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World’s Tiniest Violin —

March 5, 2014

Weight LossFat HealthFat ScienceExerciseEating DisordersMy Boring-Ass LifeDickweedDiet TalkFat Politics

Trigger warning: Eating disorders, diet talk and assholes.

When I first started blogging about Fat Acceptance in 2009, I made the clever decision to begin by immediately pissing off everybody. As I recall, there was only one other guy writing on the subject, but unlike him, I had zero experience with feminism outside of my preconceived notions of what feminism meant. As a result, I said shit that pissed off many feminists and then, as I tried to understand their perspective by asking questions, I pissed them off even more.

I felt a deep-seeded frustration because I was honestly trying to understand, but when I didn’t frame things properly or when I used indelicate phrasing or when I stated a forceful opinion, I was subjected to the white-hot flames of social justice purgatory. And it sucked.

It sucked because nobody likes to be flame-roasted when they are just trying to understand why their views are so offensive. But the very act of asking questions offended people, since I could just as easily have Googled my questions, found a preexisting blog post on the subject and learned on my own. Of course, from my entitled perspective, I was thinking “Yeah, but if you want me to agree with you then why don’t you just answer the question and I can get on with the work of understanding?” The answer, of course, is that nobody is under obligation to educate my ignorant ass.

When I fucked up, people were mad — mean mad. But because I knew my intentions, my response to them was often “You catch more flies with honey.” Of course, this pissed people off more because who the fuck wants a bunch of flies buzzing around in their mother-fucking honey?

In any case, some people who were patient enough to answer my questions, and hold out a bit of honey, explained to me why it’s so offensive to demand kindness from others when I’m clod-footing around a subject that is so personal and intimate to them. Yeah, by being gentle, perhaps they could lure a few more mansplaining flies into the fold, but because of the overwhelming amount of ShitLords in their midst, they just didn’t have the wherewithal to discern the intentions of each and every guy who came knocking on their door. Those activists were no longer interested in converting ignorant hostiles, but were educating those who were willing and able to listen without jamming their own ego into the center of discussion.

Do you catch more flies with honey than vinegar? Yeah, absolutely. But after nearly five years of blogging about fat issues, I’ve found that 99% of the flies in question prefer hanging out on a great big pile of shit. And do you really want flies dripping feces into your nice jar of honey?

I bring this up because in the last few days we’ve had an enthusiastic reddit response to a few items on our blog, and y’all know how that goes.

Trolls

Fifth Annual Reddit Conference on Deplorable Fatties

First came the /r/FatLogic folks who took umbrage with our Diet Talk page. Basically, they love to mock the idea of trigger warnings because they think it’s about oversensitive fat people crying themselves to sleep at night after some beefy Brodin “disproves” Health at Every Size® (HAES) with his irrefutable anecdotal evidence. An example of this belief is the first comment on that subreddit which begins, “So this is how they maintain their delusion. This is the same as plugging their ears and going ‘LA LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!”” I’ve also seen complaints that the use of trigger warnings for everything makes a mockery of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In reality, our blog includes readers who have either overcome, are overcoming, or are in the depths of an eating disorder (ED), whether anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder. Some of those same people also suffer from PTSD, and reading about calorie counting or food blogs or diet talk can put them in that ED frame of mind. Trigger warnings aren’t for all our readers, but for those who need them.

And the whole point of the Diet Talk page is to explain the difference between discussing the science of weight loss and weight loss evangelism, which our readers DO NOT WANT. Of course, this offends the ShitLords of reddit because they believe free speech means we have to let these Jillian Michaels rejects put in their two cents whenever and wherever they want (something we did ages ago to hilarious effect). They think that by banning weight loss evangelism, you all are somehow isolating yourselves from their wisdom and that we are brainwashing you into laying prone as much as possible while having Twinkie cream intravenously pumped into your stomachs.

Now, I don’t go out of my way to start shit with reddit, but if I notice a subreddit talking shit about us, I will sometimes respond if I have the capacity. In this case, I did, and I responded without the honey. Their response was predictable, although I did have a somewhat productive discussion with a few people on the subject (my comments have been downvoted so much you have to search for the thread to open).

Later that same day, /r/TumblrInAction spread word of Shaunta’s Eating the Food post.For those unfamiliar, TiA mocks Tumblr bloggers who write about social justice (people they call SJWs, or social justice warriors), but they try and claim the “high road” by putting in their rules, “Don’t be massive twat. We’re here to make fun of Tumblr SJWs, but we’re not here to outright troll them or personally attack them.” Yeah, because the mouth-breathers who read TiA don’t look at the screencaps posted, then troll the Tumblrs highlighted. It’s a thin veneer of respectability that crumbles beneath the weight of hatred permeating these subreddits.

