Posts Tagged ‘fat acceptance’

Weight Stigma Awareness Week

If you’re not already aware that this week is weight stigma awareness week then  you’d better hurry up and jump on the wagon! Especially since the organization, BEDA (the binge eating disorder association), sponsoring this week has suggestions on how you spend each day. Yesterday was to make art that helps you in your body acceptance journey. Me, I made a painting (primitive, but nice, yes?) According to BEDA, their goal is “to bring awareness to a common and entrenched social injustice that often results in serious physical and mental health consequences for those affected”.

Serious physical and mental health consequences. Let’s get serious for a moment.  Teens who even think they’re fat are more likely to attempt suicide and, let’s face it, the fat  hate starts early  and children as young as three years old show weight bias against heavier people, attributing things such as being ugly, lazy, and stupid. By three years old, people. That’s some seriously early weight hate indoctrination. One study shows that children 5-11 prefer underweight friends and react more positively to underweight stimuli than overweight stimuli (which they, of course, reacted negatively to).

So today is “reclaim” day. Reclaim your body image, reclaim your mental health. Reclaim yourself. Post sticky notes on your bathroom mirror. Make a pin board as BEDA suggests, lf body love quotes and images. Surround yourself with fat art, with fat blogs, with fat people, whatever! Just remember that today is a day for loving yourself absolutely and unconditionally. And don’t forget to look at the upcoming days: recommit and celebrate! Recommitting means committing to take care of yourself, to challenge thin privilege and the weight based industry, to challenge negative thoughts about yourself and others and to recommit to being a fat acceptance activist and participant. And, finally, end the week by celebrating you. Simply you and how wonderful and amazing you are. Get your spouses and friends and family and children involved! Make a list of all the great things about yourselves and pin it to the fridge or in your office. Or just take a you day and relax with some hot tea.

Whatever you do, don’t forget to tell people about weight stigma awareness week- that’s where the awareness part comes in!


Is fat acceptance an excuse to pig out?

I was telling Hubby how excited I was that I’d done my first post on the Axis, and the more I enthused about Fat Acceptance, the more I could see his face cloud over. After a while it was hard to keep up the enthusiasm.

Then it struck me: “Do you think me getting more involved in body acceptance is just an excuse for me to pig out?”.

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Allow myself to introduce… myself.

Hi, my name is Moonica (well, my online alter ego’s name is, at least), and I’m very pleased to meet you.

Well, you know, not meet, but have the opportunity to write to you. Or at you (language up until now really has left us quite ill-equipped for online interaction, hasn’t it?).

I’m not a writer. I’m not an activist. What I am is fat, and growing increasingly aware of and unwilling to accept the entire library of social subtext associated with that.

I can’t promise you life changing insights or debate winning arguments. But I damn well promise to be honest and open about my experiences being fat and giving up on the ideals prescribed to me by diet pedlars, fashionistas and disapproving glances. Perhaps you can associate; perhaps I can put into words something that you yourself have experienced. Or perhaps this is all very alien to you and I can offer insight into what it’s like being a genuine, real life, fat person just wanting to get on with life and eating the occasional cupcake without fear of what people think. If nothing else, I relish this opportunity to add my voice to those trying to open some eyes to the humanity of fat people everywhere – including (and perhaps especially) the eyes of fat people themselves.

Ironically, as I endeavour to join a sub-culture that rejects labels and aims to recover from the damage they do, I can’t seem to write this introduction without wanting to define myself with my own set of labels. Perhaps I’ve been too conditioned that way. Perhaps they’re just a handy short-hand to convey some information about myself and give you a basic reference of what my outlook is likely to be like. Probably a combination of these and many other things. So here it is, my curriculum vitae for your inspection.

  • I’m fat, but not morbidly obese. I am definitely too fat for most clothes shops and probably most people, but I secretly harbour insecurities about not being fat enough to be here.
  • I live in a big city and a fairly posh area in it at that, and I am pretty certain I am the only fat person a lot of my friends and acquaintances know.
  • I am a huge foody and a wanna-be cook.
  • I am the sleep deprived but insanely proud and happy mother of a 9-month old boy.
  • I am married to someone who loves me whatever I look like.
  • I’m a Christian, but promise not to be preachy or exclusionary about it and for it only to come into my writing as it pertains to fatness
  • I’m a software developer who works for myself from home.
  • I am not a fashionista. I rarely bother with makeup or high heels, so don’t expect any fatshion-style posts from me. However I love looking at other fatties (and people in general) rocking funky, off-the-beaten-track styles.
  • I am white, able-bodied, straight, and middle-class, and aware that I’m in a position of privilege in these (and other) regards and that that informs my viewpoints and experiences – but not so aware that I always know how it affects them.
  • I just bought a fantastic house and am about four months away from being unpacked and organized (this is not at all relevant to Axis of Fat, but I’m that excited about the new house).

