Posts Tagged ‘Fat’

One part of Krav Maga classes is that they almost always involve pairing up with a partner because you need that- having a target to hit and learning defenses you need someone to attack you.

This part of the classes however always causes me anxiety, and I’m starting to think now even more than I’ve admitted to myself.

Growing up I was fat, not very athletic, nor particularly poplar. So of course, back in elementary and middle school gym classes I was always picked last, and there was a cyclical aspect of this. I would get picked last, which made me think “why bother trying?”, and lead me to view most sport activities negatively.

I also still have a fear of no one wanting to be my partner for fitness activities.

On one hand, with time, I’m learning that pairing up for Krav Maga classes doesn’t have to be so scary for me. But it is still something that causes me a bit of anxiety.

I wish I had some great advice to add in here about how to get past this kind of anxiety for anyone else who might have it, but I don’t really have any great advice besides that it’s actually not so bad, and thus far everyone I have met and paired up with has been incredibly nice.

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This is just a post about me, and my health. I haven’t been particularly active recently between the plantar fasciitis and asthma.

So to catch folks up: turns out I have exercise induced asthma. Found this out after severe coughing following a krav maga class lasted several days rather than the several hours it used to. Went to my doctor, got diagnosed, prescribed an inhaler to use before exercise.

Inhaler helped but didn’t completely eliminate the coughing and trouble breathing. I then started having panic attacks when working out from panic that I wouldn’t be able to breath which just exacerbated the asthma.

Well, I finally got back to my PCP today about this. She prescribed a daily maintenance inhaler in addition to the as needed on I’ve been using. She also informed me that the as needed inhaler (albuterol) increases heart rate. Since I was (and am) supposed to use it before exercise, I think this as part of why I was having panic attacks (my fear + the physiological response to the albuterol). I feel a lot more relieved and in control knowing this.

Between this and improvements with my foot pain I’m hoping to get back to a higher activity level again.

So this post doesn’t directly address any big important topic, other than I think it’s good to recognize that health stuff happens, treatment is good, and if other folks are having trouble with a physical issue that is making it hard to exercise, it’s a good idea to see a doctor. Often it’s easy to put it all down to personal failing I think, especially breathing problems which we often attribute to “I’m just not in shape enough”. This is especially a problem for fat people because when our health problems are so often boiled down to “lose weight” regardless of what they are, it encourages people to not see doctors. Yet sometimes, medical intervention is necessary to allow people of any size to exercise safely, and there should be no shame in seeking that out.

And of course ignoring health problems because “I must just be out of shape” or “I’ll see a doctor after I lose weight” can be deadly. 

selfie while stretching outside after my run. looking less sweaty in the photo than I was.

So this is the start of my blogging with The Fat Girls’ Guide to Running. The first week is a “reboot week” meant to reestablish a habit.

Habit is the part I have the biggest trouble with. I lose track of time and somehow it’s been a week or longer since my last run, making progress super slow.

So the first run proposed for this was to head out and travel for 10 minutes, turn around and go back the way you came, with whatever mix of walking or jogging.

Now I normally warm up and cool down with 5 minutes of walking each and I don’t feel comfortable not doing that, so I had 2 options- not consider my warm up/cool down traveling time, so I do 5 minute warm up walk, 20 minutes running, and a 5 minute cool down walk, or count it and do a 5 minute warm up walk, 10 minutes of running, then 5 minute cool down walk.

And another selfie after I got inside showing off my Fat Girls Guide to Running Shirt, which seemed appropriate for the day when literally half my time was spent walking.

I decided on the latter. I averaged about 19 min/mile total, at around 16 min/mile during the run and much slower during the walk (so about 22 min/mile during the walk). And covered a little over 1 mile in the process.

It was fun to go out and do a just really short, quick run. Also even though it was a short time it felt good to just run the whole distance between warm up and cool down. Was also nice to know it was  short distance when I went outside and felt drenched in sweat before I even started because of how incredibly hot and humid out it was! I am so not a fan of this weather.

Listened to my book of time audiobook during which is much more interesting than music I think.

Pretty uneventful.

Thinking of doing more walks just to get in the habit of going out for something more regularly.