Again, I only found out about TiA’s post about Shaunta because they linked to our page and some of their trolls tried to comment on our page, so I went there to respond. That reddit thread was chock full of dumbasses “refuting” shit Shaunta never wrote. I summarized their ridiculous response in this thread:

Listen, you’re the people linking to my blog, talking shit about it without actually reading what was written. You’ve got the guy who thinks Shaunta is trying to lose weight by eating more food, you’ve got the guy calls her “lazy and self-indulgent” despite her thorough explanation in this series of her activity levels, you’ve got the guy who says 2,500 calories is too much without knowing how active Shaunta is, you’ve got the guy claiming she has diabetes, you’ve got the guy almost grasps what Shaunta is doing then falls off the deep end, and you’ve got the guy who thinks she’s eating less than she was and is scared of losing weight.

In other words, some dimwitted douchebag read the first paragraph, it rustled his jimmies, and he shared it with his fellow reddit ShitLords who read even less (as admitted here) and pounded their chests even more. Once again, I said fuck the honey in my responses to them. As a result, I got this warning from the moderator:

Look, you’re acting like a massive twat right now. Which, incidentally, is against the rules.

If you want to debate or point out parts of the article that people missed (like you did in some of your other posts), fine, but don’t come in here on a high horse looking for a reason to insult the community.

Seriously, though. Knock it off. This is troll behavior.

Around this time, Shaunta joined the fray and has been diligently answering questions WITHOUT calling them assholes (aka, with honey), which is awesome. But then redditors started to complain to both her and me about my tone. For instance:

  • Whiner 1: “Thanks for being an asshole, asshole.”
  • Whiner 2: “I assume you know /u/atchka… You might want to tell them to stop acting like a douche. You can defend yourself without that twat.”
  • Whiner 3: “It would be nice if he’d go back to playing with himself, or whatever it is he does, instead of picking fights with everyone including the mods. /u/shaunta is doing it right; even when she’s been insulted or provoked she’s keeping a civil tongue in her head – but then again, she’s an adult.”
  • Whiner 4: “hey dude, you do realize shaunta is here, right? let her speak for herself since this about her. i don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but i wouldn’t want someone talking on my behalf when i can do it myself, especially if they were making a huge specticle of themselves doing so.”

So here’s the message we’re getting from TiA: we can publish links to your blog, mock a version of you we have created out of whole cloth, make fat jokes at your expense and call you a liar, a sloth and a glutton, but don’t you dare call me an asshole!

I get the same response from Tumblr trolls, like this fuckface who has spent almost a year trolling Fat Acceptance posts that have nothing to do with her. She claims to be a former HAES advocate who saw the light and is now fighting our misinformation, except she only wants to argue HAES claims made by random internet people who don’t understand HAES (you can read my honey-free takedown in which I compare ignorant HAES advocates with ignorant evolution advocates here). I spent quite a few hours refuting her bullshit and pointing out her inconsistencies, which I summarized for others she has trolled, but I grow weary of beating my head against that wall.

This morning I discovered another /r/FatLogic post about Shaunta’s writing filled with more mockery and misinformation, like this hilarious claim that Shaunta is an opiate addict(!!!).

Here’s the thing: we always have a choice of how to respond. Shaunta has chosen the patient educator route, which is how I most frequently respond to skeptics and trolls on here and other forums because of my early experience with Fat Acceptance feminists. I definitely believe that taking the time to refute trolls is invaluable, even when the troll being educated chooses willful ignorance over reasonable discussion. Others who witness the conversation will have both viewpoints before them and will get to choose which side makes more sense.

Contrary to Shaunta’s patient vigilance, I chose the scorched earth route this time because I rarely emerge from a reddit discussion feeling like the skeptic is anything more than willfully ignorant and the audience (the other participants in the subreddit) are anything other than hostile and trigger-happy fat-haters. As evidenced above (and elsewhere), few redditors actually read what we write (although a handful have in the last day or two and I had civil disagreements with them), and even fewer even understand the discussion. For most of them, it comes down to FAT BAD and anyone saying anything but that is a threat to them.

I chose the scorched earth route because these flies don’t give a shit about my honey. They simply want to trample my opinions into the ground and charge me for the pleasure. The only response that the vast majority of denizens from fat-hating subreddits will accept from me or Shaunta is “You’re right, I’m wrong, please follow me around 24/7 like a fucking CIA agent and show me the error of my ways.”

I’m a big believer in civil discourse, but I don’t owe civil discourse to those who are clearly uninterested. If they were interested, they would have actually read what Shaunta wrote and asked questions based on her own words, not the words they put into her mouth. Instead, what we got was a bunch of disgruntled dudebros who populate forums devoted ENTIRELY to mocking marginalized groups, but who think it’s unfair for me to be mean to them.

