This summer I wore a bikini top. I was inspired by another fat woman who also wore one. I did it for a lot of reasons. Mostly to prove I wasn’t ashamed of my body. I didn’t wear it to be an object or to be sexualized. I often wonder where the line is between not being ashamed of your body and being sexualized.
I recently saw Darryl Roberts' third America the Beautiful movie, this one subtitled The Sexualization of Our Youth. In the movie Darryl explores many issues mostly turning people (mostly women) into sex objects. He covers different issues that might be to blame, child beauty pageants, advertisements, teen sex on television, porn, but the big issue really is women believe they have no self-worth unless they believe they can obtain what they see in a magazine. Being an object makes you a thing not a person.
Too many women (and we are now seeing it more and more in men) hate their bodies. They see them as too fat, too old, too flawed. They look at magazines, movies and ads that say they are gross. They are told they would only be better if they used this make up, this diet product, or these clothes. And then when they buy these products and they don’t make them look like a model, their self-esteem plummets and eating disorders skyrocket. A recent study has shown that eating disorders can start as early as elementary school.
To conduct their studies, Prof. Meilleur and colleagues studied the psychological, sociodemographic and physiological characteristics of 215 children between the ages of 8 and 12 with eating problems…
…The team found that 95% of the children had restrictive eating behaviors, 69.4% were afraid of putting on weight and 46.6% described themselves as "fat."
This is more than just trying to look nice, keeping yourself groomed, tossing on a bikini top because you think you look good in it. This is about trying to obtain something a marketer decided is sexy and pretty. Beauty isn’t what you see in on the fashion pages, beauty comes from within.
You will not find Weight Watchers calling itself a diet, even though its main focus for you is not only losing weight but eating less calories than your body needs.
Many diets try to trick you by not referring to themselves as a diet. They may call themselves a lifestyle change, or they may seem not to focus on weight loss but there site is covered weight loss tools and their plan is usually the same: less calories.
A new gimmick diet is out called Eat Like a Woman. Apparently it has nothing to do with eating more calcium or folic acid if you're pregnant. No, it you eat a certain wa- the female way--you too will lose weight and keep it off.(actually it's supposed to be a Mediterranean diet which does have heallth benefits, but not proved to be a long cure for fatness)
Except that it's still BS. It's just another fad diet pretending to be something else. Eat Like a Woman's slogan is Never Diet Again. Until you you get to the page about the book where it reveals (Horns playing)
Finally a Diet Designed for You.
I would laugh this off at another BS diet, if it wasn't for the name. Women are always told they need to eat less. They are given less calories than men, told to eat less as they get older. And now there is a diet program supposedly tailored just to them.
I say enjoy food, enjoy how it benefits your body and soul and eat like a human.
Growing up I was picked last for all team sports. Even when I was thin, I had terrible coordination. Everything got even worse when I gained weight. This made me hate team sports. I would often do my best to get out of it, feigning illness as often as possible.
When I was in eighth grade, I had a great teacher who refused to let me back down from learning volleyball. I sucked it at, couldn’t serve over the net, couldn’t hit the ball back. My teachers and my classmates didn’t make fun of me. They encouraged me to keep practicing. The result, I never became a great volleyball player, but I got better. And I loved playing.
I subscribed to NPR via facebook. They recently posted an article about heavier kids losing weight when they took up rowing. Of course the focus of this program was to help fat kids lose weight.My only hope is the rowing continues when the weight loss stops.
I try to avoid reading comments but I thought about posting my annoyance that the focus was on fat kids rather than rowing for ALL kids. Then I saw this comment:
"You're going to need a bigger boat."
Even though the rowing was focused on weight loss, the article mentioned about the stigma of having fat kids finding a place to exercise
There was no comfortable place for 17-year-old Alexus Burkett in her school’s typical sports program of soccer and lacrosse and basketball.
“They don’t let heavyset girls in,” she says.
I have mentioned before that when fat people exercise we get a damned if we do and damned if we don't attitude towards us. We're told to get off the couch and go for a run and then told we run too slow or too sloppy. We're told we can't run, can't dance, can't play, or play team sports.
