Monthly Archives: May 2015

What Fat People Know Best

Dances With Fat

You Cannot Be SeriousAs fat people, we are constantly being told that everyone is a better witness to our experience than we are.  We are told that we’re not competent witnesses to what and how much we do or should eat, or how much we do or should exercise.  Our bodies are held up as proof that we must be lying or deluded and that we can’t possibly know, or be doing, what’s “best for us”.   We are told that everyone from Dr. Phil to Dr. Oz to random people on the internet know more about how we think and act than we do. Some people even act like they’re doing us a favor by pretending to be us and putting words in our mouths.

When we tell people that constant social stigma is damaging to our health, we are told that if we don’t want to be mistreated we should…

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Fat People and Tax Dollars

Being fat does not necessarily mean a person is in bad health; however, shame and stigma can very much have a negative affect on our health.

Dances With Fat

“As long as my insurance and tax dollars continue to pay for there [sic] diabetes, and heart disease, I’ll continue to feel justified in telling every overweight person I see that they need to lose weight.  Shame is powerful and there [sic] fat is costing me real money”

So I read when I broke the cardinal rule of being fat on the internet and read the comments.

First of all, when someone brings this up I typically demand to see their list of things that their tax dollars pay for, broken down into things that they want to pay for and things that they don’t, and the interventions in which they are participating for each of the things they don’t want to pay for.  Nobody has ever produced such a list – I think that’s because this really doesn’t have anything to do with their tax dollars, it’s simply a…

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Things That Don’t Justify Concern Trolling

It is our bodies, our business!! Fat shaming, and unsolicited advice when i make a comment about a journalist who i happen to love watching fat shaming, is a definite NO-NO. Just don’t. Instead, read and follow Dances With Fat and get yourself educated, and your mind from closed to open, thank you.

Dances With Fat

Picture thanks to reader Morgan! Picture thanks to reader Morgan!

Yesterday I blogged about how it’s ok to be fat and to not try to be thin no matter what your situation.  Predictably, today I heard from people who want to concern troll fat people using a couple of very common, very ridiculous justifications:

The first is based on the suggestion that if the person “wants better” or “healthier” for someone (here “better” and “healthier typically means “thinner” but sometimes mean something else) then that person should definitely step in and start doling out advice whether it’s wanted or not.

Not so much.  What we want for other people is our business and has actually nothing to do with them. Other people’s health is not our business unless they ask us to make it their business. It doesn’t matter if someone thinks they can make psychic health predictions based on other people’s size, it doesn’t matter…

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Why I Left ABA

Reblogging because this explains why compliance therapies such as ABA are bad, and this explains about Autism and Autistic people and how our minds work and how we process things. It is a long read, but please take the time to read this and click on all of the links too. Because Autism is NOT a behavioral problem. It is a real disability, and we need understanding and acceptance, and help that will help us on our level and at our pace and ability…..not NT people’s.Thank you.

Socially Anxious Advocate

Trigger Warning: ABA, ableism, institutionalized child abuse

[Image Description: A bright red door with a brass knob and a faded mail slit. To its left, there is a long, dark windowpane with some decoration and smudges. The door itself has chips in its paint and markings on it, despite the bright color. It is closed, possibly locked.]

When I first became an ABA Therapist, I was thrilled. I was actually going to use my psych degree, get paid more than minimum wage, and above all, make a positive difference in Autistic children’s lives. Or at least, that’s what I thought.

Now I look back, and the year I spent working in ABA is my single greatest regret.

When I left, it wasn’t a decision I made overnight. It was a long, difficult process, full of denial and confusion. I don’t enjoy talking about it because I did so many wrong things that…

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The Modern Epicure #AutismPositivity2015

Autism Positivity Day Flash Blog

By Alanna Rose Whitney

Epicureanism gets overlooked and it really is a shame.

The first thing that comes to mind might be, a website for recipes – and thus the idea of epicureanism as it parallels the indulgence of a gourmand. Or maybe it is something you associate with hedonism and bacchanalia. Or maybe it’s something you have never heard of before at all…


Image Description: Cropped close; the author’s mouth partially open with her hand wearing red nail polish holding a raspberry next to it.

The truth is that epicureanism is a lot more fundamental than that. It’s not some gluttonous, materialistic, irresponsible philosophy based in decadence and excess. Epicures do value pleasure as the most important thing in life but it is essential to understand that in this context, the word pleasure does not imply ecstasy but rather an absence of pain.

The basic tenets of…

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My Story, As Written In A Comment I Made On YouTube

My blog entry below is in response to a video made by one of the vloggers i watch. It was a video about body image and beauty standards.

To be brutally honest, i have never felt beautiful. Or welcome on this earth. Today, i do feel more confident in myself, but i still struggle on all levels. I have never worked either, and have survived my whole adult life on government benefits.

I am Autistic, and now suffer with chronic lymphedema in both legs, plus a large lymphedema tumor on my left inside thigh that now makes it hard for me to walk. I used to drive, and drove for 22 years, but had to give that up due to my legs.

When i was born, pretty much from the get-go, from childhood on, because i was always very different than the others in my family, and everyone around me, my family alternately teased and taunted me, bullied and scolded me, and they did all they could to make me afraid to stand up for myself and be myself. I was criticized all the time, and left out of some of my family activities. My dad came down very hard on me and i grew up to both fear and hate him. My three brothers were always turned off by me as well. In addition, one of my sisters has always been harsh with me too. I got this all through school too. I never had boyfriends, and never had many friends, period.

