- POSTED ON: Sep 27, 2014

Perspective is a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.

Our Culture has an obsession with diets. Historically, diets were for health reasons, rather than for weight and appearance.
Now diets are mainly concerned with weight reduction, significantly referred to as "slimming," the slim figure rather than the healthy body being the aim ... despite the many, many Pious claims to the contrary.

Diets are a major part of the food-fashion industry. I often say that every diet works for someone, but no diet works for everyone.  The truth is that no diet actually works very well for very long. If any one did, then there wouldn’t be so many and we wouldn’t be faced with a weekly announcement about a new, different, and infallible one.

Diets come in quick succession.  The business of how not to eat too much food has paradoxically turned into one of the biggest food industries. It has become the science of what to eat and not gain weight - more or less impossible with any reasonable calorific regime.

Studies have shown that diets more often than not lead to weight gain. Because the body does not know the difference between dieting and starving, once a severe dietary regime is concluded it will voraciously store food as fat as a protection against further unreasonable onslaughts. But it is with diets that fashion and fads play their largest part. Diets have replaced the weather as the basic item of polite conversation.

This is all part of Western society. The search for the perfect life embraces the search for the perfect food, which can easily tip over into fanaticism.  Only Organic whole foods, Only Non-processed foods,  Only “Real” Foods, only “Healthy” foods, No-carb, Low-carb, Paleo, Low-fat, Low-calories, Very-Low-Calories, Eat moderately, Eat on alternative days, Eat only at certain times of the day, Eat very little, mostly plants, Eat vegetables only, Eat proteins only,  Eat very small amounts of everything, Fast intermittently, Eat only a few bites, OR the "ultimate" temporary solution, go on a total water Fast ...meaning.. go without eating food entirely until your body has eaten up all of it’s own excess fat.

In the pursuit of perfection, to be on a diet illustrates that you are a worthy and serious person, not a slob. It is the Puritan Ethic applied to food.  Obesity has become for our present age what adultery was for our Victorian forebears. The real modern descent into sin and wickedness is a dieter who goes on a junk food binge. And hunting down offenders against food purity joins the list of popular witch hunts along with smokers, polluters, and people who use sexist pronouns.

The current Diet Culture includes Diets … i.e. ways of eating… that are labeled as “non-diets”.  Most of these are some variation of the “Intuitive Eating” concept which includes a philosophy that the Body knows what and how much food it needs, and if one pays close attention to whether one is hungry, or full, and eats accordingly, one’s Body will arrive and stay at it’s own natural weight.   The problem with this is that the Bodies of fat people (and previously fat people) want to be Fat. Being Fat IS the natural weight of fa...

Thin for the Holidays?
- POSTED ON: Sep 19, 2014




We’ve all seen those advertisements from companies trying to make money by telling us that 'the holidays’ are coming, and we are somehow too fat for them. .. Like: 

"the holidays are just around the corner,
will you have a body you can be proud of?”

which is, of course, an attempt to make us feel insecure and then profit by playing on those insecurities.

I agree with Ragen Chastain, of danceswithfat, who says:


“..now I'm supposed to worry that I'll embarrass myself just by existing in a body that hasn't been manipulated to some size I can be "proud of" which, based on the picture that accompanied the message, would require me to lose about 150 pounds and grow 6 inches in the next two months.

If they were honest their ad copy would have read "The holidays are coming so it would be great if you would hate your body and make a desperate bid to change it that won't work but will make us a boatload of money so that our last quarter numbers look good."

Since I was a kid I've seen what now seem like unending permutations of the message "you're too fat" delivered to me by those who hope to profit from my believing it. "The holidays are coming and you're too fat. It's New Years and you're too fat.  Bikini season is coming and you're too fat."

Screw that.

We may not be able to stop the diet companies from trying to ruin the next three months ...(and the month after that with their New Year's Resolution, and the months after that with whatever they try to use to create a giant chasm between us and loving ourselves)... but we can decide that they aren't going to succeed. 

I recommend a secret little mantra that I've created that I say whenever I see diet industry ads.  My mantra is "HEY, THAT'S BULLSHIT!"  Works like a charm to remind me not to buy into any of this.

The holidays are coming and I'm just fine.  New Year's is coming and I'm just fine.  Bikini season is coming and I'm just fine.  This diet industry that spends so much time and money oppressing me with a product that doesn't do anything successfully except make them money, runs on our time, our money, and our energy.  We take the fuel away and the machine stops.  It happens as one person at a time changes the channel, throws out the post...