So here’s to you, reader, to whom this is dedicated; and if I may, here’s to me finally putting down an introduction. I hope to be able to contribute something of meaning here on the Axis and I look forward to this opportunity to get more involved in the fatosphere. To help, to give back, and as part of my own journey towards being ok being just me.

 

Fond regards,

Moonica


Introducing

TW for ED, suicide/depression, self harm

Hi everyone, I just wanted to take a minute to introduce myself, Heather, also known as Fat Girl Posing, and tell you a little bit about myself and how I came to fat acceptance. I’ll try to keep it short. As an adult I’m opinionated and creative, something I hope comes through in my posts. I write for my own blog, Fat Girl Posing where I blog about my experiences as a local plus size model, as well as for Fierce Freethinking Fatties under the name hlkolaya and now, I’m happy to be writing here as well!

I’m fat- a deathfat in fact, and I grew up that way. In fact, I was a size 22/24 in 6th grade, only three years after my journey into fatdom. You see, before third grade I wasn’t fat at all. I was a “wiry” child as my mom likes to say, just like my son is now. I wore the smallest sizes and they were still big. So what happened? Well, hell if I know, but the doctors’ best guesses – and these are medical professionals talking about weight so take it, as always, with a few handfuls of salt- are that my body changed when my bipolar symptoms kicked in. Yep, I’m fat and kinda nuts (no, you’re not allowed to say that, only I am), you’d have to be to be in the business of fat activism I guess. So in three years I went from bean pole to, what, a watermelon or something if we’re sticking with food analogies.

So I lost all of my friends, got asked on dates as jokes, got beaten up, even had bricks thrown at my head. I went from the popular girl to the lowest of the low. At at ten, in 6th grade, I first attempted suicide. I’d try again a couple of times growing up. By age 15 I had an eating disorder where I regularly starved myself, abused diet pills, over exercised, and purged. I had also started self harming at that point. It’d take me ten years to overcome both.

How did I do it? For me it was almost overnight. I was at a friend’s house, talking about how I’d managed to get my daily caloric intake down to 350 and she handed me a book and asked me to read it. It was Lessons From The FatOSphere by Kate Harding and Marianne Kirby. I read it, got pissed, stomped around for about two weeks and then a lightbulb went off in my head. It was only a month later when I started my own blog. For me it was the science of it- I’m a science based girl and I couldn’t ignore all of the evidence right in front of me no matter how much I wanted to. I threw out my scale, went into recovery for my eating disorder (then decided to actually tell someone about it and get diagnosed), and became an activist.

I’m a fierce advocate for all human rights and I value intelligence and compassion above all else (one without the other is useless). And that’s me- in a very small nutshell. I’ll probably be doing a combination of photo posts as well as text posts and anything that I find fat and awesome. Thanks for letting me get to know you all. <3


Ham Radio Episode 2 – We still exist

It’s been quite a while since our first episode of our podcast Ham Radio but there is finally a sequel. Today I give you a quick update on what has been happening and what we plan to do into the new year. It’s a short one but have a listen and get in touch!

Don’t forget you can subscribe to the podcast through iTunes or via RSS if that is your thing.


Making an Honest Woman Out Of Me

Acceptance…. It’s a word that I’ve been rolling around in my mouth lately like a wine I’m trying to size up. With greater clarity I’ve come to realize that the word Acceptance can often mean a static state: something that has been achieved, a dimension residing in, an issue worked though. At this point I am in a state of Fat… Accepting… because I have not yet reached that perfect state of being this Promised Land … a place of Zen-like enlightenment.

I have to admit that I still struggle… when I open a magazine to see no one like me I say to myself, “I am accepting you little Mama.” When I hear some maladjusted and ignorant person pop off a body hate statement I must negate that power with a charm of my own, “Regardless of these words of poison, the flinging of self hatred and abuse, I am accepting you, Jenna.” It is a present-filled space that is dynamic in its movement, a prayer to be repeated, and a mantra to repeat.

Acceptance as that word means to me personally (as a fat woman relating to her body) would imply that I am “making do” with a less than an ideal situation. When the love of your life asks you to marry him or her… do we say, “Yes I accept you”?

Hell no… we cry out YES YES and YES! We swear: I do, I will, I promise.

