YouTube Channel

Celebreight Yourself now has a Youtube channel!

You can also find more of my writing at three great websites: Large in Charge magazine, Fierce, Freethinking Fatties, and More of Me to Love. Links are below.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fat Love vs. Fat Hate -- Part 1: The Haters

This post is going to piss you off. It pissed me off when I was writing it. Subject-hunting one day, I decided to do an article on fat hate vs. fat love. I was planning to do it as one piece, but when I started my research I discovered a huge amount of material and realized this would have to be a two-part article. So, we’ll get the unpleasantness out of the way first and deal with the haters. We’ll save the lovers for dessert. J

We all know fat hatred is out there. Most of us find it abhorrent and try to avoid being subjected to it. However, every once in awhile, you have to put something under a microscope and examine it … try to figure out exactly what it is, where it comes from, and what makes it do what it does. The only way you can change something is by understanding it, even if it angers you. As John Lydon said in the PIL song Rise, “Anger is an energy.” Anger can be good. Anger motivates. It inspires you to solve problems. So keep those positive aspects in mind as you read through the excerpts.

I got on the internet and started researching fat hate. I decided to check if there were any fat hate groups on the popular social networking site Facebook. Guess what? I found a lot. Here’s just a small sampling of some of them, and the number of “likes” or members is in brackets beside it (the spelling and grammatical errors are left intact to illustrate the intelligence level of the group creators, and also to amuse you):
  • i  HATE fat chicks who think there hot! (76,499)
  • I hate fat chicks who think they’re hot! (12, 483) [I guess this guy can actually read and write]
  • I hate fat girls who wear tight clothes and think they’re attractive. (15,221)
  • i hate fat/ugly people who try to act bitchy. like no, your fat. (204,707)
  • I don’t hate you ‘cause you’re fat, you’re fat because i hate you. (185,942)
  • i hate fat slags! (2,616)
  • I hate fat girls. (1,100)
  • I hate fat bitches. (284)
  • I hate fat chicks. (234)
  • I Hate Fat Kids. (67)
  • Don’t You Hate Fat Cows. (36)

There were several repetitions of the “I hate fat bitches”, “I hate fat chicks”, “I hate fat people”, “I hate fat sluts” group names. The one that actually saddened me and shocked even my shock-proof nature was the “I Hate Fat Kids” group. 67 people publicly joined a group with that name. Can you believe it?

This is just the tip of the iceberg. The next thing I researched were comments left on Craigslist Toronto (where I live), in their “rants and raves” section. A few of the comments also came from their dating section, but the majority of them were collected from the rants area. I knew it would be a goldmine for fat-hating comments.

Fat haters are comprised of two specific types. The first is toxic, sociopathic, and evil. These people are either outwardly evil, or they are sly about it and masquerade as normal. Make no mistake, though -- they are sick. What’s scary is that the majority of them usually choose to hide it, because they know their thoughts aren’t socially acceptable. You can be walking past them on the street and they may even smile at you; or you may know them, and they pretend to like you … but inwardly, they are thinking these thoughts. That is truly creepy.  

The second type is simply ignorant. They are uneducated, immature, and stupid … but not hopeless. They are possibly redeemable, and have some semblance of a conscience.

Keep that in mind as you read. The comments are verbatim; I have not changed any wording, spelling, punctuation, etc. I have separated the comments into the group types.


There some fatties on my friend list who think there hot, think their effin cute, think there best to anyone .. but in fact there just a dumb shitz to me really.

... the so-called "BBW", whatever that denial soaked coverup acronym really means, who are exponentially bitchier than the good looking women you could actually carry in your arms without the need of hydraulic equipment.

It makes me wonder how many of you angry whiners are actually fat asses. People post things like they want to wipe out countries and all the people in them and those get left on. But anything about fat people gets flagged. Maybe if you fat fucks got off your lazy asses and lost some weight you wouldn't be so bitter. What ever happened to the notion that fat people are supposed to be jolly? Fat bastards!

Fat people make life harder for people who are relatively fit and choose not to be gluttonous pigs. Yes, that’s right, I said it. I am 5’9” and weigh 170 pounds. In other words, I’m “anorexic” compared to the bovine behemoths that are grazing all over America. … In the grocery store, fat ass has to use a motorized cart to load up on junk food that will increase her gargantuan girth! Then she complains the cart is too small. Waa Waa! Hey Blubber Butt! Stop eating so much crap and ‘gulp’ actually walk around. … Just don’t bump into me, or get too close. I don’t want any of the moons orbiting your equator waist to hit me!

I have always been repulsed by fat women. I find them disgusting: their absurd sideways waddle, their absence of body contour – breasts, lap, buttocks, shoulders, jaw lines, cheekbones, everything, everything I like to see in a woman, obscured in an avalanche of flesh … How dare they impose that body on the rest of us?

I hate you fat women. Move to the Middle East, meet a sex-starved turbin head, and have more disgusting fat babies. I hope Bush blows you all up!

My opinion is that fat women are disgusting. .. Its wrong. They complain about being fat yet cant control what they shove in their pie holes. It’s a lack of character, lack of control, lack of self respect. … Personally I do not like mounds of fat and rolls on a woman, but the huge fleshy tits are fantastic. And before any of you think I discriminate against fat women … of course I do. I exercise and make the effort to stay healthy. There is no excuse for them.

That last comment truly sickened me. Here is a perfect example of a guy who will pretend to like you so he can get at your “huge fleshy tits” … then toss you like a piece of garbage when he’s done with you, and go laugh about his latest conquest to his friends. Ick. I mean, ICK!


Fat is utterly disgusting. Fat is … a lazy, slobby, greedy, and unintelligent person. Thin is … an intelligent, eager person who is in control of her life. I can’t believe fat and obese people are denying the fact that they too want to be thin deep down inside. NOBODY in their right mind likes being fat.  [posted by a woman]

Kyle Wellwood was fat, and he was a mediocre hockey player in the NHL. John Candy and Chris Farley were also fat, and they died young. yes, being a fat worthless fuck either shortens your life, or makes you useless, or perhaps even both.

Hey fat chicks need loving too. They just gotta pay.

