I eat, therefore I’m fat

The Fatosphere and various fat communities like to point out how active they are, how balanced their diet is, how they were fat children that grew into fat adults and their corpulent physique is not something they can control or change even if they wanted to. I understand why this is, and I’ve no doubt that for many people this is the case.

But I am not one of those people. I am fat because I eat too much.

I’ve never been small person; I think I was at my thinnest when I was around 17 and 65kg/140 pounds. But I know that if I were to exercise a bit more and eat a bit less, it’s probable that I could lose around 10kg and a dress size.

But I don’t want to do that. I love to eat.

For me, eating is an almost hedonistic experience. When I eat something truly amazing, like a beautiful cut of steak or a simple margherita pizza, my face beams. I dance unconsciously in my chair (my boyfriend calls it my ‘happy food dance’). And I like to eat a lot, because the feeling and look of fullness is so pleasant.

I am not fat because I eat ‘junk'; I don’t eat much processed food, not because it’s unhealthy, but because it tastes like crap and makes me feel gross. In fact, my body craves all manner of things: pesto pasta, opor ayam, wholemeal tuna sandwiches, pho, wood-fired pizza, rare steak and homemade chips, soft boiled eggs and toast soldiers, cake, porridge and stewed fruit, roast chicken, laksa, unadon, absolutely anything covered in garlic… I end up eating a reasonably balanced diet, just a lot of it.

While my growing belly is a consequence of my over-eating, it’s a happy one. I love being fat, and not in a ‘This is what I’m stuck with so I may as well love it’ sort of way. I genuinely think I look better now than when I was 30kg lighter. I’m certainly a helluva lot happier.

I wanted to make this all very clear because so far I have not found anyone in the Fatosphere that I relate to on this matter. Of course I’ve found people who enjoy food, but none who publicly love it as much as I do and none who identify it as a cause of their fatness. I am sure I am not the only one. I wanted to make this clear because I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it.

When the media is full of reports that FAT IS UNHEALTHY AND YOU WILL DIIIIIEEE, it’s natural for fatties respond with statistics proving that being obese does not automatically equate to unhealthiness and that the active fatty will outlive the inactive skinny. And that’s all very good; we should not allow misinformation to parade around as fact. But what I want to stress is that I am not ashamed for being one of the inactive fatties.

I do some exercise; I go to dance class and I swim at the beach in the summer. On the other hand, I also wish the whole world sloped downhill so I’d never have to walk up another incline again.

My point, in a roundabout way, is that we should not have to prove ourselves to be one of the ‘good’ fatties in order to be seen as people. We should not have to divulge our eating and exercise habits to family/friends/strangers/journalists in order to justify our fatness. Whether we happily overeat or happily run marathons, we all deserve respect.

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96 Responses to “I eat, therefore I’m fat”


  1. 1 PurpleGirl 4 July, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    I’m in kind of the same boat as you–I don’t always eat too much, but sometimes I do, when I’m eating something amazing. More to the point, on a day to day basis my eating habits are pretty terrible. Today, for example, I had nothing to eat until eleven at night. Between four and ten I drank a quart of chocolate milk; at eleven I had chicken fingers and french fries at work. I had a glass of peach nectar juice when I got home, and I’ll be going to bed soon.

    If I ate more regularly, and did any sort of serious exercise other than walking at work, and ate more nutrient dense food, I’d probably lose weight. I’m a “bad” fatty, but oh well. :)

    • 2 Frances 4 July, 2009 at 6:09 pm

      Oh man, if I didn’t eat until 11pm I would be single and have no friends left. I get seriously cranky when I’m too hungry!

      I feel like I should make a range of tshirts for us to wear: “I am the bad kind of fatty”

  2. 3 SC 4 July, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Thank you so much for this.

  3. 5 lotus 4 July, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Thank you for posting this. I feel the same. I love food so much, and I love eating so much. I don’t think if that’s the only reason I’m fat, I come from a fat family, but it’s a contributing factor and sometimes when I see bloggs filled with “Well, I spend every waking moment in the gym and eat health food only and am still fat” I feel like I’m not welcome here and I’m failing because I know full well that I’m going to have a rich and creamy pasta bake with a big lump of chicken for dinner and then chocolates for desert and I’ve not been in a gym in years. In fact, I pretty much hate exercise. I dance, anything else, no thank you. I walk to work and back and that’s all I’m up for. And, you know what, I’m still a wonderful intelligent beautiful woman and demand respect. Fat acceptance shouldn’t be based on how much you exercise any more then any other acceptance should be but simply on the knowledge that all people demand respect, no matter how they look or why.

  4. 6 Meowser 4 July, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    I don’t think eating habits really cause someone to change BMI categories unless they are constant, hardcore bingers who don’t move around at all ever. Which is a very tiny percentage of people, and doesn’t even include you, from your description. You have to have the genetic capacity to become and remain a very large person or it’s not likely to happen.

    Even if you suddenly became a pick-at-salads person and stayed that way forever, it’s not likely you’d get and stay all that thin short of prolonged radical starvation and hard labor (neither of which anyone ought to be required to endure). And appetite has a lot to do with genetic capacity, too. Not all of us could become pick-at-salads people if we wanted to; I certainly couldn’t, unless something else started happening in my body to make me that way. (Not to mention that picking at salad is B-O-R-I-N-G, especially if you’d rather be having something else.)

    • 7 Linda 6 July, 2009 at 5:32 am

      Yes, eating really can to that. My BMI went down from 37 to 22, and it’s still there after 2 years. No starvation, no hard labor (but more exercise and less food). But it’s a choice you make day by day, and if you don’t want to, there’s nothing wrong or evil with that. It’s refreshing to see somebody just say, “you know what?” I could jump through the food/exercise hoops to be skinny, but I don’t want to, so I won’t.”

      If I jumped through the hoops required to be “really skinny,” my life wouldn’t be worth living. I’ve been there, and I was hungry all the time. It sucked. I’m trading off what I feel like trading off at this point, and everybody should have the right to choose to do that (or not), without harassment from ignorant people, on the street or in their families.

  5. 8 cicadasinmay 4 July, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    I’m a bad fatty too, mostly because I hate exercising for the sake of exercising. Most people with bad diets, or “bad” diets, who are sedentary, or relatively sedentary, could probably lose *some* weight by changing their diet and forcing themselves to exercise, but I think it’s relevant that for a lot of people there is no remotely healthy way that people above a certain fatness could lose enough weight to be considered “acceptable.” If eating less but still eating enough to fuel your body would make you not-a-fatty, you probably aren’t fat to such a large degree. Which is not to say you get kicked out of the fatty club, but I kinda envy you having the option to conform at all without compromising your health.

    So I guess my point is, the statement that some people do get fatter than they otherwise would be by overeating because the alternative is depriving themselves of a major pleasure in life, is fine (I certainly overate and gained a few temporary pounds at Christmas and omg the world did not end), but it bears mentioning that this is not why people are obese or deathfat obese, unless they would be *just short* of those categories while on a super healthy but non-starvation diet and exercise regimen.

    • 9 Frances 4 July, 2009 at 9:49 pm

      I’m what Shapely Prose calls an ‘in-betweenie': I’m 1.72m and 95kg (5’8 and 210lbs), which puts me in the BMI category of ‘obese’. If I was eating just enough to fuel myself (heaven forbid!), my predicted 10kg loss would drop me down to the ‘overweight’ category. I can’t speak for those that are deathfat because I have never and probably will never be that big.

      I used my own experience to make my point but you’re right to point out that my life is not universal – thank you for bringing this up.

      • 10 cicadasinmay 4 July, 2009 at 10:05 pm

        Yeah, that’s what I was trying to indicate with “unless they would be just short of those categories [with the predicted 10 kg loss].” Because there is an arbitrary number at which the category changes, a small change *can* sometimes shift you over, but a lot of people are too far from the boundary for the same change to make that much difference.

