Stuff people assume I believe vs. stuff I actually believe.

French version of this post here, courtesy Stéphanie Potin-Grevrend.

break50

This post has been sitting in drafts for several weeks, but I figured now was as good a time as any to actually publish it.

1) That the food industry is AWESOME.

In one sense, industrialized food production is an amazing thing that allows an unprecedented human population to eat and survive, and we do have regulations in place that largely prevent acute disaster, though there are plenty of reforms that could and should take place. On the other hand, I believe the food industry does try to manipulate humanity’s natural desire for food to get us to eat more than we may actually want or need.

Some of this is normal and to be expected – most good cooks at home as well as in the industry know that adding fat and salt and sugar to things makes them tasty, and of course you want people, especially when you’re cooking for company, to think your food is tasty. The big issue is that pre-prepared food used to be more of an exception than a rule, but with changing lifestyles, people rely on this food more and more as a staple, and hence may be eating richer, saltier, sweeter things in greater quantities than in the past.

However, if this is true, I think the answer is not to clamp down with food restriction, but to build our eating competence skills by being responsible and structured, and also allowing ourselves to seek pleasure, with food. The impulse to restrict seems very intuitive and makes sense on the surface, but if that worked, I wouldn’t have a job because people would be restricting themselves however they like with no problems. But there is a problem – attempted restriction usually backfires because it sets off internal survival mechanisms that drive us to seek food even more intensely, and can even lead to binge eating, making restriction directly counterproductive.

I think the food industry, or at least some decision-makers in the food industry, probably know this – and as such, the food industry is often tied to the diet industry, sometimes by directly owning or funding weight loss centers, and most often by producing “Lite” or “Diet” (or “Natural” or “Healthy”) foods. Which allows them to profit from every part of the cycle: abundant, rich, tempting, cheap food everywhere –> relying more on these foods and perhaps overeating –> guilt and the urge to restrict –> using diet services or diet foods to restrict –> feeling unsatisfied and wanting the abundant, rich, tempting, cheap food EVEN MORE –> finally breaking down and eating a ton of “bad” food, which starts the cycle up all over again, and puts twice the amount of money into the pockets of people who have their fingers both in the food industry and the diet industry.

The answer to all of this is to opt out of the cycle – to learn to eat well, not to try to eat less. The industry at large profits from people eating in black-and-white, all-or-nothing ways: eating a ton of calorie-rich food, then clamping down and restricting and using products to help them eat as little as possible. Learning to eat well results in people eating moderately – by which I mean eating tasty, nourishing foods in comfortable quantities – which isn’t very exciting and doesn’t provide a good platform to sell products and diet books from. And when people opt out of the cycle and eat moderately, you don’t get the self-renewing influx of repeat customers driving your 60 billion dollar industry. You just get a population of people who are basically okay with eating and spend their time obsessing about other things instead, and who wants that?

2) That there are no health risks associated with being fat.

Obviously, there are, or, once again, my blog and the entire “obesity epidemic” concept would not exist. However, even though research shows that there are health risks with being fat, especially extremely fat, the research also seems to indicate that 1) we don’t know for certain whether all those risks are caused by a direct physiological mechanism of adipose tissue, 2) that trying to lose weight does not work permanently for most people, 3) even if it did work permanently, we still do not know whether a formerly-fat person would enjoy the same lowered risk as a naturally-thin person, and 4) that “obese” people with good health habits have less risk, even though they are still fat.

Also, having a condition that means you have more health risks doesn’t make you a bad person or an intolerable burden on society. Lots of different categories of people have elevated health risks (like men), but we don’t stigmatize them in the same devastating ways we do fat people.

3) That people should and must eat junk food.

No. What I believe is that people must make their own choices about food, and probably shouldn’t generalize those choices to other people, because people vary. Some people don’t eat any junk food and seem to be perfectly happy with their decision, both physically and psychologically. Yay for those people. If everyone were like that, this blog would not have to exist and I would not have to do the work I do with clients.