Hahaha. Fat bitches. They don’t feel good about themselves, and they know boys don’t like them. That’s why they wear short and tight clothes. But that’s really disgusting. I feel like I wanna throw up every time I see one of those girls. X_x.  [posted by a teenage girl]

Nobody can tell you what to wear, but we can be disgusted by it, and tell you how disgusting you are. Don’t like that? Shape the fuck up.

I love this page! Fat girls are painful in the eyes  [another girl]

Women are so hard to understand. Why do they get fat once they "settle down"? I went out with a girl and she was slender and dressed real hot. After we lived together for a while she started to let herself slip. Larger meals, desert every night, no more sexy clothes. Then we split and sure enough I ran in to her 6 months later and she had lost all the weight, had tight jeans and dolled up hair and all that. So we started talking again and eventually got back together. Sure enough here we are 2 years later and she is once again a lazy slug with a protruding belly, tree trunk legs and sagging ass. You'd think a woman would want to preserve her relationship by giving a damn about her appearance. Especially since I am quite fit, work out nightly and watch my diet.

Doesn’t this make you sad? There is SO MUCH hate out there. But ... the good news is: There is plenty of love too. Plenty of fat lovers stepped up to challenge the views spewed by the people above, and that is coming up in Part 2.

My primary goal in writing this article and posting these comments is not to upset any of you, and I hope that none of you take what these people are saying as legitimate points. It goes back to what I was saying in a previous post: CONSIDER THE MESSENGER.

Are these comments coming from someone who matters to you – a relative, a lover, a spouse? No – they are coming from total strangers, people who DON’T EVEN KNOW YOU. Yes, everyone is entitled to their opinion, and not everyone is going to think we are attractive. But no one is entitled to deliberately set out to cut someone down, damage them psychologically, and wish them harm. That is what a psychopath does.

Anger is an energy, people. Let’s use the anger fuelled by these comments to inspire us to create change.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The ABCs of "U"

Here’s a great little exercise to try when you’re feeling down and critical about yourself. Get a piece of paper and write the letters of the alphabet, from A to Z, all the way down the page. Next, for each letter, think of a positive word to describe yourself. Be as specific as possible. Really try to narrow it down to what makes you, YOU! For example:

A … Artistic
B … Bubbly
C … Charismatic
D … Daring
E … Exuberant

… and so on, all the way to Z. (For letter like X and Z, where words might be harder to think of, try to think of a word that includes those letters, like SeXy for X, or DaZzling for Z.)

It’s very important, however, that you truly believe that those words describe you. If not, it will just be a meaningless, empty list.

Everyone has positive qualities and characteristics. You’re not being arrogant or egotistical acknowledging all these great things about yourself. You’re simply recognizing your own particular attributes, and we all have them.

Really take the time to sit down, do this exercise, and think about it. Afterwards, keep it in an accessible place so that you can look at it whenever you need a little pick-me-up. You can also try doing a “refresher” list every month or so. This is a great way to see how your perspective is changing.

On the flip side, you can also try doing the same list, but with negative qualities. We all have negative qualities as well. This will make you aware of the things you need to work on. For example:

A … Angry
B … Bored
C … Cranky
D … Dull
E … Easily manipulated (phrases are okay too)

Refer to this list afterward as well, and focus on the negative traits you want to eliminate from your life. You’d be surprised what might pop out of your subconscious when you sit down to do this exercise. If a particular word comes to mind instantly, but it disturbs you, don’t censor it. Write it down. Keep the list private so that no one sees it but you.

This little exercise is a lot of fun. Happy listing!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Big Brother Wants You To Be Thin

It is in every human being’s best interest to love themselves. Without that grounding of basic self-respect, it is impossible to live a truly contented life. However, self-love can be extremely hard to come by these days, since everywhere we go and everywhere we turn, we receive the message that we are not good enough. It’s not just fat people who are subjected to this: It’s everyone. Plus-sized women, however, do encounter it more than most.

So what do we do about it? How do we arm ourselves with a protective shield to prevent these messages from getting into our minds and causing all kinds of trouble?

The first key is awareness. Be aware of the messenger.

Who are the primary culprits delivering these messages? Corporations. Diet companies. The diet industry is a huge money-making business. Here are a few numbers that will open your eyes:

In 2006, the weight loss market was worth $55.4 billion. The forecast for 2010, at that time, was $68.7 billion. Here are the 2006 profits for some noteworthy diet peddlers: Weight Watchers: $1.2 billion; NutriSystem: $568 million; Jenny Craig: $462 million; Slim Fast: $310 million; LA Weight Loss: $500 million.

In 2006, the profits for “meal replacements” such as protein bars and products toted as diet “snacks” were $1.17 billion. Diet soft drinks: $19 billion.

In looking at these numbers – numbers from 5 years ago, mind you -- do you think these companies might have a vested interest in getting you as a client? Don’t forget there are all kinds of “secondary” businesses that feed off the diet industry, such as gyms, spas, diet book authors, women’s magazines … the list goes on and on.

The diet industry is BIG business. Period. It is in their best interest to convince us that we are fat, ugly, out of shape, unhealthy, lonely, will never be loved or successful unless we are thin, etc.

It’s also in their best interest that their programs or products are ineffective, because if they were effective, we wouldn’t need them anymore, would we? Do you really think these companies are in business out of the kindness of their hearts? Do you think they just want to help us be happy, beautiful people, and gratefully close their doors when we have all accomplished that?

The diet industry feeds off people's insecurities and their desperation to "fit in" or please everyone else. In my opinion, it's just as evil as "big tobacco" (as chronicled in the brilliant film "The Insider").

Please, ladies … close your eyes and ears to all the greedy, conniving manipulation. Use your common sense when it comes to eating healthy, and make sure you get some daily exercise. That is all you need to do.

Don’t deny yourself the foods you love … just eat them in moderation. If you feel like having an ice cream sundae, have one. If you want a luscious piece of chocolate cake, have it. Pizza … enjoy it! Just don’t eat them every day, and eat just enough to satisfy your craving. As soon as you feel full, stop. You’d be surprised how little it actually takes to feel satisfied. We are prone to binging on these types of foods when we deny ourselves, and tell ourselves that it is forbidden.

