losing weight & staying fat positive.

A number of fatties in my life have recently lost weight.  Not just a few pounds—hundreds of pounds, between them.  These are dramatic changes in the size and shape of their bodies. 

And it deeply impacts their politics, too.  Some have retained their fat politics, becoming even more vocal as their bodies shrink.  Others have brought body hate to a new level, drawing it into every conversation they have.  “I have fifteen more pounds to lose, then I’m at my goal weight.  Maybe then someone will date me.”  “I’d like to go to lunch with you, but I have to wait another three hours before I can have my next 250 calories.”

They’re in a tough spot: they’re finding validation that they haven’t gotten in years (or ever).  Their experiences of privilege and oppression are in flux.  And, on top of all that, they’re learning how to work with the dramatic change that has taken place in their bodies.  As a friend, I get that.

But as a fatty, it’s painful.  They’re seeking a lot of emotional support, and some of them are trying to retain their fat-positive politics, even as the world is beginning to see them really differently.  While those are genuine needs, it can be really tough to support them, when what they really need to work through is the conflicted feelings they’re experiencing about the privilege I don’t have.  While getting a lot of new, strange attention to your body is a legitimate challenge to work through, when I hear that (as a turbo fatty who largely doesn’t get affirmation for my body), it can feel like a poor little rich girl problem.

That said, I do want to help and support them as friends, and I recognize that this is often an elephant in the room in fat acceptance spaces.  So let’s talk: how can you lose weight and retain fat positive politics?


Be clear about your reasons.

If you feel like you’ve got unhealthy habits, change them.  If you want to do something with your body that you can’t currently do, change that.  If you want to eat more vegetables, move around more, or eat Cheetos, do it.  Your choices are yours to make.  The problem is, agency over your own body is not the focus of the majority of conversations around health, body shape, and size.

I’m not going to pretend like there aren’t serious social pressures associated with being fat, and that there isn’t relief in the thought of having a smaller body.  Fat people experience lots of employment discrimination, street harassment, and even discriminatory treatment from medical providers.  We’re subjected to social narratives that tell us that our weight determines whether or not we’re datable, fuckable, employable, intelligent, hygienic, or a valid person.

But if you’re losing weight to become more attractive, desirable or successful, or to fleshy peoplebecause of a non-specific “because health” reason, it’s important to know that you are actively contributing to narratives of fat hate and body policing.  And while you’re escaping those narratives of fat oppression on an individual basis, if you’re using weight loss to increase your social value, you’re strengthening the framework that keeps other fatties trapped.  Whether you intend it or not, you are contributing to the oppression of anyone whose body exists outside of body norms and ideals. 

Plus, you’re setting a big, wily trap yourself.  How much weight will you have to lose before you get a date or a proposal?  What number on the scale will get you your dream job?  How long will it take you to get there?  And why do each of those things have to hinge on your weight?  Isn’t your life, the one you’re living right now, worth more than that?

How to resist: Be clear about your reasons for losing weight, and give some deep thought to how and when those contribute to fatphobia.  And gently push those around you who assume that their weight loss (or yours) will increase social worth.  Push them to think about the (gendered, racialized, class-based) narratives that lead them to think the way they do.  Expose the superstructure that so deeply influences those lines of thinking.

Know that your health is your business.

Your business.  Not your friends’.  Not fat strangers’.  Not pundits’ or commentators’.  Yours.   That means that none of those people can tell you what’s best for your health.  And it means that you can’t tell them what’s best for their health, either.  Your personal health doesn’t reflect poorly or well on anyone else’s diet, mobility, agency, body size or body shape.   In short, no one’s health is a topic for public consumption.

How to resist: Don’t accept the link between health and fat.   Question people in your community when they feel license to openly discuss what they assume someone’s health needs to be. 


Abandon the language of “good” and “bad” choices.

“I’m so bad, I just had a piece of chocolate cake! It was sinful!”  “I’ll have the spinach salad.  I’m trying to be good.”  These remarks don’t mention anyone but the speaker, but they manage to pull everyone else in, with or without their consent.  Comparative language paints a clear picture that ranks every possible decision (and person) in a values-based hierarchy.  And you know what’s not fat positive?  Contributing to narratives that obliquely malign others’ choices and bodies. 