Is it REALLY up to me?
- POSTED ON: Aug 28, 2014


Sometimes I simply shake my head in wonder at the falsity of diet and fitness marketing.

This picture is a prime example of it.

First, it clearly indicates that body size and body appearance are totally under one’s own control. 

“If you are a fat person
then all you have to do is
eat less, move more,
buy this,
do this and don’t do that
and you will get “healthy”
and look like THIS.”

Most women as large as the woman at the back of the picture would love to believe that these claims are true, and some seem determined to to live in Denial, even though many of them KNOW in their minds that those claims are Lies.

Note, that the desired body is a firm, young body. Next, a body that has  been really fat is never going to have an appearance like the body of the woman at the front of the picture. 

People also have different genetic body types that determine where fat deposits itself on their bodies. There’s no such thing as “spot reduction”, and we don't get to choose which fat goes and which fat stays.  The fact is that even after a successful large weight-loss there’s a lot of loose skin to deal with, and it is unlikely that any “reduced fat” person ... of any age ....will ever achieve that kind of voluptuous, tight-skinned body even with plastic surgery and 6 to 7 days a week of heavy-duty exercise.

Also, the statement isn’t based on ANY kind of evidence.  First the entire “lose weight to be healthy” idea is based upon an untested hypothesis.  So few people have achieved significant long term weight loss that there simply aren’t enough to commission a statistically significant study.

Those who put forth weight loss as a health intervention can’t produce a study where more than a tiny fraction of participants ever lost weight long-term, and even then, most of the few “successes” they point to, lost only a tiny amount of weight. Weight Watchers claims success because their average study participant maintained a 5 pound loss over 2 years.

People attempt to use Fat bodies as “evidence”.  Marketing, which includes the medical profession,  tries to claim that our bodies are evidence of unhealthy behaviors, lack of willpower, lack of self-care and any other appearance-based stereotypes they enjoy believing and perpetuating  Then they claim that this evidence is compelling enough to make it okay  to target fat people for for shame, stigma, bullying and humiliation because it's “for our own good”.

Embracing Imperfections as a Path to Success
- POSTED ON: Aug 16, 2014




Here's a copy of an article about embracing imperfections as a path to success by Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, M.D. which was published Aug 10, 2014 in the Globe, Health Advisor.

Aim for the healthiest life you can enjoy,
not just tolerate.

Would it surprise you to learn that according to a recent poll, more than 60 per cent of those who struggle with their weight have failed more than six weight-loss efforts? Amazingly, of those who have failed more than six times, a third of them report having failed more 20 times. An incredible 20 per cent report they’ve failed so many times that they’ve lost count!

Our shared weight-management failures aren’t a great surprise, however. Dieting is predicated on suffering and humans aren’t built to suffer in perpetuity. Yet we keep coming back for more. Every year there’s a new crop of New Year, New You books, each boasting its own set of draconian rules. Oh, you’ve tried a low-carb diet before, hmm, well perhaps this year you should give up dairy and grains. Been there and done that – maybe now eschewing sugar is the way to go.

Why, despite knowing better, do we blame ourselves when the nonsense fails? Could it be a case of suffering from post-traumatic dieting disorder (PTDD)?

Because, really, what are modern-day diets, if not traumas? They’re generally some combination of undereating, overexercising or blind restriction. People on diets are trying to live the healthiest lives they can tolerate, rather than the healthiest lives they can enjoy.

Merely tolerable lives, given food’s starring role as one of our lives’ most seminal pleasures, are understandably short-lived. Many who crash their weights down via overrestrictive diets are surprised when they regain not only what they’d lost, but more. In reality, though, it’s not a shocking outcome given the known negative impact an overrapid loss has on metabolism.

PTDD is not a formal diagnosis, but rather a shared constellation of symptoms that I’ve seen in my practice having worked with thousands of people trying to manage their weights and who have been through the diet trenches. These are people whose recurrent dieting has led to feelings of failure, shame, hopelessness, insecurity and sometimes even deep and abiding depression. Their body images are often worse than when they started dieting in the first place and their relationships with food are anything but healthy – in many cases they feel threatened by the very foods they love most. They can also become socially withdrawn and their personalities can change, which in turn can negatively impact their closest relationships and lead some to believe themselves unworthy of love, marriage, intima...

A Breathing, Living, Human Body
- POSTED ON: Aug 10, 2014


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