Coming up in my next post: A fun exercise that will help you appreciate all your great qualities.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Eye Candy

We all have our "bad days", and it’s not just because we’re fat. EVERYONE has bad days. But every now and then, someone will make a snide comment, or just look at us a certain way. You know the look I’m talking about. It’s that disapproving, snobbish, judgmental glare. Then, suddenly … all that confidence that we have worked so hard to build just seems to evaporate into thin air.

Those kinds of days can really drain our self-confidence. For that reason, we need to regularly "recharge our batteries", or our belief in ourselves. Today's post is going to be a treat, because it's all about reminding ourselves how beautiful we are.

Big women ARE beautiful. Big women are just as beautiful as thin women. We are just packaged differently. We have more curves. Some of our body parts have a little more emphasis than others. J It’s true that sometimes it’s difficult and a hassle to find clothes that flatter us the way we want them to, but it’s not impossible. It just takes a little determination, research, and selectivity.  

If you have even the slightest doubt that your large body can be beautiful, I’ve assembled a few pictures to prove differently. Enjoy them. Emulate them. Realize that you can be just as beautiful, just as confident, and just as glorious. You just have to believe in your beauty. Do not be shy about displaying your assets.

Our first big, beautiful role model is Velvet D’Amour.
Velvet grew up in Rochester, New York and worked as a model in Paris – the snobbiest fashion capital of the world. In 2006 and 2007, she gained fame as a runway model for John Galliano and Jean-Paul Gaulthier. At the time of her runway appearances, Velvet weighed approximately 300 pounds. She is 5’8”. She has also appeared in a feature film called “Avida”, in which she played the title role. Velvet also works as a photographer. Just take a look at these photos, and anyone can see that she is stunningly beautiful.

Next up is big, gorgeous Beth Ditto:
Beth Ditto is the lead singer for the indie rock band Gossip. She was born in Arkansas, but moved to Portland, Oregon when she was 13. Due to the fact that she is lead singer for a rock band, and as you can see from her pictures, it’s obvious that Beth is no shrinking violet. She is not the least bit afraid to put herself out there. In an interview with her, one rock journalist gushed: “Her body is mesmeric. Rolls and folds topped with an adorable heart-shaped face. Having never had the least desire to paint, I’m suddenly overcome with an urge to take up oils and have a bash at capturing the play of light across her love handles. No wonder she’s a muse to just about every designer going.”

I love the picture with the lipstick kiss on her ass. Yes, that says it all. Go, Beth! You rock.

Now, in this post about celebrating the beauty of large women, I need to acknowledge and salute a male artist. Les Toil attended the Academy of Art in San Francisco. He adores big, beautiful women, and his fun, sexy “pinup”-style artwork totally conveys his admiration for our big, round, voluptuous bodies. He has illustrated cd covers and posters for Tori Amos, Alanis Morrissette, and The Offspring, and his artwork has even made appearances in films. Here are a few of my favourite Les Toil images:

Finally, I cannot close this post without bringing your attention to Substantia Jones, a photographer in New York City, promotes size acceptance through her photography. She photographs both men and women, usually nude or scantily clad, and takes some of the most stunning, celebratory photographs I have ever seen. If you ever want to feel that you are not just beautiful, but a work of art, go check out her photography. Here are some lovely examples of her work:

If you ever had any doubts about your potential to be absolutely gorgeous the way you are RIGHT NOW, I hope I helped dispel them in this post. Beauty does not come in one size. When you believe in yourself, and allow your beauty to shine, you will be amazed how people will respond to you, and how great you will feel.

It doesn’t mean that everyone is going to be attracted to you … and that’s okay! There is no need to take it personally. Of course it's disappointing if someone you’re attracted to is not attracted to you in return. However, that can happen to anyone, fat or thin. Everyone has their own particular tastes. You can have the thinnest bikini body and still not have the right chemistry with a certain person. It’s more about confidence, chemistry, and compatibility. 

Don’t ever allow anyone to tell you that you are not beautiful. Strut your stuff and get out there. Work it, girl!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Loving A Large Lady

This post is for the guys who read my blog, and I know you’re out there, because I’ve heard from some of you, bless your hearts. (Ladies, just sit back and enjoy!)

It takes a very special man to love a large lady. She is just like any other woman, only a little more special because of the very specific stresses and pressures she has felt throughout her life. This is why it’s extremely important to know how to approach, get to know, and win the heart of a large lady.

A lot of men complain that large women have an “attitude”. Well, I’d like to ask you complainers a question: What do you expect? Most of us have had more than our share of insults, rudeness, and ignorance. Those kinds of experiences take their toll on a person. Some women never recover. Some large women cease to see themselves as female sexual beings and simply accept a life without passion, romance, or fun. This is truly sad and tragic, and totally unnecessary.

There are many beautiful, large women out there who haven’t given up, who believe in themselves, are confident in their beauty, and are looking for the man of their dreams. However, always remember that she likely has the baggage of a lifetime of feeling deficient, because it requires a degree of sensitivity.  

First of all, I would like to sincerely applaud you guys out there who can see the beauty in a large woman. I’m sure that those of you who’ve confessed your admiration to friends or family members have heard a lot of insults yourselves, or criticism. You’ve probably heard comments like: “What the hell would you want to date a fat woman for? You can do better than that, can’t you?” Or: “Yeah, she’s good for a fuck, but you wouldn’t want to be seen with her.”

Maybe some of you are so afraid of this kind of criticism that you’ve never told anyone about your preference. It’s understandable, because everyone hates feeling singled out and criticized – but the most crucial thing about loving a large woman is that it is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL that you’re open about your preference, and also that you’re steadfast about it. If you’re the kind of man who bows under pressure, who cares too much about what people think of you, forget it. Stop reading. On the other hand, if you’re the kind of man who gets angry when other people try to tell him how he should live his life, then you are a definite candidate. Read on.

Being a BBW myself, I’m confident in saying there are generally two kinds of large women: there are the outgoing, happy BBWs who always look great; and then there are the quieter, shyer BBWs who don’t feel as secure about their attractiveness. (Believe it or not, although it might not seem that way from my blog, I’d fall in the second category of quiet and shy – until you get a couple drinks into me, anyway.) The outgoing, happy BBWs have been blessed with a natural confidence. The quieter, shyer BBWs are a little gun-shy and need careful attention.

