Engaging my Body.

Hello babes. Up front I want to give y’all a bit of a content warning. I’ll be ruminating on exercise, fatphobia, weightloss and eating disorders. Please care for yourselves and if these are not your jams, please take care. That said, I’m not going to be graphic about things but there’s gonna be some stuff.

First I want to preface this by saying a couple of things. I do not believe with any bit of my being that fat and health are the same thing ever. I don’t believe that thinness or even being a “normal” weight are the end all be all arbiters of health. You cannot tell the state of a persons health in any nuanced way by looking at them. Full stop. I will not argue that ever.

Second, with Adele’s weight loss in the news a lot of folks are in their feelings about it. Listen. A multi grammy award winning artist with an amazing voice losing weight is not the peak of her or anyone elses accomplishments. And if you believe it is, you have work to do. I also want to say that I believe that weight loss done from a place of fatphobia or self hate is not gonna be healthy. Sorry not sorry.

If you’re interested in point number two I encourage you to google around and read some stuff because I don’t really have the spoons to go full Fat 101 here today/

OKAY buckle in.

I have recently been as y’all know engaging with my health and evaluating and changing how I care for my meat sack. I’ve been really focused on getting my nutrition to a better place, I’ve been working hard to feed myself well, and the last bit of this has been me looking for movement I can engage in with joy and not hurt myself.

Being that I have a disordered history with both food and exercise, I’ve had to tread very carefully. One of my huge ED triggers is the allure of control over my body. Results. A huge trigger for me. Unfortunately, I thought I had a better handle on my feelings about it. I do not.

What started as me looking for some things to cobble together for some workouts turned into me planning and plotting ways to control my body. I was able to back off of being so triggered and that masochistic urge to continue enough to observe a few things.

This experience I’m having isn’t unique. I know a lot of people who fall into the same hole. Even super fat accepting, body politic heroes. And what I have come back to is that when we front load weight loss and results and massive fast body changes as the point of fitness, we just get swept up in disordered behaviours and feelings and it is not good for anybody.

This is what happens when we don’t separate ideas about being as health as you can be in the body you have, appearance, weight and what health is or can be. What I mean by that is, if you look at a lot of fitness related content the motivation is often based in creating shame in the consumer and turning it into “motivation”.

The language tends to sway between saying, OH you’re not fixing that flat/fat ass? You’re lazy and not worth X thing etc etc. Then the person seems to be pumping you up, following the shame there is the cheerleading. They look great, they are perky and yelling and telling you, YOU CAN DO IT. A lot of the discourse is framed like so.

If you really loved yourself you’d want the flat stomach/shredded abs/big booty/thigh gap and if you REALLY COMMIT you can have it. And if you don’t get the results, well you did it wrong. You ate too much. You’re too lazy. And frankly it is abusive.

This method of selling/gaining followers is the voice of my ED. I recognized that recently and it set me back a little bit. I realized that regardless of my political leanings, my love of bodies, all bodies, my respect for all bodies, I still have a hard time giving myself the same treatment. I caught myself and have been working through it but fuck y’all.

I think I didn’t see it to begin with because my intentions with my fitness are very specific. I have a lot of chronic pain I’ve had for many years and through many pant sizes. I enjoy moving my body and I’ve been really interested in reconnect to that joy. So I went looking.

It was really hard to even find say back pain relief exercises that weren’t also cuddled up with weight loss as a goal. I don’t want that. I don’t need it and it harms me. It harms a lot of us.

What if we could have something different?

What if I could easily find a workout designed for just loosening up and enjoying my body? What if we could skip the toxic messaging about weight and how we should want our bodies to be?

For me, I really wish more fitness professionals would take a step back to look at how their own language and methods can be harmful.

For me it has been a really difficult few months with this. On one hand I’m wrestling with those ED triggers on multiple levels. One part of me remembers the peak/low of my purging via exercise and the memories of having trouble walking because I’d spent 7-8 hours exercising is fuzzy but remembering the feeling of control and doing something “good” are strong.

I remember tearing an ab muscle and powering through it and the warm congratulations of my instructors.

I don’t want to do that again.

