Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I H*te F*t People

A friend at work yesterday sent me a link to a website and honestly I'm not sure if I'm feeling fury or just outright shock. There is a woman who has created not only a website but what she calls a national organization (complete with an emblem that can be posted on your website) for the purpose of ending obesity, seemingly by the means of shaming and hating anyone she decides is too fat to be seen in public.

If the words "fat" and "obesity" were replaced by any ethnic group that came through Ellis Island she would be branded a bigot, a racist, a supremist.

I've read what Meme Roth has to say on her site, "Wedding Gown Challenge" and it looks to me that she has jumped on the hatred bandwagon. In our society it is acceptable to hate people who are fat. This is the last refuge of haters who can no longer publicly hate any other group of people.

Never mind that her comments are fueled by bigotry (this is awful sexist hateful stuff that she is writing) because more than that her method of "helping" fat people (not that any one asked for her help) is to attack the very lives and right to pursue happiness of any person she deems to be too fat. A campaign to eradicate an entire group of human beings is akin to any other "cleansing" program that we have seen in some of the darkest parts of human history.

Ms. Roth believes that BMI should be used to determine if a person should be seen in television and film and that no one who is "obese" should receive any awards or recognition for their accomplishments. To determine a person's entire worth according to their physical appearance is obscene.

I do wonder if this is a publicity stunt of some kind because her website is purely filled with press releases. How she has managed to get herself on national television news programs spouting her virulent hate speak only proves that our country is experiencing a nationwide witch hunt fueled by the scare tactics of marketing hucksters selling pharmaceuticals and dietary "food" products.

Another scare tactic that Ms. Roth uses is to provide a long list of diseases and complications that she claims obese people are likely to suffer from or make worse and I quote from her site: ..."breast cancer, gallstones, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, colon cancer, dementia, infertility—it goes on and on. Not to mention sleep apnea, snoring and psoriasis." Excuse me?!

Ms. Roth's site is not based on science. Read Sandy Szwarc's brilliant and well-researched site, Junk Food Science, for truth about weight and health matters. Ms. Roth's site is based on bigotry and has no basis on health facts.

I have read on some other blogs that people are outraged and are suggesting some kind of protest. It is my opinion that the more noise we make about Ms. Roth, the more free publicity she receives. I believe that she should be ignored just as I ignore David Duke and eventually she will fade away.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Skin I'm In

As I was getting dressed for work this morning I heard that nagging voice in my head that I sometimes hear when I am getting dressed. That raspy voice like fingernails dragging across my third grade classroom chalkboard, that voice with the morning breath that blows smoke rings in my face. I think that voice must come attached to the Double-X Chromosome because every woman I know occasionally hears this voice. This morning that voice was telling me that I am too fat to wear the cute top with the multi-colored beads and gold embroidery that I wanted to wear to work today. Never mind feeling how lucky I am to work someplace fun and hip where I could even think about wearing something like that...I just reached for it in my closet and that voice cackled "you're too fat to wear it." As someone who goes around telling women that they don't have to lose weight to be beautiful and that every body is a good body, I find it hard to admit that I have this destructive voice in my head and yet truthfully I do.

When I look in the mirror I really do like what I see. I think that a soft round body is beautiful and I have no desire to have a flat stomach but I am feeling a bit pudgier than I am comfortable being and I haven't done any yoga postures for a few days. I don't want to go to a gym so I choose to exercise in my living room. It's not that I would feel more comfortable going to the gym if there were heavier people teaching some of the classes because really I don't care who is teaching the classes I just hate going to the gym. That's why I do yoga at home. That and I love to walk around the lake near my house but I haven't done either...not for weeks.

Overall I believe in the wisdom of Health at Every Size (HAES). Also, it is easier and more fun to exercise if you already feel good about yourself. It is much harder to be motivated to do things that are good for you if you hate yourself and think that there is no point because no matter what you are still fat and so why bother?