When approaching a BBW, always be respectful. If you come across as a swaggering “Hey baby” type, she’ll spot you as a player right off -- and I don’t know too many women who take swaggering players seriously. They might be fun for a night out, but if you want to be considered serious boyfriend material, tone it down. You could say something like, “Hi, I’m __________. I’ve been noticing you for awhile now, and I’d really like to get to know you. Mind if I sit down?”

All women like to know that the guy they’re with finds them attractive – but again, don’t be vulgar about it. When you start talking to her, make sure to let her know that you find her attractive (believe me, she wants to be sure. She might just think you’re being nice.) You could say something like, “You have really beautiful hair/eyes/(or even better) skin.” Most BBWs have very creamy, soft skin and, by saying this, you’re letting her know that you’ve noticed her body and are appreciating it.

One of the most erotic, sexy moments in my life took place when I was on a first date with a guy. I will never forget it. (The relationship didn’t end up working out, but that’s another story.) We were sitting at this outdoor patio/bar type of place, and it was late spring/early summer, so I was wearing a top that showed quite a bit of skin. We were holding hands across the table and he said, “You have the most beautiful skin.” Then he started rubbing one of my arms up and down, up and down, and I swear to God, I nearly jumped across the table and grabbed him. It was amazing. So make sure you let her know that you not only are seeing her body, but that you find it very sexy – but do it in a subtle way. Make her feel like a goddess. You will turn her on incredibly.

Another crucial factor about being with a BBW is that you need to let her know that YOU are okay with being with her. Take her out places, and when you do, hold her hand, put your arm around her – let her know that you aren’t afraid to be seen loving her. This will let her know you’re a keeper, and will impress her immensely. If the unthinkable happens and some ignorant asshole makes a rude comment in public (this happened to me more than once), make sure you deal with it. If you let it pass, you're letting her know that a) you don't care that someone just treated her like garbage, or b) you're too cowardly to defend her. Either scenario is extremely unimpressive.

Once you establish a dating relationship with a BBW, treat her like a lady. Open the door for her, wait for her to sit down first, ask her what she’d like to do. And please don’t be a cheapskate. No coffee dates! Coffee dates are not “dates” – they are a cheap screening process, and don’t think we don’t know it. If you’re interested in taking her out, then TAKE HER OUT. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but any woman can spot a cheapskate and believe me, it is one hell of a turnoff.

Follow these simple rules, gents, and you will be well on your way to having a loving, sexy BBW in your life. Once you get to know her well, she will start feeling comfortable letting you know a few of her insecurities. If you can be patient and understanding with her, and if she is aware of them, they can be easily overcome and you can both enjoy being happily in love.

One last word: Don’t push the sex too soon. It’s another indicator of a “swaggering player”. A lot of men assume that because a woman is large, she doesn’t get many dates or much opportunity for sex, and they feel that if they offer sex to a large woman, she’ll automatically go for it. While I have to admit that there is a degree of truth to this – less opportunity for sex than thinner women – not all large women are so desperate that they will give it up on the first date. If you’re truly interested in a relationship with her, take it slow and follow her cues. If all you’re interested in is sex, she’ll know it, and may decide to sleep with you – or not. (If you’re this type of guy, first of all, this article isn’t for you; and secondly, I just hope she has the strength to say no.)

Here’s hoping this helps you find the BBW of your dreams. Ladies, any comments or suggestions you’d like to leave for the guys, please post them! 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pump Up The Volume

Overweight people often suffer from extreme shyness. People come in all personality types, as well as shapes and sizes. There are introverts and extroverts, and certainly thin people can be shy as well. But shyness can be exacerbated in us by others, and what starts out as a fairly harmless personality quirk can turn into a huge problem.

Shyness, self-consciousness, and low self-esteem played a big part in my life for a long time. It made me miss out on a lot of opportunities, relationships, and fun experiences. When I look back, it amazes me how much I let that shyness dominate my life. Thankfully, the time finally came when I decided I’d had enough, and I wasn’t going to let it sabotage my life anymore.

One incident that’s always stuck with me, and that came about specifically due to my shyness, happened to me in high school. There was this guy I really liked, and of course all my friends knew. The word was that he liked me too (we were both shy), and we just kind of exchanged glances from time to time on the back stoop, where everyone gathered to smoke in between classes. One Friday morning, my best friend burst into the bathroom and told me she’d heard that this particular guy was going to ask me to a party that night. I freaked! I was a typical teenage girl, going OhmyGod OhmyGod OhmyGod! We made our way to the back stoop, where we all hung out every day. I was standing in a group of girls, having a smoke, when I noticed him coming toward us. My heart was pounding like crazy, and I was so excited. He got to the outer ring of girls surrounding me and said “Hi.” But he didn’t say my name, or say it to me directly, so I froze and didn’t say anything. He stood there, confused, and then before I could think of something to say, he raised his eyebrows at his friends as if to say, “What the fuck!” and left. My heart sank. My best friend looked at me like I was nuts. I realized I’d blown it, and he’d probably never want to ask me out again. I was kicking myself, and continued to kick myself for days and weeks afterward. I attempted to “fix” it, but the damage was done. I guess it had taken him a lot of courage to even approach me, and my reaction (or seeming non-reaction) devastated him. I realized that through my own shyness and self-doubt I had sabotaged a possibly amazing relationship. I thought about it for years afterward, wondering what would have happened if I had just said hi like a normal person and allowed nature to take its course.

Until I started junior high, I was a very outgoing, bubbly person. I had lots of friends and got along well with everybody. But in grade seven, I changed schools, and I was separated from most of my friends. That’s when my life completely changed. For the first time in my life, I felt like an outsider. I was bullied and harassed by a few boys, and I went from being outgoing and fun-loving to shy, depressed, and isolated. That persona stuck with me for a very long time.

One of the reasons for my isolation was just instinctual self-defense. I knew that if I kept myself isolated and didn’t talk to anyone, they couldn’t harass me. The other reason was simply my reaction to what was happening to me: the bewilderment and hurt. I couldn’t understand why this had happened to me, was quite angry about it, and didn’t trust anyone enough to talk to them.

