Category Archives: Health

For Lent, Give up Dieting

For Lent, I’m giving up dieting. Well, not really. I haven’t dieted for quite a few years, based on my own reservations which the fat acceptance movement helped me put into words and even back up with scientific research.

But I want to encourage everyone to do this. For Lent this year, give up dieting. Give up on hating your body. That’s 40 days, 40 nights and absolutely NO food guilt, diet products, or self-flagellation related to the body that you were born with.Don’t give up chocolate or carbs. Give up the notion that foods carry moral values of “good” or “bad.”

Now, you Catholics know the irony of this suggestion. Lent is originally associated with fasting, sacrifice for God and avoiding the temptation of Satan. Now, I have no problem with folks fasting for religious purposes, but since Vatican II, Lent has been less about fasting and more about giving up a vice or a temptation and replacing it with something that brings you closer to God.

My challenge is that eating normally is not a temptation or a vice and that loving your body and yourself is the first step in having a closer relationship with God, the Divine, the Universe or however you represent your highest authority.

And it’s okay to engage in the practices of Lent even if you’re not Catholic. I was only Catholic for a few years and I still give things up for Lent. Sacrifice is often healthy for the soul but sacrificing food to lose weight is not healthy for the body.

So go without dieting and obsessing about food for Lent and see if you come out on the other side any worse for wear. Something tells me you won’t. Something tells me you’ll discover a freedom unlike any other–the freedom to improve yourself in ways that really matter.

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Filed under fat, Health, Size Acceptance

Uninformed Mayor Puts OKC on a Diet

I live in the heart of Oklahoma City, in a district called the Asian District. It’s barely the Asian District anymore as the generations of vietnamese who came to OKC as refugees are getting older and their American children are moving off to nicer neighborhoods.

There are no sidewalks in my neighborhood. I have heard gunshots on my street corner. The street I drive to get home–a snow route no less–is crumbling and patches can’t keep up with it. I work for the state so I did not get a raise this year. The city just forced its school superintendent and board chairman to resign.

But what does our distinguished Mayor, Mick Cornett want to make this city’s priority? Losing weight.

That’s right Mayor Mick Cornett has challenged Oklahoma City residents to lose 1 million pounds this year. And how does he propose that we do this? Why, by going on a diet of course!

Look at that website! He’s actually promoting weight loss companies, even diet supplements that he has no idea what they contain or how they could be harmful! That’s just what Oklahomans need, Mayor Cornett. More misinformation.

It physically pains me to think about a city being run by someone who would make this sort of a health declaration without doing his homework. How could a politician influence his community to do something that is actually detrimental to their health?

Here is my message to Mayor Cornett: Diets Don’t Work. And the BMI is a joke.

Mayor, you really want your city to be healthy? Why not start by promoting the retail sale of local Oklahoma grown products? The Oklahoma Food Cooperative is nowhere on your list of ‘diets’ and if you want the city to eat healthy, why not start with eating fresh.

Why not fund and expand fresh farmer’s markets? There are only two in the city year round–one all the way in Edmond and the other at OSU-OKC. Why not have one in Midwest City and expand the downtown farmer’s market to be year round.

Why not promote the safety of city parks? Why not fix my street, build a sidewalk and make my neighborhood safe so that I can go for walks after work? Why not build hiking and biking trails?

Mayor Cornett, stop perpetuating the myths. Obesity is not an epidemic. Dieting is the epidemic and you need to educate yourself before you promote ideas that can lead to a lifetime of suffering.

Want Oklahoma City residents to exercise and eat healthier? That’s great. Urging them to diet and promoting weight loss programs and products whose validity is questionable at best? That’s just an uninformed, irresponsible politician capitalizing on the diet-craze for personal gain. Shame on you, Cornett.

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Filed under environment, fat, Health, Media Literacy, Politics, Self Image, Size Acceptance

GMA and Oprah’s Magical New Diet

Ah, yet again we find the magic of diet marketing. Today on GMA, they had Oprah’s new diet guru, Bob Greene on to talk about the Six Foods you Should Banish from your Kitchen. He even brought a healthy eating contract for everyone to sign. Oh boy!

I found the whole concept hilarious since most of these horrible foods have never been a part of my diet and yet, here I am fat as can be! So let’s examine…

Greene’s six foods to avoid:

Soda is empty calories and sugar, so you have to cut it out. Instead, drink water, low-fat or fat-free milk, or tea. Fruit juices are good too, but remember, fruit juice, not fruit drink.