  6. 11 Nathreee 4 July, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    My point, in a roundabout way, is that we should not have to prove ourselves to be one of the ‘good’ fatties in order to be seen as people. We should not have to divulge our eating and exercise habits to family/friends/strangers/journalists in order to justify our fatness. Whether we happily overeat or happily run marathons, we all deserve respect.

    This!!

    I see far too many posts in the fat-o-sphere where people explain themselves, tell us that they eat healthy and that they are active. Truth is, they don’t need to tell us that. None of us need to justify that we are good fatties, not by explaining that we eat healthy and exercise, not by hiding that we love food. We are all people who deserve respect, no matter how much we weigh, how we came to be that way and what we are doing about it now.

  7. 12 skeptic 4 July, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Loving to eat is not a sin. Loving the taste of food is not bad.

    It is NORMAL.

    Nor does a love of food and eating to overfull turn our bodies into another body type or make us obese.

    What a tragically sad brainwashing that belief is.

    It’s born of weight loss marketing mistaken for science.

  8. 13 richie79 4 July, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    As a ‘bad fatty’, and one who’s quite happy to attribute at least some of his 250+lb to a love (verging on adoration actually) of 12″ meat-lover pizzas and calzone kiev, I very much appreciate this post. I’m not sure what proportion of my size is down to good old fashioned genes (my father in particular comes from a long line of big people) and how much is a result of lifestyle (I certainly hear you on wishing the whole world sloped downhill; however it’s not something I worry about excessively other than the difficulties it presents in finding clothes (contrary to recent assertions on several fatosphere blogs, this does affect guys too) and people’s reactions when they realise (from old photos etc) that I was an average-sized kid who ‘let myself go’. And whilst the exercise I get tends to be the incidental by-product of wanting to get somewhere, I certainly don’t buy into this idea that you have some sort of moral obligation to spend valuable time working yourself into a panting sweat (eww) for no other reason or purpose than because it’s supposedly ‘healthy’ to do so.

  9. 19 BuffPuff 4 July, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    I totally agree with Meowser – but then I almost always agree with Meowser :-)

    I also totally relate to you! I love food and in hearty quantities, and, when I’m not up to my ears in work, I really enjoy cooking too. (Peeling and slicing vegetables is surely one of the most calming, meditative, blood-pressure-lowering activities in the world). And, like you I can get quite orgasmic when eating food I particularly enjoy the taste or texture of.
    I eat a great many foodstuffs generally agreed to be beneficial to health, (mainly pasta or rice-based veggie with some fish; I’d fight you for a bag of Rainier cherries, and I never met a nut, seed or whole grain I didn’t like); and many things considered to be less beneficial to health (milk chocolate, fried stuff, cookies, cheese, ice cream). In my universe, eating freely from both groups constitutes healthy, well-balanced, non-neurotic eating. So does eating till you’re full.

    Like you, I also find exercise for exercise’s sake monumentally dull and have yet to find any form I actually want to do for the love of it – or the way it makes me feel, (which, while pleasant, is not actually that different to the way I normally feel) – on a regular basis. I just try to stay active as I can in my everyday life, which is easy enough when you don’t drive and live somewhere with flights of stairs, walkable shops and general stuff to do.

    I’m a fat girl from a fat serial-dieting family, who starved herself in her early to mid-teens and sporadically crash-dieted through her late teens to her mid-twenties. I’ve never been on the kind of lengthy heroic diets that – say – Kate Harding has – Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig regimes that last an eternity and result in extensive weight loss. Because I have always – even in self-hating, anti-fat, anti-self mode – loved to eat more than I loved the idea of being thin. So as well as being predisposed to fatness I think I was probably predisposed to FA too.In my late 20s, having previously been extremely energetic and done a very physically demanding job, I came down with a virus and subsequently struggled with chronic, post-viral fatigue syndrome and, more latterly, fibromyalgia, (of which disrupted deep sleep is a permanent fixture). So there are many contributing factors to my fat besides what or how much I eat and how much sitting around I do. I expect there are to yours too, starting with, as Meowser says, genetic predisposition.

    I’ve lost maybe 7-10 lbs tops when I’ve practiced more formal forms of exercise, (which helped me through both bouts of post-viral fatigue fun ‘n’ games), and reduced or curtailed my intake of certain foodstuffs, (to lower my slightly raised cholesterol. 8 months of this not only had zero effect on my cholesterol count, but also triggered loony-diet-mindset so I’m eating saturated fats again and taking my chances. The last thing anyone with fibromyalgia needs is statins-induced muscle pain. So you may also add Irresponsible Fatty! to my resumé. Just wanted you to know you’re not the only one.

    • 20 Heidi 5 July, 2009 at 12:03 am

      “I’m a fat girl from a fat serial-dieting family, who starved herself in her early to mid-teens and sporadically crash-dieted through her late teens to her mid-twenties. I’ve never been on the kind of lengthy heroic diets that – say – Kate Harding has – Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig regimes that last an eternity and result in extensive weight loss.”

      This. Absolutely this.

      I think I managed to lose 25 pounds on WW once, after doing it for months. I never got my 10% ribbon. When I told my mother how my eating disorder had developed (compulsive overeating) and about my constant crash dieting, she told me that she’d never even realized I was dieting, probably because I never managed to stick with it for long. I loved eating. I desperately wanted to be thin but I simply couldn’t bear to be constantly hungry.

      I love eating. I managed to screw up my metabolism with all those diets, plus I’ve got the hypothyroidism and the PCOS to boot but I’ll readily admit I *love* food. I love the way it tastes and I eat more than I’m actually hungry for.

      I fully intend to keep loving food…it’s the compulsive overeating of it that I’m working on (as well as the long-term depression/emotional eating component). I also hate exercising, although I’ll readily admit it’s good for me.

      So you’re not alone! Part of overcoming *my* own food issues is giving myself permission to love food and only exercise if I really feel like it that day. Taking the guilt out of the behavior is better for my psyche all around.

  10. 21 Patsy Nevins 4 July, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    There is nothing wrong with being who you are or eating what you want to eat. It is no one else’s business how we live in our bodies & we are all indeed worthy of respect & access & rights &, yes, it is also true that one cannot make a naturally thin person fat or a naturally fat person thin; whatever you eat, if you are not genetically programmed to be a fat person, you will not be one. I know & have known enough naturally thin people who ate circles around me to see the proof for myself; I have also spent large portions of my life exercising compulsively 3 to 4 hours daily & often measuring whole grains & fruit & veggie servings, only to stay fat. I am nearly 60 now, have arthritis to compound my cerebral palsy & a lot of chronic pain, some of which at least is from pushing myself too hard for too many years to prove how ‘good’ & ‘normal’ I was. I have walked…not counting doing housework or shopping, etc., just walking for exercise & transportation, since I have never had either car or driver’s license, over 50,000 miles in my life, & I think that my aging body is now telling me forcefully that it was too much…certainly too much for my physical abilities. I am now working on accepting that if I can only walk 20-30 minutes per day, that is ENOUGH (science can find NO indication of health benefits for more than 30 minutes daily of moderate walking) & that if I do not walk, I am not a ‘bad’ person & it is no one else’s business how much I move.

    And, to the person who says she walks to work, regardless of what the idiots pushing ‘fitness’ & selling their products want you to believe, that is plenty of exercise for any health benefits which you may get. I am from a family of fat & very long-lived people, some of whom drank quite a bit, some of whom smoked for years, none of whom exercised regularly; they have virtually all lived to between 85 & 95. I have two brothers in their 70’s who both weigh around 260 & have always been fat..one smoked heavily for over 45 years before quitting, the other has been an alcoholic since he was 15…but they are not dead yet.

