Hey looka there, it’s the New York Times.

With another Fatosphere article. And a shorter one on intuitive eating, featuring Kate Harding. (Both articles are by Mandy Katz, who, I have to say, seems like a cool lady.)

I even have quote in there!

God knows I never thought I’d see the day when I’d be saying “Hey, look, it’s a Fatosphere article in the New York Times!” let alone, “Hey, look, it’s ANOTHER Fatosphere article in the New York Times!” but, as we all know, things have changed a lot, at least online, in the last couple of years.

I’ve been writing online about fat stuff since roughly 2002, on a godforsaken online diary site where people would regularly come by to reassure me that I would die a horrible fiery death for “promoting obesity.” (That is, if simply being fat didn’t get me first.)

I’d quit dieting in 2000, after being made aware of the existence of fat acceptance in 1999 (from, of all places, reading Dean Edell’s book Eat, Drink, and be Merry, which had a brief blurb about fat ladies who formed a fatty swimming club together), and after developing some very dysfunctional eating and exercise patterns on the diet. As well as a nice case of pneumonia.

The book that finally sealed the deal for me was Laura Fraser’s Losing It. After reading it, I looked down at my body and thought, “This is a nice body. Why have I been abusing it? I’m sorry, body. Let’s stop this.” And I never looked back.

I decided to study and work in nutrition, as a fat lady. I wrote a bit for Big Fat Blog. When the Fatosphere and big-time bloggers like Kate and Marianne came on the scene, I was inspired to start my own Fatosphere blog. And now I’ve settled into what I think of as my permanent online home, still part of the Fatosphere, but, hopefully, taking up the topic of nutrition in a new way.

So that’s the completely unsolicited (and undercaffeinated) story of how I got here. And maybe of why you’re reading this.

Either way, it’s nice to see some fats in the New York Times. Again.

ETA: I don’t know exactly how or why this turned into a rambling, narcissistic recounting of me-me-me, me, and ME! instead of, you know, talking about the article, but I’m still blaming the lack of coffee. We can talk of things of substance in comments.






15 responses to “Hey looka there, it’s the New York Times.”

  1. WellRoundedType2 Avatar

    Agreed! I loved seeing that quote from you!

  2. Dee Avatar

    Quoted in the new York Times! How cool is that? I love this paragraph, though:

    “Virtually everyone who is overweight would be better off at a lower weight,” said Walter Willett, chairman of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health. “There’s been this misconception, fostered by the weight-is-beautiful groups, that weight doesn’t matter. But the data are clear.”

    How fucking patronizing. But thanks, Dr. Willett. I had no idea that I had been involved in “weight is beautiful” groups. Then, just the other day, I found myself peering into a construction site and admiring the beauty of some concrete blocks and I-beams. Now I know that I’ve convinced myself that weight is beautiful. Funny how everything out in space just looks unattractively weightless to me now – unless it passes close to a body with a strong gravitational pull. Then it’s beautiful.

    1. WellRoundedType2 Avatar

      I agree, I think that weight is beautiful.
      As in “the force with which a body is attracted toward the earth or a celestial body by gravitation and which is equal to the product of the mass and the local gravitational acceleration.” (Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary)
      ‘Cause, without it, wouldn’t we all float away?

      1. Michelle Avatar

        You’re right. That is totally beautiful. And I’m sure Isaac Newton would agree. Newton vs. Willett — that’s a cage match I’d pay to see.

    2. Michelle Avatar

      …what are you doing out of bed, young miss? Get back in there!

      Also, the day when Walter Willett doesn’t sound like a patronizing douchebag will be the day my large intestine spontaneously crawls out my behind and shapes itself into a delightful panorama depicting scenes from Little House on the Prairie.

  3. Rachel Avatar

    Were Walter Willett and MeMe Roth separated at birth? I think some of the cold, hard science that has come out indicating that fat isn’t a death sentence might also have something to do with the “misconception” that weight doesn’t matter.

    1. Michelle Avatar

      Yeah, the fascinating part is that the advice people like Willett and Roth hand out lead to such wonderful outcomes as the lady described in the beginning of the article — who went to Weight Watchers 27 times. Holy crap, that’s gotta be rough.

      Talk about misconceptions.

    2. Michelle Avatar

      Speaking of MR, I lol’d so hard at this.

  4. Jenny Avatar

    Whoa, you got pneumonia on a diet? I am curious because after I lost 50 pounds, I got pneumonia (I also had to get my gall bladder removed from all the stones). I am just surprised that this has happened to other people.

    1. Michelle Avatar

      Yep, I sure did. I picked up a respiratory virus at summer camp (I was a counselor) and it turned into a really nasty case of pneumonia that lasted ten weeks.

      Not exactly “normal” for a healthy 21-year old. Don’t know if it can be directly attributed to the diet, but it never happened again once I stopped dieting.

      1. Jenny Avatar

        Yeah, in my case the doctors were shocked SHOCKED at how a healthy 30-year-old who, at the time, was engaging in high-intensity physical exercise almost every single day, could get as sick as I was. The pneumonia, in my case, turned septic and I was going into septic shock when I finally went to a doctor. 4 days in the ICU and another week in the hospital and six months later, I still feel very tired. I really do think dieting makes it harder for your body to defend itself against infection.

        Ten Weeks, though. That’s awful. :(

  5. JennyRose Avatar

    Michelle – please post some sort of warning. Snorting coffee out my nose while I laughed kind of hurt.

    Also, the day when Walter Willett doesn’t sound like a patronizing douchebag will be the day my large intestine spontaneously crawls out my ass and shapes itself into a delightful panorama depicting scenes from Little House on the Prairie.

  6. Melissa Avatar

    Wow that video link to MeMe Roth was great!
    Thank you Stuart Varney for laying it onto her! She make me ill.

  7. Carolyn Avatar

    Oh yes, because I am actually concerned with HEALTH and not just weight than I am an ignorant asshole who eats baby flavored doughnuts by the handful. Screw health amiright? We should all just look fuckable and then no one would be sad or sick.


  8. NewMe Avatar

    Michelle – You are an awesome ranter! I love your stuff.

    I actually linked to these two articles on my own blog a few days ago.

    I’m really neither fish nor fowl when it comes to weight loss. This year, I finally came around to understanding that diets are truly the work of the devil! I refuse to count calories, carbs or anything else but I do admit to wanting to lose weight. I have a “good” (personal, health-related) reason to do so but I will admit that it’s really because I think I look better slimmer.

    Since January, I have been making a concerted effort to eat intuitively/consciously. It makes perfect sense to me in a way that dieting never did and never will. I have lost a modest amount of weight, but more importantly, I’ve lost a sh*tload of anger. I eat what I want, dammit, and that usually means real food of all kinds with a happy dash of sweets from time to time.

    I probably hang out too much with the weight-loss blogger crowd. There are some very fine, caring people in this community but I start feeling very frustrated reading about how so and so is “on” or “off” plan, has been “bad” or “good” and has carried their own doggie bag of “good, on-plan” food with them wherever they go. Is this a life?

    I need more of the type of bloggish sustenance you provide!