I am now too tired to keep my eyes open while writing this, so goodnight y’all!

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I at least thought about writing this awhile ago and couldn’t remember if I actually did or not, but I tried looking and didn’t see any post about this, so I’m assuming it was one of those things I thought “I should write a blog post about that” and never did.

I’m fat. It would make perfect sense in dating for me to want to date people who have a preference for people with my body type. Yet whenever I come across someone who self-identifies as a “chubby chaser”, or says they want a big girl, a bbw, or whatever else, I tend to avoid pursuing anything with that person. I actually have the same reaction to women who say they are only looking for femmes/lipstick lesbians/girly girls/”a real girl/woman” despite the fact that I am also femme, and the reasons are actually very similar.

Finding Someone Sexually Attractive Does Not Equal Respect

Ok, this probably isn’t really a “reason” so much as a side problem- but it is bizarre to me how many people have a preference for something in a sexual/romantic partner without having respect for people with that characteristic.

I’m starting with this because this post was largely inspired by a woman I met from Tinder not long ago. The fat issue was actually one of the least offensive things during the date, yet it still was offensive.

I met this woman from tinder and almost immediately she starts complaining about how fat her ex was, and how she was so fat because she ate all the time, and she complained about getting fatter, and so she just needed to stop shoving food in her mouth then, and on and on about how fat her ex was as a negative thing. Which was really awkward for me as I’m sitting there quite obviously fat, yet wanting to avoid any confrontation over this because that’s the last thing I want when meeting someone from a dating app. When I meet someone from a dating app/website and things do not go well, I just want to be able to be polite until it’s over and then never talk to you again.

This would have been bad enough, but was actually worse to me given that right toward the end of our meeting she starts telling me how attractive she finds big girls, like me, and has always dated big girls except once she dated a thin girl but did not enjoy it or find her attractive.

… You prefer big girls like me, yet still use fat as an insult after breaking up with your ex? It’s a good thing up until things go bad and then you will have no problem using it as an insult?

This seems to be a not uncommon problem. I suspect coming in part from treating fat women as a fetish, and objectifying us with that, and not seeing us as real, full people because of that.

I said a lot of this applies to me aversion to women who say they only want a femme and the same does apply with that too. Just as some butch women may prefer dating a femme, they still can internalize negative ideas about traditional feminine characteristics.

I’d rather date someone who sees me and respects me as a person first and foremost rather than a sexual object.

They Tend to be Attracted to a Specific Stereotype

I obviously cannot speak for all “chubby chasers” or women who say they only date femmes, I can only speak to my experience with people who identify this way that has caused me to have a negative reaction to people identifying as such.

Also, in both cases my reaction is not to the preference, but the sort of person who states front and center- and there does seem to be a difference (in my experience) between people who just have a preference and are more likely to pursue dating/sexual relationships with people with those characteristics, and those who go out of there way to announce such, typically on a dating profile.

In my experience people who have that strong of a “bbws only!!!!!” or “femmes only!!!!” preference tend to have a very specific stereotype of what that means, and I don’t often fit it, and I don’t want to.

For example, from the times I have dated someone who preferred “big girls” they would often discourage me from working out, because part of the appeal of a “big girl” was being soft, not having hard muscle under the fat. There is nothing wrong with having that preference, but I don’t fit it, and more importantly I don’t want to and I don’t want to be with someone who tries to push me into fitting the stereotype they have of a big girl that they are attracted to.

The same goes for femmes. While I’m certainly more femme than androgynous or butch, I will not always fit the “girly girl” stereotype, I don’t want to always fit that stereotype and I am so incredibly not interested in a queer relationship with strict gender roles around the butch vs the femme in the relationship.

It seems I always run into these strict stereotypes with people who identify as “chubby chasers” or make a big deal about only wanting to date femmes, which is the main reason I tend to avoid wanting to get involved with people who identify that way.

Comic shows a man and woman getting married. In the first panel the priest asks “Do you promise to love him in sickness and in health?” The bride answers “Yes.” Second panel the priest asks “Do you promise to love him ’till death do you part?” The bride answers “Yes.” Third panel the priest asks “Do you promise to order your OWN fries if you want them, instead of saying you DON’T want fries, then requesting a ‘taste’ of his, and helping yourself to roughly half of them?” Fourth Panel the bride says, “Wha… who wrote these vows?!” The Groom says, “Just answer the question”.