    Eat what you want, move as much or as little as you want or can, & live fully without guilt. Life is too short for dieting, for guilt, or self-hatred, & NO ONE gets out of here alive. And there ARE NO ‘bad fatties’ & we should not have to prove to the world at large how virtuous we are & therefore how deserving of basic human rights & of being treated decently. We are deserving BECAUSE we are human…period.

  11. 22 Trabb's Boy 4 July, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    I agree that there is a large part of the fat community that buys into the “health is a moral issue” thing. I’m not someone who loves my fat, and my goal in getting involved in fat acceptance is basically to learn to ignore it as not relevant to my self-worth.

    I do love food, and I love feeling full, and my view of health is that line that’s gone around the internet about how the goal should not be to go to your grave with a perfectly preserved body but to slide in sideways, martini in one hand and chocolate in the other saying “Man, what a ride!”

    You have a great attitude. And a great whatever you call it — header? — at the top of your website. Very happy, sexy and fun!

    • 23 Frances 4 July, 2009 at 11:52 pm

      I think I will be sliding in with a G&T and piece of cake!

      My better half made the header and was quite chuffed at getting a compliment for it. He says “Thank you”.

  12. 24 Meowser 4 July, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    10 kg is what, about 25 pounds? If you’re right on the borderline, sure, that would make you “overweight” instead of “obese.” But that’s still not thin. And I can guarantee you right now that if I lost 25 pounds no one would notice (I know this because I lost almost that much when I was off antidepressants), and I’m not quite “deathfat.” (But give me another year on Remeron and who knows, maybe I will be.)

    • 25 Nathreee 5 July, 2009 at 1:13 am

      To be frank, if I lost 10 kg, I think I would notice. I think some flabs would look different, and the belly would too. It doesn’t matter what other people think, but if losing 10kg makes me feel more comfy in my body, then I’ll do it.

    • 26 living400lbs 5 July, 2009 at 9:16 am

      The most I lost on a diet as an adult was 30lbs. I went down a bra size. Only people who noticed were the ones who saw me naked.

  13. 27 jaed 4 July, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Same here. My anecdata is that the difference between “couch potato, eats poorly” and “exercises a reasonably amount and eats well” is very roughly 10% of body weight. (Men generally at the high end, probably because of more muscle mass, women generally at the low end, there are exceptions yadda yadda.) This is certainly true for me; I feel a lot better when I exercise, and my waist gets narrower and I lose a little weight, but not nearly enough to avoid “death fat ooga booga”. So there’s that.

    But on another subject, I wonder why you say you eat too much – what “too much” means to you. To me, that means compulsively overeating, but what you describe sounds more like eating good food, enjoying it, and eating enough of it to satisfy you and feel pleasantly full. Which I would describe as “normal eating”.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think you’re completely right that you shouldn’t have to put forward your healthy-fattie bonafides to be acceptable. But what you’re describing actually seems like healthy eating to me, and it sounds like you are saying that you could be thin(ner) if you deliberately starved yourself of nourishment instead of ate normally.

    • 28 Frances 4 July, 2009 at 11:42 pm

      No. No no no no no! ‘Too much’ doesn’t have any kind of healthy/unhealthy connotations attached to it. ‘Too much’ means that I eat more than I need to sustain myself and operate effectively. I eat when I’m not hungry. When I have a big plate of my favourite (pasta, for example) I deliberately eat as much as I can before my body registers that it’s full so I get as much as possible (then I lie on the couch like beached whale – it’s wonderful). Because of this, I’ve put on a few extra kilos over the last few months which wouldn’t have happened if my energy expenditure matched my energy intake.

  14. 29 tara 4 July, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    I think you might have just broken the fatosphere.

  15. 30 E 4 July, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    I linked to this post here.

  16. 31 Jen 5 July, 2009 at 12:43 am

    Love this post, thank you for writing it. While I only barely register as ‘fat’ in the fatosphere (I wear an American 12 pants) I see myself as fat and so do those around me. I’m a bad fatty in that I dont’ excersise and dont’ eat as healthy as I *could*. I’ve got a weakness for potato chips and chocolate and usually snack on one or the other almost every night of the week! It’s been a while since I’ve gone to aquabics or done any bellydancing but I get out in the garden weeding and do all the yardwork so I figure it evens out.
    While talking with my husband a few weeks ago I mentioned that if I just did an hour of DanceDance Revolution a night with some ab work I might lose some weight and my ‘mommy pouch’, a leftover from a c-section nearly 3 years ago. He nodded but didn’t say anything. Then I added; ‘but why should I? I like me just the way I am.’

  17. 32 mickey18385 5 July, 2009 at 1:35 am

    This is so true: “Like you, I also find exercise for exercise’s sake monumentally dull and have yet to find any form I actually want to do for the love of it – or the way it makes me feel, (which, while pleasant, is not actually that different to the way I normally feel) – on a regular basis.”

    I think whether we feel the “rush” post-exercise varies from person to person. (Kinda like our sizes… hmm.) And I think that those folks who feel the “runner’s high” can’t quite grasp that this doesn’t feel the same for everyone else.

    In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a runner and I enjoy this activity for its ability to clear my mind while I’m running. But I also don’t think that I feel that “runner’s high” to the same extent as some of my running buddies.

    Now, loving food to the point of happy dancing, that is something I quite understand. Bring on the lobster poached in Old Grandad, followed by a chocolate torte!

  18. 33 Christine 5 July, 2009 at 1:49 am

    I love to eat rich, high-calorie foods in large quantities. (And since I now have back pain issues, partially due to an old injury, I can’t exercise the way I used to anyway. Heck, some days I can’t stand and wash a full sink of dishes without stopping to sit down for a few minutes.) Still, I think the potential difference is only about 30 lbs on my 300 lb. body. Because I’ve done the restrictive diet and daily gym visits before. In my 20’s, the first 30 lbs would come off like melted butter, but nothing beyond that would budge. At 39 (right before the back pain really set in), a month of dieting and gym visits took off 2 lbs. 2 fracking pounds. It’s just not worth giving up pizza and coffee-caramel ice cream for.

  19. 34 NotWednesday 5 July, 2009 at 2:58 am

    “Of course I’ve found people who enjoy food, but none who publicly love it as much as I do and none who identify it as the cause of their fatness”

    Probably because most reputable studies show it doesn’t matter much what you eat, your body is going to weigh what it wants to. Don’t get me wrong, I love food and I don’t want to proclaim I’m a good fatty, but the whole attitude of “I’m fat because I eat” just leads into dieting think. If eating causes you to be fat, then eating less causes you to be skinny, right? No, wrong, or at least not in the long term, which is what really matters.

    The whole idea that we have to prove ourselves to be good fatties is obnoxious and borderline ablist, but you’re really missing the point, I think. The point isn’t that some of us are fat despite being good, and some of us could be thin if we were good, but that it’s totally irrelevant.

    Also, I hate the “I could lose 10kg” anecdata. It’s totally unfounded–you might start eating “better” and exercising “more” and lose it but gain it back, just like dieters do. You’re basing a lot of your claims on a baseless assumption.

    • 35 Frances 5 July, 2009 at 11:35 am

      Fair enough. Judging by the tidal wave of comments I’ve gotten, I should’ve thought a bit more about the words I chose. I really don’t want to encourage the idea “OMG IF FATTIES JUST RAN ALL THE WEIGHT WOULD FALL OFF!” because I know that’s just not true.

      I have edited my post so the line now reads “a cause in their fatness”. This may not be a big enough change for you, but eating has been one of the causes in my experience as a fat woman and I don’t want to ignore it.

      • 36 cicadasinmay 5 July, 2009 at 9:57 pm

        My concern is more the idea that “omg if you just stopped eating past satisfaction you would not only lose 10kg but have a ‘healthy’ BMI!”

  20. 37 Literate Shrew 5 July, 2009 at 3:26 am

    I just had to chime in with an OMG THANK YOU!