How to resist: If you don’t want to eat something, just say “no thank you.”  If you would like to go to the gym instead of hanging out with friends, just say, “I have other plans.”  Drawing out why you’re making a specific decision about food or exercise both seeks validation from those around you, and implicitly criticizes everyone else in the room.  Strive to create spaces that don’t pathologize fatness, but accept it as a valid way for bodies to look and work.


Don’t project unrelated values or outcomes onto weight loss.

We’ve discussed the incredible social pressure that fat people live with every day, and the narratives that tell us we’re destined to be ugly, lonely, unsuccessful shut-ins.  But no matter what social narratives tell you, those social outcomes la mar reducing soaparen’t a fait accompli. 

Losing weight doesn’t make it more likely that people will date you, it just means that different people may find you attractive.   It doesn’t mean that you will be seen as more valuable, it means that different people will see different kinds of value in you.  And those are personal decisions you get to make.  Do you want or need to spend time with people who heavily value your body size?  Or do you have the latitude to define other attitudes that are important to you?  Do you want to date someone for whom a very specific type of physical attraction is a priority, or are there other characteristics you’re looking for in a partner?  Every one of those questions is valid, and there are no right or wrong answers.  But it’s important to know that being fat or thin doesn’t make you a  better or worse person.  Losing weight just means that your body is slightly smaller & lighter than it used to be. 

How to resist: A friend recently spent a week with the flu.  When he went back to work, a coworker said, “you look really great! You lost some weight while you were out, didn’t you?  It looks good on you!”  My friend responded by saying, “I just spent the week throwing up—I wasn’t really going for a particular look."  That’s a pretty damn good way to resist.


Don’t seek validation from fat people.

The "fat best friend” is a longstanding archetype.  The story goes like this: your fat friend can absorb all of your concerns and troubles because, presumably, they have no life of their own.  Family, friends, coworkers and even strangers readily expect that we can, will and should support all of their emotional needs without receiving support in return. 

And it’s doubly true when it comes to talking through body image.  People of all sizes expect to be able to commiserate with me about how hard it is to “resist temptation from food” and to “feel fat,” and therefore worthless, unattractive or unhappy.  The problem is, I don’t feel that way, and being asked to support someone who does requires me to A) accept the premise they’re using, B) acknowledge that, by their thinking, I’m much “worse” and C) tell them that they look great, they’re not fat, and they’ll be fine.  In short, seeking support from a fat person around your body image puts that fatty on the spot, and takes away their power to engage with their body on their own terms.

And truthfully? The whole dominant culture of the US is built to affirm thinness and weight loss. You can get that affirmation from just about every other person around. Why pursue that same affirmation from someone who’s not getting it themselves?

How to resist: Don’t accept comments about your thinness as compliments – challenge them.  Create a network of non-fat people who you can talk to about body image.  And when you’re seeking support from a fat person, ask yourself what support from that particular person will offer you that support from another (thinner) person wouldn’t.


Closing it out

The intersection of weight loss and fat politics is tough for everyone.  It’s tough for fatties.  It’s tough for people who are losing weight.  It’s tough for people who are gaining weight.  Cultures of weight loss and fat hate are designed to trap all of us, and they do.  And for those of us who embrace fat positive politics, it can often feel easier and simpler to pretend that it’s not happening.

But here’s the thing.  Staying fat positive doesn’t need to be wildly complex, adversarial, or difficult.  It’s as simple as thinking through the impacts of your actions and, as Luchador puts it, not being a jerk.


75 thoughts on “losing weight & staying fat positive.

  1. thanks for this i had a whole group of friends undergo WLS (gastric bypass) recently….and im so uneasy about it…how they are bragging “oo i lost 46lbs” BECAUSE YOU MUTILATED YOUR BODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • erylin~I work for a Weight Loss Surgery Clinic and I would NEVER recommend for someone to undergo surgery to lose weight. Coming from someone who has seen patients who are only slightly heavier than I am pursue surgery, I view it all as “laziness” or “looking for a quick fix.” I have been heavy, thin, and am now heavy again, and the way I once became thin was through pure hard work (major exercise) and discipline (not restrictive dieting, but watching certain sweets and caloric intake). The majority of overweight individuals can not and do not want to commit to this type of lifestyle; henceforth, the surgery. The saddest thing I see are these patients who have had either gastric bypass, lapband, or gastric sleeve procedures and initially lose weight, but in the long run because the lifestyle change hasn’t been made, they gain ALL their weight back (and sometimes more). Then was was the purpose of the surgery??? Dedication and commitment are what will help individuals lose weight, not some “magic” pill or procedure.