“I know I need to be active, but please don’t make me play school sports!” That’s what exercise physiologist Sarah Picard often hears from her young clients at the OWL.
Movement is very important to the human body. Studies have shown exercise benefits people regardless of size. But this is pointless if we shame people away from having regular exercise.
Bupropion aka Wellbutrin is an anti-anxiety/depression drug and Naltrexone is an alcohol and drug dependency (opioids) drug. Put them both together and we have another useless diet drug: Contrave
Ignoring the stupid and fat hating graphic of this article (A fat head eats a hamburger but resists pills), the author tries to figure out why people are not flocking to take Contrave or the other diet drugs on the market. (Except sales are projected to be 200 million)
Maybe people don't want to take diet drugs because you know heart valve disease and primary pulmonary hypertension.
Much of the resistance to the weight-loss medications stems from the disastrous safety record of diet drugs pulled from the market in the 1990s.
Or maybe it just doesn't work.
In clinical trials, for example, nondiabetic patients taking Contrave lost only 4.1 percent more weight than those taking placebos
For 17 years I suffered from disordered eating. I wasn’t anorexic. The Diets I followed usually came to about 1200-1600 calories. Only on occasion did I starve myself but it never lasted. My body would rebel and bingeing would follow soon after. Bingeing wasn’t about eating crap food or enjoying rich food. (As I mentioned last week, fat people are allowed to have splurges). Binge eating is eating a lot of food with no enjoyment and ignoring hunger cues. No one told me any of these behaviors were bad or unhealthy. I was given kudos to any weight lost and I was chastised for my binges.
A study in Pediatrics discovered that even teenage girls with normal weight are showing signs of anorexia. Although the study was small, it found that these signs increased between 2005 and 2009.
In her study, which included 99 teens aged 12 to 19, Whitelaw found only 8 percent of the patients had EDNOS-Wt in 2005, but more than 47 percent of the patients had it in 2009.
The cause, they think, is an obsession with fatness.
The reasons for the apparent increase in these patients is less clear, but both Sim and Whitelaw said it is likely a combination of increased awareness of the problem and an increased focus on obesity.
This study was small but I bet if they looked at a larger amount of girls including girls of all sizes, they'd see the same behaviors. We’ve made obsession with fatness a national pastime and we push impossible ideals with rail thin airbrushed and photoshopped models. We tell fat kids they will die before they are 30, are diseased, and the worst thing in the world is to be fat. I’m not surprised that eating disorders are becoming more widespread.
I plan a careful diet (little d) because certain foods don’t agree with me, namely corn (especially corn syrup), gluten, cabbage, tomatoes, and some nuts. I do my best to eat whole foods in a well rounded variety. Trolls don’t believe me when I say most of my diet (again little d) contains fruits, vegetables, lean meats, beans and whole grains. I often get unwanted advice to lay off the chips, pizza, and ice cream.
You see, as a fat person, I’m never supposed to ever have dessert or snacks not deemed suitable by the Diet Police. Even one cookie is the reason I’m fat. Meanwhile a thin person could eat the same as me and not be chastised (except maybe being told they will become fat).
I happen to love chips, pizza, and ice cream. They don’t really love me. So I eat them in moderation. My husband makes me homemade pizza, with gluten free crust, and lots of veggies and pesto sauce.
Three days out of the year this goes out the window. It’s when my family and I got to Lancaster, PA, home to Pennsylvania Dutch cooking, amazing buffets, and family style dinning (meaning you share the table with other people).
Here I splurge. Feasting on buttered noodles, Swedish meatballs, chicken pot pie, real mashed potatoes, roast beef and for dessert Baked apple ala mode and white chocolate covered strawberries. I paid for some of this later with bad indigestion.
The problem is that when I am indulgent, my quieter but still the diet voice chastises me. It's worse than any internet troll because it belongs to me. As I get more accepting of my body, and that food is food whether healthy or not, the voice isn't as loud but it is still there. Other former dieters may have this same voice because food was made to be either good or bad. Bad food or even eating “too much.”