    When I was in my 20s, I had a very demanding job and went out dancing twice a week at least. (And I don’t mean “posing at the bar and drinking,” I mean DANCING.) So I was the skinniest I’ve ever been at around 125 lbs; I’m just under 5 foot, though, so I still wore size 16. Now that I’ve gotten older, discovered how to cook, and stopped moving around all the time, guess what? I’m two sizes and probably 60 lbs fatter. Only recently have I become OK with this.

    I too love food. And you know what? I hate exercise. HATE it. It’s boring and pointless and awful. And believe me, I’ve tried. Around the same time that I discovered FA on the intertubes, I was forcing myself to work out three times a week. Then, because of FA, I started examining my motivations for forcing myself to walk nowhere for an hour. No matter how I tried to justify it, I was working out because of that damn Fantasy of Being Thin. I didn’t get that stupid “runner’s high” or whatever. It didn’t improve my quality of life at all (quitting smoking did that) or suddenly cure my depression/anxiety. All it did was make me take a shower in a public place halfway through my day *shudder*.

    I’ve always been a person who lived in my head. I read; I write. Those are my activities. They take place in a chair. Sorry, that’s just the way it is. So if I’m “sedentary,” that’s just fine with me because I love my life.

  21. 38 Piffle 5 July, 2009 at 3:52 am

    Seems to me that you eat in a way that makes you happy, and that strikes me as a healthy approach to food. And you get a reasonable amount of exercise, walking to work and dancing a bit is perfectly fine. You are also completely correct that if all you did was eat potato chips and coffee and sit you would still be a human and deserve all the respect for your actions that a thin person would. (No person who sticks gum to cats or similar would get my respect for instance.)

    I think all the stories about eating healthy and exercising on the Fatosphere are a reaction to all the bigots who think no-one who is fat could possibly be like that. It’s defensive, which is always a good way to make other people feel excluded. I don’t think it’s meant to make other fatties feel excluded.

    I’m firmly on the side of not liking exercise for the sake of exercise. I can’t, I’ve tried. OTOH, I do like to garden and to dance by myself so I do those things. I have to say I dislike downhill slopes more than uphill ones though, harder on my knees. So when we divide the world, I’ll take your uphills if you’ll take my downhills. ;)

    People who like to eat should read Cook’s Illustrated, I’ve found that most of their recipes are very good and it’s interesting to see how they work out how to make them better.

    BuffPuff, did you know that barley is just as good as statins for lowering cholesterol? I adore lamb and barley stew and substitute about ten percent of white flour with barley flour in most bread recipes, which improves the flavor no end. If you can eat gluten, then it’s tasty and may also help your cholesterol. Best of luck with the fibromyalgia, that’s painful. I’m so glad that my MIL recommended vitamin D to me for my joint pain in my fingers, toes and ankles; it’s helped me. (When I stopped for Summer, I found sunshine isn’t enough, the pain came back, I started D again and it went away.)I don’t know if it might help for fibromyalgia or not, maybe someone else would know?

    • 39 BuffPuff 5 July, 2009 at 9:54 pm

      Oooh, no, I didn’t! I love barley and will happily factor more into my life. And I’m fine with gluten too. Though I have to say I did a lot of things at that time that are supposed to help – including daily ingestion of overpriced proven-to-be-cholesterol-lowering drinks which my doctor said definitely worked. Zilch! My reading went from 6.8…to 6.7. The doc said I’m simply lumbered with a body that’s very efficient at producing the stuff. In the UK, where our system for measuring cholesterol is obviously different from that of the US, they like you to have a reading of 5 or below. My doc fed a lot of info about me into her computer, (like not being a smoker or drinker, being reasonably active, etc), and said I could probably be fine with a reading of 6. I decided statins weren’t worth it for what difference they’d make.

      My Fibro is reasonably dealable with, for which I count myself lucky. (Or maybe I’m just used to it after 9 years). Certain things can start it off but I have quite effective anti-inflammatories for those occasions. The single thing that’s made the most difference? A low dose of an old fashioned anti-depressant – Amytriptilene. (Might be called something else in the US). Unless I’m super stressed I get to sleep deeper for longer and would recommend it to any other Fibro-afflicted person. For me it also has the added benefit of canceling out the Seasonal Affective Disorder I used to suffer with during the winter months. I understand a lot of post-viral-fatigue-syndrome folks get this too.

  22. 40 dareva 5 July, 2009 at 4:24 am

    I’m officially death fat (counted as “morbidly obese”) at a size 20, so don’t get the idea that “death fat” is only the media-represented headless super-fatty. :) I mean, I am a super-fatty, but that’s only because I’m me and therefore super. I do sometimes feel like a bad fatty, because I do like to eat and don’t much care to exercise, but I also understand why so many in the fatosphere point out their “good” eating and exercise habits. Weight is a moral issue to so many, and you get slightly less hatred as a fatty if you show yourself to be one of the “good” fatties whose weight isn’t necessarily “your fault.”

  23. 41 Patsy Nevins 5 July, 2009 at 4:28 am

    Most of us think we eat ‘too much’ any time we do not starve or any time we eat food commonly thought of as ‘bad’ (I do not believe in the ‘good food/bad food dichotomy; all food is good unless it is spoiled or one is allergic to it & all food has nutrients). if we eat enough to feel comfortably full & do not spend our whole lives hungry, we are ‘overeating’. In this culture, if we are fat, regardless of what we eat, we are assumed, by default, to be ‘overeating.’ I eat all types of food from all the food groups, eat what I want, when I want, but, after all these years working on these issues, I know that I have never been a compulsive eater. My son made homemade pizza for lunch & I ate two slices; that was all I wanted, all I could eat, & I do not like & never have liked being in pain from eating too much. When I get hungry later, I can have more, because I do not diet, do not deny myself so I am not constantly feeling as if I am stuffing in the ‘last meal’ before I start living virtuously. I really believe that most of us eat quite normally.

    And my last experience with testing the limits of my setpoint was within the past ten years, my last period of over 3 1/2 year of exercising quite intensely 3 to 4 hours EVERY day; in all that time, I lost a TOTAL of 15 pounds. In the intervening 6 years since I cut back to my ‘normal’ hour or hour & a half of exercise most days & 35-45 minutes daily on my slow days, as I have progressed through my 50’s & watched my body undergo the aging process & finally, some over two years ago, finished menopause, I have regained about 30 pounds. I can damn near kill myself with excessive exercise & I will be fat. I can exercise more moderately but still more than is necessary for health, & mostly because of the aging thing, I will be fatter. And every time I (& most of us) lose weight by trying to fool our bodies with starvation &/or excessive exercise, I will end up fatter in the long run than I was to begin with…not to mention that, when one has reached my age, losing weight increases mortality risks by several hundred percent. I will live comfortably & lovingly in the body I occupy; it gets me where I want to go, it has produced two healthy sons, & it brings joy & love & pleasure to me & my loved one. And I will be sliding into my grave with good chocolate in one hand & likely a cup of tea in the other one.

    • 42 cicadasinmay 5 July, 2009 at 1:43 pm

      Good point, I do tend to be judgmental of myself for eating what I want when it is available! Today I want vegetables and pasta, and that’s okay, but some days I want an entire bar of chocolate (as opposed to days where I want a third or half of a bar, or don’t have any chocolate around anyway)! Oh NOES! And that would be totally okay for a thin person to eat. But if you’re fat, you shouldn’t even really be having all that pasta/rice and sauce/salt with your vegetables, or cooking the vegetables in oil, or anything like that. Is the double-standard that is very slowly being chipped away at in my mind.

  24. 43 Kristie 5 July, 2009 at 5:05 am

    If I never see the terms “good fatty” and “bad fatty” again, it’ll be too soon. It is, to me, the same as talking about “good” and “bad” foods, and worse, buys into the same model every disenfranchised group has had to deal with. I’m sure there are plenty of folks who think that the only good fatty is a dead one. We’ve heard this before, and describing ourselves that way, even in quotes, is problematic.