When you are targeted by these groups, or others like them, you get to choose how to respond. Personally, I think being a patient educator like Shaunta with the general population is the most noble way to try and persuade skeptics of the righteousness of our cause. But there may come a point in time when you realize that patient education is futile and you are perfectly justified in fighting fire with fire. I’ve reached that point with hate-bait subreddits.

You do not owe haters your honey. When someone calls you an asshole, you can call them an asshole right back. And when they complain that you’re being mean and unfair and that you catch more flies with honey, just remind them of what Mr. Pink taught us in Reservoir Dogs.

Tiniest Violin

42 Comments leave one →
  1. vesta44 permalink
    March 5, 2014 12:41 pm

    I remember a few years back, when I first started blogging, someone on some dude-bro fat hater site was making fun of me and it really upset one of my online friends. She was all for rushing in there and defending me, and wanted me to go in there and defend myself. My whole take on the matter was “I don’t know this fuckwad, I don’t want to know this fuckwad, and I don’t have any fucks to give about anything he has to say on any matter.” If the person being nasty about me is someone I don’t know, someone with whom I will never have to interact on a daily basis, why the hell should I have to defend myself to his ignorant, bigoted ass? I can talk until I’m blue in the fucking face and I’m not going to change his mind about me or anything in my life. So fuck him and the horse he rode in on, I’m not going to give him what he wants – attention. It pisses them off more to be ignored, and that’s what I do. The people who know me aren’t going to believe anything he has to say about me, and if people do believe the lies and mythinformation he’s spreading, then I don’t need them in my life. I’m too fucking old to deal with this kind of shit anymore and I’m not going to try to teach an ignorant fuckwit how to interact with others in a responsible manner. I’m not the jerk whisperer and I have no desire to be the jerk whisperer (I’d rather hit them over the head with a forest of clue X 4s, but that’s a useless proposition too, you can’t beat sense into a brick wall, and these ignoramuses are thicker than any brick wall I’ve ever seen).

  2. Linda permalink
    March 5, 2014 1:14 pm

    I’m new to HAES, and I’m not quite an activist for it yet. I’m still studying it, and mulling it over. But, I am a veg*n activist for the animals. Since I’ve been at this for over 40 years, my activism is quieter, and more selective than it was in my salad days. I don’t waste my time on people who are baiting me. I happily answer genuine questions, but forget things like ‘But plants are alive?’ I don’t have the desire to debate old hackneyed arguments. I also don’t use vulgarity in response to crude insults. Why sink to their level? I always try to remember that some people may be watching from the sidelines and may be middle-of-the-road. I’m more likely to be persuasive if I don’t lose my cool. As for baiting/trolling: I just decide where I want to go with an argument. If someone tries to drag me onto their mat, and I don’t want to go there, I say so. This has served me well, so I haven’t burnt out. Might not be for everyone, but I’m glad I can still advocate for animals without getting all fired up.

    • March 6, 2014 5:08 pm

      Linda,
      Although I know people can be snarky at vegans, I’m betting there aren’t any subreddits dedicated to mocking “vegan logic” (and as a proud omnivore I could think of a few examples). Yeah, people disagree with your stance, but there isn’t this broad social disdain for vegans (although I know some individuals who are inexplicably hostile to vegans because they find some obnoxious). But even if there was, you’re right: it’s up to you whether you choose to go to the mattresses or not. I usually don’t because it’s REALLY time consuming to respond to the response I get and I just don’t have that luxury. But sometimes (like when I saw them attacking Shaunta), I decide it’s worth it. This isn’t how I always respond to critics, but sometimes I do think it’s necessary and justified.

      Peace,
      Shannon

  3. March 5, 2014 1:49 pm

    Good post, Atchka. There seems to have been a lot of douchery going on recently (there probably always is but this is the first time I have really paid attention to it).

    I think you and Vesta are right, though; these people are just not going to be told. They aren’t going to change their minds. And, stepping back, i can see that some of them have a really strong incentive to be dedicated to all the thermodynamics crap. They’re so scared of fat and so desperate to become or to stay thin that they *have* to believe it. If the Tumblr troll, for instance, has recently lost 100lbs as she claims (although I suspect that’s just something she’s saying to make her ‘case’ stronger) then of course she’s going to be eager to defend CI/CO because the alternative is getting fat again and, as we all of us know, that can be pretty exhausting in today’s world.

    All that said, I think these people who specifically search for fat acceptance tags or subreddits or whatever are a special kind of arsehole. There’s a difference between fiercely defending your own belief and going out of your way to argue with those who don’t. And nobody, as you say, owes these people any courtesy. We’ve most of us had to deal with bullies and there’s no reason to put up with it now. .

