of a dairy elimination trial (thinking that might be contributing to my joint pain, as quitting wheat had made an immediate difference, although it was clearly not enough) when I came across these articles:

    I figured it was worth a try, so I got some Knox unflavored gelatin and started putting a packet in each cup of coffee I drank in the morning. In a few days I actually could tell a difference. Now, almost 2 years later, I am astonished at the difference it has made. I no longer take ibuprofen, I have more and more flexibility, and I can do things now that I would not have been able to do without crippling pain back then. Oh, and I haven't lost any more weight, in fact, I gained back 15 lbs. I've maintained this weight now for about 6 months, and I'm very happy with my physical condition (recently a couple of people at work found out how old I am, I just turned 59, which I don't really keep a secret, and they were shocked, they thought I was in my 40's). I take about 3-5 tablespoons a day of gelatin in my coffee, with cream, and most days that's all I have for breakfast, as the gelatin is quite filling. The benefits seem to still be accumulating, as I keep feeling better and better.

    In short, gelatin has helped heal my joints, also helped heal a torn Achilles tendon, eliminated my "trigger finger" which was really painful, and made it possible for me to enjoy a lot of activities again, and losing weight had nothing to do with it.

    1. Well, ya know, it's funny you mention it. When my hip pain came on, I was in the best shape of my life and about 35 pounds lighter than I am now. So I really can't even blame my weight, although I do blame my weight for some reason (I guess because "society" tells me my weight causes ALL of my problems, right?!). Thank you so much for this information. I am going to look into it!!