    Food is fuel, whether you eat stuff that tastes wonderful or stuff that tastes bad or stuff you don’t really care about eating. People are people and deserve to be treated with respect, regardless of their appearance. The fact that everyone here can still so readily describe what they’re eating (and the rebellious factor thereof) and how much they’re exercising means, to me, that we’re still somewhat shackled by the expectation that this should be our life focus, even when were fighting against that expectation. I know it’s a journey. But we seem to have a long ways to go yet.

  25. 44 Deeleigh 5 July, 2009 at 5:09 am

    I really don’t understand why all of you think you’re “bad.” Why are you passing a negative judgment on yourselves? Many non-fat people love food and don’t like to exercise. So what. It’s not a moral issue, and being fat is more complicated than energy in – energy out.

  26. 45 Catgal 5 July, 2009 at 5:20 am

    Terrific post! I am also a “Bad (rad?) Fattie. I would totally buy a t-shirt. I know my eating patterns are poor and that I don’t exercise regularly. But it doesn’t mean that I haven’t tried and repeatedly ended up squarely right back where I started plus more. I have decided that dieting is bad for my health and refuse to play this yo-yo game anymore!

  27. 46 JupiterPluvius 5 July, 2009 at 7:29 am

    I am fat because I eat too much

    I don’t see how that’s a fat-accepting or fat-positive statement.

    I would say, “You eat as much as you want to. And you are fat. If you ate a lot less than you wanted to, you might be thinner, or you might not be.”

    “Too much” is fat-negative and food-negative. Eat whatever you want, and don’t judge yourself for it.

  28. 47 Caitin 5 July, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Re: fat and weight loss. My understanding (based on what I’ve read) is that everyone has a natural range of about 30lbs around a setpoint. The setpoint’s set by genetics, and where you are on the range at any one time is mostly determined by what you’re eating and what sort of exercise you’re getting.

    I know right now I’m right up the high end of mine because a year into FA I’m still eating anything that comes into my head and eating past full to prove to mylsef that I “can” and it’s allowed. When I start respecting my feelings of fullness as I (finally) respect my feelings of hunger, I expect I’ll go down a bit towards where I was before. (Your belief that if you ate a bit less and exercised a bit more you could lose 10kg would work within your range if you’re near the top now.)

    But I can’t change my setpoint, unless illness, medication, aging or some other external (to my food and exercise habits) factor changes it for me.

    Also, food is fucking great and I don’t care if a person eats 4 tonnes of food a day and exercises never, they are a human being deserving of rights and respect and a part of the fatosphere community. The whole POINT of FA is that your body/eating/exercise habits are irrelevant as a measure of your worth as a person.

  29. 48 Caitlin 5 July, 2009 at 9:23 am

    Way to misspell my own name.

  30. 49 caffeinatedmind 5 July, 2009 at 9:49 am

    I didn’t know there’s a “fatosphere” till now. If only one can maintain his eating habit without getting fat in the process.

  31. 50 Becky 5 July, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    For myself, I would put it the opposite way. I’m fat, therefore I eat. By which I mean… I do consume more calories than the average person, and I do lose weight when I eat less… but when I eat less I get hungry. I start craving calorie dense foods, and if I ignore the cravings, they turn into compulsions. My body doesn’t want me to eat less, and I think it’s because it doesn’t want to lose weight. It wants to be the weight it is.

  32. 51 fallingfairy 5 July, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    i actually don’t know the whole thing about being a good or a bad fatty. i don’t like food much and normally can’t finish a burger. but i totally agree with you. we all deserve respect.im kinda fed up with discrimination regarding dress sizes.

  33. 52 thordora 5 July, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    I gained about 50 pounds after my last pregnancy. I still fit into 80% of the clothes from before, so I’m not sure where it went. :)

    I’m happy. I’m content in my body-it’s strong! I eat what I want for the most part-and I was a huge kid, just big and tall and “womanly” from the get go. I never apologize for that. Even the year I starved myself while doing…things we won’t speak of, I was STILL a size 15, and STILL had a belly that jiggled. I’ll never be skinny.

    So bring on the brie and butter and corn and strawberries. Can’t eat when I’m dead. :)

    (you aren’t alone. Many of us ARE human as well.)

  34. 53 Brad Beaman 5 July, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Revolutionary thinking! Nice.

  35. 54 Benjamin 5 July, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    I just felt obliged to say that I love your post. In a world ransacked with diet fads and other bullshit to make us “healthier,” it’s enlivening to hear someone say the most obvious thing: Food tastes great. We could perhaps make better choices, yes, but to hell with that! We’ve one life to live, and it’s disgusting to hear people preach about “appropriate diets” that teach people to fear food. I’d rather die fat and happy than skinny and frustrated. Thank you for being another voice of reason.

  36. 55 LoopyLoo 5 July, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    Thank you so much for this. I get so weary of reading FA blogs where everyone eats perfectly and exercises tirelessly and is fat only because of their genes. Not me. I’m also fat because I eat too much. If I were to cut my calorie consumption down by 20 percent or so, I’d probably drop 20 pounds easily. But like you, I don’t want to. I’m perfectly happy with my rounded, soft body and I don’t want to give up all the excellent food I eat (and share with my extensive family and friends.) I can’t claim to exercise, either — I’ve always hated it and 10,000 lectures about “learning to move joyfully” aren’t going to change a thing.

  37. 56 bobbygee 6 July, 2009 at 12:57 am

    Fat by who’s definiton? Enjoy have fun.. Bobby gee

    http://bobbygee.wordpress.com/

  38. 57 Sniper 6 July, 2009 at 1:21 am

    When I was in my 20s, I had a very demanding job and went out dancing twice a week at least. (And I don’t mean “posing at the bar and drinking,” I mean DANCING.) So I was the skinniest I’ve ever been at around 125 lbs; I’m just under 5 foot, though, so I still wore size 16.

    @Literate Shrew, your post intrigued me, because I’m maybe an inch taller than you and when I was 125 pounds, I wore a size 4 (American). I didn’t get to a 16 until 180 pounds. My only point here is that, damn, bodies are weird. I think this goes for food intake and exercise as well. I, for one, gain strength easily through exercise, but muscle tone? Never heard of it, even when thin. You’d think that PCOS and its attendant hormone mess would increase muscle development, but no, at least as far as I can tell. I have no idea how these weird variations come about, but they interest me.

  39. 58 librarychair 6 July, 2009 at 2:19 am

    I don’t think that eating is the cause of my fat, but I do enjoy food. I recognize the food dance. I do them too.

    It’s actually kind of a big family thing. There is surprisingly little talk of diets or exercising when my family gets together for a big holiday meal – we all just sit around and exclaim at how good this or that or the other food is. When my friends and I go to the local Thai food place we moan at each other about how we’re too full to continue eating, because the food is SO GOOD and there’s so much of it. I eat more than necessary when there’s something really good. I eat when I’m not hungry when there’s something delicious to eat. Like last night. My dad had made some brownies, and there was moose tracks ice cream, and it was delicious, and then I went to bed, satisfied. Aaah.

    I will not underestimate the emotional power of food. When I get really stressed out my appetite is the first thing to go. I’ll forget to eat until about 3 in the afternoon and then my blood sugar will start to go, too. I won’t feel hungry but I’ll make myself eat, and in the process I will feel taken care of.

    • 59 Frances 6 July, 2009 at 9:02 am

      I will not underestimate the emotional power of food. When I get really stressed out my appetite is the first thing to go. I’ll forget to eat until about 3 in the afternoon and then my blood sugar will start to go, too. I won’t feel hungry but I’ll make myself eat, and in the process I will feel taken care of.

      Me too! I have a massive emotional attachment to food.