    • March 6, 2014 12:21 pm

      Re: Your second paragraph. Yeah, I always try to keep this in the back of my mind when I’m tempted to verbally maul such people. It makes me feel so sorry for them that much of the time I can’t even be bothered. So at least I save some energy that way.

      I also have a tough time understanding the need to troll FA sites. It seems like a mark of extreme insecurity.

    • March 6, 2014 5:10 pm

      Thanks nomchelle. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: if you’re happy with your own life, you don’t attack strangers for how they live theirs. There’s something wrong with people who need to lord their superiority over others in this way.

      Peace,
      Shannon

      • Dizzyd permalink
        March 10, 2014 6:22 pm

        I agree. If they hate fat people so much, why are they always coming over here? I guess their thought is if they can’t be happy, why should anyone else? Shows how sad and pathetic these guys are.

  4. Elizabeth permalink
    March 5, 2014 2:11 pm

    Here’s a bit about trolls some of you may be interested in:

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2453609,00.asp

    And, interestingly, I found fruit flies in my water/vinegar mixture I drink each morning.

    • March 6, 2014 5:12 pm

      Others on reddit made hay out the vinegar thing as though I fucking made up the saying “You catch more flies with honey.” It’s like they’ve never heard of a figure of speech before. Anyway, I saw that article before and it’s spot on. Trolls live sad, lonely lives and this is their way of exerting their superiority, just like bullies in grade school. They’re pathetic and deserve to be humiliating whenever and however possible.

      Peace,
      Shannon

    • Trates permalink
      March 6, 2014 8:18 pm

      I’m going to point out that some caution should be taken when applying the article. Trolls are a varied species and anyone looking to level broad sweeping terms at them should be aware of a few things.

      The term “troll” has been overused and many behaviors have been lumped in under the troll label.

      The definition most commonly used is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments and upsetting people applies universally and disregards intent.

      So for a relevant example someone advocating HAES going to fat-shaming sites/boards and starting a fracas can also under the above be labeled a troll.

      • March 6, 2014 9:47 pm

        Trates,
        I never said I wasn’t trolling. But I take exception with your terminology. You say “someone advocating HAES going to fat-shaming sites/boards and starting a fracas can also under the above be labeled a troll.” I didn’t “start” anything. It was these assholes who linked to us and were mocking our blogger. If you’re on Twitter and someone talks shit about you and addresses you directly, and I respond to the shit you’re talking, then who “started it”? This is what this entire post is about: don’t talk shit about me and mine and then complain when I punch back. That’s fucking cheap and you know it.

        However, I do know that when I punch back, I’m hitting a hornets nest for sure. That’s why I don’t do it very often. The last time was a few months ago with /r/FitnessCirclejerk. And as usual, I am responding, not starting something. I don’t particularly enjoy hitting the hornets nest because I have waste time reading and responding to ShitLords all fucking day. So is that trolling? I don’t really give a shit. But what it is NOT is me going into these forums unprovoked and talking shit about them to make them all pissy the way they try with us (and others). You can call it trolling if you want, but it’s a false equivalency.

        Peace,
        Shannon

        • Trates permalink
          March 7, 2014 7:29 am

          “I never said I wasn’t trolling.”

          First let me be clear (as I should have at first). I was not really replying to you. I was replying to the way the article can be used to broad-brush people.

          That said I would call what you did trolling but would hesitate at taking that to hint at the existence of the negative personality traits which a lot of folks tend to do with that article.

          ” You say “someone advocating HAES going to fat-shaming sites/boards and starting a fracas can also under the above be labeled a troll.” I didn’t “start” anything. It was these assholes who linked to us and were mocking our blogger.”

          This is also true but I know of at least a couple of folks on here who seek out sites for the express purpose of giving them grief.

      • March 7, 2014 9:09 am

        Below you said, “I know of at least a couple of folks on here who seek out sites for the express purpose of giving them grief.” Could you give me an example? Because as I said in the article, I am completely unaware of fatties attacking either the kinds of subreddits I’m talking about or fitness blogs without provocation.

        Peace,
        Shannon

        • Trates permalink
          March 7, 2014 10:13 am

          The ones I know of seek out Facebook pages though I’m not really wanting to name names.

          Not that I don’t have them but because agree or not there are times when trolling is A-OK and not an indicator that one has darker traits. :)

          • vesta44 permalink
            March 7, 2014 11:36 am

            Trates – Most of us do not “seek out” those Facebook pages, we run across them when our Facebook friends post something fat-phobic, fat shaming, or bullying from one of them. Then we either report the page or try to educate the page owner about why hir posts can be harmful. But as far as I know, none of us are actively searching for those kinds of pages just to “troll” them and cause trouble. We don’t have time for that, and speaking for myself, I don’t have the energy or the “spoons” to do so.

