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Diet Talk

After posting Dark Horse, it has become obvious that what is missing from this discussion on dieting and the fatosphere is a definition of what is and is not diet talk.

For the purposes of clarification, as well as to set a standard by which to determine whether someone is promoting dieting vs. sharing an experience of dieting, this page will serve as the guidelines for what kinds of “diet talk” are permitted both on Fierce, Freethinking Fatties, as well as on the FFFFeed. These guidelines may be updated in the future if needed.

Forbidden diet talk includes:

  • Discussing total weight lost
  • Favorite diet plans
  • Diet plans that have worked for you
  • Personal caloric intake details
  • Personal caloric expenditure details
  • Suggesting weight loss to anyone for any reason
  • Suggesting weight loss surgery to anyone for any reason
  • Suggesting weight loss for another person as a means of improving health

Permitted diet talk (with relevant rating) includes:

  • Discussions of the science of weight loss, pro or con
  • Why you have dieted in the past
  • The struggle to not diet
  • Why you have decided to begin losing weight
  • The fear of gaining weight
  • The siren song of weight loss
  • Weight loss/dieting culture

These guidelines apply to both ends of the weight spectrum. If you are discussing your experience of weight loss and wish to include specific information, such as starting and ending weights, BMIs, dress sizes, etc., you must put NUMBERS ALERT at the top of your comment to give those who are uncomfortable with such details an opportunity to bypass your comment.

Any comments that violate these rules will first be directed to this page to understand our policy. A second violation will be immediately deleted. This is not a punishment or a reflection of your contributions to the community. It is merely an enforcement of our “no weight loss evangelism” policy. If you have questions as to why your comment was deleted, you may contact us at and we will be happy to discuss it with you.

51 Comments leave one →
  1. dufmanno permalink
    August 10, 2010 3:04 pm

    Good to have:)

  2. Erin S. permalink
    August 10, 2010 10:00 pm

    Seems like a reasonable set of guidelines. Not that I’ve ever seen it here, but maybe an explicit “and the reverse is true also” guideline just to head off the public dissection of thin bodies also? I see that a lot on other sites, and I can’t imagine it feels any better for anyone else.

    I mean, if we take it as a given that people should treat us as human beings even if they think what we are doing is both intentional and inherently dangerous and unhealthy, then I think it is important for us to recognize that we need to treat thin people like people even if we think it is both intentional and inherently dangerous and unhealthy.

    Basically just something to make it clear that we’re not interested in being as big of assholes to those that society has deemed unacceptably thin as society is to those of us who have been deemed unacceptably fat. If that makes sense.

    • August 11, 2010 12:15 pm

      Makes perfect sense and I will definitely add that either end of the weight spectrum is covered by our policy. Thanks Erin!


  3. CollieMom01 permalink
    August 11, 2010 11:47 am

    The only thing that concerns me about “rules” regarding diet talk is that it may scare someone away from commenting because they fear retribution from the FFF/FA community. I suppose it’s probably necessary but I hope people who are new to FA and are still struggling with the dieting myth (and you’re right, Shannon–it is a powerful myth–just reading Vesta’s article, you can see that even after all the Hell the writer has been through, the myth still holds sway) will have the courage to join the conversation. And because I still place myself in that “struggling” category, if I say something offensive or upsetting, please let me know. I’m just beginning to share my voice, and I may stumble here and there. But I want to be a part of the solution, not part of the problem.

    • August 11, 2010 12:14 pm

      I’m sure you already know how I’m going to respond, but we will never retaliate against anyone for engaging in diet talk. We will simply point them to this page and ask that they respect our rules. We’ll point out what exactly the violation was and clarify how they can engage in diet talk without wandering into the Forbidden Zone. I will add something to end to make sure that is absolutely clear.

      Please feel free to share your struggles and, so long as you are being an honest broker, you will not have to worry about upsetting or offending us.


  4. August 12, 2010 6:54 am

    This is actually pretty much in line with what I have seen in the rest of the fat-o-sphere. The major difference is that you are being very explicit about your rules, which is a good thing.

    In my experience, the only places where you guys really differ from other FA sites I frequent is the willingness to discuss the science of dieting from both sides, and willingness to discuss ones own diet.

