Adorable Dogs Teach Us How To Beat Holiday Food-Shaming

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.

Did you like this post? If you apprecieate the work I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time contribution or by becoming a member.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

The Bundle Up! Sale is on! – Give the gift of body love and/or get your own year off to a Size Acceptance and Health at Every Size start with bundles that include books, online programs, and DVDs to get your year (or the year of the people you’re gifting them to) off to a great start, and save you some money! (Members get even bigger discounts, so make sure to use your link on the member page.)

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!
Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Non-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!

I’m (still!) training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com or on Instagram.

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

Portland Trip – Days Three, Four and Five

I’m back home after an amazing trip to Portland. If you missed out on the report from days one and two, you can find that here! I should mention that days three and four were separated by spending the weekend visiting my family!

Day 3:

Day three kicked off at the Hazelden Betty Ford Center, speaking to practitioners about Fatphobia in Client Care – the ways that weight stigma can wheedle its way into client care and disrupt recovery. The room was packed, the practitioners were really into it, and they asked great questions. Extra special thanks to Lindsey for all of the work she does around Size Acceptance and Health at Every Size, and all the work that she did putting the talk together, and also a shout out to those who came in on their day off for the talk, and to Body Positive Personal Trainer Gillian who came for the talk! (There are no pictures, but for once it’s not because I totally spaced it, but because pictures on campus are strictly forbidden due to privacy issues.)

I headed to the beautiful space at The Gem to give a talk and then take a Body Love Yoga class with Anna Chapman. The talk was a casual Q&A style and we talked about all kinds of stuff – from fathletes to blogging to dealing with fatphobic friends and family. Then it was yoga time. My body was tired from lack of sleep, lugging 100 pounds of luggage around (#OverPackersUnite) and climbing around and posing the day before, and Anna’s gentle class was exactly what I needed.

 

Day 4:

This was going to be a long day. I had traveled to spend the weekend with some family and so I had to start driving at 6am in order to make it back for my first talk of the day at the Oregon Food Bank. This is an exceptional organization that offers hunger relief by distributing food through a statewide network of 21 regional food banks and approximately 970 partner agencies that serve all of Oregon.

I gave my Public Health for Every Body talk, during which we discuss how to create public health messaging that is intersectional, inclusive, fiercely anti-shame and  effective.  The group is committed to doing excellent work and so I was glad to be able to give them some new information and perspectives to support what they are already doing. We identified some ways that I may be able to help support them moving forward so I’m extra excited about that. Big thanks to Heather and Johnnie for all of their labor to put the event together, Joshua for all of his support (technical and otherwise), and to everyone who came including the CEO. It’s always helpful to work with an organization where the top levels of leadership are committed to the work, and it was an honor to be among a group that is committing to helping solve such a difficult and serious problem.

IMG_7166
I took this picture on the way in, totally forgot to take pictures after, sorry y’all!

Next it was time for lunch with Sarah, of Resilient Fat Goddess. We talked about all things fat activism over delicious food by a roaring fire (I miss the fireplaces now that I’m no longer in Portland.) There are no pictures because I always forget to take freaking pictures!

Then it was time for dance class at SomaSpace. I had worked with KT from Body Home – Fat-centric Dance Classes KT was already teaching a series of classes so we decided that I would teach my class, then we would do a Q&A, then she would teach her class from the series. I was worried about how tired I would be – my class started more than 13 hours after my day had begun but being in that space with those amazing people infused me with energy, and I got my second wind and felt great. KT generously let me take her class, and it was fun and powerful and wonderful. We all stayed and talked for a while afterward.

 

As I got back into my car the fatigue hit me all at once. I still had to check into my hotel and lug my stuff to the room before I could go to sleep. In an effort to save money I had booked a bargain hotel. I hauled my stuff up the stairs, but as I walked into my “non-smoking” room it smelled like people had been smoking there since the 50’s, the bedspread was stained and the curtain was falling off the wall. My lungs were protesting and my throat was immediately sore. I called Julianne, whose superpower is finding deals on travel. Within 10 minutes she had gotten my money back from this hotel, and booked me into a much better hotel for less than I had paid for the bargain place (why didn’t I just have her book my travel in the first place? That’s a really good question. Lesson learned.) At that point I realized I was also super hungry – it had been over 8 hours since lunch. I grabbed some dinner, checked into my hotel and collapsed into bed. I was hoping to wake up early so that I could spend some time walking around the woods, but I set my alarm for the last possible minute so that my body could get sleep if that’s what it needed.