There are ways to silence this voice. First off you can tell it to shut up when it rears its ugly head. Do not feel guilty about splurging or eating the “wrong thing” Learn the difference between enjoying good cooking and a great meal and binge eating. (Binge eating is eating passed the point of fullness with no enjoyment.)
Just because you're fat, it doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to enjoy food.
I have blogged before about workplace wellness. I don't mind volunteer programs and at work classes. I don't mind incentives and discounts on gyms. It bothers me when it goes from voluntary to mandatory. I believe Workplace wellness programs are no different than the diet industry. It costs too much and has little result.
Corroborating previous studies, the article’s conclusive evidence that properly evaluated programs don’t lead to financial savings is being met with mixed interpretation and sparking heated debate. The findings are leading some experts to make excuses for the results and prompting others to proclaim the need to end workplace wellness as the business world has known it.
Meanwhile a non-dieting approach to wellness has proved to work better in the long run. A study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion showed that focusing away from a Diet approach showed improvement in eating disorders and mindful eating.
In the study, Rossy and her colleagues evaluated the effectiveness of the Eat for Life program, which combines intuitive eating and mindfulness to assist participants in developing positive relationships with food and their bodies. Intuitive eating is when individuals learn to eat, exercise and experience their bodies from their own internal cues, such as hunger and fullness, rather than external cues, such as calorie counting and weight scales...
At the end of the program, participants in the Eat for Life program were significantly more likely not to exhibit disordered eating. Mindfulness was a major factor in all of the positive outcomes, Rossy said.
This is more proof that Health at Every Size where "Eat for Life" has similar goals (The only exception is that Eat for Life does mention weight management) is a better way to health.
For the first time in my adult life as a fat person, I wore a bikini top in public. I wore one before at a NAAFA (National Association to Advance FAT Acceptance) convention knowing there I wouldn’t feel body shamed but I never wore one outside a fat loving environment. Before I gave up dieting and learned to love my body I never went swimming without a t-shirt. I was terrified I would be judged as a big fat fattie and thought covering my body would magically make me look thin.
After I gave up dieting, I stopped wearing a t-shirt but I wasn’t quite ready to show my belly in public. Deep down I knew I should--that exposing my beautiful body for the world to see would be my final step for loving my body completely.
Like the letter you received from “Offended Daughter”, my arcane BMI makes me about 70 lbs overweight. Weight, I might add, which came less from overeating and more from genetics and yo-yo dieting. I love to swim more than anything. But it took an article about a brave fat (and gorgeous) woman who wore a bikini in public to inspired me to buy a bikini top from Love Your Peaches and then wear it in public. Did I need advice? No. I'm loving my body more and more everyday and I love my bikini. I continue to swim, walk, and ride my bike.
I’m here to talk about your unwarranted advice and your fat shaming.
“Offended Daughter” didn’t ask you about her doctor or her health. She asked about what to do with her fatophobic mother who couldn’t bear to see rolls of fat on her daughter. Fat people live with this alienation all the time. We are told to cover up (especially when we exercise.) We are constantly bombarded to lose weight, yet the options for weight loss include high failure diets and dangerous weight surgery and pills. You should have told “Offended Daughter” that she should wear her bikini proudly not just at her childhood home but everywhere she swims. If mom doesn’t like it, tough shit.
Short blog today and no Blog post next week, I will be on vacation.
If you read my book, the introduction is all about my my dieting history.
Somehow I managed to resist dieting pressure until junior high but starting at around 12 or 13, the dieting began. Everything from commercial diets to DIY. I stayed on this wagon of weight cycling and doing different diets until 2002 when my last diet jeopardized my health. (I’m sure the rest didn’t help either.)
Research was recently presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB). In this they found that younger a girl went on a diet, the more likely of negative health outcomes later in life.
The younger a woman was when she started her first diet, the more likely she was to use extreme weight control behaviors like self-induced vomiting, misuse alcohol, and be overweight or obese when she reached her 30's.
Essentially being told you're fat and need to diet made the young woman fat. Thankfully, I never became bulimic or an alcoholic. I did however gain weight from the dieting/binge cycle.