A lot of overweight people learn to “mute” themselves or keep quiet because they don’t want to draw attention to themselves. We might have the most brilliant, thoughtful insights to share, but because of past experiences, we don’t feel confident enough to voice them.

Have you ever been in a group of people, having a really interesting discussion, and someone asks your opinion about something you feel strongly about? Have you ever said you had no opinion one way or the other, or changed your opinion to match everyone else’s, just so you wouldn’t “rock the boat” or draw attention to yourself?

How about if you were going out somewhere, and really wanted to wear a certain outfit – something you thought was really sexy and cute -- and then opted for a “safer” choice, something more covered up and conservative, because you were afraid of the criticism or negative attention you might get from wearing the sexy outfit?

When we alter our behaviour simply because we’re afraid how people will react to us, it’s a betrayal of ourselves. What’s even worse is that a little part of us knows this, and every time we do it, we make ourselves feel worse by feeling guilty about that self-betrayal. We feel like wimps, or we kick ourselves, wishing we would have spoken up or acted differently when the opportunity was there.   

What’s even worse than not speaking your truth, though, is when you allow someone to mistreat you. If someone treats you badly, and you “let it slide” by ignoring it or telling yourself it’s no big deal, the inner you suffers for it. The biggest mistake any overweight person can make is allowing someone to mistreat them.

It is possible to completely turn your self-esteem around and love yourself for who you are. At one time in my life, I wouldn't have been able to imagine the day when I could actually say that I was proud to be the person I am, but I’ve been living that reality for years now.

You have to get angry. You have to be motivated enough to take action and turn your life around. You have to realize that as an overweight person, you are just as worthy of respect and courtesy as anyone else … and if an instance arises where you are not treated that way, you absolutely MUST speak up! This doesn’t mean you have to explode, or freak out, or have a big tirade – but it also doesn’t mean that you just allow yourself to freeze, clam up, and back off.

It feels very difficult at first, if you’ve been used to backing off and retreating whenever an unpleasant situation arises. But whichever way you feel comfortable, you need to let the offending person know that their behaviour is not acceptable and that you won’t tolerate it. You will be amazed at how much better you feel when you start letting the real YOU out to play.

We’ve all had instances we wish we could relive, or say the things we wanted to say. When we’re kids, we’re less able to speak up for ourselves because we don’t have as much life experience or confidence in ourselves. But as adults, we are more than able to stand up for ourselves, and there is no excuse for allowing someone to mistreat you.

There will always be people who feel it’s their absolute right to insult or criticize you.  It’s the same for everyone, fat or thin, black or white, rich or poor. None of us get through life without experiencing our share of ignorance and meanness. But you can’t let everyone’s opinion of you rule the way you live your life.

Start unmuting yourself and speaking up. Be proud to let the world know exactly who you are.

I’ll close this post by offering one of my favourite quotes, and saying a very belated sorry to that sweet guy back in high school (I really wanted to go to that party with you, baby).

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. – ELEANOR ROOSEVELT

Monday, March 14, 2011

The "Thin" Pill: Would You Take It?

I read an interesting article in the paper the other day. Apparently, a team of scientists at Harvard University could be close to developing a “thin” pill:

This team of scientists found that by reducing the function of “klotho” in mice (a protein found in both mice and humans that helps regulate the body’s sensitivity to insulin) could turn obese mice with high blood sugar into lean mice with low blood sugar.

Dr. Shawkat Razzaque, one of the researchers, was quoted as saying, “We’re suggesting that if we can find a way to target klotho in humans, we may be able to reduce obesity.”

Throughout the years, many overweight people have dreamed of the day when we could simply take a “thin pill” and never have to worry about being fat again. Suppose this pill were actually available right now …Would you take it?

I have to admit, much as I have come to love and accept myself, I would definitely be tempted. Thinness in a pill … so convenient, so easy! The whole idea started me thinking … what would life be like in a world without fat people?

Comedians and morning radio show hosts would seriously have to start coming up with some new material. They wouldn’t be able to go for the cheap fat jokes anymore.

Bullies and ignorant people would have to cross fat people off their insult list. No more calling anyone fatass, fat bitch, or fat bastard. There wouldn’t be any fat people around for them to pick on.

Diet book authors and diet centers like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers would be out of business … which would also mean that D-list actors like Valerie Bertinelli, Kirstie Alley, and Carrie Fisher would actually have to get real jobs, as there wouldn’t be any need for their “spokesperson” services.

The food companies would take a serious hit in revenue if the “diet” label was no longer necessary on their frozen foods, soda pop, snacks, etc. Therefore, the stock market would be seriously affected. Chaos would ensue on Wall Street, affecting the entire world economy.

And finally … people would be forced to recognize us for who we are. Once that cloak of fat was off our bodies and they felt that we were finally worthy of their attention, they would probably gape at us in awe and say things like, “You are so beautiful! And smart! How come I never noticed before?”

If these scientists actually do come up with a thin pill, the potential for profits would be astronomical. It would definitely give tobacco, booze, and the porn industry a run for their money. And you can bet this pill wouldn’t be cheap, although most people would be more than willing to mortgage their houses, cash in their retirement funds, and go deep into debt, all for the privilege of finally being thin. Hell … THIN people who keep thinking they’re fat would be stampeding for this pill!

So: Would you take a thin pill? And if you did, would you feel a nagging reservation about it, or guilt for “giving in”? Would you feel as if you were betraying yourself … as if you were a coward, giving in to the demands of a superficial society?

The world would not be without fat people. There are many brave fat activists -- and some diehard non-conformists -- who would probably say: Hell no, I wouldn’t take that pill! I would never give in to the demands of our fat-hating society! I love myself exactly the way I am and I’m staying that way!

Quite honestly, I’m not sure what I’d do. I’d love to say that I’d be strong, that I’d stay true to myself, that I wouldn’t give in to the demands of a superficial society. I definitely know that if I did take the pills, while part of me would be admiring my silhouette in my skintight skinny jeans, another part of me would feel guilty, as if I had caved in to the pressures of society.

Do we want to be thin for ourselves? Or do we want to be thin because other people want us to be thin?