In 5th grade, we lived in the country and i went to a rural grammar school where i got bullied more. Suddenly, both my siblings and schoolkids were calling me an animal and a dog, and teasing me about my large nose. They would routinely call me weird and a retard. They would also call me fat and ugly even though i was very skinny then. I grew up to feel like i would never make it in life. Professionals and my family and schoolteachers would routinely tell me that i’d never learn how to drive or get married or have a meaningful job. They all said i would live at home with my mom and dad, and then when they died, that i’d go to a home.

If i can be honest, again, i honestly have felt like killing myself several times throughout my life. Growing up, i tried to run away from home several times….twice in the 7th and 8th grade, and four times in my Sophomore year of high school.

I just turned 55 years old yesterday, and the reason i am still alive, is my faith, and the kind few i have met along my half century journey who have believed in me. Plus, i do have love and support from my mom and two of my sisters. But to this day, all of my other siblings and my nieces and nephews all shun and ignore and have me blocked out of their lives. My father passed away in early 2000, so he is no longer here to hurt and reject me like he used to…..

The way i have coped? As a child, i would turn inward to my safe inner world and draw detailed pictures of houses, people, and roads, and i would make imaginary friends out of them. I began to write and keep journals in 7th grade. In my neighborhood, i made friends with mostly ppl who were older than me who were kinder to me. I also turned to food, and i now weigh 340 pounds.

I also had hairy arms growing up. I used to keep them shaved so ppl wouldn’t tease me about that either. I was not always fat. I slowly began to gain weight in my Sophomore year of high school. If i can say one thing about myself that i love, it would be my hair. I still have nice hair, and always have liked my hair.

Back to my story. I barely graduated high school because it was so hard for me on every level, hard, and never had the opportunity to go onto college, because again, i was told, and i still believed them, that i would fail. Autism is a very complex neurological disorder that many, to this day still believe is something that is wrong and bad and that we need to be changed, cured, fixed, etc. Many ppl mistakenly think Autism is a behavior issue, and so many of us struggle needlessly because of that.

I have lived on government benefits since 1981. Not because i am lazy and don’t want to work. Because i never found a way to be able to work successfully at a job where there are so many things that can cause sensory overload…noises, people, too much coming at me all at once, because my brain is wired differently and i can only process and deal with so much, and have always had a really hard time when ppl don’t like me and are harsh with me.

I thank God for the internet, though, because i have found a huge forum of other Autistic people like myself, and through this, i have learned to love myself. Through Facebook, i have been fortunate to be able to meet hundreds of other Autistic adults, and i am now involved in advocacy and activism work for the Autistic/Disabled communities. Since being on Facebook, i have been able to be educated, that being different, being disabled, does not make me less-than, and it does not mean i am doomed. I am trying to get my life story about growing up Autistic in a hostile environment where i was misunderstood and misjudged and cast off, published, so others can read my story and hopefully learn from what i went through. I also cope by watching YouTube vlogs, music videos and travel videos on YouTube too.

I keep going, because i have always been too afraid i would go to hell if i did take my own life. So, i keep going, praying, hoping, that i will still get the help and way out i need.

I have a YouTube channel of what i go through on a daily basis because of the type of neighborhood i have had to live in for the past 23 years. Warning, in many of the videos i am yelling and screaming…..having meltdowns because of the sensory overload i was in when i filmed those videos. I lose my words when i’m upset. I process life much more differently and deeply, and always have due to being Autistic.

I’m sorry this was long. I am thinking of deleting it….but maybe not. But….yeah…..this is my story. Sorry it is such a book. Please don’t hate me for this being so long.

Where Ableism and Fat Shaming Collide

Alex and Ania Splain You a Thing

Earlier SpasticFantastic posted a great article calling out Takei on sharing an ableist joke for which he later apologized. The joke centered around a picture of a woman standing from a wheelchair, with the caption “A miracle has occurred in the alcohol isle”. SpasticFantastic did a great takedown of the problems associated with the image including the idea that lots of folk use mobility devices who don’t have complete paralysis, who may only use it occasionally, etc.

I am one of those people. My arthritis on most days manifests as stiffness and soreness, but otherwise doesn’t impact my ability to walk (I say walk and not mobility because I do have hindered mobility always). Other days however, every step sends a shockwave of pain up my body. My hip feels like it is dislocating every time it bends. On those days, at the very least I need a cane to…

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The Problem With Calling People Overweight

Dances With Fat

Actual SizeI got this question from reader Lissa today:

I hear fat activists say that they prefer “fat” to terms like overweight and obese, but I don’t get it.  What’s better about fat than obese or overweight?

Well Lissa, I’m glad that you asked! As always people are allowed to identify themselves using whatever terms they prefer, and I can only speak for myself, but here’s what I’ve got.

My issue with the word “obese” is with how it’s used to pathologize a height/weight ratio.  The idea that our weight in pounds times 703 divided by our height in inches squared gives a health professional tons of information about our health and treatment options is pretty messed up, and that’s before you take into account the fact that the “obese” definition includes Dwayne Johnson (The Rock).  In addition to being an annoyingly useless abuse of mathematics,  it’s dangerous to those of us who…

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