Tag Archive: fat bias

The false dichotomy of fit versus fat

Why I’m eager to get healthy but not eager to get thin

I’m on a juice fast for Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter in the Christian calendar). I’m on day three and it’s going pretty great. It’s been about a year since I did the first one, and this time has been much easier, if only because I’m less furtive and embarrassed about it.

I’m surrounded by people who are doing really exceptional work around staying healthy and reclaiming their bodies, and some of them have lost fifty pounds or more in the past year—-through rigorous commitment to healthy eating and exercise, mostly, although one through months of juicing (like the movie Fat, Sick and Out of Control). I’m really inspired by their dedication, and the results show.

A friend of mine very kindly took me out for juice last night, and we had conversation about food and relationship to food and addiction to food. (Most of our conversation was about saving the world, but we did talk food.) And I found myself thinking something about the path I’ve been on for the last year.

I’m about twenty pounds lighter than I was a year ago (I lost 25 and then gained five). I wouldn’t mind being another twenty pounds lighter at the end of this year. But there are two shifts going on in me that I feel markedly better about.

(1) My relationship to food is a little less about medicating and a little more about both nourishing my body and nourishing my relationships. (more…)

To the guy who told me to “loose weight” before he would “make out on the porch swing” with me

Dear “Nice Guy” (Your name choice; I’m glad irony is not dead on craigslist):

I received your response to my craigslist ad last night (posted below), responding to my ad, in which I sought a “nerdy radical with great race analysis.” I assumed this title would draw people who had an interest in politics and also good grammar and spelling, although the latter two are just a bonus. I recognize that, adorable as my selfie in the ad is, I did announce that I’m plus sized so that guys who aren’t attracted to full-figured women wouldn’t have to waste time responding.

What I did not realize is that there would be a man out there who is such a catch that, while he gave me no evidence that he had anything in common with me, he would let me know he would make out with me on a porch swing in six months if I lost 25 pounds (spelled “loose” rather than “lose”—-almost evoking TD Jakes, which a pastor can appreciate: “fat, thou art loosed!”). (more…)

Systemic Fat Bias—is that a thing? (The complicated layers of race and gender that make it MAYBE a thing but also not)

(editorial addition: I forgot–part of what inspired this post was a spoken word that in four very blunt minutes captures what this blog fumblingly approaches addressing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxgpCfPqQpk)

I remember the first online dating profile I ever posted, in 2004, while I was in seminary. It was on Nerve (don’t judge—it was “for the thinking hedonist,” if I remember the tagline correctly, and it was more importantly networked to Salon.com and Onion readers—my demographic if ever there was one). My friend Jason helped me set it up, and as we filled in the various pieces of information, we got to “weight.” I looked at Jason nervously and said “I could just type in 200 pounds.”

“Nah,” he said wisely. “Then all you’ll draw are the fetishists.” I don’t remember the number we made up, or if we left it blank (which also raises red flags for “non-fetishists,” I now know). What I do remember is that I was lying by a good 40 pounds when I “confessed” to Jason that I was 200 pounds, and that was still a fetishist weight for a woman who’s only 5’10”. Don’t get me wrong–he was being both helpful and correct. It’s just that I haven’t found fat fetishists to be all bad. Or all that prevalent. (more…)