    As I’ve said before, I think the broader, more open discourse in this community is a very positive thing, and that this site is very much needed. I also think there is a need for sites with stricter policies. The two types of forums complement each other wonderfully.

    Out of curiosity, how do you (both mods and commenters) feel about people sharing their weight, BMI, dress size, etc? Those numbers can be triggering for some, but they can also provide useful context when discussing personal experience with weight, fat, and body image.


    • August 12, 2010 9:00 am

      I’m still pretty skeptical about how the Fatosphere deals with diet talk due to my experience getting kicked off for merely suggesting a theoretical diet for my heart health. I feel like having these rules and our strict rating and warning systems in place will give people the option of avoiding conversations that could be triggering or unsettling for some.

      I think that discussion of weight, BMI, dress size can be discussed with the proper warnings. Maybe just something like “Numbers Alert!” so people can skip it if they want to.


      • August 19, 2010 11:34 am

        As I’ve said before, strict “no diet talk” spaces played a critical role in my not being crazy anymore, so they will always have a special place in my heart. I didn’t follow the whole “Atchka vs. the Fat-o-sphere” feud too closely, because blog drama gives me headaches, so I am certainly not taking sides there.

        I do like the idea of a “numbers alert” (either as one of those pretty-colored tags you guys have, or just as something to include parenthetically) before giving information about body weight, size, etc.

        In an ideal world, it would be wonderful if we could use only qualitative words to describe our bodies, rather than numbers, which are so potentially triggering. However, I find that doesn’t always work. Personally, I am very much on the cusp in terms of my body size and shape, and different people “read” my body in such different ways. Some see me as too fat, others as too thin. I’ve had some folks tell me they envy my body, while others tell me they frankly don’t understand how anyone could find me attractive. (I try not to hang out with those people.)

        Sometimes I feel that the only thing I can do is throw out my numbers, and let folks interpret them as they will.

  5. August 13, 2010 1:40 pm

    Seriously? The disease that is being fat now has sprung endless support groups? So maybe we need to have support groups for people who choose to have Cancer? Who choose to have Strokes? Maybe we need support groups for all the lazy people who refuse to exercise and close their mouth, oh wait… we’ve already got one.

    • August 13, 2010 2:05 pm

      Welcome. Our editorial policies are much looser than HuffPo’s, but seeing as how you’re an blatant asshole, I’ll handle this.


      • August 19, 2010 11:36 am

        Man, it sure *would* be nice if some folks would close their mouths already. Like Dan, for instance. Then we wouldn’t have to listen to him talk. ^_^

      • MrsS permalink
        August 8, 2011 7:23 am

        Shannon, why didn’t you ignore this guy or at least give a more civil answer? Calling him an asshole resolved nothing. What followed was a slew of negativity.

  6. August 13, 2010 1:40 pm

    My name is Dan and I’d like to share the most positive dieting experience that I’ve had. I have lost over 200 pounds by eating nothing but shit.

    Shit for breakfast, shit for lunch, shit for dinner.

    Shit, shit, shit, that’s me.

    They call me Dan Dan the Shit-eating Man.

    Look for my book on the Simon and Shitter label this Fall.

    Dan Dan the Shit-eating Man

    • Jerome permalink
      September 1, 2010 1:38 am

      Apparently there is also shit located between your ears where the parts of your brain that have to do with empathy, courtesy, and decorum are located. Asshole.

  7. Chad permalink
    September 11, 2010 9:20 pm

    “Forbidden” talk? This is not a healthy place at all if someone can list rules of what aspects of health can not be discussed! Do any of you want to support each others’ quest for a healthier way of life or just accept your lot and surrender to poor health?

    Those rules are just sad.

    • September 11, 2010 10:35 pm

      I think you’ve missed the point just a bit. Stick around, maybe you’ll learn something…

    • September 12, 2010 2:07 am

      Totally missed the point…

    • September 12, 2010 3:15 pm

      We are not opposed to good health. We are opposed to dieting. There’s a difference.

      Dieting means deliberately choosing to lose weight. There is overwhelming evidence that if you eat healthy and exercise regularly, you will be healthy, regardless of weight lost. If you’d like to challenge this, I welcome the opportunity to answer any and all of your questions.

      It will serve as an excellent FAQ.