I saw this the other day, shared on a website, and honestly didn’t think too much into it at the time. Yet it’s been stuck in my head a bit since then, bugging me a bit more over time.

The thing that bugs me about this comic strip is that it plays on a pretty common trope- women want something like fries but don’t order them instead eating a large portion of their (typically male) partner’s serving of that food.

If you want fries, just order your own fries, right?

Why is it apparently so common for women to not just order their own fries?

I feel pretty sure the issue is mostly related to pressure women feel to not be seen ordering too much food or the “wrong” kinds of food. That is the part that bugs me. Makes me mad actually. That we worry, that there is any cause to worry, about being judged if we did just order what we want.

Which to be clear- I order what I want when I eat out. Still, I can certainly relate to worrying about being judged for ordering what I want. Especially because of my size, but also certainly because I’m a woman. Because femininity is associated with daintiness and being small- and so we should be eating small, dainty portions right? Or better yet just not eating those foods at all because food is for some reason very gendered in our society! Burgers and fries? Those are guy foods. Women should order a salad. There is also this social image of women as dieters, where in it almost feels like an expectation that women be dieting, and trying to eat better (and less). Even if we don’t, how normal is it to preface such things with comments about how bad we are being for eating this or ordering that? It’s not the slightest big out of place to hear “I really should get the salad but that burger just looks so good!” To the point that it starts to feel like a social obligation to make it clear we know we aren’t supposed to be eating the burger and fries.

I certainly fall into this. Especially because I do tend to eat a lot in one sitting, particularly since I practice intermittent fasting. When I eat out at a restaurant, that’s often the only meal I eat that day, so yeah, it’s going to be big. It’s just common sense it will be bigger than someone for whom that is one of 3 (or more) meals they eat that day. Because of that I do find myself thinking “I really want to order this, but what are the people I’m with/the server going to think of me ordering that much?” I think more often than not these days I end up at “well fuck what they think, I’m ordering the food I want”, but it’s also pretty clear that this is something a lot of women, myself included, struggle with thinking. I also find myself making comments about it sometimes, like I need to acknowledge to someone that I know it’s a lot of food, or even apologize for that. I remember for instance going to a Coney Island restaurant with a friend who was visiting from out of state, who had never been to a Coney before. Looking at the menu, I really wanted a chili dog. I also really wanted a greek salad. And also chili cheese fries. So what did I order? All of the above. (Also ate all of the above plus half of a big dessert dish split with my friend after. And it was good.) I also remember making some comment to my friend essentially apologizing and saying that I was about to order a whole lot of food for myself.  Which is of course completely ridiculous. I don’t need to apologize to my friend because I’m eating a  lot of food. If I want to eat it, I don’t need to justify it, or apologize for it to someone else.

I suspect though that this is the underlying reason why it is, according to popular culture at least, so common for women to say they don’t want something like fries, and then eat part of their partners. This eliminates some judgement about what the woman orders for herself- not just from her partner, but the (often imagined) judgement from other random people, as well as from herself. “I’m bad for eating this” isn’t just something people say far too often, but also something far too common for women to feel. Yes, we want the fries, but we have years of programming telling us we are bad if we give in and order them or eat them. So you don’t order them, you just eat a few of your partner’s, which maybe ends up being more than a few because damn it you did actually really want the fries.

So, I absolutely agree that if you want fries, go ahead and order fries for yourself! But also, while we laugh about this phenomena of women who won’t order their own fries, why don’t we also consider what we are doing as a culture to make women feel bad for ordering fries?

(Also, I have some frozen fries in my freezer that I am definitely thinking of digging out and cooking later tonight thanks to this post! lol.)