      When I get anxious, I never feel like eating. I have to make myself eat otherwise the anxiety gets much worse. Quite a lot of the time I don’t really recognise that I’m hungry, I just start to feel really really low – “ohhhh everything’s pointless, life’s so awful….” Then I eat lunch, and everything’s better again.

  40. 60 April D 6 July, 2009 at 3:31 am

    “We should not have to divulge our eating and exercise habits to family/friends/strangers/journalists in order to justify our fatness. Whether we happily overeat or happily run marathons, we all deserve respect.”

    This: perfect!

    This is a very thought provoking post; as certainly proved by all the comments back and forth! Since the comments have already hashed out much of what I would have wanted to add I will just say that I too have a Happy Food Dance that is usually accompanied by a jaunty hummed tune. What will never cease to amaze me is that no matter WHAT a person weighs, folks around them can still be shocked at anyone who shows actual ENJOYMENT of food.

  41. 61 Katie 6 July, 2009 at 4:09 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. I’m a food lover as well and I really don’t exersize all that much (mostly just taking the dog for walks). I don’t think that I will ever be a ‘good fattie’ I love food way to much and I think that exersizing just for the sake of exersizing is just plain stupid.

  42. 62 niamh 6 July, 2009 at 5:35 am

    Of course food/fitness isn’t a moral issue and fat people deserve basic respect because we’re human. The problem is most of the world doesn’t think like that. That’s why I think posts about fat people’s “healthy” eating and fitness activities are just as important as the one you made here. We really have to do something to change the common belief that fat people are fat because they overeat and don’t exercise and that they should be judged as morally “less than” for those very reasons.

    • 63 Frances 6 July, 2009 at 9:07 am

      Exactly. There are two sides to the obesity argument: when people claim that all fatties are unhealthy, this should definitely be refuted because it just isn’t true. BUT if a fat person is unhealthy, that does not mean that they are morally inferior and deserving of scorn and hate.

  43. 64 Emerald 6 July, 2009 at 7:40 am

    I’m with JupiterPluvius on this. I eat as much as I want to, to satisfy both my hunger and my taste buds – and I’m fat. I’m a British size 18. I might be thinner if I ate a lot less – or I might not. The one time in my life I was substantially smaller was on my first marriage: age 21, and I went down from a size 14 and around 145lb to 128 and, I think, an 8. I probably was eating a lot less – I seem to recall living on coffee and cake between rushing round shopping for stuff – but I was also under an inhuman load of stress, I was exhausted, and you don’t want to know what state my skin and hair were in. If that’s what it takes to make me thin, you can keep it.

    (Incidentally, on the noticeable weight loss front – I think it hugely depends on who’s doing the noticing. One time when I experimented with going totally veggie for a few months, several people at work told me I looked thinner – but during that same time my mother, who was always obsessed with my fatness, claimed I’d put on weight. She, incidentally, also totally failed to notice that huge wedding weight loss. And I have one otherwise sweet work colleague who always tells me I’ve lost weight every time I get my hair dyed – I think it’s her default ‘something about your appearance is different but I can’t see what’ compliment.)

    I love good cheeses, artisan breads with plenty of butter, in-season local soft fruits, salmon, anything Mexican. I’m not a big sweet tooth, but hey, if I want chocolate, I’ll have chocolate (and Buffpuff, if those cherries are Chukar’s dark chocolate covered, the fight’s on!). I eat till I’m satisfied…unless it’s one of the inlaws’ all-you-can-eat Chinese birthday buffets, when I stuff myself silly with everyone else. I can walk for England, but I can also slack like a good ‘un a lot of the time. I like to swim, but I rarely have time to get to the pool these days because I also have other stuff I like doing. And I love to dance, but I’m out in the sticks and it’s unlikely there’s a body-friendly adult ballet class I could get to easily right now, which is just one of a myriad of reasons I’d like to live in a more urban area. And none of this makes me ”good’ or ‘bad’…it’s just how I live my life. And if I had the habits I have but was 50lbs lighter, I bet nobody would bat an eyelid.

  44. 65 Enomis 6 July, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Bad fatties unite!!!

    Sadly, this whole concept is based around moralizing about food. There is no moral issue with eating, eating until you’re full, overeating, enjoying your food, eating fatty foods, eating desserts, eating chocolate or whatever else. Unless you are damaging someone else by doing it (like literally taking food out of a starving person’s hands and eating it yourself), or you are hurting yourself by doing it (you are diabetic or have celiac disease, or get bad physical reactions to particular foods).

    Are you hurting yourself by simply overeating? It depends, obviously. If it makes you feel good, then no, I would argue that you aren’t. If it makes you feel physically shitty (immediately after, or even the next day), then probably, you are hurting yourself. Simply eating “too much” food that brings you immense pleasure doesn’t hurt you or anyone else. Throughout history, humans have eaten “too much” food as a way of celebrating good fortune or abundance. It’s great to be able to eat “too much.” It means you have a pretty good standard of living. Why should any of this be about morality?

    If you feel that eating too much has contributed to your being fat, you are welcome to that belief. But you don’t have iron-clad proof of it. And even then, it’s your body, to do what you will with. You’re just as entitled to “eat yourself fat” as you are to get plastic surgery, tattoos and piercings, exercise or not, have consensual sex with whomever you want to, and dress your body in the clothing that you like. None of these things are moral issues, although society would have us believe that they are.

  45. 66 Sarah 6 July, 2009 at 9:35 am

    I have gained 10 pounds a year since 2003. I have kept track. Sure, I have tried and failed to lose weight in those years too. But I’m quite positive that my indulgence has led to my massive weight gain, and I’m quite sure a normal human being cannot naturally weight 320+ pounds and can barely fit into a size 6X.

    My eating habits embarrass the hell out of me, but I can’t stop. I hate exercise, and I’m not even going to pretend to like it.

    At what point can we say that yes, your food and exercise habits are morally wrong? I’m abusing my body and the effects of my behavior are going to punish me in the future. But I can’t stop myself, and I feel like a monster.

    • 67 Frances 6 July, 2009 at 11:32 am

      If I changed my eating and exercise habits, my body may be healthier but my mind would be sick and stressed (stress kills too, don’t forget). Eating makes me truly happy – what kind of life would it be if I denied myself that?

      Food and exercise have nothing to do with morality. They are about you and your relationship with your body.

    • 68 Linda 6 July, 2009 at 12:03 pm

      You’re not a monster, and calling yourself one is not helpful on any level. Maybe stop “stopping yourself.” Be kind to yourself. I don’t know what else to tell you, but you need to stop beating yourself this way, because it’s obviously not doing you any good, and it’s not making you eat less or exercise more. What’ with the “monster?” Are you bombing a children’s hospital, or terrorizing people? If not, be realistic and stop turning your food and exercise into a moral battleground.

    • 69 jaed 6 July, 2009 at 11:32 pm

      Sarah, eating normally (that is, eating what you like, not deliberately restricting your intake, maybe occasionally stuffing yourself) does not usually cause weight gain of this kind. But there are quite a few medical conditions that cause gradual unstoppable weight gain over time. Have you had yourself checked out by a competent doctor? If not I would urge you to do it. I’m concerned for you.

      Or maybe when you say you indulge yourself, you mean you eat compulsively and can’t stop yourself even though you don’t actually want so much food. This is also a medical issue if this is what’s happening with you, and you can get treatment for it. In neither case is it your fault, and in neither case are you immoral or a monster.

      Forgive me if I’m being intrusive or butting in. But your comment and your obvious anguish over your body worry me.

    • 70 fat acceptance 8 July, 2009 at 4:48 am

      Sarah, I think it is important to either embrace a healthy lifestyle or accept your fatness. While to you it may suck being fat it is better to remain obese than to constantly weight cycle. If you can adopt a healthy lifestyle that would be better but if you can not maintain it over the course of your lifetime you are probably better off not worrying about it.