I was reading Kate Harding's blog Shapely Prose and she recently posted a really insightful piece called "Dumb Luck" about women and self-esteem, body image and finding love. Some of the responses made me cry. She really touched a raw nerve. Women already doubt our attractiveness no matter how beautiful we may be and yet if you add the element of weight then it's enough of a reason to not enjoy life. I have used my weight as a reason to stay home from a party that I was already dressed for; to cancel vacation plans; to not look in mirrors.

So anyway, I put on the cute top with the multi-colored beads and gold embroidery (with very dark blue jeans and red heels...eh hem) and I feel great. Sometimes you have to fake it till you make it. Know what I'm saying, dude?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Greg Grunberg is Watching his Weight

The home page of the Weight Watchers website features an interview with Greg Grunberg (the cop on Heroes). Seems he's decided to lose some weight.

This looks to be part of a new Weight Watchers for Men publicity push. There is an old joke that when a woman gains weight she diets and when a man gains weight he buys larger pair of pants. Personally, I have always found a beefy guy extremely attractive.

Is there a way we can put a stop to this? Can we create a "Greg - Stay Healthy AND Hunky" Campaign? I don't think I want him to lose any weight...I think he is perfect exactly the way he is.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Plus Size Shopping Tip

Hot Off The Press!

Minutes ago I received an e-mail from Kiyonna. They are moving their warehouse to a new physical location. They are using the opportunity to offer a one time coupon that gives $30 off a purchase of $150.

Click the link above to get to their web site and at checkout:
Coupon Expires: May 24th, 2007 at Midnight.

Happy shopping. I so love their new wrap dresses...I might get two!

Monday, May 21, 2007

This past weekend BBC Radio 1 hosted a free multi-stage music festival in Preston England. Here is video from the weekend of pop star Mika singing his big hit, "Big Girl You Are Beautiful!"

Friday, May 18, 2007

I'm hoping to attend Fat Girl Speaks in Portland, Oregon on June 9th. Are any of you interested in coming? I think it is going to be an amazing event. I've submitted my application to be a performer. I've written some funny poetry about being a fat chick and I would be thrilled to read my work at that event. I'm still waiting to hear from them but I'll let you know as soon as I do.

I'm not just interested in attending a fun, cool weekend event where outspoken and creative women get together to celebrate their curves...although that does sound great doesn't it? Another reason why I want to go is that I love the Pacific Northwest. I've enjoyed being in Vancouver, Canada and also Bellingham, Washington and I have actually cried at the airport at the end of my trip. I wanted to go home to New York but I felt so sad about leaving that area. I feel completely at home there. The people are relaxed and groovy and the weather is perfect. I really like that rainy climate. And the air! It's so clean - I found out how good it feels to breathe. Heaven.

The thing that impressed me the most about the Pacific Northwest is that the people are really groovy and easy to talk with. They also have a different set of criteria (from New York City and Los Angeles) when relating to each other...especially about body types. I saw women of all body types wearing sexy clothes, wearing exercise clothes, wearing business clothes and they all seemed more relaxed to my eyes. I didn't hear my friends who live in that area complain about the size of their thighs or wonder if anyone would ever love them unless they lost a few pounds and the men were happy to be with a happy woman. They weren't just looking for a chick with buns of steel. Maybe it's all that clean air that's responsible for all that clean thinking?

My husband and I have discussed moving to that area and maybe we will in a few years. For now...I am really happy to have another Pacific Northwest trip in my near future. Let me know if you are planning on being at Fat Girl Speaks. I hope to meet some of you!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Joy Nash Fat Rant in LA Times

Yes it's true. The LA Times...hello the LA TIMES...has interviewed Joy Nash about her freaking amazing video Fat Rant.

Here is a link to the interview: Joy Nash LA Times Interview. FYI: This link takes you to a page where you have to register in order to read the interview.

And here once again for your viewing pleasure is the video.

Size 14 = Size Anxiety

Today I gave a friend a dress that I never wore. I bought it on EBay and it turned out to be a Junior Size 14 and not a Woman's Size 14. Oh well. If I had bought it directly through a store like I should have, instead of being cheap about my wardrobe then I wouldn't have gotten conned so I have only myself to blame for this phony dress. Well, it's not a phony dress, it's a real dress...just not my size.

