On Criticism

Criticism of someone’s work is totally fair game, in public or private.

Examples:

It is also probably obvious that I have no problem with publishing and promoting one’s criticism, if you wish.  Academics are probably familiar with this phenomena .

Criticism of the person is petty. As a debate tactic, when someone starts in on the person I tend to discount their statements. In dealing with people I know, yes, whether it’s “news” or “gossip” depends on one’s point of view.

Examples:

  • “[Person] assumes that everyone can and should reach normal weight according to BMI, however, the CDC does not consider this a reasonable expectation in their guide for physicians.” — Criticism of the work.
  • “The author is stupid, fat, and blonde.” — Criticism of the person.
  • “Necessary clues to whodunit were known to the viewpoint character but not disclosed to the reader until much later. I felt this wasn’t playing fair.” — Criticism of a mystery novel, aka, the work.
  • “The narrative implies that gay and lesbian people are untrustworthy and suicidal. This is upsetting, and it’s a recurring motif in the author’s work. I am therefore not going to read (or otherwise support) this author’s work.” — Criticism of the work.

Some feel I crossed the line to criticizing the person in this post.  I consider a TED talk to be a performance and thus subject to critique, and that I was very angry at his performed public repentance. Probably some pettiness there, yes!

Parody of a person works best when it is punching up and disclosed.  My favorite twitter parody account, Queen_UK, is (to my mind) cheeky but not mean-spirited — which is a big part of why it’s my favorite.  (I also follow LOLGOP, which is more snarky — but again, punching up and disclosed.)

Harassment of a person (not just criticism) is criminal in many, if not most, jurisdictions. This includes impersonation.  I don’t know why someone would go to this extent; I do know that it is, or should be, illegal.


And if you haven’t already guessed what led to me writing this:

It Came From The Search Terms

Seat belt extender, attached

Seat belt extender, attached

Once again, a post inspired by search terms used to reach my site.

how much does a woman who wears a 5x weigh

This probably depends on the woman’s height, amount of muscle, and how many limbs have been replaced with cybernetics.  Really, some of those are heavy.

what are the rules about having to buy an extra airline seat?

Depends on the airline – and you’ll probably want to call to book 2 seats.  Related posts are Day in the Life: Buying Plane Tickets and Flying While 400lbs.

alaska airlines seat size

Check out http://www.seatguru.com/

“do all overweight people”

I doubt it.

seat belt extenders walmart

No idea. I got mine from the dealer and Amazon.com.

im a 400 pound man is there a tool to help wipe bottom

If you’re reading this, I hope you look at the options at Amplestuff, Oversize Solutions, or Amazon.com. Amazon also has an option that works with toilet paper or a wet wipe, with a button release for sanitary disposal. There are also portable bidets available at Amplestuff and, again, Amazon.com. (This is FYI only, I don’t have actual experience with any of these devices.)

will i be too fat for the rides at disney world

I generally wasn’t, but it depends on your size & the ride. :)

It Came From The Search Terms

When you go to a page by searching Google (or whatev) it very nicely let your sites know what you searched on.  WordPress aggregates this for its users.  Some of them are fun.

how do morbidly obese people get dressed

Once you manage to buy the clothes it’s not all that different….

how some will look if they weighed 400 lbs at 6 foot 2 inches

Depends on the person, but see the photographic height/weight chart.

what it’s loke to be fat

The interesting thing about that one was that it wasn’t just a 1-time misspelling — 7 hits with that one phrase.

Pursuing An Agenda

Earlier today, Melissa McEwan tweeted:

So, in response to the accusations that I have an agenda, yes -- yes I do. And that's what it is.

Scrolling back, I saw Melissa’s prior tweet was regarding Dylan Farrow: “I am speaking about this because it is wrong; I am speaking in solidarity with Dylan Farrow; I am speaking in defense of my own survival.”

This blew me away.

In retrospect it seems silly — of course people often have their own agendas on the internet! — but we often want to stay neutral and avoid “taking sides.”   Especially in matters of activism, we want to be one of the good guys, to avoid self-interest.  It’s not that I’m getting something out of this, it’s that it’s the right thing to do.

Self-interest is not necessarily wrong.  Yet people often try to put it aside, to derive credibility from their neutrality.  I’m one of them.