The fact is, most of us live in a world where junk food exists and it is part of our lives. Rather than try to deny that reality, I think it is more productive to learn to navigate and manage it. Most people are going to eat ice cream, drink soda, and have french fries sometimes. There is nothing inherently wrong with this.

I believe that overall variety in the long-term is the most important principle of good nutrition; I believe arbitrarily denying yourself something that is important and meaningful to you and that you take great pleasure in is unhealthy; and I believe that people need to learn to make choices about food that take into account both how food tastes and how it makes them feel, and their bodies will mostly lead them in the right direction.

Some people will decide that certain foods do not belong in their diet, and they will avoid those foods in most situations, and they will have very good reasons for doing so. However, if you try to do this before you have good eating competence skills, you will be putting the cart before the horse, and very likely you will increase your anxiety around food and binge eat the exact food you’re trying to avoid. If this happens, you need to start over from square one and re-learn to eat.

4) That weight loss is always bad, and never happens anyway.

Actually, people’s weights do seem to fluctuate somewhat, both long-term and short-term, though most people do also seem to have a general range that their body likes to stick to. Sometimes people find themselves at a weight that is not their body’s usual, naturally-defended weight, because of various circumstances (environmental stuff, medical stuff, etc.) and when the circumstances go back to normal, so does their weight. And sometimes people lose weight (or gain weight) as a side-effect of eating better and moving more – that’s why we refer to the Health at Every Size approach as a weight-neutral approach. Because sometimes you will lose or gain weight, but the first priority is on how you take care of yourself regardless of those changes.

What I think is “bad,” as in unhealthy and counterproductive, is a focus on weight in the place of health and well-being. (But even though I disagree with it, choosing to do this does not make you a bad person, and I don’t think any less of you for it. It’s your body, which means it is not my business to judge.) There is research that shows this – that people who put their primary focus on weight loss usually don’t maintain it for the long term, and the healthy behaviours (like exercising or eating vegetables or whatever) they were doing to try and promote the weight loss fall by the wayside when they stop losing, or start regaining, weight. That is not good.

Since weight loss is supposedly about “getting healthy,” why not cut out the middle-man? Focus on doing stuff directly for your health, and let your weight sort itself out.

That’s it for now. I’m sure there is a list of these misconceptions as long as my arm, but I’ll have to address more of them later. I just want people to keep in mind that there is a tendency to think in dichotomous, black-and-white, all-or-nothing, with-us-or-against-us terms when it comes to food, eating, weight, and health.

When I haven’t specifically written about a topic, and so people don’t actually know what I think about it, there is a tendency to want to fill in the gaps with what they assume based on my other positions, or based on what other people in the fat acceptance or HAES community have written or said. I do this too. It’s only human. But it’s not always accurate, either.

I’m not very chatty today, but feel free to talk amongst yourselves.

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50 Comments

  1. Posted November 30, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Point 2 is SO SO SO important/powerful. What is the point of telling a friend to lose weight because you care about her and are worried about her health, or a doctor prescribing weight loss to improve health outcomes, when a) we HAVE NO IDEA if turning a genetically fat person into a thin person through weight loss will give them the same risk profile as a genetically thin person, and b) there IS NO PROVEN SAFE AND EFFECTIVE LONG-TERM WEIGHT LOSS METHOD!!!

    • Posted December 2, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      A bit like, “Taller people tend to live longer, so you should grow taller.”

      • Amber
        Posted December 3, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        Well dang, I need to stop complaining about being 6’3″ then. I guess not finding pants that fit (36″ inseam) will be made up for by living longer. :)

      • Posted December 28, 2012 at 7:53 am | Permalink

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1071721/

        It looks as though shorter people live longer.

        On the other hand, taller people make more money.

        • Posted December 28, 2012 at 10:01 am | Permalink

          Guess I’d better work on losing some height in the new year.

  2. Posted November 30, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Excellent post Michelle. I shall be sharing widely!

