The Worst Holiday Diet Tips

Guilt Free EatingThe “holiday season” means being bombarded with ridiculous diet advice (“The Holidays are Coming” being one third of the Dieting Axis of Evil along with “New Years Resolutions” and “Bikini Season is Coming”.)  Since you’re likely to have to deal with this whether you celebrate the holidays or not, in another DancesWithFat annual tradition I’ve compiled a list of so-called holiday diet tips from actual serious online articles, with thoughts on why we might be better off skipping each of them:

10 Diet Tips You’ve Never Heard Before!

You’ve totally heard these tips before. They didn’t work then, they don’t work now, they will never work.

Start Our Program Now and Get a Head Start on Your New Years Resolution

If you start earlier, you can fail at weight loss sooner while giving the diet industry (who are fully aware of the massive failure rate of their product) a boost on their fourth quarter earnings.  Or, you know, not.

Eat a Big Bowl of Fiber Cereal and Drink Lots of Water Before A Party to Avoid Snacking.

Spend the party in the bathroom with your friends awkwardly knocking and asking if you’re ok while you miss out on delicious snacks.

Buy Your Party Dress a Month Early and a Size Too Small for Inspiration to Lose that Last 10 Pounds

Frantically search through your closet on party day for something, anything, that fits and is party appropriate, end up going to the party uncomfortable in a dress that’s too small.

Save Your Calories For the Party by Eating Very Little During the Day

Show up at the party absolutely ravenous, bribe a cater waiter to get your hands on an entire tray of shrimp puffs, scarf them in the bathroom.

Make low-calorie egg nog with skim milk, egg substitutes, and artificial sweeteners.

Oh…I just…I can’t even…Just…  Ok, by the underpants rule you can totally make this beverage if you want and I will support you in drinking it – whether it just sounds good to you or it works or food allergies/sensitivities, whatever – as long as you support me in not drinking it.  Ever.

Only Eat Desserts that Are Truly a Sensual Experience for You

This author has a different relationship with food than I do…  I’m looking for desserts that taste good, not desserts that turn me on. I would change this to “only eat desserts that you want to, and that aren’t expired or poisonous.”

Don’t Taste The Food While You Cook – Those Calories Add Up

Serve your guests delicious-looking appetizers that taste like a salt lick, or like nothing at all, who knows?  If only there was a way to tell how the food tastes before we give it to other people…  The person who wrote this article obviously never watched Hell’s Kitchen or Chopped.

Choose Foods that Won’t Make You Feel Guilty the Next Day

Here’s the super secret trick to guilt-free eating:  Eat. Don’t feel guilty about it. Done.

Bring Fruits and Veggies to Parties and Work and Remind People About Their Weight Goals, They’ll Thank You!

They will not thank you.  They may, in fact, throat punch you. There’s nothing wrong with bringing fruits and veggies to the party, there may well be something wrong with being what we Southerners call a “superior sumbitch,” you may be able to avoid that by skipping the second part of this advice.  Instead consider “Bring fruits and veggies to parties and work and then shut up about it – find something more interesting to talk about than weight goals.”

Enjoy Fat Free Mock Versions of Your Favorite Holiday Foods, You’ll Never Miss the Full Fat Variety

I doubt that very much, and I do not think that the words “mock” and “food” should be put together, but of course that’s just me.

Divide Foods into Naughty and Nice

Use the holidays to ease yourself into a disordered relationship with food.

Don’t Read Articles About Holiday Diet Tips

You caught me, this one didn’t come from an article, it’s my advice – take it or leave it.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support fat activism and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

NEW!!! Wellness for All Bodies ProgramA simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Over the course of eighteen self-paced, content-packed, quick videos you’ll get the tools you need to create healthy relationships with food, movement, and your body, and you’ll map out a path to health that makes sense for you, in an easily digestible format. Built-in tools allow you to track your progress and keep notes individually or as a group.
Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members)
Click here for all the details and to register!

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

If you are uncomfortable with my selling things on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

Published in: on December 21, 2017 at 9:16 am  Comments (27)  

My Dogs Help You Tell The Food Police To Take A Holiday

As some people are celebrating holidays that include things like chocolate, candy, and feasts, I am seeing a ton of food shaming, food policing, and food moralizing.  All of this is crap, for the reasons I explain here, but I thought what I would do today is give you some options for response. Note, today’s responses are in pictures (mostly starring our adorable dogs – you can click on them to enlarge them) If you are looking for verbal responses, head over here.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support fat activism and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

NEW!!! Wellness for All Bodies ProgramA simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Over the course of eighteen self-paced, content-packed, quick videos you’ll get the tools you need to create healthy relationships with food, movement, and your body, and you’ll map out a path to health that makes sense for you, in an easily digestible format. Built-in tools allow you to track your progress and keep notes individually or as a group.
Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members)
Click here for all the details and to register!