      • I take a lot of offense of what you just said. As someone who faithfully went to Weight Watchers for FIVE YEARS and followed the program every. single. fucking. week. and still only manged to lose 50 pounds of the 140 I needed to lose, weight loss surgery saved my life. Imagine the disappointemnt of only losing a pound a month no matter how hard you worked. I didn’t have surgery becaue I was “lazy” or needed a “quick fix.” I put forth a real, honest, sincere effort. It was a lot of work and it was soul crushing to see people chastise me to “work harder” and just “follow the program” and the “weight will just fall off.” I did the “dedication” and “committment” that you say was “all I needed to lose weight.” Well, it didn’t. I gave it five years. I have several health issues (one being PCOS) that makes weight loss difficutl. Not impossible. Just really, really tough. I’ve lost 85 pounds in two years. And it is still a lot of work. I don’t eat whatever I want. I am dedicated.
        Think twice before you make such sweeping generalizations. You are just as bad as the people who assume fat people are unworthy just because they are overweight.

  2. I was moved by the blog and it made me want to go HELL YEAH at the end as I order food I want to eat that people have often called “bad.”

    Then I scrolled a bit down and literally laughed out loud at the bitter irony of the autogenerated ads.

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  3. thank you for this post, it was truly fabulous! it gave me a lot to think about. as someone who has lost quite a bit of weight in the last couple of years, it’s been frustrating being unsure about the validity of my reasons for doing so (knowing that some of them are borne of fatphobia) and what it means as to where i fit…am i an ally now? am i still fat? or am i some sort of asshole? again, thank you!

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  5. These are really important ideas. “Your health is your business” is such a vital concept that I wish everyone could know. Also, it’s so valuable to be reminded that losing weight doesn’t make you a better or worse person. I really appreciate this post.

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  7. Found this to be satisfying thinking about the oppression of sizism, and agree with the reinforcement of the paradigm more by fatties than anyone. Just a bit confused that at end is a Google Ad “Loose 6kg in 4 weeks?”

    • The ads are super unfortunate. Sadly, they’re auto generated, and we can’t change them. But glad you’re with us on the rest!

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  9. “Abandon the language of “good” and “bad” choices” – how to resist, this screamed at me, I DO THIs, & its hateful, you are absolutely right, I have no right to enforce this type of talk on anyone, not even myself, it swrong. Thanks for putting up the mirror and making me take a good long look, i will endoevour to change this behaviour in myself,

    • The first step to correcting a behavior is admitting the behavior exists. Kudos to you that you actually realize that you use “good” and “bad” in your daily choices.

  10. I think you make some great points…most of which would be good advice for everyone to follow, regardless of current or past body size!

    However, as someone who has lived this experience (of losing 150+ lbs and tried to stay fat positive and loving of myself and others through and beyond that experience), I would appreciate a discussion about this issue from both sides. A few of your points reminded me of hurtful things that people said to me as I was losing weight–comments that were just as hurtful, if not more, than those I got when I was very fat.

    Sometimes I felt like people thought I was a traitor for making my own personal decisions about my body, decisions which I kept to myself for the most part(only sharing the details with my closest friends). I came to feel like the act of losing weight–not talking about it, not discussing food or calories, just being seen getting smaller–made people feel like they had a right to talk about it, to make assumptions about why I was doing it or how, as well as projecting their own body issues onto me.

    All those things happen to us when we are fat too, but in different ways, and I was much more used to it. I didn’t anticipate the intense feelings of vulnerability I would feel as I got smaller, or the sometimes suspicious, sometimes harsh and mean reactions of the fat girls who I still thought of as my people. Again, all because of how they saw my body changing, not because of anything I told them.

    Sorry for the long comment. Again, I really appreciated this article, and I think you are right-on, and that this is a discussion that deserves to go farther/deeper.

  11. I appreciate that this post addresses this topic from a clear perspective of celebrating weight diversity and refusing to go along with fat=bad (and food=bad) beliefs that are so very common.