  3. Posted November 30, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I agree with everything you wrote here! As a larger person, I am finally starting to become adept at listening to my body. I’ve ignored it for so long that I never really noticed how different foods made me feel after I ate them. I’ve realized that I cannot eat a lot of fried foods or drink a lot of soda — they make me feel sick to my stomach. Which is OK with me anyway because I don’t really care for fried foods or drink much soda anyway. But if I had to give up chocolate….

  4. Posted November 30, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    I’d love to hear more about being weight neutral. Thanks for this post!

    • Posted December 28, 2012 at 2:18 am | Permalink

      Step 1: Choose a healthy behavior. Could be cutting down on refined sugar because blood sugar spikes make you cranky, could be eating more fruit, could be going on long walks because you want to start hiking.

      Step 2: Start performing that behavior.

      Step 3: Feel better because of that behavior, but don’t get on a scale or worry if your weight changes. Don’t celebrate and double down on the new behavior if you happen to lose any weight.

      Step 4: Repeat steps 2-3.

      In practice this can be harder than it seems on the surface. Some healthy behaviors attract attention and make people assume you’re out to lose weight, providing support and advice under that assumption. They mean well, and are often utterly confused when you explain that your hourlong weekly spin class has nothing to do with losing weight.

      If the new behavior happens to cause weight loss and you have a history with eating disorders, the attention you get when people notice can trigger a relapse and you should prepare yourself for that.

  5. Posted November 30, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this post! I am really impressed at how thoughtful and sensible you are at articulating these issues. Especially with the points on food industry and junk food. To learn to moderate and navigate what is healthy for ourselves are so important. As well as the last point on weight loss, I agree with your point on focusing on being healthy instead of just on weight loss. Personally I used to be close to 260 pounds 5 years ago, but now I am 200 pounds. Throughout the years I workout and focused on being healthier and never on just weigh loss. And you are right, by focusing on your health, our bodies will do its thing.

  6. Posted December 2, 2012 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    It astonishes me that people attribute #4 to body acceptance advocates, when I can’t think of anyone who has actually said, “Nobody can lose any weight ever.” But maybe I shouldn’t be; when you argue on behalf of any stigmatized group by saying, “Most people in group X, contrary to stereotype, don’t actually have characteristic Y,” you get a whole bunch of, “What, are you saying nobody in group X has characteristic Y?” Yeah, that’s exactly what I said, way to pay attention. (double facepalm)

    • Posted December 3, 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Black or white, all-or-nothing, with us or against us. It’s like the air we breathe sometimes.

      • Carolina Kipnis
        Posted December 5, 2012 at 12:21 am | Permalink

        I wholeheartedly believe in the fundamental philosophy of your blog and your practice, although I diverge greatly from the details in my own personal choices. To me, it’s not black-or-white, or us-versus-them. It is a matter of finding what works for each of us individually to break free from the bondage of hatred towards our own bodies and the ensuing dysfunctional relationship with food.

  7. Posted December 2, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    “…people who put their primary focus on weight loss usually don’t maintain it for the long term, and the healthy behaviours (like exercising or eating vegetables or whatever) they were doing to try and promote the weight loss fall by the wayside when they stop losing, or start regaining, weight.”

    So true. I forced myself to live on a 1200 calorie diet and trying to eat “healthy” (under a doctor’s supervision) and stuck with it for less than six months before I cracked. It took me over six months to completely kick the diet, but I haven’t eaten real vegetables consistently in weeks or months. I choked down so many vegetables during that diet that I can’t stand the thought of them now! “Real” vegetables meaning stuff like zucchini, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower…I still accept corn, peas and potatoes of course, but those are “bad” vegetables these days.

    • Teralyn
      Posted December 3, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      I completely agree. As I have tried to begin eating intuitively, I find that I abhor all the “diet” foods I have been kidding myself with all these years and sadly, lettuce of any kind is one of those. The food police voice is constantly badgering me but I keep trying to tell myself that one day I will like lettuce again. I just need a break. I think. Ugh!