Transfats. They clog your arteries, they’re high in calories, and they may even make your body store fat in the abdominal area. Aside from being unsightly, it’s also bad for your health. You’ll find these in cookies and baked goods which might be made with margarine.

Fried foods. I mean, even if you use a good fat oil like olive oil to fry foods, anything fried has a lot of calories. Try things that are oven baked instead of fries. There are calories either way, but oven baked has fewer.

White bread. You don’t have to get rid of carbs entirely, but white bread is made from refined grains, which are stripped of their most nutritional parts, so you’re eating empty calories. Instead, we want you eating bread made form 100 percent whole wheat or whole grains.

High-fat milk and yogurt. Use 1 percent or non-fat dairy in their place, which are often just as good, only with lower cholesterol, fat, and calories.

Okay, so let’s see, I’ve never drank much soda, I don’t use margarine in any cooking, I do eat fried foods sometimes when I eat out. I eat out a lot but I don’t get something fried every time, so lets say I eat something fried once or twice a week. Don’t eat white breads or pastas at all and I particularly do not eat any bread with high fructose corn syrup in it. And I either drink skim, reduced fat or soy milk.

So, adding to all that, I eat lots of veggies, drink plenty of water and rarely snack in between meals. By Greene’s and the rest of these deluded diet mongers’ assessment, I should be SHEDDING the pounds, right? Yeah, right.

I’m by no means a paragon of health, but neither do I sit on the couch sucking cheese whiz through a straw. I’m healthy, and I’m fat.

And because I’d much rather have a high eating competence than buy into your concept of health, Mr. Greene (note, not a doctor–or even a fake one), you can take that contract and well…eat it.

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Filed under fat, Health, Size Acceptance

Less calorie intact + more calories burned = weight loss. Simple?

I got to thinking about the primary argument that anti-fatties make when fat acceptance gurus unload their pile of flaming logic upon them.

Basically, every argument boils down to this: diet and exercise work, I’ve seen it. How dare you say that diet and exercise don’t work!

Okay. So, in my life, the people who make this argument are the very same people who pump hundreds of dollars annually into the diet industry trying to force these things to work for them.

So I have a challenge, if you will. Not an us vs. them type of challenge. Its not a challenge that is about proving anything because its not safe or responsible to diet for those reasons. (I don’t believe its safe to diet for any reason but I’m trying to make this argument from the perspective of those who believe otherwise.)

The challenge I offer is a personal challenge for anyone who believes that diet and exercise are parts of that ever-simple math equation that less calories eaten, more calories burned will lead to weight loss.

The challenge is simple, too. Go on your diets, if you must. But I challenge you to diet without putting a single dollar into the diet industry. This means none of the following:

  • Diet books–healthy recipe books are okay as long as they are not published by major weight loss companies such as Weight Watchers or South Beach. But no water chestnut diets, no cabbage soup diets, no self-help books on weight loss, no inspirational weight loss stories.
  • Diet websites
  • Diet meetings such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, etc.
  • Special exercise equipment–beyond the simple treadmill, weights etc. I’m thinking of things like the Thighmaster.
  • Foods bought at the grocery store that are made by diet companies or marketed specifically to dieters. This includes but is not limited to:
    • Smart Ones
    • Lean Cuisine
    • South Beach
    • Slim Fast
  • Exercise videos, health magazines, reruns of the Biggest Loser or any other media that perpetuates beauty ideals

Because if it really is just as simple as diet and exercise, if being fat is really all our faults, then shouldn’t YOU be able to do it without having to put money into an industry that makes its living on telling you you’re not good enough?

And as a discriminating consumer, why would you ever trust any diet industry product when they would make more money off of you if you gain the weight back? Don’t you remember the tapeworms in the diet chews in the 70s? Corporations have no morals and will stop at nothing to make money. What makes you think that they don’t design these programs and food for failure–to keep you coming back.

So, if you refuse to believe that it is far healthier to learn to love yourself as you are and if you refuse to believe that being fat is more than just a lifestyle choice, then I challenge you to reach your own self-improvement goals without the help of the $30-40 billion diet industry.

Because if it really is that simple, then why would you need them?