A lot of people have been talking about Ronda Rousey recently, especially her response to people saying she looks too masculine. Her statement was:

I have this one term for the kind of woman my mother raised me to not be, and I call it a do nothing bitch. A DNB. The kind of chick that just tries to be pretty and be taken care of by someone else. That’s why I think it’s hilarious if my body looks masculine or something like that. Listen, just because my body was developed for a purpose other than fucking millionaires doesn’t mean it’s masculine. I think it’s femininely badass as fuck because there’s not a single muscle on my body that isn’t for a purpose, because I’m not a do nothing bitch. It’s not very eloquently said but it’s to the point and maybe that’s just what I am. I’m not that eloquent but I’m to the point.

The Not-So-Feminist Message of “Do Nothing Bitches”

Now, I’m not interested in saying what has already been said, so this post is mostly just pointing folks toward what others have said already. First a guest post to Fit is a Feminist Issue: Ronda Rousey is Not Your Feminist Hero (and that’s ok) really addresses a lot of the things I thought about Rousey’s statement when I first heard it. Mainly that on one hand I think “go her!” for defending her body from people trying to tear her down. Yet also, really bothered that she does so by attacking other women, who are just “do nothing bitches”. Even more troubled too by the way this was cast as the ultimate feminist comment- calling other women “do nothing bitches”.

As Audrey says:

Yes, she is femininely baddass as fuck, and yes, she should be proud as hell of every single muscle on her body. But also, fuck throwing other women under the bus. Fuck the category of “do nothing bitch,” because it doesn’t help any of us to put other women down.

Of course, knowing the very ignorant things that Rousey has said about Fallon Fox also had me feeling a bit uncomfortable with the idea that she is a feminist idol.

And while Rousey’s been silent about her lately, one woman who’s suffered a lot of discrimination in her MMA career is Ashley Fallon Fox, who came out publicly as a trans woman in an interview with Outsports. She was almost immediately subjected to a transphobic rant from UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrione, who later apologized.Mostly. (Though I thought Fallon Fox’s public acceptance of his apology was quite the display of understanding and class.) So I’m not really as concerned about Rousey putting down some unspecified DNBs as I am about her public statements about Fallon Fox, stating that she would have an unfair advantage and that having a trans woman as a UFC champion would be a socially difficult situation.

The whole issue of unfair advantage is one that many people seem happy to weigh in on, regardless of whether they have any actual medical expertise in the area. But if you’re looking for a place to start, there are some nice summaries of some of the empirical evidence that’s out there having to do with testosterone levels, bone density, muscle mass, etc.

If you don’t feel like clicking the link for the full description of how medically inaccurate it is to say that Fallon Fox has an advantage because she is trans- to sum it up, the actual experts on this agree that after a year of estrogen or testosterone suppressing therapy, trans women would not have any benefit. In fact, trans women who have had their testicles removed will typically have lower testosterone levels, and thus a disadvantage in building muscle, than cis women with ovaries which produce testosterone.

But as Audrey says on Fit is a Feminist Issue:

The point here is that none of us should be putting Rousey on a feminist pedestal. But why should we need to? Thankfully, we are not short on badass women heroes as a society, nor are we short on feminist writing. There’s no need to try and read Rousey as delivering a perfect feminist message, and there seems to be no conflict between celebrating the positive things she brings while being critical of the ways in which her messages still fall short.

So I think Rousey is pretty badass and awesome at what she does, and I’m happy to see her fighting back (verbally) against those who feel the need to insult her body, but I’m not thrilled with the way she did so by throwing other women under the bus, and we shouldn’t overlook the way she has advocated against trans women’s inclusion in her sport, despite what the medical evidence shows.

Strong is not the New Skinny

I wanted to start with pointing to that blog entry first, to start with how it is not a feminist or empowering message to tear down other women for being do nothing bitches. Also found through Fit is a Feminist Issue, though a share on their facebook page, is this article about Ronda Rousey and the “Strong is the New Skinny” saying. I’ve written a bit before about my thoughts on the inaccuracies of the saying “Strong is the New Skinny”– in short, this message does not ever seem to include women who are strong but not also thin with low body fat.