      • Linda Strout
        Posted December 4, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

        I found a dressing that involved bacon grease and found it vastly improved the lettuce.

        :)

        • Carolina Kipnis
          Posted December 5, 2012 at 12:08 am | Permalink

          Bacon in any form improves just about everything. Just sayin’

          • Cory
            Posted December 6, 2012 at 6:22 am | Permalink

            Word.

        • Kirsten
          Posted December 5, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

          Oh yes… spinach salad with bacon and shredded cheese, and the dressing is the hot bacon grease deglazed with apple cider vinegar, poured over the cheese still hot so it melts it a little bit… you just decided what I’m having for lunch, Linda!

          • Linda Strout
            Posted December 5, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

            Glad I could help!

      • Posted December 15, 2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        Um, yeah, I know what you mean. I just kinda started this whole HAES intuitive eating thing, and I find myself gravataging toward mac & cheese, candy, all of the “forbidden” foods, and am less interested in… carrot sticks & salads. My theory is that it’s going to take some time to adjust… kind of like how Amish kids or Pastors kids go a little nuts when they leave their home and see the real world. But eventually after they’ve had their fill they return to a more moderate lifestyle. Give yourself a break, eat what you want of the foods you crave because you restricted yourself from them…you’ll get tired of it… I know I am already, and then you can make some progress on easing back into the veggies. Again, that’s my theory and what I’m planning to do. In fact, I’m going to the grocery store today and I think I’m going to get some brussel sprouts to try. Any good recipes ladies???

        • Linda Strout
          Posted December 17, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

          I finally stopped needing to eat Pahd Thai every week.

          Here is what like to do with brussel sprouts:

          Crank your oven to 400
          Wash the sprouts, cut off off a bit of the stem end. Pull off any icky outside leaves, cut each sprout in half.

          Mix in a bowl with some oil (about three tablespoons per pound) some salt and pepper and parmesan cheese if you want.

          Spread out on a cookie sheet and back until they start to brown/blacken about 30 minutes.

          Tips: If you have parchment paper, stick that on the pan under the sprouts and clean up will be easy. You can roast these things in a toaster oven too.

          • Posted December 18, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

            Thanks Linda, I think I will try that out, it sounds good! :)

        • Kari
          Posted December 30, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

          As a lifelong lover of brussel sprouts – my SO and I eat them at least twice a week, sometimes more – the absolute best way we’ve ever had them is fried.

          Let’s see, I’m not normally the one who cooks them, but from what I’ve observed: get you some brussel sprouts, like 12 – 16 oz. Frozen is fine. Get you some garlic, about 6 – 8 cloves and chop it up fine, but not minced. Fry both up in a couple of inches of oil. When done, they should be crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. Salt them while they drain on paper towels.

          Now I know what you’re thinking: that’s a *lot* of garlic! No one likes garlic that much!

          Believe it or not, after it’s fried in with the sprouts, the garlic bits are very mild, and in my opinion, one of the best parts about this dish.

          PS: I don’t think my SO thaws the frozen sprouts before frying… probably just sets the bag out for a little bit while doing other stuff. So, maybe let them sit out for about half an hour while chopping the garlic and stuff?

  8. Posted December 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    So well stated! I would just add a caution that omission of pleasurable foods–including desserts and “junk” foods has its negative consequences. Even labeling something a “junk food” biases against consuming it and imposes some guilt. We are often so enmeshed in our food rules that it is often difficult to distinguish between avoiding certain foods because we really don’t care to have them and becausee we feel so convinced they are forbidden us!

    • Posted December 3, 2012 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Good point, and I totally agree. I actually dislike the term “junk food”, but sometimes I feel compelled to use it because it is vernacular, and familiar to most people. I try to use “snack food” or “dessert” or whatever most of the time because I think they are less judge-y. It’s a tricky balance.

  9. Posted December 2, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    Just found your blog through a share on Facebook, great post! Love your style of writing and your beliefs around weight and food. LOVE!