      • meh permalink
        February 9, 2012 4:22 pm

        I think you are missing the point of “dieting” which implies you are only eating healthy for a set amount of time, a healthy diet is a permanent choice that involves a diverse variety of foods and enough calories to either maintain or gain weight(if that’s what you wanna do). If you do this and excersice, the weight/fat loss should follow naturally.

        • February 9, 2012 4:28 pm

          Well, that’s your definition of dieting, and Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig use that same semantic jiu-jitsu, but the fact is that if you are looking to lose weight through a caloric deficit, the failure rate is the same. In fact, “healthy lifestyle” diets produce even less impressive results than traditional diets. Simply saying, “It’s not a diet because it lasts FOREVER” doesn’t change the fact that there isn’t a single bit of research that has found a successful weight loss program of ANY kind that is able to produce greater than 10% weight loss for longer than 2 years for more than around 15-25% of the population. Simply saying “the weight/fat loss should follow naturally” is not born out by the research, or by personal experience.


    • Siren permalink
      July 16, 2011 3:04 pm

      Try reading about HAES. If you eat right it makes no difference how fat you are.

  8. lifeonfats permalink
    September 12, 2010 10:34 am

    Chad, it’s people like you that is the reason why these rules are created. Please turn your brain cells back on and perhaps you might get it.

  9. September 16, 2010 2:23 pm

    Oh yay, a nasty troll! I was missing them. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Heather LaValle permalink
    November 17, 2010 4:44 pm

    I found this wonderful blog when I googled ‘obesity in mn’. I googled that because I am apart of a SHIP program think tank to combat obesity in MN. Not sure combat is the right word. Anyway there are about 10-15 of us meeting in central Washington County. Last week I looked around the room and realized that we are all skinny people (give or take) so there is no possible way we could ‘get it’ or understand. Luckily, our part of the program is just to figure out a way to get people to eat more fruits and vegetables. How to make them more available, marketable etc. I have always been vehemently against dieting. Food should be fun and fulfilling. I know what Oprah says about being ‘fulfilled’ by food but whatever. My husband is overweight but that is because he loves soda, beer and ice cream. I am not probably because I don’t like junk unless it’s covered in dark chocolate and then I just can’t eat that much anyway. Our whole family eats more vegetables than anything because we have a garden and a farmers market nearby in the summer. I’ts just part of our lifestyle. I think my kids are rarely sick because of it.

    Because you are in MN I figured you would have a good idea of what the issues are here. A lack of vegetables in a daily diet has been linked with obesity. Do you think there is a link? Do you eat 5-7 servings a day? I know my husband does. Although he is not obese, and by the banner picture I would guess that you are not either. Do you think someone who eats more fruits and vegetables would in turn eat less junk? Or would they just be adding like my husband does? Is there a way to get people to eat healthy without guilt or bs? All of the anti-diet posts on here make me think that dieting is a big part of the problem. Maybe there should be some laws making it harder or impossible for dieting products and programs to be manufactured and distributed. My husband lost 15 pounds during a time when his beverage of choice was not on sale. Would it help to make nutrient poor drink and snack products more expensive and nutrient rich items less expensive?

    Thanks for your ideas and experience! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. January 24, 2011 10:03 am

    I just found your website from someone who reads my blog
    and she was right, I love it! My blog post today is all about the constant drudgery of reminding people that have known me for years that I will not engage in the “flab-fests” or endless diet talk.
    Thanks for having this website, it’s very important!
    Dr. Deah Schwartz

    • January 24, 2011 3:00 pm

      Welcome Dr. Schwartz! I’m glad you like our blog. I’ll have to check yours out as well. I look forward to collaborating with you and your team!


  12. Rislaja permalink
    August 8, 2011 1:33 am

    Hey guys, have you clicked on her name? Yeah, click on her name.

    • Rislaja permalink
      August 8, 2011 1:34 am

      Oops, that was supposed to be a reply to people talking about Coralee.

  13. MrsS permalink
    August 8, 2011 7:18 am

    I am appalled by some of the comments that I have read. In the first place, there is nothing wrong with setting up parameters or rules about the types of discussions. Anyone who happens upon this site should respect that or at least question it respectfully. However, some of the FA comments are not any better. I find this language to be intolerable: “Diet Industry: An evil Cabal of Jews, Trilaterialists,” “Douchehound.”