  46. 71 ae 6 July, 2009 at 10:55 am

    wow, what an amazing and thought-provoking post. I have struggled with accepting so many of these aspects of myself (even as someone who admittedly loves exercise). Like you describe. the reality is that I would probably be “less fat” if I ate more to my hunger cues (though realistically, not by much). But is that worth it? When I’m in a compulsive overeating/ED phase of life, there are definite reasons for it. But when it’s just because part of being a human being is delighting in the pleasure of eating and its aftereffects? Well, I’d like to think it’s okay to have that inherent enjoyment. As someone else in the comments noted about fatties, it’s hard not to justify to others “oh I eat ‘right’/exercise/deny myself all things blacklisted/etc”. I’ve noticed this SO MUCH with myself, the constant “why it’s okay for me to eat/be like this even though you might be judging me.”

    Sort of a rambly comment…but felt important to show up here and thank you for opening up a new branch of the non-defensive “I’m just genetically fat” aspect of this. Food and movement do factor in==and WHAT IF that’s okay too.

    xo

    • 72 ae 6 July, 2009 at 10:57 am

      sorry, speaking of rambly…I think what I was also getting at is that my husband is eating a pint of ice cream for dinner tonight and because he’s not fat people would tend not to care, but because I’m an in-betweenie it would be judged differently. and what I love about your post is you saying WELL IT SHOULDN’T BE. -ae

  47. 73 Alan 6 July, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    I like full figured girls. A full figure implies indulgence, over indulgence, hedonism, not knowing when to stop, taking pleasure, lack of inhibitions – all great sexual characteristics.

  48. 74 wriggles 7 July, 2009 at 12:37 am

    Love of food (and lack of activity) can ’cause’ you to be thin too.

  49. 75 Tempe Wick 7 July, 2009 at 4:34 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I understand why they do it, but I’m weary of reading FA blogs where everyone talks about how healthy they are. I keep hoping someone will say the same thing I keep thinking. While my diet is okay now, it wasn’t always.
    I’m not fat because of genetics, or a medical problem. I’m fat because for a long time, I ate a lot of high calorie foods and got little or no exercise. End of story. I was skinny as a child. It wasn’t until I had relatively unfettered access many kinds of food–college–that I got fat. Despite what some would claim–there is a connection between the calories you take in and those you expend.
    That’s one of the things that drives me wild on FA blogs. The denial of scientific evidence which contradicts what people want to believe. Yes, there are studies showing that fat may not be harmful, you may live longer, etc. But the *vast majority* of the evidence out there suggests this isn’t the case. Being fat does increase the risk of diabetes/heart attack/stroke, etc. Saying “booga booga” won’t make that go away.

    Like you, I really enjoyed food. I still have fond memories of some of the meals I had in Boston–clam chowder, all sorts of really fresh seafood (fried, of course), freshly baked bread with lots of butter. And what meal would be complete without dessert? My favorite was an apple/cranberry crumble my favorite restaurant served in the winter. With vanilla ice cream. So very, very good. At that time, Godiva made maple truffles in the fall; I can’t tell you how much I spent there. They were glorious. The bagels at Breuggers bagesl–sesame with bacon scallion cream cheese. Indescribeably good.

    Unfortunately, I got to a point where the pleasure wasn’t enough to make up for the problems eating so much caused. So I had to give it up. But just because I’m a “good fatty” now doesn’t mean I always was.

  50. 76 Sylvia 7 July, 2009 at 5:34 am

    We have all heard of these stories – a person eats well, exercises religiously, doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke, and they’re dead at age 40.

    Why? I truly believe that we have no control over when, where, why, or how the Grim Reaper visits us. It’ll happen when it happens.

    So, if enjoying a bottle (or two, or three) of a fantastic wine and one (or two, or three) helpings of a fantastic dinner makes me happy, giddy & content, good for me! If it makes me a raging lunatic who neglects her children and robs banks, maybe I should find something else to make me happy.

    I’m fat because I eat – a lot. And I enjoy it immensely.

    ’nuff said.

    (Thank you for the insightful post!)

  51. 77 the fat nutritionist 8 July, 2009 at 12:03 am

    You know, I’m sure a lot of people would call what I do “overeating,” and I have noticed that I do, on average, eat more than other (thinner) people.

    But, to me, the experience of overeating is relative only to myself, not to others. If I’m not eating past the point of comfortable fullness, then to my mind, I am eating how much I am supposed to eat.

    And I also identify that food and activity has an effect on my weight — in fact, I’m pretty darned sure that I am fat because of a combination of my genetic tendencies AND my eating and exercise habits.

    I just don’t think there’s anything wrong with my body size, or those habits. I wrote about this here.

  52. 78 buffPuff 8 July, 2009 at 3:28 am

    “At what point can we say that yes, your food and exercise habits are morally wrong?

    Oooh, lemme see…

    When you rob some little old lady at knife-point in order to pay for a dinner you otherwise couldn’t afford?

    When you head-butt any other wedding guest who tries to eat anything at all from the buffet table?

    When you hog the treadmill all day in the gym, even though the other two are broken, and won’t let anybody else have a go on it all afternoon?

    When you steal one of the exercise bikes or some weights from the gym?

    When you deliberately crush/suffocate the next journalist/ex-fat person/concern troll who claims minimal food intake and manic exercise are next to Godliness with your fatty-fatty-fat-fat body till they gasp their last?

    Theft, violence, murder, blackmail, extortion, general anti-social behaviour? All moral issues.

    Food intake, food choices, choosing not to exercise if it bores you rigid? Not moral issues.

    We’re all familiar with those who believe they are. And generally their complaints centre around money. A lot of immorality takes place around the acquisition of money. Like airlines ripping out comfortable seats and replacing them with many more smaller, uncomfortable seats in order to shoehorn more people onto their planes and make more money; or insurance companies penalising certain members of the populace with higher premiums based on arbitrary, unreliable bullshit like the BMI…in order to make more money. Or magazines and newspapers running endless articles to make you feel so shitty about yourself you’ll throw vast amounts of money at the people who advertise with them – such as diet floggers, gyms, bariatric surgeons and self-elected health gurus. Or the self-same bunch of misery-making, money-grubbing advertisers partnering government obesity think tanks in order to cash in on the alarmism they’re deliberately stirring up. Moral issues; every single one of them.

    Eating till you’re full at no one else’s expense? Weighing more than some skinny bint on the cover of Cosmo? I’ll say it again: Not. Moral. Issues.

    • 79 Sarah 10 July, 2009 at 1:38 pm

      “Food intake, food choices, choosing not to exercise if it bores you rigid? Not moral issues.”

      It IS a moral issue to me when it is drastically affecting my life – not to mention those around me. Yeah, I keep McDonald’s rich. But is that a morally RIGHT thing?

      “Eating till you’re full at no one else’s expense? Weighing more than some skinny bint on the cover of Cosmo? I’ll say it again: Not. Moral. Issues.”

      When you weigh more than most morbidly obese people, it is a moral problem. A personal, moral problem. It will come to the point where I will burden others, and I don’t want that to happen.

  53. 80 Enomis 8 July, 2009 at 10:37 am

    Great point about money, BuffPuff. Most discrimination throughout history has not so coincidentally benefited the oppressors economically.

    I’ll add another one to your list: the alarmist studies about how fat is evil. Ever wonder why there are so many of these? Doing a study premised on the “obesity crisis” is way more likely to get researchers grant money than boring studies that aren’t tied into the moral panic currently en vogue. Sadly, most of the research community isn’t interested in being objective on this topic. In many fields, research findings that contradict widely-held beliefs are suppressed or buried. More often, the research can’t be carried out at all, because the researchers can’t even get funding unless their research objectives are in line with the world-view of whoever’s giving out the money. Sad.