Now I feel very similar about the Arkitect Fitness article linked above as I do about Ronda Rousey and her comments. Lots of awesome, and also lots of not. In fact, the biggest problem with the article is that it does a lot of tearing down other women, apparently in an effort to empower other women. I started with something calling out the “do nothing bitches” because one thing I dislike about the Arkitect Fitness article is the way the author apparently agrees with how awful do nothing bitches are, but then accuses many women who say they aren’t “do nothing bitches” of actually being “do nothing bitches”. Specifically, he seems to have a huge problem with photos of women with fitness hashtags who aren’t actually doing anything in the photo. First off- I think if your only goal for a photo is looking attractive, that’s fine! I’m hardly one to judge, because I’ve taken and shared photos for no other reason that I think I look good.

I also am hardly in a place to judge fitness photos that don’t have any fitness activities in them- I post these a lot! I try to get photos sometimes of me actually doing things- but it’s a hassle. I don’t have a photographer with me when I workout snapping photos for me. Instead I have to try to set up my phone on a tripod, and set a timer to hopefully catch a photo of me during a lift, which will probably turn out terrible anyways because the lighting is shit in my home gym, and the places were I can put my little tripod that can wrap around stuff is pretty limited so it’s not going to be a great angle or distance. And I usually play music on my phone, but can’t take photos or videos while playing the music, so for that set I have to give up having any music playing.

So instead, my fitness photos are usually me standing in front of my mirror in running clothes before I go for a run, or random selfies between sets or after a workout. When I have time to mess around with my phone and taking photos because I’m not doing something else. And sometimes after a good workout I just want to take a selfie of me being all sweaty but feeling good from the workout, and express that sentiment with it on instagram. And personally, I see no harm in that.

That said, I really like a lot of the things the author says there:

When you’ve been in this industry as long as I have, you can tell the difference between purpose built bodies, and bodies shaped for an aesthetic ideal. Sometimes the difference are minor but what lies underneath the surface is massively different. I’ve seen people with sub 10% body fat struggle to do a handful of pull-ups. I’ve seen “fitness pros” who can’t even put their hands over their head because they’re so immobile. It’s been said that “Strong is the new skinny,” but that’s simply not true. What’s true is that there’s been a shift from thin women being the sexual ideal, to more muscular women being the new sexual ideal, and being muscular and being strong are not the same thing, not even close.

Let me be clear, there is nothing wrong with wanting to feel sexy. Everyone wants to be wanted. The problem is when people sacrifice their physical capability or even well being for the sake of fitting some visual standard. Many times that standard isn’t their own, but one shaped by culture. Take the irony of women’s bodybuilding where you have to be extremely lean to be successful, but since the absurdly low levels of body fat decrease chest size (breasts are mostly fat, afterall), many women get breast implants, because being “feminine” is one of the judging citeria.

(emphasis mine)

I can relate so much to the part about feeling compelled to fit a visual standard that isn’t even my own. It’s something I have to actively fight against a lot of the time. Whether it be looking feminine enough, thin enough, et cetera- I do feel a pressure that I am supposed to look a certain way that very often does not match up with what I want or what I like. And it’s still hard sometimes to let go of the social message about how I am supposed to look and just focus on what my goals are, or what I like about my body.

I am a bit disappointed though that in this article to demonstrate how different athletes have different bodies comparing two weight lifters, he used a super heavy weight male weightlifter with a 48kg weight class female lifter, rather than highlighting any super heavy weight female weightlifters. I mean, when we are talking about the negative effects of equating leanness with strength or health, which is far more prevalent for women, sparked by a woman talking about her body looking how it does because she trains for a purpose not appearance, why not use a woman as an example of someone who can be very strong without a low body fast percentage? They exist!

How about Zhou Lulu, gold medalist in the super heavy weight class at the London olympics:

Or Jang Mi-Ran who took the gold for women’s super heavy weight at Beijing

Or what about Sarah Robles, described as the strongest woman in America, yet while preparing for the 2012 Olympics she was living in poverty, due in part to the lack of sponsorship for women whose bodies are outside the conventional beauty ideal (thin, low body fat).

But back to the Arkitect article:

Strong is not the new skinny, strong is and always was, just that, strong. Your value is not determined by your body fat percentage. It’s not determined by your body weight. It’s not determined by how much you can lift either. Your value isn’t based on how far you can run, or how high you can jump. Your value as a person is defined by your compassion, and your work ethic. It’s measured by your kindness and your intelligence. It’s weighed by creativity and your ethics. 