    While I certainly affirm the absolute right each of us has to make choices about how we live in our bodies, I do not believe that weight is a choice, for the most part. For the vast majority of people, significantly changing body weight is not maintained longterm. I am concerned that this post talks about weighing less as if it’s a choice that’s generally available.

    In my view, believing in generally available weight mutability inevitably reinforces the current system of weight-based stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination.

    If someone has fat politics and their weight goes down (or up) as a side effect of life choices or life process and weight change was not sought and not valued as better or worse, then I can imagine feeling community with that person, whatever they happen to weigh.

    If someone (of whatever weight) has a goal of losing (or gaining) weight (regardless of whether they actually gain or lose weight), I stop feeling community with that person. I define my feeling of community based on how people think, not based on what people weigh.

    Someone who has a goal of losing weight must on some level believe that weight is a choice. I find that an inaccurate and dangerous belief. Because so long as thie belief persists, people of all sizes will be expected to choose to weigh differently…and will not be able to.

    The fact that some people lose weight and maintain that weight loss does not mean that weight loss is possible for most people or that one’s weight is a personal choice, mutable, or open to control.

    I don’t think the question is whether I can manage to be a friend to someone who has a goal of losing weight (or gaining weight). I think the question is whether they are a friend to me. Given the inherent beliefs involved in aiming to change weight…sadly, very sadly…I don’t find they are.

    • But being fat CAN be a choice. Why can’t it? Obviously some people are fat because that’s how their body prefers to be, some are fat because of a load of other things, including classism, ableism, etc. People are fat for thousands of reasons, and they’re all valid reasons. Why can’t choice be a valid reason too?

      To insist that weight is never ever a choice seems super essentializing to me. I choose to eat whatever the fuck I want in whatever amounts and to not exercise. That is a perfectly valid, wonderful choice. I don’t have mitigating health circumstances that make weightloss impossible or even difficult. I have weighed much less that this when I exercised and didn’t eat everything delicious in the world. Both states of my body are absolutely acceptable.

      For many, many people, weight is not a choice. Obviously. But for others, myself included, it in fact is. Why is that a problem?

      I actually think that insisting it is not a choice ever ever ever is an attempt to make fat morally acceptable. I don’t think morality should even be a part of the discussion. I don’t think, in a perfect world, that there should ever even be a discussion about body shapes. It’s my body. Keep your weird judgments of my motivations away from it, thanks.

      • A person’s choices about how/what/when to eat and a person’s choices about how/what/when to exercise do not equate to particular body weights or particular weight change. If all people ate and exercised exactly the same, there would still be significant diversity of body weights. Decades of data do not support the belief that any large percentage of people could lose weight permanently.

        If you imagine a pie chart (pie!) that shows the various things that influence what any one person weighs at any given moment, the whole pie is not divided into two pieces: eating and exercise. There are always other inputs: genetic predisposition, age, illness, medication, dieting history, class/poverty, and more. Data from identical twins ranks genetic input as the largest influence on what someone weighs.

        In this study, researchers estimate that genetic effect at 70%:

        No individual is able to “choose” what they weigh infinitely. Most people can shift their weight around within their setpoint range (which varies from person to person), especially in the short term (less than 3 years). The same person will not be able to “choose” to weigh 95 pounds and also just as readily “choose” to weigh 395 pounds.

        Here’s a study about setpoint range, a concept that was gaining popularity in the 90s until big pharma and the weight-loss industry quashed it:

        Your experience of “choosing” what you weigh is limited and depends in part on your genetic predisiposition regarding weight variability.

        Research comparing identical twins who are overfed and underfed significantly finds a great deal of weight variation between twin-pairs, but nearly the same resulting weights within twin-pairs.

        Here’s a link to an abstract of the study:

        The fact that one person’s weight can vary in response to differences in behavior does not mean that all people could (or should) try to lose weight.

        I find the attachment to, and belief in, weight mutability…unhelpful.