        • March 7, 2014 11:37 am

          Trates: Ooohhh… watch me accuse people on this board of trolling poor innocent fat-haters but then watch me totally refuse to name names or post links oh and BTW I’m TOTALLY not a troll myself you guyz!!11 *~*tee hee *~* *~*I’m soooo clever!!11*~*

          I was hoping I’d be the accused party. It would have been an excellent moment to point out that I don’t even have a Facebook account. :p

  5. March 6, 2014 8:22 am

    I try to just not respond to these types, but sometimes I have to call an asshole an asshole.
    Anyone who is wasting time finding reasons to hate is not deserving of respect. However, I respect Shaunta for being respectful to them anyway.

    • Len permalink
      March 8, 2014 7:23 pm

      Hear, hear. Actually I respect both Shaunta and Atchka for their efforts. Activism must take many forms to be heard and understood. Some people will never learn but I absorbed quite a few lessons about the privileges I have by encountering both the honey and the vinegar. Enough to teach me the need to get educated. I hope that education continues. I INTEND for that education to continue. Reckon that even when it seems hopeless, perhaps both Shaunta and Atchka might be sowing a few seeds out there. Thank you, thank you to both of you!

      • Dizzyd permalink
        March 10, 2014 6:34 pm

        Atchka, Shaunta, and Vesta – taking on the trolls so you don’t have to! Thanks, guys, for taking a stand against the idiot brigade. Shaunta – keep doing what you’re doing and forget about the trolls. And Vesta, I always love your comments. They’re so dead-on, I wish I could quote them to these people and put them in their place. (Not that it would do much good). And Atchka, thank you for standing and defending one of our own. Good on ya!

  6. Anon permalink
    March 6, 2014 3:13 pm

    Where to start…

    1) I read /r/fatlogic. I comment there as well. I am also female, a recovering anorexic, suffer from PTSD symptoms, and *far* from a “Brodin” or “dudebro”.

    2) I don’t have a problem with HAES as it was originally put forth. I have a problem with the way it has been adulterated. I believe that it is entirely possible to be overweight and healthy, to a point. I also believe the same for being underweight. Someone who is at a low weight can be active, have normal test numbers (BP, cholesterol, blood sugar, etc), but if they are compromising their future health with their lifestyle, is that healthy? No. So how is it any different for a person who is overweight?

    3) For every study you throw out that says weight has nothing to do with health, there is a study that counters it. Or worse, people throw out studies while reading the result incorrectly? Or linking to studies that are not peer-reviewed? I can’t blame a person for these innocent mistake, because scientific studies are dense and can be difficult to understand, and not everyone knows about or understands the importance of peer-review. But promoting it *even after* the faults in the study or a person’s interpretation have been pointed out? I can fault that. I can also fault cherry-picking lines from studies to make it seem as though the study supports your viewpoint, when the results do not.

    4) Frankly, yes, you were being a jerk. That does not excuse others who were being a jerk to you, but you were being a jerk.

    • March 6, 2014 5:05 pm

      1) I have no doubts that there are women in /r/fatlogic, but it is OVERWHELMINGLY dudebros.
      2) I think there is a relationship between weight and health, particularly at the extreme ends, and may be indicative of unhealthy lifestyle choices. But the advice is the same for people of all sizes: eat a healthy, balanced diet and get some exercise. If you make healthy changes and you lose weight, great. If not, are there positive changes in your metabolic indicators? That’s what matters more than weight.
      3) I’ve never said weight has nothing to do with health. I throw out studies showing that most weight loss approaches don’t yield the kind of results we’ve been programmed to expect (more than 10% starting weight) and that exercise, regardless of weight loss, leads to lasting, positive changes. This is in the second part of the Weight of the Nation documentary. But if you think I’m cherry-picking lines from studies, show me where. Most people who tell me I’m cherry-picking never actually show me where I’m misreading or selectively interpreting the data. The vast majority of studies I cite are peer-reviewed and primary sources.
      4) As I said in this post, I found the link because we started getting traffic from reddit. They were ALREADY making shitty comments about Shaunta and her post, and I responded in kind. If you want to argue how effective my response is, that’s fine, but that’s not the point of this post. My point is to showcase the hypocrisy of a group that is largely dedicated to mocking fat people (and others in the case of TiA), but when a fat person mocks them, they act all butthurt. Yeah, I was a jerk because I see this kind of shit ALL THE TIME, directed at me, directed at our blog, directed at people I know and love. And if you really think that I’m supposed to just ignore them or politely refute them, then we’re just going to have to agree to disagree. People who choose to humiliate and degrade others because they are fat do not get immunity fr their behavior because you expect me to “rise above.” Sorry. If you’re an asshole to me and mine, you better expect that I will do the same to you.