No, ya’ll, I don’t really advocate dieting at all, for anyone. This is tongue in cheek. This is an example of how clinging to these ideals of weight loss are so heavily influenced by the diet industry and the media. As much as people believe that it is a moral imperative to hate your body and diet, they also believe that they can’t do it without help. What a racket!

And hey, people are going to diet whether I like it or not. I’d be a lot happier if they would do it without pumping money into the industry.

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Filed under fat, Health, Media Literacy, Self Image, Size Acceptance

Thank you, Kate Harding. Thank you, Shapelings!

I typed this originally as a comment, but it got long so it became a post. This is in response to Shapely Prose’s triumphant stand against Dan Savage’s GodHatesFatties religion. This is a big thank you to Kate, Fillyjonk, Sweet Machine, Joy Nash and all the other sisters and brothers of all sizes taking on the diet-pushing, body-hating, money-churning self-hate machine.

This has been a weekend of me realizing how desperately people need to cling to their self-hatred.

If people admit that you can be healthy at any weight, that being fat is not a sin, that it is NOT OKAY blame, moralize or mock people for their size–whatever it is–then they have to admit that they can’t change the way THEY are.

I know that people at least my age (27) have grown up our entire lives with these standards of self-loathing during every commercial break we’ve EVER watched. Not to mention the magazines, weight loss books and water-cooler conversations.

And what we have the hardest time realizing (and I’m so glad that I have) is that there is no diet, no amount of cocaine (via post secret today), no amount of surgery and no amount of hating other people that can make us love ourselves.

Thanks for getting the message out there, Kate. For taking all the negativity and dealing with the trolls that think being behind a computer means they can call someone fat and be any less of a sad, immature pig.

And thanks for holding up a mirror to people like Savage and the others who hold so strongly to their ideals of beauty–disguised as health–so they don’t have to face the long, hard journey of learning to love themselves.

True self improvement can only come from self-love. It takes a hell of a lot of courage to go down that road.

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Filed under fat, Feminism, Health, Media Literacy, Self Image, Size Acceptance

Can mothers love their fat daughters?

Last night, I fought with my mom…again.

I was telling her about this survey that I read on Shapely Prose. I told her about the four factors of health: little to no alcohol, no smoking, exercise and eating fruits and vegetables that can lead to a longer life regardless of weight. On the surface, she agreed with the article, which was cool. But does she take note of the fact that I’ve got three out of the four healthy factors down pat?

No, she focuses on the one that needs more work and harps on it. I kinda lost it and went off and she got mad and hung up on me.

In trying to figure out how I felt about the whole thing and looking for the underlying issues that caused me to react the way I did, I came to a very important realization.

My mother can never accept me as the beautiful, healthy, active, happy fat woman that I am until she stops hating herself.

And I will never feel like I measure up in her eyes until she sees me for what I am, instead of what I’m not.

Now, I just have to figure out a non-accusatory way of explaining this to her. *sigh*

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Filed under fat, Health, Self Image, Size Acceptance

It’s Off-Topic Day!

Okay, the previous post was feminism related so I guess its not totally off topic. But this one is! Its about DEODORANT!

Yes, ladies and gents, I am on a deodorant adventure! Lemme ‘splain. No, its too long, lemme sum up!

Being the brilliant mind that I am, I decided to quit using my aluminum-laden deodorant smack dab in the hottest week of the summer. So I trucked over to Akin’s Natural Food store and picked up a deodorant crystal.

Things didn’t go too well. I smelled bad. Like, worse than patchoulli masked BO. It was amusing because no one would tell me either. And I asked them to! Still, I gave it a good three weeks to give my body chemistry a chance to get used to the lack of aluminum.

To no avail. I don’t sweat much so I figured it had to be the weather. I gave up the stench and went back to the old toxic standard.

The whole experience caused my armpits to secede from the union, complete with irritation and breakouts. After six months, all has healed and balance is restored.
And it is now a balmy 40 degrees and I’ve decided to try again. This time, though I tried a Toms of Main product instead of just the crystal.

So, since I knew you’d all want to keep up with my armpit adventure I figured we’d keep score here.

I’m going to measure it in two ways: how much others say I stink and how much I think I stink.

Today is Day 1 of the Great Armpit Adventure.

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the stinkiest, I am still a promising 2.

I’ll have to get back to you on the opinion of others. I don’t think it’d be quite appropriate to ask my co-workers. I’ll have to wait until tonight to ask Matt.

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Filed under environment, Health