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A “Big Fat Fabulous” new show on TLC

January 21, 2015

Weight LossFat HealthExerciseMy Boring-Ass LifeFat NewsDickweedDiet Talk

Trigger warning: Discussion of weight loss.

Body-positive shows starring fat people are far and few between, but amongst all the “New Year! New you!” crap there is one that might just be a welcome alternative to The Biggest Loser. Unfortunately, it’s airing on TLC, the channel of multiple births, over-the-top weddings and drama queens.

My Big Fat Fabulous Life follows YouTube sensation Whitney Thore. For those few people who haven’t seen her amazing videos, Whitney is a young woman who had dreams of becoming a famous dancer, but she rapidly gained a lot of weight in a year due to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

PCOS is a metabolic disorder with many symptoms, the main ones being insulin resistance, excessive hair growth due to an increase of male hormones, rapid weight gain, infertility and irregular periods. It can be a very embarrassing and devastating disease for a lot of women because of the physical changes it does to your body, especially with weight gain. I have PCOS and contribute my weight gain over the years to it, which went undiagnosed until April of 2011.

Whitney went from thin to her current weight of 380 pounds. And with the weight gain came the cruel comments and years of depression. But instead of losing her self-esteem, Whitney decided to embrace her new size (for the moment, which I will explain below) and embark on a campaign of what she calls “No BS,” or no body shame.

She posted videos of herself dancing on YouTube and talking about the hate fat people get just for existing. It didn’t take long for Whitney’s videos to reach mainstream media, and TLC came calling to turn her life into a reality series, which premiered on January 13th. You can watch the first episode here.

My Big Fat Fabulous Life does feature Whitney’s attempt to lose weight so she can increase her fitness levels and go back to dancing, which she stopped due to her weight. (Sidenote: I also love to dance but I don’t have the best rhythm, and it can be difficult moving around over 300 pounds, but it is a lot of fun.)

But it also shows her meeting a guy she met online, talking about how hard it is to date while fat, and how she has supportive friends, loving parents (who are hilarious) and a doctor who has so far not fat-shamed her.

Time will tell where her weight loss quest will lead her, but at least she doesn’t have Jillian Michaels screaming at her. Well, not yet anyway.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. January 21, 2015 10:07 am

    She’s local to me and I’m hoping that it doesn’t end up being another “watch my weight loss journey” shows! She has a right to do what she wants with her body, but I would love to see more people subvert the “fat people moving/dancing/exercising in public = only for weight loss” trope!

  2. vesta44 permalink
    January 21, 2015 10:22 am

    There’s a whole comment thread over on TLC about this show, and a lot of people are saying they’re going to quit watching TLC because this show is “promoting fatness” by calling it “My Big Fat Fabulous Life”. They would rather watch fat people being browbeaten, blamed, shamed, and bullied for being fat instead of seeing that fat people can actually have happy, fulfilling lives, doing what they want now, instead of waiting for that ever elusive “someday” when they’ll be thin enough to deserve being treated as person, with dignity and respect.
    If that’s the case, that Whitney is promoting fatness, then WTF are the Kardashians promoting? Or any other person, who isn’t fat, who’s in the news all the time for things that don’t actually help anyone or improve life in this world for anyone but themselves? Why is it okay to promote that BS, but it’s not okay to promote the fact that fat people have lives – and that those lives aren’t always unhappy, shame-filled, bullied messes? There are times when I really hate people and this is one of them. Makes me want to become even more of a hermit than I already am.

    • lifeonfats permalink
      January 26, 2015 11:54 am

      Me, lifeonfats posting from work…

      It doesn’t surprise me that people are so opposed to seeing happy fats on tv. And why are those same people threatening to quit TLC? You would think after the years of crap that channel puts out, seeing a 380 lb woman dance and talk to her parents would be the least thing they’re outraged about.

  3. Dizzyd permalink
    January 21, 2015 3:49 pm

    Vesta, I’ll join you! Well, and my husband, too, but beyond that…Nice to see that the spirit of the ancient Roman days of bloodthirsty crowds cheering on the massacre of helpless people and animals for so-called “entertainment” is still alive and well! (Snark)

  4. January 26, 2015 4:08 pm

    I’m not surprised that there are people who are saying that this is “glorifying obesity” and such. It seems that people just cannot or don’t want to think and believe that fat people can be happy the way they are and I am hoping that this show isn’t going to be all about her weight loss but that she is trying to live a fulfilled, happy life.

  5. BBDee permalink
    January 26, 2015 9:07 pm

    Problem is, Whitney’s show is sandwiched in (so to speak) between episodes of “my 600 lb. life” with all their WLS evangelizing and that obnoxious, smug, judgmental doctor I’d like to smack up side of his head!

    And on my way here tonight to escape the horrors of watching above (you know, keep your friends close and your enemies closer) I ran across an article about “Dr.” Oz getting in trouble for whoring green coffee beans as a weight loss miracle. Most of the comments were like “yeah, Dr. Oz is a snake oil salesman and his show should be taken off the air” but I found this inevitable comment:

    “Guys, guys! I have a great new diet, you should try it. There is no book, no special recipes, no program, no special packaged food to buy, and it doesn’t cost a penny.

    I call it the Move More, Eat Less diet! With the Move More, Eat Less diet, you can lose weight. It’s slow, it takes effort, but I can guarantee you that it WORKS. Here’s what you do.

    You move around more, be it going for walks daily, beating a punching bag, you name it. If you can move vigorously around for an hour or two a day, you’re good to go! The second part of the diet is to eat less. That means put down that extra large pizza, stop going to buffets three times a day, and for your own sake, stop frying everything! On top of that, you eat sensible meals with lots of fruits and vegetables. Fruit juice does not count!

    I can guarantee you with the right amount of Moving More and Eating Less, ANYONE (within sensible boundaries) will lose weight and keep it off!”

    Judgmental f*cks still think it’s that simple. I did my bit for weight loss when I saw that…it made me HURL!!!

  6. Laney Peacock permalink
    January 27, 2015 11:28 pm

    She makes me mad. My mom has polycystic ovary syndrome and she has never gotten close to being that size. Of course she has trouble loosing weight, but she isn’t big. She can’t put the entire blame on why she is that size on polycystic ovary syndrome.

    • January 28, 2015 7:56 pm

      You poor dear. It must be so hard on you.

    • February 11, 2015 9:20 am

      I agree with you. She cannot blame the entire weight gain on the disease. I just wonder how much she is really eating. I dont care how large a person is, but be honest and if you overeat as well you need to own that too. There was one episode where her dad tried to get her to eat a healthy breakfast and she took one bite and then made a banana mayonnaise sandwich and ate that instead!! Ok are you really trying to get healthy? Doesn’t look that way to me. She has a good attitude but she needs to rethink her eating habits.

      • vesta44 permalink
        February 11, 2015 4:35 pm

        Deb – while the thought of a banana/mayo sandwich is icky to me, there is no way I would tell someone that is something they shouldn’t be eating. For one, it’s not any of my business what anyone eats. For another, their health is also none of my business. And finally, judging someone over what they eat, when they eat, how much they eat, or whatever else is just not cool. Just because you don’t think she’s trying to get healthy doesn’t mean she isn’t. You are not the final arbiter of what is “healthy” for anyone other than yourself.

      • February 12, 2015 8:18 pm


        With all that constant finger-wagging at total strangers, you must do all your typing with only one hand. What talent!

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