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

If you are uncomfortable with my selling things on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

Published in: on December 19, 2017 at 10:02 am  Comments (4)  

Here’s How to NOT Ruin The Holidays For Fat People

 

WTFI spend a lot of time helping fat people deal with the bullshit fat shaming that comes our way daily, and that often escalates at the holidays (whether we celebrate them or not.)  I try to be clear that these things are not our fault, even though they become our problem and that the problem isn’t fat people, it’s fat shaming. So today I wanted to take a second to talk directly to fat shamers, accidental fat shamers, and potential fat shamers – however well meaning they may be – about how they can stop the problem before it even starts at the holidays, and all year long!

Don’t give a weight loss or “health” gift

Don’t give a gym membership, diet club membership, “healthy meal” delivery etc. unless the person has very specifically asked for it.  Including and especially if you’re only assuming that they don’t already do or have these things because of your stereotypes about fat people, or as a passive-aggressive hint that you think they may “need” the gift.  Instead, if you want to give a gift, consider choosing something based on the person’s actual likes and interests rather than stereotypes and fat shame. Or maybe a nice gift certificate.

Don’t be the food police

Don’t monitor, comment on, or concern yourself in any way with fat people’s (or any sized people’s) food choices at parties, holiday dinners or, hey, ever.  If we need the food police, we’ll call Pie-1-1. If you feel like you might have to deal with the Family and Friends Food Police, here are some tips.  If you want some ideas to help when you see this kind of food shaming, check here.

Don’t give a fat shaming card

Way too many fat people get cards with some version of  “We love you and we want you to lose weight because we want you to be around a long time.” If you honestly can’t figure out why “Happy Holidays! Please don’t die of fat because mourning you would be a major bummer for us” isn’t an appropriate message for a holiday card, then please just take my word for it this is a bad idea. The person to whom you deliver this little Hallmark moment may be able to defend themselves in court successfully with “Your Honor, they needed a killin'” This happened to my partner a couple years ago and we chose to cut ties with the relatives completely, about which it seems they are upset. Bad behavior can have undesired consequences for everyone, don’t put your fat friends and family in this position.

Don’t engage in diet talk or negative body talk

This suggestion isn’t just to help fat guests, but also for guests of any size who may be dealing with eating disorders, or guests who are interested in conversations that aren’t boring as hell. Find something else to talk about than why you are or are not eating what you are or are not eating.  Skip the 5 minutes soliloquy on what you feel you have to do to punish yourself for eating pie, and ask somebody at the party to tell you about themselves instead, or go watch TV, or play on your phone, whatever.

Don’t comment on body size changes

Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like knowing that your relatives are monitoring your body. You might think it’s a compliment to ask if someone has lost weight but that question is super loaded – perhaps they’ve lost weight because of illness, grief, medication, an eating disorder, or something else unwanted or unintentional. Perhaps they are uncomfortable with having their body size made into a topic for discussion (maybe because it’s hella inappropriate…) Perhaps they haven’t lost weight and, however well-intentioned you may be, they take it as backhanded or passive-aggressive. (Or perhaps you intended it to be backhanded or passive-aggressive in which case you’re being an ass,  won’t you please be a dear and knock it the hell off.)  If you want some suggestions for wading through the tricky world of weight loss compliments (like what to do when someone tells you’ve they’ve lost weight and then looks at you expectantly), you’ll find that here.

Don’t stage some kind of weight loss intervention

This should be a big pile of obvious in an obvious box with an obvious bow, but every year some asshat who wants to be thought of as “brave” writes an article about how the holidays are the perfect time to fat shame your relatives “for their own good.” First of all, people’s weight and health (two different things) aren’t your business unless they ask you to make them your business. Even if you don’t believe that, the holidays are definitely not the time to do this.  And if you feel that you have to do this at the holidays because it’s the only time you see that person, then consider how relevant you really are in their lives and whether you have any business doing this at all.  Then don’t. Just don’t. Do Not. Don’t. Trust me when I tell you, you are not The Fat Person Whisperer.

If y’all can think of others please feel free to leave them in the comments!

And if you are a person of any size looking for a program to help you build health relationships with food, movement, and your body, check out my new Wellness for All Bodies Program: A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Over the course of eighteen self-paced, content-packed, quick videos you’ll get the tools you need to create healthy relationships with food, movement, and your body, and you’ll map out a path to health that makes sense for you, in an easily digestible format. Built-in tools allow you to track your progress and keep notes individually or as a group.
Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members)
Click here for all the details and to register!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support fat activism and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

If you are uncomfortable with my selling things on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

If you are uncomfortable with my offering things for sale on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

Published in: on December 18, 2017 at 1:08 pm  Comments (15)  

Stop Talking About What donald trump Eats

No Food ShamingRecently, the Atlantic published an article attempting to food shame donald trump called “trump’s Food Choices Grow More Disconcerting.”