      I’ve had multiple comments from reddit on this blog since publishing this, and yours is the first I’ve approved. You know why? Because you didn’t come here swinging. You stated your case respectfully and disagreed with my approach without being an asshole. I don’t want our forum to be overrun by shitty trolls, so I moderate heavily. Reddit does not and being an asshole is not only encouraged, but rewarded with upvotes. But when I do it, I’m held to a higher standard for some unexplained reason. Again, this post was my way of saying fuck that shit.

      Peace,
      Shannon

      • March 6, 2014 8:04 pm

        You make a mistake Shannon. Lots of who you see in the fatlogic forum are amazed at the leaps in logic. The r/fatlogic thread of reddit isn’t about hatred toward this particular movement, it is to marvel at the idea of self delusion it represents.

        I am a former obese individual, I used to believe in fat logic unconciously. I didn’t have a name for it at the time, but I used to be healthy as well, so I never felt that I needed to lose weight.

        Then I wasn’t healthy.

        When I see other people making the mistake that I did, and going down the same ruinous health path, I quail.

        I am from a family of obese, not just obese, like a lot of morbidly (till they die) obese, and I plan to avoid that. I am 4.5 years since I lost my weight. I have also helped 3 other people lose weight simply by pointing out that everything is wrong, don’t listen to diets, just track what you eat and eat what you want then stop when you get to too many calories.

        It came about because I read the studies that you guys post, I read the studies about calories in calories out, and they all say the same thing. The studies that HAES uses to justify it, don’t actually justify being overweight as healthy in those from 30-50 years old as a long term strategy.

        I lasted till I was 29 until my obesity caused me to have to go to the hospital.

        130lbs lighter and all of my health problems are gone!

        I get sad when I see communities trying to block out everything, that is why I fight against HAES, run a fitness blog, etc…

        I am against fat shaming, but I am also against HAES, because it simply isn’t true, and I had to find out the hard way, and I want others to avoid the mistakes I made if it is possible.

        • March 6, 2014 10:07 pm

          Buzz,
          If you want to read the research supporting fat and fit, then you need to listen to this interview I did a few years back with Dr. Steven Blair. Blair began his work in the 1970s for the Cooper Institute, which was founded by Dr. Kenneth Cooper, the Father of Aerobics. Dr. Blair helped develop the American College of Sports Medicine’s recommendations for exercise (150 minutes moderate per week or 75 minutes of vigorous). He has also studied the effect of exercise on weight and health and has found that when you control for the cardiorespiratry fitness of the subject, that weight plays an insignificant role in long-term morbidity and mortality. This is why I encourage everyone who wants to get healthy to start by finding an exercise they love to do so that they will stick with it for a lifetime. If you do that alone, your health will improve significantly, even if you don’t lose much weight (watch part 2 of Weight of the Nation to see respected experts make this point as well).

          As far as diet goes, yes, a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, and 2,000 calories worth of Twinkies is the same as 2,000 calories worth of apples, but apples are more nutritionally dense, so you don’t crave 2,000 calories worth of apples. The diet part of HAES is to be informed on what constitutes healthy foods (lean means, healthy fats, whole grains) and to incorporate as much of those healthy foods into your diet as you are able to without being so restrictive that you create these restriction/binge cycles. This is why Shaunta is doing her Eating the Food experiment, which I highly recommend if you haven’t read it.

          If your goal is to lose weight, then yes, restricting your calories as much as possible can push your weight lower. But the reason diets fail is because when you restrict your calories severely, you are fighting against your body’s natural instincts and that fight is never-ending, as I’m sure you know. But in the 1950s, when American weights were what today we’d call ideal, those people were not counting calories, they were not restricting. They were eating largely the foods that I said were healthy because they had no other choice. So, it’s not like society was calorie counting and suddenly we slacked off. It’s that our food systems have changed and eating those healthy foods has become significantly more difficult due to socioeconomic reasons that we can go into another time. But basically, it takes more time and money to prepare fresh, whole meals. But there are ways to conveniently work in more of those whole foods into a modern diet without treating food like a math problem for the rest of your life. It’s as simple as knowing what healthy foods are and doing what you can to increase the amount in your diet.

          Do those two things and whether you lose weight or not, you will improve your metabolic health and you are more likely to sustain those healthy, positive changes. I’ve met a lot of nutritionists and dietitians (one works in my Father-in-Law’s office) who support the principles of HAES because they are all too familiar with the restriction/disinhibition cycle I mentioned. The only reason HAES is controversial is because we don’t tell people to exercise and eat healthy foods because it will make them lose weight.

          Again, if you want to lose weight, that’s your business, but I have mounds and mounds of research, experts and medical professionals who back up what I am saying, and just because you don’t believe it doesn’t give you (or, more accurately, the trolls on reddit) the right to mock and belittle us. But if they do, then they need to expect me to tell them why they need to shut the fuck up.