Now that having muscle is cool, it’s even worse. Now you can’t be thin, you’re supposed to be muscular…but not TOO muscular, you know, you don’t want to look like a man. As someone who’s primary job is making people healthier, I can tell you that this sh*t ain’t healthy. How is it healthy when someone doesn’t want to train their legs because they’ll grow and be “too big”? How is it healthy when people skip meals because they are trying to cut their calories so they can see their abs? How is it healthy to idolize someone that trains full time, has unlimited access to supplements via endorsements, likely takes drugs, dieted down for a shoot, was shot by a professional photographer, was touched up by a professional editor, and then shoved in your face as if you’re supposed to look like that, and look like that all the time. THAT.IS.NOT.HEALTH.

(emphasis mine above)

So I’ve been thinking a bit about being inspiring to others, and then read a post on Fit is a Feminist Issue the other day about being inspiring and it made me want to post something here about it.

Awhile back someone commented on one of my running blogs saying:

I love hearing about your running. Each time I think ‘one day that will be me. One day I’ll be well enough to run’. It’s inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing.

And I was kind of shocked, in a happy way, reading that. First off, I started blogging my runs because I find it motivating in a way that’s hard to describe, and I wasn’t really sure anyone else would read them let alone enjoy reading them.

Also I never would have imagined it to be inspiring to anyone. It’s not like I’m running marathons or anything, I’m out there going slow and not very far.

While I can’t speak for the person who left that comment, I started thinking about it though, and realized that it makes sense in many ways to find more inspiration in seeing someone else through the process of something than just the end result, if that end result is something that you don’t feel like you could do. Just seeing someone else run a marathon would not for me be as inspiring as seeing someone else who struggles with running talk about the whole process of training for it, seeing the progress, set backs, frustrations- because that can make you think “Maybe I could do that.”

Also I looked up the commenter’s blog after reading that and it made sense to see that it was someone else who is struggling with chronic illness. It makes sense to find inspiration from someone else like us doing something we would like to do. I know for myself I also struggle with fitness being primarily dominated by people who are generally healthy- as most areas of life are. I don’t think it shouldn’t be of course, people with chronic conditions are a slight minority and even then the effects are vastly different based on condition and individual. I personally struggle though with remembering that I can’t expect my training to look just like someone else who is generally in good health. Our experiences will be different. So when I do meet other folks who lift or run and have similar health issues as me, it is really great to see other people like myself doing these things as well.

So that’s my own background and what I’d been thinking about this before Natalie’s post on Fit is a Feminist Issue. In her post she takes issue with being called inspiring, coming from a perspective in which it seems she is often called “inspiring” by people who are different than her in a key way because of the idea that people like her don’t normally do that type of thing. In her case, the main issue she brought up was body size. Fat people aren’t expected to be active and athletic, leading to the “inspiring” thought process of “if even she can do that, I must be able to as well”. Which is a very different kind of inspiration, because it’s based on seeing that person as less than yourself. If even this person who should be less athletic than me based on X characteristic can do this, surely someone like me can as  well.

This is pretty common with both fat and disabled athletes. Many disability activists have also spoken out about “inspiration porn”. Stella Yound in her Tedx talk says these “inspirational” images of people with disabilities “objectify one group of people for the benefit of another group of people.”  This gets to the heart of what I think is the difference between when inspiring someone is great, and when it’s kind of icky. Seeing someone who is like you, such as someone with a similar disability or another fat person, doing something that you didn’t think you could, or that you are often told you can’t do because of that characteristic, can certainly be inspiring and it’s why it’s great to see more representation. Seeing more fat athletes or athletes with disabilities is great when it comes to providing encouragement to other fat people and people with disabilities, who can feel empowered by that to be more involved in aspects of fitness they enjoy.

It becomes kind of gross and really rude though when it’s taken as “inspiring” to people unlike the person in question.

This is so often the case of how images of athletes with disabilities are used. I see all the time people sharing images or video of athletes with clearly visible disabilities- typically people either born without certain limbs, or who have had them amputated, and the message is clearly stated- if this person can do it, then so can you. So can you because you are better than this person already because you aren’t disabled. The intended audience who are meant to be inspired aren’t other people with disabilities who think “that person is like me!”, it’s people without disabilities. And the reason it should be inspiring to people without disabilities is predicated on the social belief that people with disabilities are less than able-bodied people.