It turns out that former campaign manager (and FOX “News” commentator) Corey Lewandowski and former campaign aide David Bossie weren’t satisfied with how much they hurt the country by supporting donald. They now want to distract us from the atrocities he is committing, and they’re using the PR for their new book to do it.

The Atlantic article kicks off with a quote from the book that has now gone depressingly viral: “trump’s appetite seems to know no bounds when it comes to McDonald’s, with a dinner order consisting of two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fish, and a chocolate malted.”

 

He and his party have just rammed through a tax bill, written partially in illegible scribbles in the margin, in the middle of the night with absolutely no open debate, that will transfer a massive amount of wealth from the poor and middle classes to the extremely wealthy. It will cause millions of people to lose their insurance and make higher education all but unaffordable for anyone but the super rich.

But yeah, sure, let’s talk about his Mickey D’s order.

And that’s exactly what’s happening. The story has been picked up all over the place, including what, at first glance, appears to be a mind-boggling waste of internet space by CNBC called, “Despite his billions, President Trump still enjoys a $22 McDonald’s dinner,” which halfway through the article admits that $22 is likely completely inaccurate.

It’s easy to say that Donald deserves shaming, but hypocrisy is never a good look, and it doesn’t matter since this isn’t even about him – this about distraction meeting direct harm of marginalized folks. Normally when we hear about people eating fast food, it’s about shaming poor people, or fat people, or poor fat people. Or to shame those serving the food.

But the same people who shame poor people for eating fast food (claiming that being poor, working too many jobs to have time to shop and prepare whole foods, not having a access to a stove and fridge, etc. are “no excuse” for eating fast food) are discussing rich people eating fast food as if it’s part of the — forgive me — secret sauce that keeps them wealthy. Consider this comment by Warren Buffet:

Read the rest of the piece here!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support fat activism and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

NEW!!! Wellness for All Bodies Program: A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Over the course of eighteen self-paced, content-packed, quick videos you’ll get the tools you need to create healthy relationships with food, movement, and your body, and you’ll map out a path to health that makes sense for you, in an easily digestible format. Built-in tools allow you to track your progress and keep notes individually or as a group.
Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members)
Click here for all the details and to register!

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

If you are uncomfortable with my selling things on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

Published in: on December 17, 2017 at 12:29 pm  Comments (5)  

Setting Boundaries At the Holidays – In Song!

Holiday Biscuit

Biscuit the Pug and I wish happy, Body Positive, holidays to all who are celebrating (and a happy, body positive, week to those who aren’t!)

One of the most frequent questions I get during the holidays is about how to deal with people – especially family – who are behaving badly: food policing, fat shaming, diet and weight loss talk and more.

For me the secret is boundaries. I think it’s best to start by deciding what constitutes behavior that you will put up with. If it’s anything other than “anything goes” then I would consider setting some boundaries with consequences that you can follow through with. So, for example “It is not ok to talk about my weight or eating. If anyone says one more thing about my weight or eating I’m going to leave and we’ll try this again next year.” and then, if they fail to respect your boundaries, it’s time to invoke the consequences.

I’ve done this, and I’ve heard from a number of people who have done this and the common thread seems to be that we only had to do it one time and then our families started respecting their boundaries. Of course your mileage may vary. I’ve written about dealing with the Family and Friends Food Police and Combating Holiday Weight Shame, but in another danceswithfat annual tradition, today we’re going to do this in song.

I’ve re-written the lyrics to “Oh Christmas Tree” to be an ode to boundary setting.

Note 1: In order for this to work, it helps to pronounce boundaries as a three syllable word (BOUND-ah-rees) I also play with the rhythms within the phrases (I had what felt like 27 semesters of music theory in college, this is what I’m doing with it.) If this is an affront to your sense of poetic license I completely understand, I’ll be back tomorrow with a post sans song.

Note 2: At the bottom you’ll find two amazing renditions of this song by Jeanette DePatie (aka The Fat Chick) and Nadja. Please also feel free to add your own verses in the comments, and/or post a video with your own rendition and it will become a part of this annual tradition.

And with that I give you:

Oh Boundaries (to the tune of Oh Christmas Tree)

Oh Boundaries! Oh Boundaries! You help me deal with family.

Don’t talk about my weight or food.
Why can’t you see it’s hella rude?

Oh Boundaries! Oh Boundaries! You help me deal with family.

You know I love my family
But I will leave if you fat-shame me.

Oh Boundaries! Oh Boundaries! You help me deal with family.

My body’s fine, I don’t need your rants
You’re not the boss of my underpants

Oh Boundaries! Oh Boundaries! You help me deal with family.

