I shut down this blog because I no longer considered myself part of fat acceptance.
Here’s the thing: I could probably write a bunch of posts about this, but it boils down to two really basic ideas:
1) My longstanding disagreement with a lot of the scientific underpinnings of the movement
From the first time I posted, I had a lot of unease surrounding some of the certainty around amazingly complex scientific questions. It was always under a lot of what I wrote, but I ignored it because hey, even if our science isn’t 100% right when it comes to whether or not fat is healthy, the undeniable fact is that diets don’t work. At all. 95% of diets fail, right?
In fact, the more I looked, the less convinced I became that trying to lose weight almost never worked. And well, if I wasn’t sure that fat was health-neutral and I didn’t believe that almost no one could lose weight and keep it off, then I found myself in a very different place than most people in fat acceptance.
Which brings me to my second reason
2) I wanted to lose weight.
Yup. I’ll write a post about this one later. I have no idea if this blog is off of the fatosphere at this point (I also know fatfu gets a lot of emails and probably has tons to do) so I certainly don’t want to upset or trigger anyone. The summary is: I have my reasons. I will say that I don’t believe weight loss can only be achieved through starvation and suffering.
So I closed the blog. At first, I just closed commenting, but looking back through entries I realized I had written a lot that I no longer agreed with. In some cases, I had written things that I didn’t even really agree with when I wrote them. I switched the blog to password protected and focused on other things.
But I kept reading the fatosphere and I added some fitness, nutrition and weight-loss blogs to my bookmarks. The more I read, the more frustrated and the more argumentative I started to feel. No, I didn’t think weight loss had to be tied to disordered eating and self-hatred, but I also didn’t think that every person in the world had to be able to run a 5k in 20 minutes and constantly monitor their body fat percentage. I may not think that intuitive eating works for everyone, but I think forcing oneself to ingest splenda-sweetened cottage cheese with chocolate protein powder because you’re terrified of real food is beyond bizarre.
And what I definitely didn’t want was to lose myself in another narrative mold which bore only a passing resemblance to my actual life. I don’t drink soft drinks. I don’t eat fast food. I don’t cry myself to sleep while smeared with chocolate and bacon drippings. But I also don’t only eat 1900 calories a day while still maintaining my weight. I do find some things hard to do at my size (even after several years of regular exercise.) When I eat calorie-dense foods, I gain weight and when I focus on filling, but lower-calorie meals, I lose it. I’ve known people who’ve yo-yo dieted for years and I know people who lost fairly large amounts of weight and have kept it off without obsessive exercise or disordered eating for well over five years.
My experience of fat and fat hatred and my relationship with food and movement is, like a lot of the science around fat, complicated. It resists simple answers and sweeping pronouncements. It is, to steal a phrase, a both/and kind of a thing. Fat can be both genetic and lifestyle-dependent. Doctors should both treat fat people’s actual illnesses and allow for the possibility that some problems might be ameliorated with weight loss. I can both wish to lose weight and refuse to hate my body.
So this blog is both a personal exploration of me trying to find the middle path of weight loss (being honest with myself while never punishing myself) and still about the awful way society treats fat people. It is not a fat acceptance blog because I think people who run into established movements and try to make the movement change to accommodate their personal beliefs are assholes. Fat acceptance is an anti-dieting movement by the general consensus of the people in it. I’m seriously not looking to change that.
If it helps to have some sort of framework for who I am and what I want to write about, think of it this way: I am an unabashed and strident feminist interested in the way women’s bodies are treated and portrayed in society. I am fascinated by and a bit obsessed with nutrition, fitness and the science of fat regulation. I am a life long fat person who is looking to lose weight.
So that’s that.
Now a few little notes:
Comments will be open. You can even comment anonymously. I will remove comments if they’re just insanely inflammatory or spam. However, all I ask is that, before you comment, you consider whether or not you’re just wasting my time and yours. Especially since it might have taken you five minutes to write something that I’ll read and delete in 60 seconds.
I will write about weight loss and I might even be specific and use numbers. I will cut all posts that contain number talk and other things that might be triggering.