I don’t want to contribute to anyone else doing it on any level.

There will be more of this. I have other stuff to say but for now let’s leave it here.

The health, wellness and fitness industries really rely too heavily on toxic and disordered behaviour and we really need to figure out how to not engage with it.

Shit is hard.

I’m workin on it.

Your Wellness Sucks.

Hello darling dears. Today Auntie Shannon has on their ranty pants so buckle up babes.

So I’ve been doing a lot of research and reading about health and wellness for both the health and wellness of my little famfam AND in relation to some writing I’ve been doing. Y’all mother fuckers.

The first thing that bothers me is this. A lot of people who are supposed experts in these things, have mistaken good marketing for decent advice. I see a lot of people who have taken a 2 week nutrition course on the internet and call themselves experts. I see a lot of people who thinly veil their fatphobia in how they talk about things like diet and exercise and frankly, I think it sucks.

Let’s talk a bit about why these things bother me so much. The first problem is that when we substitute Capitalism and commerce and profit for advising folks or talking about our own experiences, things get weird. I have had folks market dumb Kardashian diets, they want to sell me ebooks on juicing celery to solve all my problems, they don’t know how basic human biology seems to work but, they are making money so who cares right?

Look. While I am not currently a fat person, I have been a fat person. I don’t need my factual nutritional information tinted with fat hatred. It is unnecessary. From my point of view, not everything needs to be that in order to be useful. I turn it off. It isn’t the information I want not to mention, so many people are completely unwilling to remove the object of weightloss from the pursuit of better health.

WHOA.

Right?

Here’s the thing. After years of being within fat communities, the thing that changes folks lives isn’t the constancy of fat hate. It is the moment when they feel free to pursue the health they feel is in reach. In order to get there, we have to start with the idea that health is not an absolute state. The belief that there is ONLY healthy and not healthy, that healthy is a moral imperative and that health is some arbitrary bar set by whomever is not useful.

We have to understand that this view of Health (capital H) as being a single state or a particular appearance is not only destructive but it ignores the actuality of the biodiversity of human bodies. It is ableist. Health is not either or. What looks like better health for me, might be misery in your body and there is nothing wrong with that. That is how we were made. It is how we live and it is far less damaging to accept and acknowledge that than it is to insist that you and I should and must be healthy in the same way.

Part of my issues have involved being triggered by heavily disordered beliefs about food and eating being touted as health advice. I don’t see enough people acknowledge that their intermittent fasting proselytizing could be a serious eating disorder trigger. I would love to see some more judicious use of content notes and warnings. I’d like to see more folks say, hey if you have a history of disodered eating this could really trigger you. It triggered me and it took me a while of not doing nice things to my body under the guise of trying out this wellness thing to realize, I was in a serious danger zone.

In my view, while it is tempting to sit in the position of superiority and have the good feedback that one is the One True Knower of Wellness, it is ultimately damaging. If we look at wellness culture on social media, there is often backlash. When you build your profits and platform on the One True Way methodology, when things change all hell breaks loose. That is not good for any of us.

So all this said, I’ve been doing a lot of changing my eating and nutrition and whatnot and research into different health related things and I will be blogging about that more often.

The rules.

I will not step into the anti fat rhetoric. My narrative and beliefs here do not come from a place of centering my weight, your weight or weight in general as the marker of health. I don’t believe that is a good methodology for me, my body or my life. Also I won’t pander to it for views. Full stop.

I will in time talk more about it but, I do not believe in a binary healthy or not healthy view point. I believe that each of our bodies does some weird shit and we need to be able to get information that isn’t predicated on us being ashamed of that. This includes how fat my or your ass may or may not be.

I will NEVER take you or your ideas about health or wellness if you use the phrase “glorifying obesity” as some sort of methodology about why fat people should hate themselves into change. Full stop. Nope.

Fuck shame.

SO my darlings. That is where I’m coming from about wellness and why I see so much of it as being so flawed and ultimately damaging not only to the folks consuming it but also to the folks creating it.

So if you want to know where I’m going with it, please come back. I’ve got my shit somewhat together and have some posts planned and scheduled for this.