I’ve been accused of ignoring research that shows an increased risk of death among people with my BMI.  I don’t ignore it. I just don’t see how it changes the research showing that diets don’t result in long-term weight loss for the overwhelming majority of people.  Or that in the long term, weight loss efforts often result in regain (or net gain), loss of self-esteem, and are ultimately a waste of time.

Yes, I have an agenda in my choice to live life at my current weight instead of trying, yet again, to win the weight-loss lottery.  Yes, when I discuss weight-loss scams, it’s because I consider selling such frauds to be unethical, unhealthy, and wrong.  Yes, rejecting the decade-plus I spent dieting has done wonders for my mental and physical health.

So yes, if you’ve wondered what my agenda is in writing about weight — there it is.

2013 at Living 400lbs

Most-read posts / pages:

  1. Day in the Life
  2. About
  3. Barefoot Contessa
  4. How Do You Comfort Sore Muscles?
  5. Fat Clothing Catalogs…
  6. Day in the Life: Shower, Chafing, & Jock Itch
  7. But…!
  8. Disney World
  9. What If You’re Too Big For Lane Bryant?
  10. Exercise

Some more amusing search terms:

  • unicorns are real they’re just fat and gray and we call them rhinos
  • rhetorical question about obesity
  • what size is 30/32 plus size
  • cyberspace mountain weight
  • 400 hundred pounds woman sex lessons while dancing

Some that have me rolling my eyes at the denial involved:

  • what do you eat in a day morbidly obese  — people’s eating habits vary. 
  • do all obese people have diabetes — no 
  • why don’t super obese people have diabetes — genetics, stress, luck? 

Those are outliers though.  Most people find this blog by searching for a variation of the blog name -or- on something to do with Ina Garten.  (Seriously, I don’t know why.  Maybe I need to post more about Dawn French?)   Others find this blog from links on other sites.  In the past year Shakesville, Reddit, The Fat Nutritionist, Twitter, a HuffPo post, and Fat Heffalump sent a lot of people here.

Whether you’re new here or just found this site recently, relax and be welcome.  :)

This Shouldn’t Give Me A Headache

But it’s trying.

Dear,

My name is Lisa. I have been following your blog  from quite some time now and thoroughly enjoy every post of yours.

Well, after reading through your blog, I think you would be interested in having a look at our recently launched infographic America’s Battle With Obesity([link to typical FEAR The Obesity Epidemic Because We Said So FEAR Booga Booga removed – Ed]). If you find it helpful, then please consider it for sharing with your readers.

Thanks, and I hope to hear from you soon!
Best Wishes,
Lisa

My reply:

Dear Lisa,

I really don’t see how anyone who’s read my blog would think that graphic would be of any interest to the my readers.

Regards.

– LFP

In other goings-on, NPR reports “Hating On Fat People Just Makes Them Fatter”.   Of course they still do, as this eloquent tumblr post from The Mighty If points out.

Marianne Kirby wrote about working in plus-size retail in college, and how huge being able to buy clothing can be.  This is even harder for supersize or extended-size people.  I usually shop online because my brick-and-mortar store options are so limited.

[S]o many fat people lacked any experience of being treated with dignity and respect in a retail setting. It wasn’t just me. And if it wasn’t just me, then maybe I didn’t deserve to be mocked and harassed and made fun off. Maybe I didn’t deserve to be treated badly just because of my body.

And neither did anyone else.

And yet the lack of respect for fat people is constant.

A Periodic Welcome Post

Welcome!  Hello and thank you for reading this blog.  This post is to explain some things so’s to avoid confusing newbies.

What’s this blog?

I started this blog to have a place to talk about fat acceptance and how my life is and isn’t affected by being very fat.  Some notable sub-sections are the “Day in the Life” section and my posts on exercise.

Do you look like the really fat people used to illustrate stories about overweight folks? 

Yes, even though most fat people are MUCH thinner than I.

Aren’t people your size common these days?

Not really, no.

Are you trying to lose weight?

I’m not trying to manipulate my weight up or down.

Why not?

Because losing weight doesn’t work long-term for most people. Including me.

Well, fat is okay if you’re healthy, but —

No. 

But what about health issues caused by being fat?