Don’t say a word to my fat kid
Or I’ll leave so fast, my tires will skid

Oh Boundaries! Oh Boundaries! You help me deal with family.

Yes I do “need” that second plate
It’s not your business what I ate

Oh Boundaries! Oh Boundaries! You help me deal with family.

Quit saying someday I’ll get sick
Last time I checked you were not psychic

Oh Boundaries! Oh Boundaries! You help me deal with family.

The holidays are great family time
If you don’t shame, food-police or whine

Oh Boundaries! Oh Boundaries! You help me deal with family.

Two Readers (so far – hint, hint) have taken up the challenge of recording this piece, enjoy!

Jeanette DePatie (aka The Fat Chick) gave us an amazing opera/jazz rendition:

and Nadja killed it a capella in the middle of the night in her PJs:

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support fat activism and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

NEW!!! Wellness for All Bodies Program: A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Over the course of eighteen self-paced, content-packed, quick videos you’ll get the tools you need to create healthy relationships with food, movement, and your body, and you’ll map out a path to health that makes sense for you, in an easily digestible format. Built-in tools allow you to track your progress and keep notes individually or as a group.
Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members)
Click here for all the details and to register!

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

If you are uncomfortable with my selling things on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

 

Published in: on December 16, 2017 at 9:22 am  Comments (2)  

Weight-Based Oppression Is Not a Public Health Intervention

know fat chicks

Design by Kris Owen

Activist Harry Minot let me know about a terrible program being promoted in the UK that they are calling a “whole systems approach to obesity.” The tagline is “making obesity everybody’s business.” Ugh.

I will not be linking to it but this certainly isn’t the only suggestion that governments should create programs that purport to create health by encouraging literally everyone to shame, stigmatize, harass and oppress fat people. The fact that anyone outside of a 4chan group full of unsettled fatphobes would suggest something like this shows how totally off the rails we are when it comes to fat people and health.

There are two major issues here – the most often discussed is whether or not appearance-based bigotry constitutes an appropriate, evidence-based health intervention. It does not – there is no research to suggest that convincing every person that a fat person comes in contact with to try to make that fat person hate the body they live in 100% of the time leads to people becoming healthier or thinner (which are, of course, two different things.) In fact, Peter Muennig from Columbia found in his research, just living in a society where one is stigmatized is correlated with many of the same health issues that are used to judge “unhealthiness.” So it’s not just that this approach lacks any kind of research basis, but that this approach is contraindicated by the research.

But in the grand scheme of what’s important, that’s not why this is so terrible. The reason that these “everybody get involved in fatphobia” programs are abhorrent is that they suggest that bullying based on healthism is something that is not just ok, but should receive government support. And that’s bullshit. Even if someone believes that they can tell by looking at someone that they are unhealthy (they can’t), and even if they believe that giving them unsolicited advice and treating them poorly will make them healthier (it won’t), it’s still an absolutely unacceptable thing to do.

First because health is not an obligation, a barometer of worthiness, entirely within our control, or guaranteed under any circumstances. Our health (and how it may or may not be tied to how we look) is not anybody else’s business unless we ask them to make it their business. I also want to point out, again, that these so-called interventions aren’t actually about health, they are about appearance. Nobody can tell how healthy someone is by what size they are as there are “healthy” and “unhealthy” people – by whatever definition – of every size (and even if they could, it still wouldn’t be any of their damn business.)

The other major problem is that it increases the weight-based oppression that already affects every area of the lives of fat people who are hired less and paid less than thin people, have extreme difficulty accessing actual evidence-based healthcare (in no small part because doctors are so busy engaging in fatphobia that they forget to give us actual, you know, healthcare,) and are regularly subjected to street harassment.

As I’ve said before, my fat body is not a representation of my failures, sins, or mistakes. My fat body is not an indication of my level of health or fitness, neither of which is anyone else’s business anyway. My fat body is not up for public discussion, debate or judgment. My fat body is not a signal that I need help or input to make decisions about my health or life.  My fat body is the constant companion that helps me do every single thing that I do every second of every day and it deserves respect and admiration.

I will wield my beautiful fat body like a weapon.  I will love it, I will care for it, I will show it in public, and I will viciously defend my body against anyone (including the UK government,) who seeks to classify it as anything but amazing.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Check out the new Fit Fatties video:

Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support fat activism and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

NEW!!! Wellness for All Bodies Program: A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Over the course of eighteen self-paced, content-packed, quick videos you’ll get the tools you need to create healthy relationships with food, movement, and your body, and you’ll map out a path to health that makes sense for you, in an easily digestible format. Built-in tools allow you to track your progress and keep notes individually or as a group.
Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members)
Click here for all the details and to register!

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

If you are uncomfortable with my selling things on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

 

Published in: on December 15, 2017 at 8:07 am  Comments (23)