It’s quite a complicated issue, if you really think about it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Getting Out of The Loop, Part 2

One cannot talk about affirmations without mentioning Louise Hay, one of my favourite people in the world. Louise is the founder of Hay House, a publishing house that has launched the careers of many current self-help superstars.

Let me give you a brief synopsis of Louise’s story, as it’s extremely interesting and inspiring, and underscores the topic of my post today.

Louise’s early life was very difficult. Her parents divorced when she was a baby, and her mother then married a physically abusive, controlling man. At 5 years old, Louise was raped by a neighbour. A lifetime of low self-esteem followed. Even though Louise became a model in New York City and was happily married for 14 years, she never felt good about herself. The pivotal moment in her life occurred when she attended a meeting at the Church of Religious Science in New York City. There, she first learned the concept that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your mind. It was a radical concept to a person with such a negative self-image, but it intrigued her, and she began studying to be a minister for that church. She completed her training and began counseling people. At the same time, she wrote her self-help classic “You Can Heal Your Life”. The book is about the connection between illness and the mind. According to Louise, any disease or disorder in the body can be traced back to an emotional cause, and if the emotional causes are healed, the body will follow.

Then, suddenly, Louise was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She was terrified, but refused to accept the possibility of multiple surgeries and poisonous chemotherapy treatments. She decided to try healing herself with the techniques she learned in her training and taught her own clients. She sought out holistic health treatments like reflexology, and saw a therapist to resolve the trauma from her childhood. She also did plenty of affirmations, which we will be discussing.

Without surgery, any radiation, or chemotherapy treatments, Louise was proclaimed  cancer-free 6 months after her diagnosis. It has never recurred. When she was 62 years old, she founded Hay House, and has garnered millions of fans all over the world for her gentle wisdom and loving spirit. She is now 84 years old.

If Louise’s story does not epitomize the power of positive thinking, I don’t know what does.

Affirmations are simply a positive way of thinking. When your mind is flooded with negative thoughts, it is impossible to function positively. A thought is simply a thought, and thoughts can be changed. Why would you want to think negatively when you can think positively instead?

Many scientists have discovered the actual, biological result of negative and positive thinking. This is a huge topic in itself, but in short, our thoughts release chemicals in our brains that start a chain reaction of events in the body. (If you’re interested in finding out more about this, I highly recommend Bruce Lipton’s book “The Biology of Belief”, and Candace Pert’s “The Molecules of Emotion”.)

Some people swear by the power of affirmations; others are more wishy-washy about them. Whichever camp you are in, they are definitely worth a try, and can train you how to look at things differently.

Here are a few of my favourite affirmations:

All is well in my world.
I love and appreciate myself just as I am.
I give and receive love freely.
It’s OK for me to have fun and enjoy myself, and I do!
I am healthy and beautiful.
I deserve the very best in life.
I am willing to be happy and successful.

You can say the affirmations aloud, or silently. Try repeating your favourite affirmations every day, at least ten times each. Say them before falling asleep, or lying in bed when you first wake up.

You can also develop your own affirmations, by changing negative thoughts into positive ones. For example, if you constantly have thoughts like:

I am so fat and ugly. I just have to lose weight!
I will never find anyone and I’ll be lonely forever.
Why does everybody treat me so badly?

Try changing them to:                                                                  

I love my body, and I am beautiful, inside and out.
My perfect mate will appear just when I am ready to meet him/her.
I am surrounded by loving, positive people.

Even if you’re not 100% convinced that what you’re saying in the affirmation is true, try saying it anyway. At least be WILLING to believe that what you say in the affirmation is true. You might be surprised to find your views changing once you get into the habit.
Another very important factor is that you have to follow through with the affirmation by changing your behaviour. For example, if you say, “I love myself”, and then allow someone to mistreat you, that is not going to strengthen the affirmation. In fact, it will “cancel it out”, and you will be back at square one. If you truly want to change your attitude and adopt a positive way of life, you must follow through with positive actions that match the positive words.

Affirmations take practice and dedication. If you’ve been living a life filled with negativity, it may take time to manifest results. Changes will not happen overnight, and that’s where a lot of people get frustrated and say that affirmations don’t work. But if you stick with them, stay willing to believe, and stay determined to live a new way of life, they can work wonders. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Getting Out of The Loop, Part 1

Every human being has to contend with a negative loop of voices in their heads, and large women are subject to a whole lot of them. This “loop” consists of voices from our childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. The negative words and phrases repeat in our heads just like a skipping record, and get “rebooted” whenever we feel the emotions those messages trigger. 

The messages can be delivered by a wide variety of people: from our family and friends to the stranger on the street. They are usually critical and designed to make us feel ashamed, afraid, and uncomfortable. The motives for these messages can be just as varied as the people who deliver them, and they may even be totally unaware that they are being negative.

What is the most effective way to deal with them?

It’s far too simple – and ineffective -- to advise you to simply ignore them. You may be able to ignore or suppress them for awhile, but sooner or later, when the emotions become overwhelming, they can lead to complete emotional paralysis. This is why it’s extremely important to deal with them before they foster any more negativity in your life.

Here’s a sampling of a few messages many of you probably have in your “loop”:

* When are you going to do something about your weight?

* You’ll never get a boyfriend/husband/lover if you don’t lose weight.

* You’d better do something about your weight before you get diabetes/high blood pressure/a heart attack.

* It’s such a shame, you’re so pretty. Why don’t you try another diet?

So, how do we deal with this verbal toxicity? Most importantly, consider the messenger. Is it a family member, close friend, or lover? If that’s the case, the next question you need to ask yourself is if they sincerely have your best interests at heart. A lot of people may claim to care about you; but if they did care, why would they be trying to make you feel bad? For example, if they’re sincerely concerned about your health, they would be much gentler with their words and you would be able to feel their genuine love for you. Love feels good, not bad. If what someone says makes you feel bad, it is NOT coming from love! It’s coming from something negative inside THAT person, and they are trying to relieve their own “ickiness” by transferring it to you. Whenever you get an “icky” feeling from someone close to you, seriously examine the relationship. Ask yourself if it’s worth continuing; and if it’s not, RUN.