There are no health issues that only fat people have, which makes it hard to believe that weight alone causes them or that losing weight is the only treatment.  And, losing weight doesn’t work long-term for most people. Including me.

But you agree that if someone is REALLY, REALLY fat then they really SHOULD lose weight, right? 

No.

Fat acceptance?  Tell me more. 

Fat acceptance, as implied by “fat” and “acceptance” being together like that, is about accepting body diversity instead of focusing on weight loss.  On a societal level it’s about fighting weight discrimination and encouraging lawmakers and public health officials to stop the emphasis on weight.  More info is here.

Do you have a job? You were posting about interviewing.  What’s the story? 

I was “let go”, aka fired, from my software job in October 2010.  I started a temp job in March 2011, converted to a perm employee in December 2011, and was promoted in March 2013.  The new job pays me significantly better, I feel more comfortable in the work culture, & it has a more walkable workplace than the old job.  I consider it a win.

What’s the deal with your father? You were posting about him, now you’re not. 

In the summer of 2010 I realized that my father was drinking to excess again and seemed to be having trouble coping with life.  In 2011 I became concerned that he was weakening physically (and in denial).  I called social services to help convince my father he needed help.  He was hospitalized that spring and diagnosed with bladder cancer, dementia, and decreased kidney function.  I took over managing his care, his money, and selling his house.  He died in March 2012. I am still dealing with his estate.

And your mom?

Mom died over 5 years ago.

Anything else? 

I’ve lived in or near Seattle, Washington for all my life.  I studied computer science in college and work in software.  I’m white, married, bisexual, middle aged, wear glasses, sleep with a bite guard and CPAP, sunburn easily, and have naturally curly hair.  I drive an 11-year-old Prius.  I play computer games like Freecell, Simcity, and Tropico. I’m an only child and not really close to my remaining birth relatives.  I have asthmasleep apneavitamin B12 and D deficienciessome arthritis in my knees,  “light bladder leakage”astigmatism, and a history of depression.

What is with Ina Garten?

Screencap of popular search terms since 2013-01-01.
Just for grins, I looked at which search terms have been most popular so far this year.

And so far?

Variations on the blog name: “living 400 lbs”, “living 400”, etc.
Variations on the blog topic: “400 lbs”, “400 pounds”, “super obese”.
Variations on Ina Garten’s weight: “ina garten weight”, “ina garten weigh loss”, “ina garten weigh loss 2012”, etc.

Apparently people are curious, or apparently I’m weird for mentioning it.  At least it’s mostly leading to this post and not speculation.

Another popular one that gets on my nerves is “what to do when your sore”.  Can we just be clear that it should be “what to do when you’re sore” or “what to do when you are sore”?  Please? :)

Late Forties?

On if the things that WordPress includes in its blog statistics page is “referrers”, aka, links people have followed to my page. Some are perennials, such as search engines and other fat blogs. 

Recently one was to a forum I didn’t recognize. Curious, I followed it to a discussion of fat and health, where I was cited as being in my “late forties”. 

Me: “LATE forties? 46 is LATE forties? Sure, I’m over 40, but … 46!!  Not 49!!”

Anyway. I’ll be over here waiting for the AARP welcome packet with my hair dye & Daria DVDs.

Who Cares What Ina Garten Weighs?

Screenshot of my stats

Also, I believe it’s “what to do when you’re sore”

According to my blog stats, a lot of people get to this site by searching about what Ina Garten (aka The Barefoot Contessa) weighs.  Specifically.

  • how much does barefoot contessa weigh
  • how much does ina garten weigh
  • ina garten weight problem
  • ina garten weight

So, to those who are curious, I say this:

I don’t know what she weighs. I don’t care what she weighs.  It’s her business to decide whether to weigh herself and whether to tell anyone.

(I wrote about Ina’s show previously.)

Happy New Year!

Image of a fat woman talking on the phone in an office setting.

Image courtesy of the Rudd Center Image Gallery

Hello and welcome!  I’m back at work with my new cartoon-a-day calendar (New Yorker cartoons) and new wall calendar (Pacific Northwest landscapes).  I even cut off some of the photos from last year’s wall calendar to decorate my cube.  Ready to work!  (Yes, I know it’s Wednesday, but today feels like Monday to me.  Yay four-day weekends! )

I adjusted the layout, let me know if you can’t find things.  Also, let me know if you have additional topics or questions you’d like me to write about.