On Dehumanizing Language

Posted: May 21, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Ya know, it’s funny to me that some people focus so much on name calling. I’ve seen arguments among fat hate folks about whether or not it’s really ok to use a lot of the names they do for fat people.

Whale/landwhale, cow, ham, planet, and the combination of those: hamplanet, orca et cetera, et cetera.

Obviously none of that is nice, and it’s all a dehumanizing (I mean, duh, you are literally calling us non-human), and I won’t respond nicely or be ok with being called those things. But it doesn’t really bother me. Calling me any of the above doesn’t hurt.

What’s funny to me though is all the fat hate folks who think they are being reasonable by calling that name calling among their own but ignore what I find the worst of all:

“it”

“things” is a close second.

I guess because “it” is such a small word, just two little letters there, people think it doesn’t matter. But I find that the most dehumanizing and harmful word. And you know what, it does hurt. I’m kind of sick of the idea that people aren’t allowed to be hurt by things other people say. Sorry, that’s bullshit. Because I’m not a thing, I’m not an it, I am a person, a human being, and that means I do have feelings. And there is a sting in being reminded that some people see you as literally not human, to be called a fucking object.

The vast majority of people refer to their pets as “s/he”, “her/him”, or “them” rather than “it” or as “things”. This language places certain human beings as less than even animals.

I honestly don’t even understand that mentality. The stupid animal names and the like, I get it, you think you are being edgy and funny- you aren’t, you’re just being an asshole and you should not feel good about that. But to feel comfortable calling any other human being “it” for any characteristic of theirs… what the hell is wrong with you? And what the hell is wrong with every other one of you who see this language by people you associate with and don’t call it out? Seriously, what in your life lead to a place where you feel ok with that kind of dehumanization of other people?

So someone mentioned a website proteinpow.com online and I decided to check it out. It’s a website with a bunch of recipes using protein powder. Pretty cool. At the bottom on the home page they have some links to recipes of theirs with one titled “Are you beach body ready?” And I’m sad to admit that I was nervous clicking it- is this going to be a body positive piece or more advice on losing weight to look good at the beach?

Fat hate trolls like to act like they have an exclusive claim on fitness. And seeing them a bit too much on instagram recently, that mentality starts to seep into my brain, and I become weary of fitness spaces/websites.

The stupid thing is, this isn’t really my experience with fitness sites and people involved in fitness. Women especially who are very interested in fitness still understand the negative, impossible to win standards women are taught to hate ourselves if we fail to meet. Body positivity then is very much accepted and supported by many fit women.

And the article on proteinpow was actually good! I quite liked it! It actually reminded me quite a lot of Laura’s post about the Protein World ad. From the proteinpow article:

NO ONE is attacking health and fitness. On the contrary, they’re seeking to reclaim the true meaning of what health and fitness actually means.

. . .

It’s a lie to think that fit bodies only look a certain way. How can they? When they’ve all been designed so differently? How can we – and more important – why SHOULD we all fit a singular mold?

I would argue that, either directly or indirectly, the reason we’re sold this lie is so that we feel unhappy with ourselves – unhappy enough to feel the need to buy weight loss supplements when we don’t need them. Unhappy enough to push beyond our breaking point when we exercise and lose sight of why we started on our fitness journey to begin with. Reminder: it wasn’t just for a six-pack – it was for our fitness, it was for our performance, and it was for our health.

. . .

That’s why I think it’s important to push body-accepting discourse. Because it’s only when we love our bodies that we treat them well. That we feed them well. That we exercise them well and use them to the best of their capacity. It’s out of love for our bodies – no matter how ‘fit’ or ‘unfit’ they may seem to someone else – that we treat them their best, fuel them as we should, and exercise them with gusto. And we use them as the tools that they are for living healthy, happy, and full-to-the-brim lives!
So we need to work together to underscore the fact that a ‘beach ready body’ or a ‘bikini body’ isn’t ONE KIND of body – let alone one that requires weight loss to be ‘ready’. You know what a a bikini body is? It’s ANY body. All someone needs to get a bikini body is a body. And a bikini.