    • 81 Frances 8 July, 2009 at 10:46 am

      In many fields, research findings that contradict widely-held beliefs are suppressed or buried.

      Or they can be asked to tone down their contradictory conclusions when their paper is submitted for peer-review.

      There’s an awful lot of politics involved in academia.

  54. 82 Reg Webb 8 July, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    Very glad to have discovered this post, and so many interesting comments.

    To me, a crucial point you make is:
    “While my growing belly is a consequence of my over-eating, it’s a happy one. I love
    being fat, and not in a ‘This is what I’m stuck with so I may as well love it’ sort
    of way. I genuinely think I look better now than when I was 30kg lighter. I’m certainly
    a helluva lot happier.”

    There are clearly two versions of “fat acceptance” loose in the world – at least two. One is joyful, the other glum resignation. Obviously we can’t all love ourselves equally, and some have to act “as if”, still being harried by society’s dubious norms about how they should look. Your genuine joy here is therefore compelling, and I thank you for it.

    That others on this planet starve to death avoidably is a moral issue. But, if it harms nobody else, what an individual chooses to do with their body because they like it is, as has been pointed out, none of morality’s business.

    • 83 Frances 9 July, 2009 at 10:28 am

      Thank you for the nice words!

      My big sister (who is my polar opposite in body shape) holds up my 17 year old self as proof that I can be thin(ner). But in my eyes I didn’t look better back then. My head sort of looks like big for my body. My collar bones stick out. And back then I was horribly insecure and hated my body so I always slumped my shoulders.

      Plus there’s so much to enjoy about being fat. I don’t even know if I can put it into words. I love how my pot belly stick out. I love how bits of hip escape over the waistband of my pants. And every chubby bit of me is so fun to play with; my mum catches me absent-mindedly poking myself in the belly.

      I’m not perfect at this whole self-esteem thing: I occasionally wish my upper arms and my double chin would go away and leave me alone. And clothes shopping makes me curse my curves. But most of the time, I love it.

  55. 84 the fat nutritionist 9 July, 2009 at 4:11 am

    Eating till you’re full at no one else’s expense? Weighing more than some skinny bint on the cover of Cosmo? I’ll say it again: Not. Moral. Issues.

    Quoted for truth, BuffPuff.

    In my mind, stuff like food security — that’s a moral issue. The impact our choices have on ecology, and the treatment of animals — those are moral issues.

    But the size of my ass, and the way I choose to eat and move, as an individual? The state of my health? Not moral issues in any sense at all.

  56. 85 everjoy 12 July, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Thank you for this post! I am sick and tired of the FA community making it sound like only a very small percentage of fat people are fat because of their lifestyle, when in fact it’s the opposite: the vast majority of fat people are fat because they eat too much and don’t exercise (I’m one of them), and only a small minority are fat because of genetics or health or, my favorite line of BS denial: “My body has a certain weight it’s supposed to be at and no matter how much I diet or exercise, I can’t lose weight because my body just doesn’t want to be at a lower weight! It’s not my fault, so there!”

    If fat people would just admit that they COULD lose weight if they wanted to, but they just don’t want to go through the admittedly tough effort it would take, I could accept that. I’d respect the honesty. I willingly admit it! But this, “It’s all genetics or my body has decided it must be this weight” BS is embarrassingly awful to read over and over.

    I am fat because I gorge myself and I don’t move. Full stop.

  57. 86 lilacsigil 17 July, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    A great post! I gained a vast amount of weight while I had cancer (mostly because it wasn’t diagnosed for 18 months – no-one believed I was sick and just told me I was fat and lazy!) After surgery and treatment for that, I tried and tried to lose weight, going back to crappy teenage habits. Then I discovered the fat-o-sphere. I stopped trying to diet, embraced HAES, and much to my surprise, lost a considerable amount of weight, which has now stabilised. I’m still death fat. But this is my happy death fat.

  58. 87 Deena 21 July, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    Soft boiled eggs and toast soldiers…… hand cut chips.. cake…… Far too early in the morning to be thinking about cake….
    I saw this post a while ago but I don’t remember if I commented. If I did already, sorry for repeating myself.

    This is a great post- and a brave one too. No one really admits to loving food but I’ll raise my hand too. I’m the size I am because of food but I’ve never been slim anyway so I guess that makes me a mix of good and bad fattie. If I didn’t love cake and coronation chicken on granary baguettes with red onions (drool)so much and did more frequent not sporadic exercise, I would be a few dress sizes smaller but probably no smaller than a 20. Whatever the reason for my size it shouldn’t affect the respect I get from ANYONE.

    Going to google opor ayam and pho as I have no idea what they are.

    Garlic…. I LOVE the taste of garlic and used to eat crushed garlic on toast like it was peanut butter or something. Not done that in years….. I wonder if I would still like it…

    • 88 Frances 21 July, 2009 at 8:17 pm

      Opor ayam is Indonesian for chicken curry. My Mum is Indonesian and, when I’m very good, she makes an AMAZING opor ayam for me. She doesn’t make it for me that often as Indonesian curries are really time-intensive: first you blend all the spices together to a paste, then you fry the paste, then you coat the meat in the paste and then you cook the meat. But it’s so so good.

      Pho is a Vietnamese soup with clear broth, meat (usually sliced chicken, sliced beef or beef meatballs), noodles and a bunch of fresh ingredients (basil, bean sprouts, chilli etc). I used to live near a Vietnamese restaurant and pho was such a quick, cheap meal. Sydney is pretty spoiled for choice when it comes to Asian restaurants!

  59. 89 Paperclippe 1 January, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    …I…just…this.

    I’ve never come across anyone who could say this – what I always wanted to say – so clearly as you have here.

    I also want to second the person who said that yes, people can “overeat” but only in relation to themselves.

    In lieu of repeating what everyone already said months ago, I just want to say thanks again, love the blog, and adore your style.

  60. 90 manda 17 May, 2010 at 11:16 am

    i love you for writing this post, i was getting so sick of seeing all the platitudinous ‘i eat barely anything, it’s all good for me and i run a million miles a day’ posts on fat blogs. ok, that might be the case for some, but like you said, it’s like there is a division between the ‘good’ fatties and the ‘bad’ ones, and you can only be a person of worth if you are on the good side of the fence.

    i’m definitely in the same boat as you, i love food and i love to eat a lot of it. it gives me genuine pleasure, being hungry is one of the most miserable feelings in the world. knowing i have some delicious pasta prepared for lunch makes it easier to get through the first half of my day at work.

    to be honest, i would probably fall firmly on the ‘bad’ side of the imaginary line since i don’t eat vegetables at all (i can’t even count the number of ‘concerned’ remarks about my health this has earned me) and i don’t do a hell of a lot of exercise. i’m on my feet all day at work but that’s about it. the food i eat is not that bad, mostly pasta and rice with meat, but i know it could be way better! i find it difficult to care when it tastes so good :/

    sorry this ended up as an essay, i only meant to say that i agreed and appreciated your post, and indeed your whole blog, although this post is pretty old so you might not even see this comment.

    manda x

  61. 92 kitty 17 June, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    trust me i know how you feel i love food too.
    Good food!!! I eat way more than i should because it soooooooooo
    goooooood :) But last year my husband started on this thing about FAT PEOPLE, himself overweight started to lose weight and eat right, and cheat on me………..whatever. I’m probably just venting, but just becuz you’re happy being fat watch out… men are men and may start looking the other way. Unfortunately men can drop weight very quickly, making you look like a fat slob…
    (my own feelings) love you all


  1. 1 Top Posts « WordPress.com Trackback on 5 July, 2009 at 10:28 am
  2. 2 I HEART FOOD « Two Zaftig Chicks Trackback on 8 July, 2009 at 12:31 am
  3. 3 Corpulent Cuisine! « Two Zaftig Chicks Trackback on 2 September, 2009 at 12:38 am

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