      • Sarah~ LOVE your post. I would venture for someone to actually investigate and research the percentages and statistical data that accompany obesity with non-lifestyle choices (e.g. health issues etc.) I have mentioned previously that I work at a Weight Loss Surgery Clinic, but we also have endocrinologists within the building that work in our Diabetes, Endocrine, and Nutrition department. I have no hard facts, statistics, or numbers, but from what I’ve SEEN and what I’ve spoken with our MDs about, the actual percentage of obese and morbid obese patients who actually have a health condition, such as metabolic syndrome, contributing to the obesity is quite small. (So if the legit numbers match what I just mentioned generally saying “I have a health condition that makes me fat” is pucky). Painful joints are not an initial factor in obesity, but a co-morbidity of obesity (e.g. we got fat, and our joints are now strained making it painful to exercise, etc.). I often hear annoying multitudes of excuses why patients are obese, but no one ever says “I just want to be that way. I’m ok with it.” In my innane ramblings, what I’m getting at is that I agree that on a large level, obesity is a choice.

    • its all about calories in and calories out. i promise that %99 of the population that is truly obese eat a lot more and exercise a lot less than someone close to there ideal weight. ya there will be weight differences, but nobody is meant to be obese. I was sure i was destined to be big for years. i hit 200 in 7th grade and just assumed that’s how I was. finally now at 27 years old I have realized that short of having a thyroid condition or some other medical condition most people should be close to there ideal weight if they eat normal and stay active. not everyone will be skinny but i have made minimal changes to my life and i am down to 190lbs from 250lbs and I wont ever go back. and i did it for the right reasons. my father died of heart disease at 57. you can talk about genetics all you want but his much older brother’s are still alive and kicking because they have healthy active lives. his own father almost outlived him.

      • Jeremiah: how do you know that what’s true for your body is true for anyone else’s, much less everyone else’s?

  12. The really twisted thing is when I hear people talking about behaving like a thin person, but when I inform them that thin people don’t normally obsess about this stuff, I’m told that I shouldn’t say anything because I don’t understand their struggle. Really? I don’t understand the me that you’re making out to be the goal????

  13. As someone who spent 19 years of my adult life reasonably happy/healthy as well as “morbidly obese” and as someone who has been able and willing to lose fat and exercise and as someone who has made that life choice over the past 2.5 years (I was 312, am now 190/now can bench over 100lbs and run half marathons), I found this particular blog post to be unfair.

    ‎”if you’re losing weight to become more attractive, desirable or successful, or because of a non-specific “because health” reason, it’s important to know that you are actively contributing to narratives of fat hate and body policing.”

    I dont buy this. This is a broad generalizing statement of exactly the type that fat-acceptance people object to when it applies to them. I actively try to remove all judgement words from my discussion of food and exercise choices, because some people don’t have the liberty or will (for whatever reason) to make the kinds of choices I have made. BUT, to state bluntly that my choice(s) to reduce the fat percentage on my own body is contributing to the hate against fat people…that’s unfair.

  14. “While getting a lot of new, strange attention to your body is a legitimate challenge to work through, when I hear that (as a turbo fatty who largely doesn’t get affirmation for my body), it can feel like a poor little rich girl problem.”

    I have a quibble with this. The phrase “poor little rich girl” suggests someone who has inherited money. A fat person who has lost weight has undoubtedly worked hard and made sacrifices, as opposed to someone who is naturally thin. (Have they done this out of self-loathing, or as a means of courting privilege? Maybe, but they’ve still put in a lot of effort.)

    I guess I would compare the “struggles” of someone who has lost a lot of weight to the “struggles” of someone who has made millions through their own hard work. It would bug me to hear anyone complain about their landscaper or maid, but it would bug me less if I knew the complainer had gotten rich by putting in years and years worth of 16-hour days.

    • Not all people who were fat but lost weight have tried. I lost weight because I was sick (for a long time). Just to say, you know, we exist.

      To the OP– I am constantly approached by almost-strangers, people who know me professionally but not personally, as someone they feel safe to talk to about their struggles with weight. I suppose that’s in line with what you said about seeking validation from people are not fat (or less fat– I’m kind of average now, not thin or fat, but known as a former fat person). Most of the time I don’t mind, and I can encourage people to redirect their energy towards becoming strong, focusing on fitness rather than size, or talk about how messed up it is to feel so much pressure about size, etc. Sometimes, I do mind. I don’t think anyone can presume my state of mind about weight and size based on the fact that my body composition has changed, but I try to understand where people are coming from.

