Hey, body positive yogis! Forgive me for the long, long, absence. Last month I moved to a farm in the northern Shenandoah Valley! My husband and I have been getting settled, planting our summer garden, making compost, chopping firewood, and fixing up the house here. You can read all about our adventures over at my other blog, but enough with the back story, let’s get on to some body-lovin’ links that will give you some food for thought for this weekend.
I don’t know about you, but the HBO Documentary Weight of the Nation has personally made my life, as a fat person, more difficult this past week. Stereotypes, bigoted language, “everybody knows” statements about weight and health, and insults have been flying around the internet and in conversations, challenging my sanity and my ability to remain positive and body-loving. Ragen Chastain takes on this new landmine in the “War on Obesity” in this brilliant post. The government found a group of people identifiable by how we look, allowed those with a profit interest in anti-obesity to calculate our “cost” to society, decided that we should be eradicated to make things cheaper, then brought together public and private interests and declared war on us. That is terrifying. And it’s happening.
This post from Medicinal Marzipan has been helpful to me during the last week of “war on obesity” madness – maybe it’ll help you too. When we, as a society, permit ourselves to villainize an overweight faction of the population, labeling them lazy and fat and worthless, or viewing them as a problem to be fixed, we are limiting ourselves.
Rosie Molinary breaks it down: One morning, as my arms cramped from my straightening routine, a number flashed in my mind. 300. If I did this 300 days a year, I was spending 300 hours or 12 days of my year on my hair. The number jarred me. Then, I opened the drawer where I kept my hair products. I had over $100 worth of hair product in there. Obsessing over my hair wasn’t adding to my life. It was limiting me in multiple ways.
Have you seen the latest episode of Mad Men? I know the Betty Draper Weight Watchers arc had me thinking back to my own experiences at those meetings. Lesley Kinzel takes us for a trip down memory lane and gives a little WW history, too: However, the meetings I attended were a little different. For one thing, the women who were most successful — whose losses were trumpeted as model triumphs at the start of each event — were both admired and despised. We received little buttons to mark certain points in our loss. Ten pounds down, 20 pounds down, 50 pounds down. I craved them like medals of honor. Bonus link: Weight Watchers recipe cards from the 1970s. Mmmmm, mackerel pudding.
This a pretty big deal, and the largest consumer settlement of its kind, ever. We can only hope the diet industry is next! The commission said the Skechers ad featuring the chiropractor highlighted bogus clinical studies. One claimed that eight participants lost 3.25 pounds on average wearing Shape-ups for six weeks, but the study did not have a control group for comparison. Another study claimed weight loss among Shape-up wearers, but some participants had gained weight.
This film debuts in July 2012 and I for one cannot wait to see it! A formidable figure, standing at 5’8″ and weighing over 300 pounds, Cheryl Haworth struggles to defend her champion status as her lifetime weightlifting career inches towards its inevitable end. Strong! chronicles her journey and the challenges this unusual elite athlete faces, exploring popular notions of power, strength, beauty, and health.
Another brilliant one from Ragen Chastain (and lots of amazing pictures of her in challenging pilates and dance moves!) – all about not waiting until you lose weight to do amazing things. Y’all know how I feel about that! Whatever you’re dreaming of, what if you did it now with the body you have now. What if you tried it, raised your physical voice, moved your body for the sheer joy of movement, right now. What if?
What’s next on the blog?
I have a few posts in the works:
- By popular demand and many questions, help with downward facing dog for plus sized bodies
- Yoga wear for fatties: I’ve got a couple clothing reviews coming up!
- How to stop the mind-chatter and negative self-talk while you’re practicing yoga
- Ways to care for yourself when you’re feeling downtrodden
Got another idea for a post? Have some other body positive links that have been rocking your world online? Post them to the comments!