  10. Posted December 4, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    FYI… you and a few other bloggers have inspired me to start writing about this subject in my blog. My blog has been pretty stale as of late, and I have not been very good at updating it regularly… I just debuted my “comeback” post… if you’d like to read it :)

    http://novoelle.com/2012/12/baby-steps-to-self-acceptance/

    I hope this doesn’t come across as spammy…!

    • Posted December 5, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      That’s great! Thank you for writing it and for sharing it here.

  11. Carolina Kipnis
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    This is my first post on your blog. I have to confess that, over the past couple of weeks, I have had many nearly sleepless nights reading the archive, from start to finish. I am always amazed at how well you articulate these issues about our relationship with food and our bodies, especially in an environment in which a dysfunctional relationship with food and with our body is the norm rather than the exception.

  12. Linda Strout
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Just posting here to try to remember to mind my own f*cking business. I reposted Michelle’s Facebook link to the Jezebel article about Weight Watches. I didn’t add any commentary. My friend who has been doing WW for a year or so of course was negative about the article. She’s lost 60 pounds and holds that up as a sample of success. I do not want to get into a discussion about how most people gain back after losing. I don’t want to make her feel like shit. She wants to lose another 40. She mentioned her life-long struggle with weight. I hope she has learned about eating healthy and can put it to good use. But oh, she’s already plateaued and I don’t want her to go into a tail-spin if she regains. She is so much more than her weight.

    I f*cking hate our society right this second.

  13. ephraim
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 3:41 am | Permalink

    with regard to point 1, i think a lot of folks in the HAES movement (possibly you among them, but i haven’t read you widely enough to know for sure) do tend to downplay the ways the food industry itself sabotages our abilities to become eating competent, by engineering hyperpalatable food products and flooding the media landscape with images of them. obviously you and other HAES-oriented clinicians believe that the therapeutic techniques you teach/employ are resilient enough to make people competent eaters in spite of that, but i remain unconvinced that that’s true (i’m not convinced it’s untrue either). this is all to say that’s why HAES folks sometimes seem a little ‘soft’ on the food industry, from my perspective.

    • Posted December 10, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      You have a good point. I can see how it would seem that way. I’m not sure it’s that I think my techniques are resilient enough, so much as it’s that I believe people have internal regulation mechanisms that are more powerful than they are given credit for. Criticism of the food industry simply isn’t my main focus as it is for people like Marion Nestle. However, Linda Bacon (a HAES nutrition scholar) does talk quite a bit about the food industry and the food system in her book, and has strong criticisms for it. The reasons I don’t focus much on industry criticism is because 1) I would need to investigate more to really find out where I stand, other than a general understanding that there are problems, and that reforms would be a good idea, 2) I think systemic problems require systemic solutions, and unfortunately a lot of the proposed solutions (at least from popular authors) are individual in nature, which puts pressure on people in a way that, I believe, erodes eating competence, and 3) I actually think a lot of the discourse around criticizing the food industry comes from a disordered place and promotes alarmist, disordered attitudes that are destructive. There is an important balance to strike in criticizing the industry without giving the impression that all food is bad and poisonous and people are inherently out of control with it. I think a lot of the popular criticism absolutely does not strike that balance, or even attempt to, because the alarmist messages fit so neatly into Puritanical attitudes about pleasure, appetites, sloth, gluttony, and original sin.

      • WRG
        Posted December 10, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        Can I just say that I really like your response, Michelle.

      • ephraim
        Posted December 10, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        I totally and enthusiastically agree with points 2 and 3. If the food industry is to be criticized in any sort of sensible way, it needs to be systemic and value-neutral, absolutely. I especially appreciate Marion Nestle’s policy perspectives in that regard. I guess, I just feel that if the core of your food and eating approach is about learning to trust internal regulatory mechanisms for hunger and satiety, it could be personally as well as politically helpful to head-on address the fact that there’s a gigantic, pervasive, multi-hundred-billion dollar industry whose only purpose is to find new ways to run interference on and find loopholes around (to unabashedly mix my metaphors) those internal regulatory mechanisms.