It’s not perfect from the perspective of many size acceptance activists of course, but I’m ok with that. From a fitness focused perspective, I think it’s a pretty good article!

And it does remind me of some of the amusing things fat hate trolls thing they can tell about me from my body size. Like that I obviously have never even touched a barbell. That I wouldn’t use protein supplements or other supplements often used to help facilitate muscle growth and recovery (like creatine). This coming from the same folks though who think lifting = bodybuilding. Powerlifting? Olympic weightlifting? Strongman? What’s any of that? Obviously the only people who pick up weights are bodybuilders. Certainly makes me suspect they are not in any place to be judging other people’s knowledge regarding lifting heavy things.

It is funny to me both because it’s so not true to me and my life (obviously I enjoy lifting, and I have protein powder I use for shakes primarily but also other recipes (I love some peanut butter chocolate chip protein balls! Great homemade alternative to protein bars imo). I also take creatine. Aside from my personal experience though, it also amuses because fat women lifting is not some really unheard of thing. There are a lot of fat or otherwise just not thin or bodybuilder looking women who do powerlifting, olympic weightlifting, and strong(wo)man style lifting. This shouldn’t be news to anyone familiar with lifting.

So I’ve talked about this before on this blog, that some people have actually stated that they would be supportive of a fat person working out and they think that person should not be bullied or fat shamed for doing so…. unless they found at that that fat person was not attempting to lose weight, in which case they deserve to be bullied and ridiculed for working out. Which is just completely ridiculous and absurd on so many levels. Why the hell would it matter to anyone what the reason is that someone is working out? And it most certainly doesn’t change the fact that that is a person who deserves to be treated with basic dignity and respect, who has just as much right to that space to workout in as anyone else.

There is a recent story going around social media that relates to this: some asshole named Keath Hauhser, who runs “shark fitness training” took a photo of a woman in front of him at a baseball game in order to post to his “fitness training” company’s facebook mocking her for being fat with an accounting of how much she ate during the game according to him (apparently he spent the whole game watching her instead of the game), and then mocking her for entering what she ate into myfitnesspal at the end of the game. According to this “trainer” fat people should lose weight, counting calories is a common method for weight loss, but then fat people should be mocked for counting calories. Just like we should get off our fat asses and exercise, but deserve to be mocked for getting off our fat asses and exercising. No contradictions there!

Keath made a bunch of hateful and stupid comments that made no sense over several days on his facebook about this woman and other fat people, until the story had enough coverage that he finally wanted out of all the backlash and issued an “apology” which by that point certainly seems less a matter of “I’m sorry and realize what I did was wrong” as much as “can you all just leave me alone about this now?” Apparently people who take photos of strangers to mock them online have very thin skin themselves! Who’d have known….

I first heard about this on facebook when I saw a friend share a letter from the woman photographed, identified as B. The letter tells the story of a woman who had previously weighed over 400lbs and lost over 150lbs, who was excited to be at the game as it was the first time since losing weight she could fit in the stadium seat. The entire letter’s premise is that fat-shaming her is wrong because she has lost weight, rather than fat-shaming her is wrong because she is a human being and you don’t do that other people. That premise bothered me, but it is her story and her right to tell it from her perspective.

Only one problem…. it isn’t. The letter was written by a man named Tony Posnanski who used photos of a friends of his in crafting this story. Tony and his friend do share much in common with the story he told in terms of weight loss, but still the story is not that of the woman whose picture was taken, and those are not her words.

(fyi, I linked to the letter on Tony’s website, the anti-jared, however it was reposted on another website where I read it originally from facebook share, thus removing any connection to Tony in that format.)

Which makes the premise of the letter all the more troubling.

Keath secretly photographing a woman at a baseball so he could mock her body size and food choices on his company’s facebook page is absolutely disgusting and horrible thing to do. That is true is the woman photographed has lost weight, weighed the same for years, or recently gained weight. It is true whether she is trying to lose weight now or not. It doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is she is a person.That is all we need to know to know that photographing her to mock her body on social media is not an acceptable thing to do