      But another question– I don’t accept the link between health and fat. I do, however, think that physical fitness is far more important to overall health than some believe (especially big pharmaceutical companies), and I also believe that the standard food we eat (especially what we are told to eat by big food companies) is catastrophically bereft of basic nutritional substance. Mainstream culture sells us a toxic lifestyle. I’d like to be able to talk about this, in general and especially to loved ones, without sounding like I’m talking about weight. I have no idea how to do that. Is there a way? Or does any conversation about high fructose corn syrup make me sound like I’m about to jump into a lecture about body composition?

      • G.P, your last paragraph really resonated with me. I’m 5’2 and my weight has fluctuated since puberty between 150 and 250 depending on my lifestyle. I’ve never actively dieted and don’t believe that restriction or deprivation should be foisted on me, as though it were my responsibility to enjoy life less, simply because my body is large. Recently, however, I began to eat mostly raw foods (as well as a fairly complex regime of herbal supplements) in response to a serious endocrine disorder that was causing me to faint from vertigo, skip ovulation cycles and lose my hair in clumps. Every doctor I consulted was quick to blame my weight and stopped seeking deeper treatment for me other than offering me a discount gym membership through my insurance. Basically: “lose a hundred pounds and then come talk to us.” I researched what other women with my condition were doing to treat it and began cutting out refined sugar & flour, and eating mostly raw foods.

        The least significant change in me has been the weight loss, which has been gradual and minimal (5 pounds in 2 months)- I have more energy than I’ve had since I was a teenager, a fog has been lifted from my brain, my anxiety has lessened and my hair and nails are growing in faster and stronger. I don’t believe for a second it was my largeness that made me sick, lethargic, unable to concentrate, or depressed (even though my doctors sure did)- it was the nutritional gaps in the poisonous foods I was eating. I imagine my weight will eventually plateau somewhere in response to the changes, and I have no care for the size it decides on.

        As you can imagine, I feel so great that I want to share my personal discoveries with everyone I know, regardless of their body size- but I’m hesitant to do so out of fear that my intentions will be misunderstood and that somebody will feel judged or shamed by me in some way. The “it’s good for your health” chestnut has been thrown at men and women of size for so long as a hurtful “concern trolling” tactic hat I honestly feel there is no way I can ever utter a similar sentiment, in any context, without it being offensive to many people I love and care about. Will there ever be an opportunity to discuss processed food dangers and food industry issues with my loved ones where it won’t come across as lifestyle shaming in any way?

  15. This is such a great conversation. I wanted to add on that I sometimes coach/advise students at the gym about being healthy. I always remind them that getting a cut body or super loss of weight is not the goal, nor likely attainable.

    I also thinks it is interesting because I’ve recently “looked great” due to weight loss, but only because I’ve been advised by my doctor to lose some cholesterol for heart healthy reasons. As I’ve done that, I’ve gotten the same positive “wow, you look like you’ve lost weight”, and I respond about my cutting out bad cholesterol. As I read the blog, I thought it interesting to replace stuff about “losing weight” and “cutting out cholesterol” as the conversation between the individual and one’s friends/coworkers. In particular, in order to make the cutting out cholesterol work, I’m telling everyone under the sun that I’m trying to reduce my bad cholesterol. So that seems fine and nonoppressive.

    • That’s a great way to go about it! Specificity is extra important, especially since the “but what about your health?” gets used so broadly (and non-specifically) as a way to police fat people & fat bodies. By talking about cholesterol, you address something that’s (gasp!) actually about health, and not a broad condemnation of non-normative body size or shape. Well done.

  16. This was so excellent.
    Really, thank you so much.
    I especially loved the part about seeking support. I often have very thin, beautiful friends seeking my support and reassurance that they are thin or sexy and it makes me crazy!! I had a friend who was almost half my weight tell me she was “chunky,” it says a lot about the way she must think of me. It makes it very difficult to stay friends with someone who feels that putting you down is a good way to make themselves feel better.

  17. I just lost over 40 pounds. It was extremely hard work.

    I have found it helpful to think of it, in some ways, as similar to gender reassignment surgery. I have an image of a body that I want, and I am trying to make my body correspond to that image. Is the image socially constructed in a fatphobic society? Yes. But it’s still the body that I feel fits me.

    But just as I would not tell an FTM who has top surgery that he’s being “good” because male bodies are “better,” I don’t think of myself as being objectively “good.” And just as I would congratulate and share in the happiness of an FTM who had top surgery because his body now feels more authentically his, I have no problem congratulating myself for losing those 40 pounds.