          Peace,
          Shannon

          • March 6, 2014 11:18 pm

            Buzz should expand his/her empire into a line of tracts a la’ Jack Chick.

            • March 7, 2014 8:53 am

              Thank you! That sums it up very well.

            • March 7, 2014 11:39 am

              [bows] Cie, it also adds a lot if you hum “Battle Hymn of the Republic” during the last couple of paragraphs.

  7. lifeonfats permalink
    March 6, 2014 4:59 pm

    Short and to the point from me: If you feel the need to make constant posts on the lives of fat people you don’t even know and be jerks about it, you have no life and you’re afraid because these fat people are not wallowing in self-pity and hurting themselves to be thin (re: hot) for your benefit and you’re scared you’re not wielding the power anymore. Get over yourselves.

  8. Trates permalink
    March 7, 2014 12:00 pm

    Vesta: I didn’t say most of you did nor would I particularly care if you did.

    This is because trolling is something so broad that everyone has done it at some point. The reasons are varied. A bad mood, a real or perceived issue with the subject matter. Usually they matter little.

    It does however start to matter when people attribute certain mental traits to what is a very broad thing on it’s own. Add to that a subject that is only showing one particular thing about themselves and it becomes something of a problem.

    For an example many here would recognize. You are fat so because you are fat you are willing for any kind of sex. Or that you can’t refuse food. Or that you knock back double cheeseburgers like they are candy.

    Someone knows one thing (in this case that someone is fat) and makes an assumption that goes beyond known information.

    • Linda permalink
      March 7, 2014 3:09 pm

      Whoa. Your examples are provocative. Why?

      • Trates permalink
        March 7, 2014 3:45 pm

        Because it is one that I read on here very recently so I assume it is familiar since I’m sure many other responders read this site more often than I.

        • Linda permalink
          March 7, 2014 5:05 pm

          Maybe I missed something, but I don’t recall reading ‘knocking back double cheeseburgers like they are candy anywhere on this site.’ Could you link me to the article that uses that language, please.

          • Trates permalink
            March 7, 2014 11:37 pm

            The sentiment is there though not the exact wording. You have a fat body and so must have a mental failing elsewhere. You can’t refuse food. Your idea of a meal is massive portions of really unhealthy food. The assumption of personal traits not in evidence based on one trait that is in evidence though not connected directly or all the time to the assumed traits.

            The point was not to be provocative. The point was to use something that can recognized.

            In this case that one trait equals other ones even if they are not always connected.

            It doesn’t have to be a big deal.

  9. vesta44 permalink
    March 8, 2014 12:19 am

    Trates, your analogy doesn’t hold water. You’re using stereotypes about fat people and comparing them to stereotypes about trolls. The problem with that is the stereotypes about fat people don’t apply to all fat people, but the stereotypes about trolls do apply to all trolls – they love to derail, they love to piss people off, they have no lives, they have little to no self-esteem, and they’re mouth-breathers who live to make others’ lives miserable. And saying that those of us who defend ourselves against those trolls are also trolls when we go into their spaces to defend ourselves against their attacks on us is disingenuous.
    When you make accusations of trolling against the members of this space, you had better have facts with which to back up those accusations. Hiding behind the rationalization that you “don’t really want to name names” makes me think there is nothing to back up those accusations at all. “Trolling is so broad that everyone has done it at some point” – Really? You really think that everyone has trolled someone/something at one point? And what information do you have to back up that claim? Are you omniscient? Are you omnipotent? Are you omnipresent? Are you clairvoyant? Because for you to be able to say that everyone has trolled at some point, you would have to be all of those things. Broad generalizations like that are very seldom true, or provable.
    And you notice, it’s the trolls who get their knickers in a knot when they’re called on their asshole-ishness. They’re perfectly fine with coming into our spaces, throwing around “everyone knows” “facts” that aren’t really facts at all, and doing their troll thing. But let someone who’s been trolled by them go into their space and tell them they’re being an asshole and that their “facts” aren’t really facts at all, and they will get all butt-hurt and defensive, crying that they’ve been defamed, bullied, and picked on for no reason at all. Yeah, trolls deserve every bit of calling out that they get and I have no sympathy for them at all.

    • Trates permalink
      March 8, 2014 5:59 am

      “The problem with that is the stereotypes about fat people don’t apply to all fat people, but the stereotypes about trolls do apply to all trolls”

      Do they now? And you know this because you have the information to make that leap?

      The article I was replying to makes the distinction that dedicated trolls are the ones displaying the darker mental traits. Not all trolls. Not everyone who trolls is dedicated about it.

      “When you make accusations of trolling against the members of this space, you had better have facts with which to back up those accusations.”

      I don’t name names because it invites more flack my way. Further the fact that they troll doesn’t matter to me because I’m not trying to paint them as terrible people for doing it.