As for resolutions, well, there’s resolve and then there’s Resolve the carpet cleaner, (Two Lumps).  There’s also ASDAH’s Resolved: Addressing Weight Bias in Health Care Project, collecting health care stories in video or written form.  Please see their site to see what they are asking for and the submission methods.

 

In the meantime, some things to read / discuss if you wish – warning for fat hate:

People are living longer! I thought this would be a good thing. Oops! As Fatties United discusses, some people aren’t happy with this.

Since so many fat people have had the audacity to keep on living instead of dropping dead on schedule, Dr. Mokdad is predicting that all these fat folks will be old sick fat folks and require lots and lots of medical treatment.

Study results show that “normal weight” folks don’t live longer than overweight folks? (Again?) Oh noes, must include lots of fat panic in the news coverage!

Charlotte Cooper writes about The UK Royal College of Physicians and their concerned about obesity!  Oh dear.

Reading the report is like a journey into Opposite Land. The work is well-meaning, but it exists with a framework that is profoundly problematic. For example, it is hard to disagree that current service delivery for fat people is really poor, particularly for those who undergo weight loss surgery, and that there needs to be proper auditing, quality control and monitoring of all obesity treatments.

But the report, as is typical in a medicalised discourse of fat, is entrenched in a view that regards weight loss as the universal solution to the problem of fat people and health. The authors throw about “severe complex obesity,” a term they’re obviously pretty proud of, coming soon to a healthcare provider near you, and bound to further medicalise and stigmatise fat people. They make the crucial mistake of failing to question the effectiveness of weight loss at all, so it’s not weight loss surgery that ruins fat people’s health, it’s the fact that the care pathways surrounding the surgery need tweaking. This ties them up in all kinds of knots, looking for answers in the wrong places, for example suggesting that the UK needs a Michelle Obama figure to galvanise the population against obesity, even though her crusade in the US has been disastrous in re-stigmatising fat kids, and even though we’ve already seen Jamie Oliver screw things up over here.

Anyway, let’s be careful out there. Now, I’m going for a walk.

Q&A, or, More Fun With Search Terms

I’m bored, so I’m going to treat some of the search terms for this blog as questions. I may have gotten a touch silly on these. Void where prohibited by law.

why don’t really fat people have diabetes

The pancreas wants what the pancreas wants.

earrings around 400 pounds

OUCH!

making kraft dinner from scratch

If it’s from scratch, it’s not really Kraft Dinner, is it?

inexpensive women’s size 7x clothing

Try Woman Within clearance.  Or eBay.  Good luck!

why were people so skinny in the 70s

Weight Watchers recipes! Also, they hadn’t quit smoking yet.

showering with a full stomach causes fat?

I….what?

how to get car out if someone parked too close

Get in another door and scoot. (May require a car you can scoot in; best to acquire in advance.)

will naproxen sodium make me less sore

Hopefully.

will 45 in seatbelt be long enough for a 350lb woman?

I think measuring might help.

colonic for flu

No.  Just….no.

A Periodic Welcome Post

Welcome!  Hello and thank you for reading this blog.  This post is to explain some things so’s to avoid confusing newbies.

What’s this blog?

I started this blog to have a place to talk about fat acceptance and how my life is and isn’t affected by being very fat.

Do you look like the really fat people used to illustrate stories about overweight folks? 

Yes, even though most fat people are MUCH thinner than I.

Aren’t people your size common these days?

Not really, no.

Are you trying to lose weight?

I’m not trying to manipulate my weight up or down.

Why not?

Because losing weight doesn’t work long-term for most people. Including me.

But what about health issues caused by being fat?

There are no health issues that only fat people have, which makes it hard to believe that losing weight is the only treatment.  And, losing weight doesn’t work long-term for most people. Including me.

Fat acceptance?  Tell me more. 

Fat acceptance, as implied by “fat” and “acceptance” being together like that, is about accepting body diversity instead of focusing on weight loss.  On a societal level it’s about fighting weight discrimination and encouraging lawmakers and public health officials to stop the emphasis on weight.  More info is here.

