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Fat People Get to Love Themselves

January 7, 2014

Weight LossFat PoliticsFat HealthFat ScienceExerciseMy Boring-Ass LifeFat NewsDickweedDiet Talk

Trigger warning: Discussion of weight loss guru, calorie counting and dickweeds who body shame fatties.

If you’ve been reading my posts here, you know that I’ve been an eating adventure the last few weeks.

So, as part of this Eating the Food thing, I’ve been looking back at my history with dieting and restriction and trying to lose weight. Long story short, I pulled out my old dog-eared copy of Stop the InsanitySusan Powter’s 1993 book Stop the Insanity. My memory was that Susan advocated for eating far more calories than most women eat when they are dieting. I was right. She has a basal metabolic rate (BMR) chart in her book and states outright that she started losing weight when she started eating about 2,300 calories a day, or enough calories for her body to function.

I was all — wow, this woman. She was totally ahead of her time. And really? She kind of was. I mean, she obviously focused on weight loss, but under that there was, well, sanity. My biggest takeaway from my Susan Powter years was her insistence that I could do anything physically that I wanted to, if I modified for my ability level. Susan Powter is the reason why I give exactly zero fucks when I go into a yoga class or a dance class and do my own thing when I can’t bend myself into the right kind of pretzel.

Yeah, I got all excited. And then I went and Googled the woman.


Susan! How can someone who made a name for herself telling women that it was okay to eat (you can eat an order of french fries or five gazillion potatoes!) be so far off the mark when it comes to Fat Acceptance?

Fat people are human beings.

Human beings get to feel comfortable in their own skin and love themselves. EVEN THE FAT ONES.

And because fat people are human beings and the internet is a vast space, fat people are allowed to have big, long blog posts about any damn thing they want to blog about, including Fat Acceptance.

You don’t get to make blanket statements about the health of people you don’t even know based on the number on their scales. Know why you don’t get to? (Actually, you clearly get to. You did. BUT, you don’t get to be right about it.) Because fat people are INDIVIDUALS.

Lots of fat people eat things that aren’t cake. Lots of fat people “move in oxygen” every day.

See what I did there? I didn’t say ALL fat people do anything. Because I don’t know all fat people.

But, wait! There’s more!

A fat person who lives on cake (two whole cakes a day!) and spends all day in a bedsheet toga watching reruns on the Food Network gets to practice self-appreciation. Because that person is a human being, and all human beings have the right to self-love and to self-determination.

This isn’t rocket science. A person is more likely to take good care of themselves if they love themselves. It isn’t about eating clean and exercising in an effort to get to a point where you can love yourself. It’s about loving yourself RIGHT NOW so that you want to do nice things for yourself. Like work on improving your health no matter what size you are.

There is ZERO benefit to hating yourself for being fat or hating your body for not being able to do what some fitness guru thinks it should be able to. God, Susan, you used to know this.

Know who listens to passionate anti-Body-Acceptance rants like yours and agrees with them? People who participate in body shaming. People who think that they are better than fat people. People who think fat people are lazy and stupid and morally weak. People who don’t like to look at fat people. You’re preaching to your own choir and the good things that you have to say about eating enough and moving within your ability are lost when you start screaming at a fat girl for having the nerve to love herself.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. vesta44 permalink
    January 7, 2014 11:59 am

    For me, Susan Powter’s message was lost, even years ago, because she was so over-the-top, gung-ho about losing weight. It’s nice to be enthusiastic about your message, but her enthusiasm was along the same lines as Richard Simmons (and I didn’t care for him either). Eating well is all fine and good, if you can afford it and want to do so. Exercising is all fine and good, if you have a safe space for doing so, the ability to do so, and want to do so. But just because we can’t or don’t want to do either of those doesn’t make us any less human or any less deserving of liking/loving ourselves. This whole “morality” thing around weight is getting worse every year, and it needs to stop (“Stop the Insanity” indeed, I don’t think it means what she thinks it means, not anymore).

  2. January 12, 2014 9:57 pm

    Susan has a lot of internalized self-hate. She blamed all of her problems on being fat. She seems unable to realize that the problem isn’t fat people, the problem is the hatred of fat people.

    • January 13, 2014 10:26 am

      I watched a minute or two of Powter, then read a few comments from the YouTube buffoons. After that I got bored and looked up a couple of Linda Bacon’s videos instead. In the process, I discovered a new Yoga book that I’d really like to have. So… thanks, Susan! You and your minions have been of inestimable help to me in this bright, shiny New Year! :p

  3. February 16, 2014 3:09 pm

    Susan Powter is an expert at using words that get people excited about solving the problems in their life. That is why she sold 200,000,000.00 worth of bunk. Not everybody can cut the fat and get fit like she did. We are not all the same in body chemistry. Some people are sensitive to sugars. Some people are sensitive to saturated fat. I think the blood type diet is pretty accurate with the science behind blood types and different body chemistries. America was told by Susan to stop eating fat. Eat low fat and you will lose weight was her claim. Well a lot of low fat foods are filled with sugars and a lot of overweight people are highly sensitive to gaining weight with sugar. What utter nonsense she told to America. Well America is fatter than ever before in the history of our country. She sold a lot of books and made a lot of money. And America lost in the end. She didn’t

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