Day 5:

I woke up at the last possible minute. I met DeAun, co-founder of the Do No Harm podcast for a live recording of the podcast. We hung out in her fabulous house (glass doorknobs!) and talked a ton before we officially started recording. We focused on healthcare for fat patients that meets the requirements of ethical, evidence-based care and informed consent (which is to say – not a weight loss recommendation) We finished up with a lovely dinner at a local restaurant and I headed back to the hotel happy and exhausted.

IMG_7175

I’m glad to be back home with Julianne and our dogs (Bu and ChadShannel) but I miss the weather, woods, and wonderful people of Portland. I hope to get the chance to go back again soon!

The Bundle Up! Sale is on! – bundles that include books, online programs, and DVDs to get your year (or the year of the people you’re gifting them to) off to a great start, and save you some money!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

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!
Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Non-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!

I’m (still!) training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com or on Instagram.

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

Days One and Two Of The Portland Mini-Speaking Trip

I’m currently in Portland for a mini speaking tour, and I’m having a fabulous time so far!

Day 1:

I arrived in the afternoon and it was COLD (that will be a continuing theme.) It’s also beautiful – Portland is basically made out of woods – like, you can trip off a curb and you fall into the woods. Regular readers know that I’m a pretty indoorsy person generally, but I’m more outdoorsy in situations where there are beautiful wooded areas, and it’s not 6,000 degrees like it seems to be all the time at home.

I got to start my trip having dinner with the amazing Allisa Sobo, of www.IsItAmple.com which is like Yelp for marginalized bodies – an intersectional, international review site that helps people find establishments of all kinds (from restaurants, to theaters, to doctors) that accommodate marginalized bodies. I’m beyond excited about the project and want to work more with her on it.  We had such a great, deep conversation about Ample, and fat activism in general.

I packed up my possible outfits for my photoshoot and went through the PowerPoint for my talk and went to bed under many, many blankets.

Day 2:

Woke up early and got ready for the photoshoot which meant hair and make-up. Met up with the amazing Lindley Ashline from Sweet Amaranth Photography who scheduled this photoshoot with me even though the subscriptions for her Body Love Box launched today! She was already all organized and we went through the possible shoot locations and looks and decided to start at the Rhododendron Garden.

To say it was stunningly beautiful is to understate it. To say that it was freezing cold is probably technically overstating, but maybe not if we make a rule for people from Southern California and Austin. My first look was a dress and Lindley was amazing and supportive, both in the body positivity of her approach, and in her willingness to let me cover anything that wasn’t in the shot with my coat to try to stay as warm as possible, meanwhile, I tried to smize through the shivering. Highlights of the first location included picking my way along stepping stones so that I could get closer to a waterfall (successfully avoiding plunging my feet into freezing cold water!), balancing and turning around on a rock that was not nearly as flat as it looked, and a whole lotta ducks.

Here are a few of my decidedly unprofessional pictures of the first site!

For our next location we chose a place with no actual address and with “directions” that include looking for a “weird cedar tree. But Lindley found it like a pro and we went up. It was absolutely beautiful. It was justs a few yards (and one muddy embankment!) from the highway and it felt like we were deep in the woods. We did a couple different outfits and some really fun poses making use of a chair that’s there, and then lying down on stone. (I got nature in my hair, but I’m ok now.) Lindley was again super amazing in her understanding of how to work with a fat body, in her unending positivity about working with me and my fat body, and in being entertaining and hilarious even as she too was freezing and setting up shots and dragging equipment around. The shoot was fun and body affirming and did I mention fun?  #PretendModel

Here’s the second location from the view of my phone!

Here’s a sneak peek from the shoot –  a fun shot, completely rough and unretouched!