So this dress was just folded on a shelf in my closet with the original tags on it and I thought that I should just give it to someone who would enjoy wearing it and so I did and she tried it on immediately and it was like it was made for her it because it really fit perfectly. It's black velvet and it's beautiful. And everyone in the office was oohing and aahing and all she could say was, "Oh my God I'm not a size 14!" And I said...who cares you're just going to rip the tag off anyway. Tell people it's a size 8 and forget it. But no...she was close to tears because the tag had a number 14 on it.

Yes she did thank me and yes she does love it and yes she is going to wear it but I have to say that I was just horrified by her reaction to that tag.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

I've had it with Kirstie Alley

I've had with Kirstie. First, she wants to convince me that life will only be good if I am thin, and now she wants to drag sweet, innocent Valerie Bertinelli down with her into the chasm of self-hatred. Grrrr.

Like it's not bad enough to be bombarded on a daily basis with marketing images telling me that my luscious self isn't as beautiful as my husband tells me that I am. Harumpf, I say and Codswallop (whatever that means). A fashion industry dominated by men who aren't interested in women, certainly not women with curves, is trying to convince me to fit my body into clothes that are designed for women who look like boys…Preposterous!

Kirstie and Valerie look great to me. They are smart, funny, talented women with wide hips and big smiles. But no, they have to live on shakes for lunch and chemically processed pseudo-food in bags that get boiled for dinner. Ugh. And why would they do this? They suffer in order to be thin. This is not for me. As I have already stated, "I would rather have delicious lunches than execute one hundred crunches."

Health professionals agree that diets don't work. When you reduce your caloric intake your body thinks that you are starving and slows your metabolism in order to store fat more efficiently. Yes, when you diet your body becomes better at storing fat. In addition, you lose both fat and muscle in equal amounts because your body sacrifices muscle in order to provide the energy that is missing due to reduced caloric intake. And then when you gain weight back it is all fat and no muscle.

I have heard some statistics (don't ask me to cite references -- I'm a blogger not a librarian) that suggest if you want to lose weight in a healthy way and keep it off then you should lose 10% of your body weight a year and keep it off for a full year before you attempt losing more weight. So if you weigh 200 lbs. lose 20 lbs. and keep it off for a year. You will weigh 180 so then lose 18 lbs. and keep it off for a year. You will weigh 162 so then lose 16 lbs. and keep it off for a year and you will weigh 146. Most dieters are so desperate to get thin because of their body shame that they are willing to stop eating so they can lose weight rapidly. They then gain back more than they lost, which is unhealthier than being fat, active and happy.

Businesses looking to make a buck have always suggested that there is something wrong with you the way that you are and that you won't be right until you use their product. This is ok with me and it's what marketing is all about. But when companies are shaming women about their body size into starvation diets in order to sell energy pills, diet shakes, and "food" in a box -- ladies we really must take a look at why we continue to buy what they are selling...both literally and figuratively.

All in all I really think that women are turning over their power. We doubt our attractiveness. This we do all on our own and we have no one but ourselves to hold accountable. The diet and "health care" industries have found the perfect way to control women. We are weak and can't think straight when we are hungry.

A life of deprivation is not for me. I won't be trading in a meal for shakes and I won't give up my slow stroll around the lake for a run. I love my strong healthy size 16 body and I'm not worrying my life away.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Random Bytes: 3 Column Widgets Compliant Blogger Template!

Oh I love Pam Blackstone! I have been searching for a 3 column template and she made it easy.

Step 1: Add a background image that I like.
Step 2: Create a header.
Step 3: World domination.

You see? It's a full proof plan.

Random Bytes: 3 Column Widgets Compliant Blogger Template!

Dress for Success. Why do women equate successful shoppping with a successful life?