So tonight I am going home and I am going to marry my body. I will light some pumpkin spice candles, buy myself a bouquet of flowers, dress up in my most luxuriant outfit and I will say:

I, Jenna, take you my luscious body to be no other than yourself, in all the ways life may find us, tending you in sickness and rejoicing with you in health, as long as we both shall live to love.

And once I have dedicated my life to loving me I will celebrate with fancy champagne and a lovely cake.
How does that sound? Would you like to be invited to the Wedding? It would be very nice if you could come, dress as you will and bring the booze!

Like any successfully married couple there is a realization that accepting is not a static state but one that must be renewed every day and through life’s myriad challenges, a commitment to turn to again and again and the will to work through the hard patches, for better or worse.
The society which wishes that I loathe myself…like evil buzzards gunning for a divorce… will not win. Jenna it’s me and you, baby, and hopefully “with” the world rather than against; but if not? So be it, too.


You Sound Fat: Fat Embodiment Online

Hello! I am going to start cross posting my fat related posts from definatalie.com to axisoffat.com, because as you might have noticed, I’ve been a bit quiet here! Bri from Fat Lot of Good totally revved me about this (in a good way!) and said I should cross post because definatalie.com isn’t on the Notes from the Fat-o-sphere feed and some of my posts should really end up on it! So here goes. This is the paper I presented at the Fat Studies conference in Sydney over the weekend. Enjoy! (Original post)

Fat Studies: A Critical Dialogue was INCREDIBLE. I truly can’t put into words how wonderful it was but I’m going to attempt to at a later stage. There were so many fabulous people to meet and ideas to action and a buttload of fun and friendship. In the interim please accept a video of my presentation, and the paper it’s based on. I was very nervous but it seemed to go ok!

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

My name is Natalie and I’m fat, I like the internet and I should preface this by telling you that I’m so unacademic I had to ask Google how to write an abstract for a paper when I was encouraged to submit something for this presentation! Gratefully, I also had the support of Australian Fat Studies academics as well as complete strangers on the internet, and I want to tell you a story about how I’ve come to be here, loving and accepting myself with the help of the World Wide Web.

Chubby teen finds the internet

I started using the internet in 1995 as a 14 year old at a private girls school. While my friends were swapping X-files fanfic and accidentally swearing at our headmistress via PM over our Novel network, I was helping other students circumvent the ban on chatrooms by using Telnet talkers. I’ve always been interested in communication and community on the internet, rather than downloading porn or music and other stuff. I sought people I could connect with because most folks just didn’t get me; I had crazy ideas that human beings should be treated equitably and I was an introvert who communicated much more comfortably via the written word.

Despite running the gamut of teenagehood and being exposed to conflicting messages about what my female body was supposed to look like, I never wanted to be skinny and I never really was. At a size 14 I felt kind of trapped between being properly skinny and properly fat. I remember many times thinking that if I was going to be chubby I ought to be properly chubby with the benefit of soft flesh and rounded bits. I was attracted to chunkier people and while I felt my thoughts went against the grain I never questioned or repressed them.

Properly fat

At 17, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and found I had to change my whole life. Suddenly I had to inject insulin four times a day and monitor my blood sugar levels in relation to what I put in my mouth. My regular meals had to be balanced, planned, measured and predictable. I had hypos in the middle of the night, and woke disoriented and pouring with sweat; the only way it could be fixed was by eating food to bring my blood sugar back up again. I put on weight even after I lost a lot of weight pre-diagnosis, even after establishing really healthful and doctor-approved, diabetic-friendly eating habits. My body became properly fat and I felt a sense of relief to belong to a group – even if it was a feared and harassed group. I started to get really curious about fat bodies. I tried to talk about fatness with friends and family but the conversations never went very far. People, mostly female, felt genuinely panicked when I brought up the topic.

My Mother was concerned about the weight gain and accompanied me to Weight Watchers meetings. I went along to a few and ate the diet, but it never felt right to me. As a diabetic, my food intake was already policed (by myself and by other people) so submitting myself to more policing and having to pay for it felt wrong and unhealthy. I never felt as if I had disordered eating, nor as if what I ate contributed to my weight gain. My General Practitioners and every Endocrinologist up until my current one would treat me as if I were some kind of terrorist, waging war against my body by intentionally putting on weight. My current Endocrinologist actually says something new: I could have Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome symptoms. Back when I was doing Weight Watchers I knew that my weight gain couldn’t be explained by my food habits and it didn’t make sense for me to further damage my relationship with food by doing a diet that reduced nutrition to numbers so I dropped out. My Mum was baffled but dropped the issue with me, while continuing to pursue various diets herself, yet always remaining the same, familiar and lovely Mum-shape. I broke up with dieting because it seemed like a crock.
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