Also, challenge those messages. If someone says, “You’ll never get a boyfriend …” etc., ask yourself: Is that really true? Many plus-sized women have found love, and many men love bigger women. If they’re questioning your health, ask them what their medical credentials are, and what facts they have to back up their assumptions. Far too many of us allow ourselves to be intimidated, shamed, and demeaned by people who are simply ignorant and have no clue what they’re talking about. Start making them seriously answer for themselves, and you’ll usually find they falter pretty fast.

If the messages are coming from someone “neutral”, like an employer, colleague, or acquaintance, go through the same process. Consider the messenger. Ask yourself if the messages you’re receiving are truly constructive, or are merely an excuse to mess with you. An employer/employee situation is particularly stressful, as a job is an important part of anyone’s life. However, if an employer or colleague is consistently treating you in a negative way and makes you feel so uncomfortable that it’s interfering with your job, that is harassment. Keep a written record of negative incidents – note the dates and times, person or persons involved, and note exactly what happened. Compile a list of incidents. Then go to your human resources department and lodge a formal complaint. If you’re not confident that your complaints will be dealt with fairly, ask yourself if it’s really worth working there. Work comprises a major part of our lives, and dreading going to work every day is no way to live. Fight it, and fight hard. If the fight doesn’t pay off, leave. You deserve, and will find, better.

Lastly, if the negative messages are coming from a stranger – some idiot, for example, who feels entitled to comment on the size of your ass when you walk by – I have one question for you: WHY DO YOU CARE? Obviously, anyone who feels it’s perfectly okay to insult a total stranger is a miserable mess. I assure you that type of person has many more problems in his/her own life than you do, and they are insulting or demeaning you to make themselves feel better. You can handle this in either one of two ways: you can simply ignore it, realizing that this person’s opinion has absolutely no meaning in your life; or, you can use the situation and boost your self-confidence by standing up for yourself in whatever way you wish. I don’t recommend assault and battery, although I know it’s tempting at times. (My way usually consists of a few four-letter words, but I’m working on being more bulletproof.)

Coming up in Part 2: Affirmations don’t work for everyone, but they do work.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cosmic Bubble Bath

Sometimes I get my best ideas in the bathtub. That’s where the idea for this post came from. The other night, I was relaxing in the bubbles and catching some steam with a little book called “Inner Wisdom” by the wonderful Louise Hay. It’s a little book of affirmations, and I was browsing through it when I came across this passage:

“I have been many identities, each one a perfect expression for that particular lifetime. I am content to be who and what I am this time. I do not yearn to be like someone else, for that is not the expression I chose this time. Next time I will be different. I am perfect as I am, right now.”

That little passage struck me as incredibly profound, and really started me thinking. I’m not sure if I “believe” in reincarnation -- which is pretty funny, because my belief in it hardly matters if it is, indeed, a fact – although millions of people around the world take it as a given. But I am open-minded. I certainly don’t disbelieve it, and I’m not sure what your beliefs are.

Let’s say -- just for fun, and for the sake of argument -- that reincarnation is an undisputable fact. We have all been here hundreds -- perhaps even thousands -- of times. The purpose of reincarnation is to experience life from many different perspectives, to learn truths from those lives, and to perfect ourselves in order to earn progress into “Paradise”, or the next dimension. Overseeing all this is a gentle, all-knowing force that is monitoring all of our activities. Whether you call this force God, or the universe, or any other name, the label hardly matters. The idea is that there is perfect order, perfect timing, and a perfect explanation for every single thing that happens on this earth.

Try thinking about this from the perspective of being overweight. Let’s examine what Louise wrote in her book: “I am content to be who and what I am this time. I do not yearn to be like someone else …”

What if – just what if – your purpose is to be here on earth as an overweight person this time? What if it makes perfect sense, and you “need” to be overweight in order to fulfill your purpose, or learn your lessons, this time? It opens up a whole new perspective, and a bunch of very interesting questions.

Find a quiet place, close your eyes, and relax. Ask yourself these questions.

Why do you think you “chose” to be overweight in this lifetime? What have you learned from it? What impact has it had on your life? How has being overweight contributed to making you the person you are? If you could pinpoint any lessons you have learned directly as a result of being overweight, what would they be?

Perhaps it taught you about how cruel and dismissive people can be, and perhaps you needed to learn how to forgive them. Maybe being overweight graced you with a heightened sensitivity, and made you more compassionate towards the suffering of others. Or perhaps your experiences with fat prejudice gifted you with a sense of righteous anger, and spurred you on to become an activist, or a champion of people who feel less able to speak up for themselves.

The possibilities and questions are really endless. Have you ever wondered why it seems “impossible” for you to lose weight? Have you ever wondered why you have been on diet after diet, only to end up exactly the same? Could the reason for your continual “failure” to change your body be due to a conscious choice you made – somewhere, someplace -- to be overweight … right here, right now?

I don’t know … but thinking about it in this way sure takes the “stress” away from being overweight, and even makes you look at it in an almost reverential way.

Sure makes you think, doesn’t it?

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Woman In The Mirror

All large women have a “thin” woman living inside them. She’s the perfect “us”, the woman we all want to be. A lot of us picture her as a supermodel, a cheerleader, or a successful businesswoman. Her hair is always perfect, her makeup and outfits are to die for, and naturally, she has the perfect mate and 2.4 kids.

This is how a lot of us imagine true happiness and success. However, unless you have a truly confident, stable, self-accepting image of yourself, it doesn’t matter how much weight you lose. If you’re unhappy and self-hating as a large woman, you will be unhappy and self-hating as a thin woman. Losing weight is not going to change that.

I’m speaking from personal experience. About a dozen years ago, I decided I had finally had enough of being a large woman. It’s not like I hadn’t been on diets before, of course. But this time, I was extremely determined. I vowed that this would be the last diet I would ever be on, because this would be the one that would finally work, for good. So I enrolled in a diet program that was basically just an extreme starvation diet – “medically supervised”, but let's call it what it was, a starvation diet – and it was very effective, at first. In just a little over 6 months, I had lost more than 100 pounds, and I was looking better than I had ever looked in my life.