    I didn’t find your blog entry hateful at all. I thought it was very well written and made some helpful points.

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  19. This post reads like a jumbled mess of fat-person rationalization and cognitive dissonance. It would take a response post three times as long to lay out all of your incorrect factual premises and logical fallacies.

    Instead of undertaking all that, I’ll just response to this particularly hilarious remark: “Don’t accept comments about your thinness as compliments – challenge them.”

    While you’re at it, be sure to challenge any compliments about your pretty face, your intelligence, or how cute your dog is. After all: society overvalues good looks, intelligent people aren’t any better human beings than dumb people, and who’s to say that every other dog isn’t just as cute in its own way?

    • Any of those compliments could be challenged depending on the tone of voice in which they’re delivered. You will find plenty a nerd who gets uncomfortable about being complimented on their intelligence in tones of voice which imply self-deprecation. A healthy-minded person doesn’t really want their near neighbors to feel like simpletons by comparison. It can’t always be avoided, a fact which Rick Santorum so blatantly tried to exploit recently. “Pretty face” is already a loaded compliment for fat women, having a history of being, as a Marxist might call it, “a negation of a negation”. But even without that, standardly “pretty” women get that targeted as if, in the words of No Doubt, “That’s all I’ll ever be.”

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  22. I think you made some good points in this post. It was very well written. However, one of the parts I do not like is the “poor little rich girl” statement. I was thinking about this the other day actually.
    I have lost 90 lbs. in little over a year. I was over 300 lbs. when I started. I went from a size 24 to a size 16. I was out the other weekend and was a getting more attention from guys than I am use to. I laughed it off and had a good time. Later I told my friend (yes who is plus size) that I felt uncomfortable there for a bit bc I am not use to the attention. After talking to her, I thought about the fact I was complaining because I was getting attention that I had complained of not getting before. However, I am not use to it at all, I always make the disclaimer “This is not a poor poor me statement”. When I was growing up and my years in college, I was made fun of, I didn’t have the attention from the guys and that was the way it was. Going from one extreme to the next is a little frightening. I am unsure of what to do in some cases and that is when I turn to my friends (plus size or not) to help me. From your posting you make me feel as if I am hurting their feelings by telling them my worries over these NEW situations in my life. I don’t think that is fair…. If my friend has issues with me telling her my worries then I hope she would say so. I also worry about annoying people with talking about losing weight, so I ask and tell them to let me know if I get too much.

    Losing a lot of weight is an emotional experience. I did it for health issues as well as being very unhappy being over weight. The health issue was diabetes. It runs in my family and at the rate I was going it would have only been a matter of time.

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  34. I have been slim and pretty all my life. and I have spent that life being overwhelmed by male attention. Is that a good thing? No, not really. They do not treat you as a person, but as something to admire and impress, something to show off to. I get followed by men, pestered by men, have men try guilt-tripping me into giving attention, have them compete around my chair…as I got older, I thought it would ease up, but now the ones who used to admire from a distance fell more at ease getting closer. They like to try and touch you….
    I could go on.
    Now, if you are truly happy and fat-positive, you’ll commiserate with me and have understanding of what it is to be objectified.
    But this line makes me think you wont, your line about how friends who have lost weight shouldnt ever talk to you about feeling uneasy about new male attention because you are someone ‘whose body doesnt get that affirmation”
    And there it is, right there, the hypocrisy of this whole thing. That comes from spite and jealousy, its the usual nasty female thing of one woman full of hate for another because that other gets more male attention. There is no feminism here.
    You surely shouldnt care about male affirmation and you should seek to be less selfish and self-obsessed. Maybe other people need your support. Maybe its not all about you. maybe good looks bring their own problems.
    It isnt all about you.

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  36. I really liked this post! I lost 20kg and was/still am body-positive (and still to call myself body-positive). I have always felt worried about encouraging women to love their bodies(something important to me) WHILE answering womens questions about how I lost my weight. I am going to think more deeply about creating bodypositive vibe that is friendly to people of all shapes/sizes while being able to share advice with women.

    Also, I hate how people go ‘oh wow, you look so pretty now hun after all that weightloss’ – I feel like saying ‘babe, I have always felt pretty, there just used to be a bit more to love’

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