Lindley Ashline Shoot Preview Picture

Then it was off to Jan’s Paperbacks for a talk about being an athlete at any size.  First of all, Jan’s is an amazing space. (I liked it better than Powells.) They have a genius system where they put the bookshelves on wheels so they can move them around, leading to event space in the middle:

Picture of a bookstore a white woman with short brunette hair in a red shirt and jeans stand in the middle of a room with green carpet with her arms up and out. There are chairs behind her, and bookcases surround the outside of the room.
This is Lori, she owns Jan’s Paperbacks and she is a hyper-organized person who took care of literally everything for this talk except actually talking. She is amazing and you should go check out this bookstore because it’s fabulous. (Also, Lori and I both like to do big arms!)

We were a small but mighty group, everyone asked great questions and we laughed a lot!

Now to practice my talks for tomorrow afternoon and  (I think there are still a couple tickets left to the combo talk/body love yoga class with Anna Chapman tomorrow night.) And then the many, many blankets are calling me.

Oh, and the Bundle Up! Sale has begun – bundles of books, online programs, and DVDs to get your year (or the year of the people you’re gifting them to) off to a great start, and save you some money!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

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!
Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Non-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!

I’m (still!) training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com or on Instagram.

 

 

 

What Is Internalized Fatphobia?

internalized fatphobiaIn my piece about weight stigma and airlines I mentioned internalized fatphobia. On Instagram, @samolotus asked “could you expound upon what internalized fatphobia is?” Yes. Yes I can.

Internalized fatphobia is a form of internalized oppression, which is basically when oppressed people buy into the message of their oppressors. In terms of fatphobia, it happens when fat people don’t believe that they deserve the same things or same treatment that thin people get.

Internalized fatphobia can sound something like “If I take up more than one seat on a plane then of course I should pay for two seats!” Often this is a (conscious or subconscious) way to gain a modicum of approval from oppressors – the hope being that they think “well, she may be fat, but at least she has the decency to be self-loathing,” and that this attitude will lead them to better treatment than these fatties who are willing to fight for their right not to be second class citizens.

We live in a culture that rolls out fatshaming messages to us from infancy, so the fact that fat people suffer from internalized fatphobia isn’t exactly a galloping shock. It’s not our fault, it’s about discovering the ways in which we have internalized the stigmatizing and oppressive messages we’ve heard, and then rethinking them, and then deciding what to do about what we actually deserve. (For example, realizing that what is considered “a seat” by the airline is arbitrary, that we deserve to be transported from point a to point b for the same prices as the thin person beside us, and then maybe getting involved in some activism around that.)

I want to be clear that there are people who would argue that it isn’t internalized fatphobia, that they simply believe that, as fat people, they should be treated as second class citizens. Often their justification are that being fat is their fault, and/or that they could be thin if they wanted to, and/or that fat people existing is an inconvenience to thin people (and, for some reason, they believe that thin people’s feelings and desires should be centered and accommodated but it definitely isn’t because they’ve bought into a fatphobic society, because that would mean that they are dealing with internalized fatphobia…)

Regardless, I have no need to argue with fat people who think like this, they are allowed to believe whatever they want. What’s important to remember is that, first of all, their belief that they deserve to be oppressed is NOT a justification for oppressing other fat people. I’m happy for these people to have the option to pay twice as much for the same plane ride, but by no means does that mean that any other fat person should be required to. Moreover, if they are trying to visit their ideas on other fat people (ie: insisting that we don’t deserve space on a plane, or healthcare facilities that accommodate us, etc.) then we’re no longer talking about internalized fatphobia. At that point its just the same old, regular, garden variety, fatphobia that is harming others and should be fought.

As long as we live in a fatphobic society, there will be people who deal with internalized fatphobia, and some of those people will argue vehemently for their continued poor treatment. But you don’t have to be in that group, you can insist that you deserve to be treated with equality and respect. Because you do.

Did you appreciate this post? If you like the work I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time contribution or by becoming a member.

Portland Area Readers: I’m coming to Portland, OR! Join me for talks, dance, and yoga!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

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!
Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Non-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!

I’m (still!) training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com or on Instagram.