        • Posted December 10, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

          I definitely think it’s worth addressing and criticizing. I just frankly don’t know enough about what the science says about this to have a strong position on whether it is actually happening in a dramatic and far-reaching way. I’m continuing to read and learn, but these things take time. Some of the food research I’ve seen (see: Brian Wansink) was, frankly, really short-sighted in a disappointing way. Yes, some of the research he talks about in his book demonstrated that people’s hunger/fullness cues can be tricked in the immediate term, but there didn’t seem to be much of an attempt to follow up longer-term to find if those observations continued to hold, or have significant effects on people’s long-term eating. That frustrated me. Homeostatic regulation sometimes is achieved over a longer period of time, not a single day or meal. That’s basic biology. I follow Marion Nestle’s blog, and I appreciate her work, but I also get some really food-negative messages coming from her words, which is also frustrating and disappointing.

          • Posted December 16, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

            “…Homeostatic regulation sometimes is achieved over a longer period of time, not a single day or meal. That’s basic biology…”

            This can also be a very frustrating subject (complex, with few clear or valid long-term evidence-based answers) for people who have experienced significant weight loss.

            Every few months, about twice a year, I go through periods of time when I feel ravenous and must eat much larger quantities to feel satiated. Sometimes this need to eat a lot more goes on for several days (in response to increased hunger), and sometimes it lasts as long as 3 weeks. Then, I always put on a few pounds (at least I’m assuming that still happens…because my clothes become a bit snugger—but I don’t actually track my weight these days), and later—after these unusual phases of hunger/increased eating are over—I typically go through a period of lower than usual hunger (with a corresponding reduced need to eat.)

            The “frustrating” part of this pattern (which I’m convinced is part of my body’s normal homeostatic regulation) relates to the *loud* and *aggressive* social messages and dire warnings about the dangers of *giving in* to increased hunger and increased eating—as if our bodies are supposed to require a similar (regimented) amount of energy each day, consistently, week in and week out, without these periodic increases and decreases.

            These social messages are so oppressive and so VERY unhelpful because at those exact times when my body is informing me to EAT MORE PLEASE(!), the dominant social discourse alarms are screaming: “RESTRICT, RESTRICT!” (And saying also, implicitly or even explicitly, “be afraid, be very afraid!”)

            It has gradually become quite obvious to me that trusting our own homeostatic signals (in relation to hunger, for instance, but also in relation to other processes, e.g., sleep), apparently, creates a huge threat to social control norms and to forces of social domination—which tell me that I’m supposed to ignore my own body’s wisdom and dominate my body into submission, by restricting, at the exact times when my body is informing me to eat more (or sleep more).

            And, according to dominant discourses, that kind of domination over my body is supposed to demonstrate “healthy” or “balanced” behavior—it seems to provide prized social evidence of “being in control.”

            Somehow “being in control” of our inner physiological processes (an illusion if ever I saw one) has become more valuable than simply “being human.”

            I’ve also noticed a trend towards labeling these episodes of increased eating (related to increased hunger) as “disordered eating” (or, supposedly, “compulsive” or “binge eating”) and a tendency to label sudden or dramatic increases in hunger as “emotional hunger” or “psychological hunger” (rather than just plain old real hunger.)

            It has been enormously helpful for me to recognize that these kinds of social messages (crazy-making), about eating and hunger, are harmful to my own best interests—harmful to my health. Doesn’t matter if famous doctors-in-scrubs and morning “TV news” program RDs repeat these messages ad nauseam…they are not the experts over my physiological needs. My own body is the best care-provider, and I can trust its advice (my body doesn’t earn extra social privileges and material rewards for propping up social controls and dominant discourses.)

            Yep, a hot topic for me. Thanks for letting me rant. :)

          • Posted December 17, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

            I totally am on the same page with you in regard to the idea of control. It is an illusion of control, at best, and yet we cling to it like our lives depend on it.