At first, it was very exhilarating. I went on shopping benders, squandering practically ever penny I made on the cute clothes I had been denied as a large woman. It was rewarding looking in the mirror and seeing myself in those skinny duds. But I could never seem to get rid of a nagging, ever-present feeling of uneasiness … a feeling that the person I was looking at in the mirror was an imposter. It just did NOT feel like me. I realized that even though the weight was off, I still felt the same way inside: self-hating, insecure, and afraid.

Pretty soon, the feelings of uneasiness became overwhelming and the only way I could deal with them was to return to my favourite addiction, food. This started a cycle of yo-yoing back and forth for several months, until finally the diet center, a truly disgusting money-making mill, kicked me off the program for not sticking to the diet. It didn’t take long to gain the weight back after that.

I spent a lot of time wondering why losing the weight hadn’t made me feel any different. Despite the huge weight loss, I still felt isolated, different, and deficient inside. Rather than making it easier for me to deal with people, it only made it more difficult, because more people were paying more attention to me. I’ve always hated feeling scrutinized, so you can imagine how uncomfortable it felt to be looked at all the time. Women were particularly nasty to me. I could feel the jealousy of the women I worked with at the time surround me as they watched my body shrink, and even though they smiled and said I looked great, they didn’t fool me for a second. I knew they resented it.

The strangest thing, though, were the conflicted emotions I felt as people congratulated me on my weight loss. I’m sure some of them meant it sincerely, and were genuinely happy for me. But I felt strangely resentful at the “compliments” of some others. When people would say things like, “Wow, you look fantastic now!” I would focus on the word “now” instead of the word “fantastic” and ask myself: So what are they really saying? That I looked horrible before? I realized that the compliments from some people were actually backhanded insults. What they were really saying was that it was a good thing I had finally conformed and decided to look the way they wanted me to look, or look a way that they approved of … and that pissed me off. A LOT.

This began a period of real introspection for me, where I examined my beliefs surrounding weight, the attitudes of people around me, and my own attitude toward myself BECAUSE of them. Now, I’m at the point where I’m proud to say that it’s the woman I am inside who counts, not the reflection in the mirror. This isn’t to say I hate how I look, either: I have come to accept and like my body. Sure, there are parts of it I don’t like … but I’m not going to let those few parts dictate my entire view of myself.

What I like most about myself is me. I have my battle scars, I have my idiosyncrasies, I have my flaws … but rather than being the negatives I always thought they were, I realize they are actually gifts, because they make me who I am. They are part of the total package.

Your history, your pain, and your little quirks are part of your total package as well. Don’t assume that if you simply lose weight, your life will suddenly be perfect. It just does not work that way. Lose weight if you choose to, but always honour who you are inside, no matter what your size. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Release Your Inner Janis

It’s very ironic how people’s outward appearances are often quite different from who they are inside. For instance, very beautiful people can be very ugly inside. You wouldn’t know it at first glance, but once you get to know the person, you see them for who they really are. (I don't mean to pick on conventionally beautiful people -- obviously not all of them are like this, and "ugly" people can be just as ugly inside -- but I want to point out the obvious irony here.)

In the same way, fat people are generally perceived as outwardly unattractive. But inside, many of us are very beautiful people. If people get to know us, they discover that beautiful person inside. Sadly, most people don’t bother going beyond that first 3-second glance.

I believe that we have two bodies: an outer body, and an inner body. Our outer body is composed of physical matter: organs, bones, hair, etc. Our inner body, or soul, is invisible, but it is who we really are. We all have beautiful souls, and sometimes they can really take a beating.

My self-esteem took a horrible blow when I entered adolescence. At the time, I was a chubby, pretty young girl, excited to be growing up and starting a new school. To three boys in my class, however, I was an object of ridicule. Every day, they would tease and berate me until I wanted to crawl into a hole and die. These kinds of experiences stay with us, no matter how many years go by, and it is very difficult to “get over” those initial feelings. They can stay with us and haunt us for years. Many people say that emotions even alter our physical bodies -- that old emotions are actually stored in our cells and can affect our tissue, organs, and general health.

This is why it’s very important to talk about your feelings. If you want your inner beauty to express itself and become visible as physical beauty, it needs to feel safe, honoured, and free. Many of us keep our emotions bottled up; some people even prefer to pretend they don't exist. It’s like trying to keep a damaged ship from sinking. You may be able to keep it afloat for awhile, but sooner or later, the water (or emotions) will overtake you, and the ship will sink.

A lot of fat people are ashamed of their pain. We are already perceived as weak (for giving in to our supposed bottomless appetites), and we don’t want to appear even weaker by admitting we feel overwhelmed or depressed. So we bravely carry on, put a smile on our faces, and pretend everything is A-OK, to our own disadvantage. I was like that for many years. I used my sense of humour as a shield and was always perceived as the life of the party ... but inside I was absolutely miserable.

I’m not saying you should talk to anybody and everybody about things that are bothering you. But it’s very important for all of us to have an outlet -- one or more people we can trust, who will listen to us objectively, and provide support and encouragement when we need it. This can be a friend, a family member, or even a therapist. If you have no one in your life who you can openly speak to about personal things, writing is a great way to get the feelings out and address them. Start writing a journal – talk about your past experiences and what effect they have had on you. Let your anger, sadness, and loneliness out. Give them a voice: the more you express them, the less intensity they have, and the more relief you will feel.

Beauty is authenticity. We all know it when we see it. We can see a gorgeous supermodel on a magazine cover and think: Wow, she looks really great. Her makeup is so beautiful, her hair is perfectly teased and curled, her body is perfectly sculpted by whatever she is wearing. But we all know she doesn’t really look like that. We all know it took a team of stylists hours to get her ready for that photograph.

On the other hand, if we see a little child running up to their mommy or daddy for a hug, we all smile, and admire how beautiful that child is. Or if someone gets up on a stage and reads a poem, or sings a song that’s really personal to them, with no hesitation or self-consciousness, it doesn’t matter what they look like: they are beautiful.

I remember hearing a quote from somebody about Janis Joplin, one of the greatest blues singers of all time. Janis Joplin was not a conventionally beautiful woman. Some would even say she was quite ugly. But boy, could she sing. I've always remembered a movie where a man was asked about her. He smiled and said something like, When you looked at her, she was a very plain, ordinary woman. BUT: 

When she sang, she was beautiful!