Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Vaguely Belated Intro

So, I started a blog.

Now what?

I started reading Fat Acceptance blogs a few years ago (gosh, already?), and they changed my life. They made me aware of things like Health at Every Size - the idea that regular exercise and nutritious eating is good for you whether it affects your weight or not. They told me I wasn't alone in finding it tremendously messed-up that I began dieting at eleven years old, in a doctor-approved attempt to at least maintain my weight, if not lose some, rather than keep growing.

I still remember how pleased and proud my doctor was the first year I weighed in as not having gained any weight. She asked excitedly what I had been doing, how much I had been dieting, that I must be working so hard and it's finally paying off. The truth was, I was eating just about the same as ever. I just reached my adult weight and stopped there for a while. At the time, I was so proud of myself and worked hard to keep "maintaining" instead of gaining. I look back, and I wonder why my doctor expected me to keep ballooning out at the same rate I was going during my puberty growth spurt for the rest of my life.

You can probably already tell I don't have the chops to make this a scientific blog, or a really thoroughly-cited one, or a news commentary. What I do have are a dumptruck full of anecdotes and maybe some theoretic musings that have never quite seemed appropriate to leave as comments on other FA blogs. It might be that this starts up, I get out everything I had to say, and it peters out in a month or so. And if it does, I suppose that's fine. If it doesn't, if I could be any kind of real voice in the movement, if I could help someone like me figure out that some of the things that have happened to them are not okay, then I want to be part of that.

I started my journey to FA with the absolutely incredible, if on indefinite hiatus, Junkfood Science by Sandy Szwarc. Its archives are stuffed full of science, skepticism, outrage and hope.
Junkfood Science led me by way of this eye-opening post on the hidden effect of workplace "wellness" programs to the blog of Carrie Arnold, ED Bites, which I've been reading ever since. Carrie is a recovering anorexic with a fantastic wit who not only chronicles her own recovery process and life challenges, but a weekly round-up of scientific articles about food and eating disorders, and some gorgeously smart and incisive posts about Obesity Panic.
By way of Carrie, I found Rachel Richardson's The F Word, and through her, the sadly now-defunct Shapely Prose.  At some point, and I'm sorry to say that I can't remember when, I was led to First, Do No Harm, a collection of horrifying true stories of the real-life effects of fat prejudice on fat peoples' health. I know that there are other FA blogs out there that I just haven't managed to start reading yet, but given that only one out of five of my regular reads has updated in the last month, it felt like adding another voice, even if it's only mine, would be worth it.

Thank you to the movement for existing, for the people who wrote all the things that made me re-think and gave my my brain back. I hope I can do well by someone new.


  1. Hi Samantha, I clicked through from your comment at The Rotund. Have you found your way to Spilt Milk yet? You'll find a whole bunch of links to other active FA blogs in her sidebar too.

  2. I hadn't yet, thank you! It's weird, for having been reading the few blogs I do read so long, I still feel like I barely know my way around the community. Thanks for the suggestion

  3. Hi Samantha,

    I'm just stumbling on your blog... when two different FA/HAES friends link to it in the same day on FB, I simply can't stay away. :)

    Welcome to the Fat O Sphere... the sum of us is always enriched by more of us. And let's not have any more of this "only" your voice nonsense, shall we? You have every right to be here and be heard, and you have already shown in a very few posts that you have wonderful things to say and contribute!!

    I don't blog very often, but I'm over at if you want to say hello... :)

  4. PS - you've inspired me. I'm blogging this evening and linking to you. Hope you don't mind!! :)

  5. oh my - people posted me on facebook? XD Of course I don't mind and I can't wait to see what you post

  6. Hi!

    I was intrigued by Amanda's post, and came over and immediately read all of your posts, because so much of it sounds like my life. I've been working for years to accept myself, striving against people in my life who tell me I need to lose weight, etc., against my mom who frowns disapprovingly when I ask for some tasty cheese to put on my sandwiches (which is one way to make sure I'll actually eat home-prepared food instead of crappy box mac&cheese, or fast food), etc.

    In fact, I linked your post about Sleep Morality on my own facebook, and will be asking my mother to read it sometime soon.

    (For the record: I'm 26, live at home due to both a crappy economy and personal emotional health issues, am fat, a night owl, a geek, and am coming to love myself because of - not in spite of - all of these things that make me, me.)

  7. Thanks so much, Courtney. I'm sorry it sounds so familiar but I'm glad if the posts are helping. Let me know if anything comes out of your mom reading the post!