          • Amanda
            Posted December 16, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

            @RNegade – So beautifully put. I loved your rant:) Nodded my head while reading every word. The media and society as a whole are just so insidious with their messages – its no wonder we internalise it all as being the truth. Thanks for reminding me not to believe anything I hear or see and to focus inwards and follow my intuition.

  14. Linda Strout
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    I’ve noticed that since I’ve started following this and other blogs about size acceptance and eating, I am getting way more spam about dieting in my inbox. I’m not quite sure how the spam robots are getting my info, so I wanted to ask if anybody had any clues how this works.

    I’ve also become more aware of messages about losing weight and being healthy: “Have bariatric surgery and stop having diabetes” “This magic pill will remove your belly fat” “Avoid these specific foods to be super thin or have a better brain or live a a perfectly healthy life” “Follow this specific diet from these people on this island who all live to be extremely old and you can too!”

    It’s disgusting, really. If any of it worked, we would all be doing it. Sorry for the ranting, this stuff is just bugging me right now.

    • Posted December 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Weird! If you’ve put your email address on any website where it is publicly visible (it isn’t on this website, unless you type out your full email address into the body of your comment, which I don’t think you’ve done), that can garner you spambots sending you email.

      • Linda Strout
        Posted December 12, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think I’ve made my e-mail publicly visible anywhere. Hmmm. I may have to look into this.

  15. Linda Strout
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    I think the concept of dominant culture privilege is finally starting to sink into my brain. It’s not just about most people being one way, it’s about the dominant group not being interested in accommodating the non-dominant group.

    This is why no chair ever commercially made is short enough for my feet to touch the ground.

  16. Linda Strout
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Bah. At work we set up a camera chat thing so I can contact my boss to come done and look at something I created without me having to run up and down the stairs several times a day.

    The downside is that when I look at myself I just feel like I am too big and round. I’ve been looking at people who are average size to large, so super skinny people are starting to look weird. I am still not satisfied with my own looks, darnit.

    Maybe I just need to put up some pics of myself to get used to seeing them.

  17. Linda Strout
    Posted December 25, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    I hope all of you have a great day today with nobody bothering you about anything.

  18. Posted December 25, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this post!!! It made me feel better about trying out different kinds of food on my eating disorder recovery :)

  19. Dianne Cowan
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Also, what if we have it backwards? Everyone and their uncle thinks “If you lose weight, you will get healthy.” What if it’s the other way around? What if it’s “If you get healthy, you will lose weight”?

    • Posted July 31, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      Sometimes that happens, true. Sometimes it doesn’t. It certainly does seem like it’s hard for people to wrap their brains around the fact that it may not just be a one-way street.

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  • By Friday Links, 12/7/12 « Tutus And Tiny Hats on December 7, 2012 at 9:17 am

    [...] important post about the intersection of fat shaming and disability. -From the Fat Nutritionist: Stuff people assume I believe, vs. stuff I actually believe. -I love seeing pictures of adorable, happy chubby [...]

  • By Things to Read | Living ~400lbs on December 28, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    [...] Fat Nutritionist post on “Stuff people assume I believe vs. stuff I actually believe” is cool, but it’s sad that it’s needed.  (See also comments on how if I keep [...]

  • By Is Fat Acceptance Denialism? | closetpuritan on January 12, 2013 at 10:56 am

    [...] Fat Acceptance proponents range from those who think that the link between fat and “obesity-related” diseases is overhyped and not looked at critically enough, to those who flat-out say that fat does not cause any diseases. (One problem with the latter statement is that just as correlation does not prove causation, it doesn’t disprove causation either; saying we don’t know for sure that fat causes* something does not mean that we know for sure it doesn’t cause something.) A good example of the former is Thing #2 from The Fat Nutritionist’s post, Stuff People Assume I Believe vs. Stuff I Actually Believe: [...]

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