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.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fat-on-Fat Hate and Some Baffling Dynamics in the Size Acceptance Community

Today's post is about something I have noticed for quite some time ... the dichotomy in the behaviour displayed by some people in the size acceptance community.

While size acceptance is very positive in theory (and there are many wonderful activists out there doing great work and helping countless numbers of people), some supporters of size acceptance don't practice what they preach. Size acceptance is not just about acceptance of a person's size; it is also about acceptance of people in general. This includes not only their bodies, but their opinions.

Naturally, we are not all going to have matching opinions. We all have our own views and beliefs, and we also believe that we have very good reasons for having them. However, if  someone's opinion differs from yours and you find yourself compelled to argue incessantly with someone about it, it's a clue that something beyond simple disagreement is going on. 

In my experience with this blog, I have encountered a few people in the size acceptance community who simply seem wired to argue. These are people who have been quick to tell me that I am wrong; that I am expressing myself incorrectly (some of them even offered their own alternatives for me); or that I have other faulty traits that I need to correct immediately. I have noticed two common denominators with these people: 1. They are always strangers; and 2. They are always women.

I don't mind people disagreeing with me. When stating your opinion in a public forum, disagreements are guaranteed. They are to be expected. However, long after a disagreement has been aired and a stalemate declared, if someone keeps coming at me and insists on telling me how to think, how to write, and how to conduct myself, that is a different matter. That's when it stops being a simple disagreement and more like a bizarre kind of controlling behavior.

It's really about respect. If you don't agree with me, that's fine. You are free to state that and your reasons why, and I will accept that. But if you insist on trying to convert me to your way of thinking, that's where I draw the line. Respect my right to think differently, as I do yours.

I have also noticed a strange dichotomy within size acceptance leadership. Rather than receiving newcomers to the cause with open arms, my personal experience with the community thus far has been mostly indifference. I have wondered why. Is it that I'm not political enough? Academic enough? Cool enough? Entertaining enough? No answer anyone could give me would probably satisfy me. I believe that at least part of the reason for this is a phenomenon that occurs with any large organization. In any large organization of people (whether it's a business or simply a group of people with a common interest, such as size acceptance) there are always hierarchies and ranks. The people who "got there first" or who are favored (for whatever reason) dwell higher up the pole than others. The circle is extremely tight-knit and entry or acceptance into this circle is difficult to negotiate. It would be nice if we were all just automatically given the attention and recognition we deserve for our efforts, but how often are the higher-ups in any organization generous about sharing the wealth?

I wish that these petty issues within the size acceptance community didn't exist, and it would be nice if we could all band together in our common cause of life, love, and liberty for people of all sizes and live happily ever after. It appears that we are just as dysfunctional in our own way, though. We need to work on that.

I need to close the written portion of my blog today by stressing that I have met many wonderful women and men in the size acceptance community who have welcomed me warmly, considered what I have to say and either agreed or disagreed with me in a respectful way, and who have made me feel that doing this blog is one of my reasons for living. I love you all, my regular readers and viewers, and your regular visits to this blog and sharing your comments means so much to me.Your love and positivity far outweigh any random negativity I have encountered.

I hope you enjoy the new vlog and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Recommended Reading: Great Fat Books

Few things are more satisfying than a really good read. I have been a book lover for as long as I can remember. Even before I could read, I was fascinated with them. Small wonder that they have become so important in my life.

I love books of all kinds, but some of the books that are the most special to me are books about fat. Some of them fall into the non-fiction category and some are novels, but both genres have the same things in common: they are about women like me and I have never forgotten them.

These books have earned prized places on my bookshelf and in my heart. I would like to share them with you in case they haven't graced your life yet. I guarantee that you will find something familiar, encouraging, supportive, cathartic, and uplifting in every single one.

I hope you enjoy my list, and as I say in my video, if you know of any books that you would like to recommend to me or any other readers, please comment and let me know.


Fat!So? by Marilyn Wann. 1998, Ten Speed Press.

Shadow on a Tightrope: Writings by Women on Fat Oppression. 1983, Aunt Lute Book Company.

No Fat Chicks, by Terry Poulton. 1996, Key Porter Books.

Succulent Wild Woman, by SARK. 1997, Fireside Books.

Fat Girl: A True Story, by Judith Moore. 2005, Hudson Street Press.

Confessions of a Carb Queen, by Susan Blech with Caroline Bock. 2008, Rodale.

Lady Oracle, by Margaret Atwood. 1976, Seal Books.

Sheila Levine is Dead and Living in New York, by Gail Parent. 1972, Bantam Books.

Two Girls, Fat and Thin, by Mary Gaitskill. 1991, Bantam Books.

She's Come Undone, by Wally Lamb. 1992, Pocket Books.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Vlog #3: Wanting vs. Having ... and How It Can Fuck You Up

Today's vlog was inspired by something I went through  last week ... and it's brought to you from one of my favourite hangouts! I often get very profound thoughts there and this was no exception. Sometimes my moments of clarity stun me. :)

I am an emotional eater. I have been an emotional eater for a very long time. Food has been a comfort, a solace, an escape, and a respite for me in times of frustration. However, I have also been aware of my emotional eating tendencies for a very long time, and even though I'm still not immune to its lure, I do have a much better understanding of it.

Life is always throwing us curveballs. Just when we think we have a handle on things, or can reliably foresee what is going to happen, we get blindsided by unpredictability. This can happen on a small scale or a large scale, but the effect is much the same: We get pissed off. We get depressed.

A day like today can trigger countless binges. If you don't have a Valentine in your life, it's easy to get depressed and start spiralling down into negative thinking. You might have thoughts like: Another Valentine's Day alone. I'll never meet anyone special. I'll always be single. Etc etc etc., ad nauseum.

These negative thoughts are destructive, useless, and most importantly unrealistic. Some of us tend to catastrophize when everything in our lives is not completely perfect or running according to our timetable.

This post is dedicated to anyone who has used food as a coping mechanism at times like this (or any other time), and I hope that the thoughts I share are helpful.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Vlog #2: Fat, Health, and a Few Other Things

Hi readers ... well, for better or worse, I'm back with another vlog. I wasn't planning to do another response to Mark's video, but he responded to the comments I made about his first video, and I had some strong opinions about his response. I just want to let Mark know that I do respect his opinion and his choice to do what makes him feel good about his life. It's not my intention to try to "convert" him to my way of thinking (although I do believe it's the healthier choice). Everyone knows what is the best personal choice for him or herself. Here's a link to his second video.

There is so much misinformation out there about fat and health. People just assume that because people are large, all they do it sit around and eat. Not only that, there are assumptions about what we eat -- that all we eat is junk. And our activity levels. That we don't exercise, that we don't take care of ourselves, that we don't get out there and move. And that we don't care about how we look.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I'd be willing to bet that if you put the average thin and fat person's daily diet and exercise levels side by side, they wouldn't differ very much.

I don't know about the rest of you, but the side effects of continuous dieting at one point in my life have gotten me to the size I am today. I finally realized what the continuous cycle of losing and regaining was doing to my body, took control, and decided to stop the madness. Hope you enjoy the vlog. Feedback appreciated!