Do you have a job? You were posting about interviewing.  What’s the story? 

I was “let go”, aka fired, from my software job in October 2010.  I was eligible for unemployment.  I interviewed regularly and took a few programming classes. I also started a temp job with more time commitments, stress and a longer commute in March 2011 and converted to a perm employee in December 2011.  The new job pays me better, I feel more comfortable in the work culture, & it has a more walkable workplace than the old job, so I consider it a win.

What’s the deal with your father? You were posting about him, now you’re not. 

In the summer of 2010 I realized that my father was drinking to excess again and seemed to be having trouble coping with life.  In 2011 I became concerned that he was weakening physically (and in denial).  I called social services to help convince my father he needed help.  He was hospitalized that spring and diagnosed with bladder cancer, dementia, and decreased kidney function.  I took over managing his care, his money, and selling his house.  He died in March 2012. I am still dealing with his estate.  Naturally this involves a lot of stress.

Anything else? 

I’ve lived in or near Seattle, Washington for all my life.  I studied computer science in college and work in software.  I’m white, married, bisexual, middle aged, wear glasses, sleep with a bite guard and CPAP, sunburn easily, and have naturally curly hair.  I drive an 11-year-old Prius.  I play computer games like Freecell, Simcity, and Tropico. I’m an only child and not really close to my birth relatives.  I have asthmasleep apneavitamin B12 and D deficienciessome arthritis in my knees,  “light bladder leakage”, astigmatism, and a history of depression.

Fun With Search Terms

WordPress helpfully provides a list of the terms peopled searched on to get to this site.

Some of the odder ones:

  • how to photograph the life of an obese person
  • 50+ super obese women is there a market for this
  • magickal weight loss necklace review
  • different pant cuts

And the “HOW did that get you to my site???” ones:

  • sweet potatoe boobs sex
  • kd with garlic?
  • need sex so bad blow baboon

….and from my search terms I’ve learned that Silhouettes.com is apparently gone.

The Fat Life Isn’t

Internet is part of life, but it’s not all of life.

The people I know offline aren’t surprised that I am married, employed, and co-own a house.  The emails I get from this site often assume these aren’t possible, or that I must be some sort of exception.  There’s also am assumption that my fat is the biggest problem I have.

No.  So no.  A world of no.

This is a blog about fat acceptance and demystifying fat.  I write about fat, but it’s not the biggest thing.

In February my father went into hospice and my husband nearly died from an infection.  My father did die, barely a month later.

My fat is much smaller than that.

I may start posting more about the non-fat parts of my life. Or not.  But no, me not posting as much here doesn’t mean I’m not fat anymore.  It can mean I’m preoccupied with estate stuff and new hire training and crunch mode and volunteering and and.

The disconnect may be that I announce my weight here. In real life people see it, but I don’t throw out the Big Scary Number.

PS leg lifts love me.   :)

A Periodic Welcome Post

I thought it might be helpful to fill in any new folks.

What’s this blog?

I started this blog to have a place to talk about fat acceptance and how my life is and isn’t affected by being very fat.

Do you really weigh 400lbs? 

Pretty much, give or take 5%.

Do you look like the really fat people used to illustrate stories about overweight folks? 

Yes, even though most fat people are MUCH thinner than I.

Aren’t people your size common these days?

Not really, no.

Are you trying to lose weight?

I’m not trying to manipulate my weight up or down.

Why not?

Because losing weight doesn’t work long-term for most people. Including me.

Fat acceptance?  Tell me more. 

Fat acceptance, as implied by “fat” and “acceptance” being together like that, is about accepting body diversity instead of focusing on weight loss.  On a societal level it’s about fighting weight discrimination and encouraging lawmakers and public health officials to stop the emphasis on weight.  More info is here.

Anything else? 

I’ve lived in or near Seattle, Washington for all my life.  I studied computer science in college and work in software.  I’m white, married, bisexual, middle aged, wear glasses, sunburn easily, and have naturally curly hair.  I drive a 10-year-old Prius.  I play computer games like Freecell, Simcity, and Tropico. I’m an only child, dealing with the death of my father this year, and not really close to my other birth relatives.  I have asthma, environmental allergies, sleep apnea, astigmatism, and a history of depression.