      “You really think that everyone has trolled someone/something at one point? And what information do you have to back up that claim? Are you omniscient?”

      As omniscient as you are when it comes to their personal lives. That said I say it because it’s easy enough to do it that it’s an easy assumption to make though you are right. There are exceptions to this.

      Bottom line: Trolls have their various reasons for trolling. Rarely do people troll for the enjoyment of trolling and those that do make up a small percentage of the overall internet users. They also apparently display mental traits that may make them unpleasant in real life.
      To say that all trolls are X ignores the above and take steps into the omniscience you accuse me of.

    • March 8, 2014 6:27 pm

      Somehow I find it very difficult to muster sympathy for individuals who are being deliberate assholes. I care not at all about troll fee-fees. To defend this odious practice is similar to asking me to have sympathy for bullies in general, which is what trolls are.
      The early Internet trolls may not have been bullies, merely puckish troublemakers. However, at this point, that is not the case.

      • Trates permalink
        March 9, 2014 3:22 pm

        “Somehow I find it very difficult to muster sympathy for individuals who are being deliberate assholes. I care not at all about troll fee-fees.”

        You do not need to have sympathy to be against a broad brush approach especially when it’s baseless.

        “The early Internet trolls may not have been bullies, merely puckish troublemakers. However, at this point, that is not the case.”

        I would actually disagree here. I think that trolls were a much more narrow group than they are now. Now with nearly everyone being labeled a troll for some reason or other it’s gotten too convoluted to make any sort of generalization about them as a whole.

        • Dizzyd permalink
          March 10, 2014 6:48 pm

          Trates – I really have to wonder why you’re defending trolls so vehemently. It doesn’t matter whether they all are this way or that. Or that they have their various reasons for doing it, or they were just having a bad day or they get painted with a broad brush so they all are made out to be jerks when really they’re just regular good ol’ joes that just love to come on and impress everybody with their wisdom. The point is trolls are trolls because they come on and ATTACK PEOPLE who aren’t doing anything other than stating what they’ve been going through in their personal lives. You don’t have to agree with someone’s viewpoint to be civil to them. What you DON’T do is come on and proceed to say nasty things about them, mock them, tell them they don’t know what they’re talking about, and so on. If Atchka had to call them on it, more than likely they were asking for it. So before you come on here and do your little “nobody understands the poor little trolls” routine, find out the facts. Cuz, honestly, you sound like you’ve done quite a bit of trolling yourself if you’re busy defending their honor.

          • Trates permalink
            March 11, 2014 12:19 am

            “Trates – I really have to wonder why you’re defending trolls so vehemently.”

            Again I’m not defending them. There are plenty of reasons to hate trolls without painting them as closeted lunatics.

            “It doesn’t matter whether they all are this way or that.”

            Then why is it noted? If it does not matter then why take note of it?

            “It doesn’t matter whether they all are this way or that. Or that they have their various reasons for doing it, or they were just having a bad day or they get painted with a broad brush so they all are made out to be jerks”

            [T]rolling correlated positively with sadism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism”

            Not jerks. Sadists. Psychopaths. The difference is pretty large. The main one being that because the stuff you know about posters is so narrow making any kind of assumption is a leap including negative ones.

            Let’s take you for example. You are on some level an activist or at least agree with them. I know this because you are here speaking of them positively and are grouping yourself with them. “thank you for standing and defending one of our own.”

            That is the limits of my knowledge of you. I could assume many things but they would all be based on nothing other than what you spoke in your two posts here and that is simply too little to form anything accurate.

            *That* is what I am getting at. That folks are making calls about people based on information that they do not have.

            “You don’t have to agree with someone’s viewpoint to be civil to them.”

            This sums it up pretty well as you also do not need to imagine a bunch of sadists to swing the banhammer either.

            “So before you come on here and do your little “nobody understands the poor little trolls” routine”

            I never said anything of the kind. I’m not speaking of understanding them, being kind to them, or not banning them. Nor am I talking about leaving them unchallenged.

            I’m speaking of not painting them all as a bunch of sadists.

            “find out the facts.”

            I have. I used the same source material the poster of the comment I responded to did.

            “Cuz, honestly, you sound like you’ve done quite a bit of trolling yourself if you’re busy defending their honor.”

            I don’t think this warrants a response since the rest of my comment should do nicely for it.

  10. Elizabeth permalink
    March 9, 2014 10:14 am

    Some trolls may not be sociopaths; they’re the ones getting paid for trolling. Hmmm. Perhaps if you’re willing to be mean for a few bucks, your conscience isn’t very well-developed either.

    Time to go eat one of my gargantuan meals.

  11. March 9, 2014 7:18 pm

    “You do not owe haters your honey.”

    Preach.

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