Thanks for visiting babes!

And if you’re interested in my other writing, come check out and like my brand spankin new writer page on Facebook. 

Fat Bitch Feelings.

Recently after realizing that most of the clothing for Summer that I’d thrifted last fall (yes that is how I shop) is too big, I had to have a big long talk with myself.

I had to tell myself that it is officially official I am not fat anymore.

I’m not fat anymore.

Fuck.

Let me rewind a little bit.

Fat Acceptance and the community has been a big part of my life in meatspace and on the internet for probably at least a decade. I have been deeply into body politics for at least 20 years. From my earliest forays into reading about/writing about bodily autonomy to early feminist readings on bodies. I am about the body. My body, your body, our bodies.

My most formative political fat activist writing started when I was invited to the original Fatshionista community on Livejournal a very long time ago. When the door of fat joy, fat solidarity, fat politics opened, y’all I ran all up in through that mother fucker.

Fat politics really was the thing that got me into working out how intersectionality factors into my work, my life, how I view things.

So my beliefs about bodies, how I live in my body, how I talk about bodies is rooted deeply in fatness. Fatness as a physical state, as a political marker, as a place of comfort and community for me and now, I’m not fat.

My body, this thing I live in and move around the world in has changed without my consent and has set itself outside of my framework.

I am feeling fucked up about it.

I talked about this a bit before mainly in the context of my body image being fucked up.

This latest thing was broader. While yeah, I’d prefer my body to look differently right now it won’t. I can live with it.

What has been bothering me is the idea that I will lose my place in my community because I literally don’t fit anymore.

Fuck.

After I tried to wear something or other, the fact of the matter really sank in and I can honestly say I’ve been feeling adrift and conflicted.

Aside from mourning being separated (by size) from my community I looked at the blogs I like, the fashion stuff I read etc etc are all fat centric. Not body positive, they aren’t the milquetoast white “curvy” bullshit ass version of body politics we get.

They are fucking fat.

I have been struggling with how to use my new found position of privilege. How do I shift the way I write/talk about bodies to reflect that while my thoughts/opinions remain radically Pro Fat my body has decided nah. The process of working this out for myself has been difficult, especially in light of the fact that I absolutely did not want to lose more weight.

I did not.

I’m resentful of it and struggling mightily to deal with it and not feel like shit. That is a whole other entry.

This is the bottom line for me.

I am not going to even try to fuck with “body politics” because currently, the way these are discussed and represented they are Whiter and more cis woman centric than ever and nah son.

I won’t turn what has been the radical backbone of how I learned to deal with my body into one size fits some pap.

I will still self identify as fat with the caveat that, my ass is currently not fat.

Fatness is not just physical.

Fatness is contextual.

Fatness is political and my politics are really fucking fat.

I won’t try to swim and work in the waters of White heteronormative Insta filter LOVE YOSELFness.

Nah son.

My goals here are less for y’all than they are for myself.

I shall:

  • Carry on reading and loving fatcentric content.
  • Write more about fatness.
  • I’m gonna talk about how discussions of bodies and fatness STILL often leave behind Death Fats.
  • I’m gonna talk about how important it is in my opinion to further divorce body size from binarist moralistic views of health and personhood.
  • I’m gonna love the fuck out of my fat community.

And for y’all, look.

Because I have a degree of thin privilege now and previously was a smaller fatty that does not mean that the cultural stuff I say is wrong because I’m not fatter. It also doesn’t mean that your experiences as a fat person, or a Death Fat person or a not fat person are invalidated.

Our experiences are ALL valid and we will not do Oppression Olympics. You gotta hit the ground rollin here homies.

When I refer to other folks experiences, I will defer to them about shit I have not experienced. Because when you are in the position of privilege, that’s what the fuck you do.

Other stuff to look forward to. Guest posts. I’ve made puppy eyes at some friends and it’s gonna be cool.

I’m ALSO going to start writing more about gender and bodies, gender fashion and bodies.

MORE intersections!

More fat.

So yeah.

I feel like this is important to me and I need to hold on to it.

Later this week a struggle bus naturals post AND I’ll have some new protips for online thrifting.