Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Why Women Need Fat - will repost soon

ERRATUM: I need to more carefully reframe what it was I liked about this article--will repost soon.

Monday, December 19, 2011

have a fattastic 2012

There are two--TWO--fantastic fat-themed calendars to hang, flip the pages of, or scrabble on, in 2012. Yeah, I'm dangling my prepositions!

1) The Adipositivity Project wall calendar (11"x17")--twelve months of arty, nsfw, fat lady visuals. Beautiful photography and a worthy, exciting project, as always. I was honored to make a minor contribution to their holiday message.

2. The Fat!So? dayplanner--a cover to decorate yourself, and double pages inside with tips, quotes, images, drawings, and dates to help inform a size-positive year, from Marilyn Wann and others. Here is a brief video showing the book. Proceeds go to build the Weight Diversity Action Lounge, a community center in the SF-area.

on NHANES and data-gathering

Worth reading: this recent interesting post from an interesting blog by Kjerstin Gruys, who is spending a year not looking in mirrors and writing about the experience. Gruys details participating in the CDC National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) and what it was like to have such detailed information taken and given about her health, especially as a former anorexic.

The part that really leapt out at me was this fascinating paragraph about (basically) the framework within which the CDC is collecting information about weight and food, and how the way it is designed will never allow a full picture [emphases are mine]:
. . . I can honestly say that the NHANES study seems to be biased toward preventing weight gain, as opposed to preventing eating disorders. My first clue didn't come on my "Preliminary Report of Findings" but in the wording of one of the interview questions asked during our home visit. The field interviewer asked me if I'd "ever participated in any weight-loss diets". My answer was "yes." Then she asked me, "How much weight did you lose in your most successful weight-loss attempt?" The NHANES computer program only allowed her to record the (horrifying and unhealthy) amount of weight that I'd lost in my most "successful" attempt, but there was no space to specify that "it was due to anorexia and she could have died." Upon my urging, she added a special note, but I have no idea how this will be handled when the data are analyzed. This is troubling: the wording of this question frames any weight loss as good, which we know isn't true. Another thing I noticed: despite asking me to describe, in detail, every bite of food that I'd eaten in the prior 24 hours, I was never asked whether I'd purged any of this food, or if I had taken laxatives or diuretics (I hadn't, but that's not the point). Through these questions (and non-questions), some of the most dangerous health behaviors - such as crash-dieting, purging, laxative abuse, and extreme food restriction - are made invisible.
Worth a read. Thoughtful post.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

good quote on the Jessica Simpson blah-blah

This article in Slate about Jessica Simpson's possible pre-birth signing with Weight Watchers for post-birth weight loss endorsement sums up the whole game really well:
This . . . body-policing cycle—weight gain, scrutiny, weight loss, more scrutiny, repeat—that is one of the most powerful motors in the machinery of celebrity journalism. No celebrity can ever achieve the right weight, because there is no right weight; one is always too fat or too skinny, and one is always eating too much or too little. There’s no escape. There is only—for the publications that sell copies by stoking readers’ body anxieties, for the celebrities who manage to ink multimillion-dollar weight-loss deals, and for the diet companies that rake in consumers’ cash—profit.
In fact, this piece points out that Simpson—or her handlers—or the machine—whatever—may be encouraging a bidding war by placed items about her weight gain/prenant eating habits. The real fuel of people's pain and worry makes this industry possible, but it feels like money will never let it stop.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Weight Loss and Sexual Reorientation in Evangelical America

This book by Lynne Gerber, Seeking the Straight and Narrowlooks fascinating. From the U of Chicago Press website:
Drawing on fieldwork at First Place, a popular Christian weight-loss program, and Exodus International, a network of ex-gay ministries, Lynne Gerber explores why some Christians feel that being fat or gay offends God, what exactly they do to lose weight or go straight, and how they make sense of the program’s results--or, frequently, their lack. Gerber notes the differences and striking parallels between the two programs, and, more broadly, she traces the ways that other social institutions have attempted to contain the excesses associated with fatness and homosexuality. Challenging narratives that place evangelicals in constant opposition to dominant American values, Gerber shows that these programs reflect the often overlooked connection between American cultural obsessions and Christian ones.

How Glad I Am!

How can you not like this song? This version of this song, I mean.

I always think there's an unintentional dash of size love in the lyrics, somehow. And her version is so crisp and happy, so Nancy Wilson.

My love has no beginning, my love has no end
No front or back and my love won't bend
I'm in the middle, lost in a spin loving you
And you don't know, you don't know
You don't know, you don't know how glad I am

My love has no bottom, my love has no top
My love won't rise and my love won't drop
I'm in the middle and I can't stop loving you
And you don't know, you don't know
You don't know, you don't know how glad I am

I wish I were a poet so I could express
What I'd, what I'd like to say yeah
I wish I were an artist so I could paint a picture
Of how I feel, of how I feel today

My love has no walls on either side
That makes my love wider than wide
I'm in the middle and I can't hide loving you

And you don't know, you don't know
You don't know, you don't know how glad I am