I decided long ago that trying to determine if an outfit looks good while in a store dressing room was an experience that might make me ready for the therapy couch. I am already in an uncomfortable state of mind just looking at myself mostly undressed under fluorescent lights, worrying about the price and worrying about who had this one before me and did she shower? Yeah, I think about that stuff. That's why I decided to order clothing online, try it on at home with a glass of champagne and a bowl full of strawberries ready for consumption. I hate shopping for clothes...ok that's not true. I hate trying on clothes in store dressing rooms. So I do it in the comfort of my own home.

So many women equate successful shopping with living a successful life that if we don't feel good in the items we try on then we feel like we are a failure. Stop the insanity! Sweetie if you love the dress but it doesn't fit do not buy it thinking that you will lose a few pounds. If you do lost weight it will be out of style byt then anyway. Do not buy it just because you like the lace trim. Only buy it when you love it. There really are clothes that fit you, made just for your body type and you will feel good in them and look like you just got an Oprah Makeover.

We'll be reviewing some plus size shopping tips over the next few days so stay tuned and please post a comment letting me know what info you want. I am planning on discussing How To Shop for Swimsuit (it's that time), How to Measure Yourself for a Bra (it's always that time), and Accessories for Your Body Type.

On a personal note -- while we were on vacation in Mexico not too long ago, my friend Deb convinced me to buy a pair of earrings and a bracelet. Both are silver and quite large pieces that I would never have looked at twice if she hadn't been there to talk sense into me. She is a master of accessories and I will usually just run out the door happy that my hair looks decent...and honestly sometimes I don't even check my hair until I'm in the car. I wore the pieces to a party recently and I have never received so many compliments on how I look. So now Deb is my accessory consultant. Sometimes you just need a friend as a shopping buddy. I know I do!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Picture This. My Visual DNA.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Love your Curves and Be Nice

Anastasia, who writes ChaosNoir, recently posted an article cleverly called The Sinisterhood wherein she describes with heartbreaking clarity some of the ways that your best girlfriends don't always want the best for you.

I've never really trusted this idea of "sisterhood." Connecting with another human being and sharing a familiarity and comfort based on intimacy and trust makes sense to me but to expect that someone will relate to you within certain understood parameters based purely on gender seems to me naive and risky.

I was very moved by Anastasia's post while reading about her own experiences in the maternity ward with competitive birthing (soon to be an Olympic event) and I've been thinking of the ways that my own girlfriends over the years have exhibited their sinister side all in the same of sisterhood.

There was the time that a friend and I went to a party together and at the end of the night my friend announced that she "wanted" the guy that had been flirting with me all night so to be fair I shouldn't go out with him. Never mind that she and this guy hadn't even exchanged one word. When I refused she told me that I couldn't be trusted because I didn't honor our sisterhood. Sheesh. Some friend. I thought she was psycho.

But the things that really get to me are when my "sisters" tear each other apart about their body issues. "Have you seen how much weight she's gained?" "I can't believe she's wearing that skirt. I guess she doesn't care if people see her legs." "You know, you could have that removed."

In the name of being supportive we "sisters" create an atmosphere of shame about our bodies. So why would we do this? My theory is that it's competitive behavior. Competing for what? It looks to me like we are still on the playground competing for popularity. Some people just need to ruin someone else's self-esteem in order to feel good about themselves.

I feel the same way about being congratulated for "looking thin." You know what I mean, it's when someone asks if you've lost weight and then adds, "well good for you!" Excuse me but losing weight isn't like earning your Ph.D, or lifting a car off a toddler. As Joy Nash said in her Fat Rant "it's just fat. Get a life."

I think the greatest gift you can give to the world is to have fun. I don't mean just pursue fun...I mean go out and get it. There is enough suffering in the world without you adding to the miasma whining about your thick ankles. You have really cute ankles. Trust me you do. Your butt? There are plenty of butt and thigh men in the world. Take that butt out dancing. Do not wait until you are thinner. Go now.

Have it all, right now.

And while you are it please be nice to the other girls. No matter how thin, or blond, or accomplished they might be...they are just as nervous about being pretty and being liked as you are. Be the one who builds up self-esteem in others and yours will go up too.