    Reread the earlier comments. If this discussion board can’t follow that pattern and instead becomes a bickering session, it has lost it’s purpose. FYI, I have found it is better to ignore people who make crude, insulting remarks. When you respond to them, you are validating them.

    Shannon, I’ll also reply to a comment that you made on Aug 12, 2010.

    • Mulberry permalink
      August 8, 2011 9:32 am

      It’s not an FA who made that comment about the evil cabal. It’s just another troll. One thing they like to do is pretend to be a member of whatever group they’re trolling, Then they attempt to fool people by making some extreme or stereotypical statement or tale about what they imagine a fat acceptor is. Read the remark again and you’ll see what I mean.
      I suspect that Fat Bastard came crying to some troll website after he got evicted, and they all rushed over to show their displeasure. If you can get past their profanity, you’ll find that all they manage to do is demonstrate their own idiocy and ignorance.

      • MrsS permalink
        August 8, 2011 11:35 am

        I entered the name of the person who wrote those comments in Google and found a blog dated November 2009. The accompanying picture shows a very heavy woman on a TravelScoot. I guess it was an imposter using her name in the two posts?

        • Mulberry permalink
          August 8, 2011 2:36 pm

          I’m certain of it.

  14. vesta44 permalink
    August 8, 2011 2:05 pm

    If you click on Coralee’s name, there above her post, guess where it takes you? I’ll wait while you either guess or check………………….yeah, she’s either MeMeMeMe Roth in disguise (and I don’t think screaming MeMe is that smart) or she’s a shill for the bitch. Either way, Coralee is a troll not to be fed and should be ignored.

  15. Dilly permalink
    October 6, 2011 11:31 pm

    I see that this site censors. If you had an honest cause you would have the courage to defend your position.

    I think fat acceptance is wrong.

    • October 7, 2011 9:16 am

      Get a real email and lay off the offensive YouTube videos and maybe we’ll talk. But, for now, we have one mentally unstable troll assuming multiple personalities, so I have been verifying email accounts. I sent a simple message to yours which read “Jump up my butt” and it bounced back. As such, you’re not welcome to discuss because your previous post was ignorant and hateful, and you don’t have the courage to back up your hatred with a real email address. That, to me, is the definition of cowardice, and I will not entertain the fat-phobic rantings of a coward.

      I can defend my position against any rational, reasonable person, but I will not bicker with idiots.


      • Mulberry permalink
        October 7, 2011 1:38 pm

        ‘…โ€œJump up my buttโ€ and it bounced back’

        I was going to post sarcastically about Dilly, but there was something about the image evoked by the above phrase which had me guffawing helplessly, or should I say Laughing My Ass Off?

  16. October 11, 2011 5:31 pm

    How great is this! Got here from an eating disorders discussion on linked in. Used to have twice as much of me and now make a living talking people out of dieting and into having a life anyway. Many news reports blogs and articles get literal hate mail from anti fat crazies – it as if the rest of the world has made up the rule that you have to talk about your life success in terms of pounds and calories. i think it is great to lay the guidlines on the table and have a fat phobia free zone! Look forward to the discussions. I’ve only ever needed to know exact numbers for surgery and bungee jumping

    • October 12, 2011 1:47 pm

      Welcome, Nancy! We’re happy to have you here. The comments on news blogs are indeed toxic on any story dealing with obesity and health. It’s this same environment that fat people must deal with each day, regardless of how many diets they’ve gone on or pounds they’ve lost. We strive to create an environment where people can discuss their experiences without being bombarded by the latest and greatest “cure,” while allowing robust discussion of the data surrounding weight loss. It’s a tricky balance to maintain, but we have succeeded, I believe, in fostering a community of critical, yet supportive, readers who understand why we need a safe space to discuss these issues without the judgement or proselytizing that you find on so many blogs. I hope you find our little online village welcoming and I look forward to your contributions.


  17. BBDee permalink
    June 17, 2014 7:15 pm

    Hey everybody! I was so happy to see this headline I had to come here and share it. Dr. Oz, king of the Diet Whores, got spanked! Check it out:

    it’s about time somebody said something to him!

  18. breyonne permalink
    January 27, 2015 5:19 pm

    Are questions (for resources) accepted here?


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