I recently signed up for six sessions with a personal trainer, LaMarcus, and told him my goals: get more toned and lose a few pounds.
Then he weighed me. I clocked in at 125, and he asked me if that’s what I expected. “Yeah, but I’d prefer to be closer to 122,” I told him. WHAT? As the words came out of my mouth I realized how ridiculous that probably sounded. Why do I even need a trainer for that? I’m not overweight. I know this (if not by looking at myself, then by furiously Googling “healthy body weights”). But that doesn’t stop me from telling myself that I am. Sometimes. I’m a pretty confident person. But, on some days, I can’t help but hate my body.
My self-diagnoses? I’m a Body Image Waffler. Keep reading »
Fat people can’t win in popular culture. Either they are the subject of reality TV shows about often-extreme weight loss (“The Biggest Loser,” “Heavy, “I Used To Be Fat”), they’re headless bodies in news segments about obesity (or chunky cheerleaders), or they’re the butt of some hack’s lame joke. Fortunately, one new documentary currently raising funds on Kickstarter is looking to add something more thoughtful into the cultural discussion about size. “Fattitude,” an independent documentary by Lindsey Averill and Viridiana Lieberman, will explore the warped sizeism within our culture, from TV shows and movies to Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign. It will also address misunderstandings around health and BMI (body-mass index) and misinformation surrounding the “obesity epidemic.” Watching the trailer for “Fattitude,” it occurred to me that even being someone who is generally aware at how society privileges thinner bodies, there is still so much prejudice against larger people that I don’t even notice. If this project sounds as important to you as it does to me, consider giving it your support. [Kickstarter]
“There’s a whole list of things I would probably change about myself. For example, I’m always trying to lose fifteen pounds. But I never need to be skinny. I don’t want to be skinny. I’m constantly in a state of self-improvement, but I don’t beat myself up over it. … It’s really tempting not to take chances [with fashion]. But I don’t want to be fearful. I don’t want my tombstone to say, she hid her imperfections well on the red carpet.”
Mindy Kaling dared to tell Vogue that she has no interest in being skinny and, amazingly, the world did not explode. I love how honest Kaling is about, yes, trying to lose weight, but also acknowledging that the pursuit of skinniness — being and looking skinny – is not the most important thing in the world. Love her. [Vogue]
You might be sick to death of me writing about yoga. If you are, my apologies. But there’s one last thing I have to cover before I go back to resting in child’s pose. The other day I saw a friend’s Facebook status and it disheartened me so much that I could not remain silent. It said:
“This dude just told me how much he is into yoga and how he is starting to teach and that I should start practicing so I can ‘lose some weight.’”
Keep reading »
I blinked a couple times in disbelief, jiggling the sliding weight marker on the old school scale in the corner of the YMCA. An inch to the right or left, and it would clank down, but the weight it was balanced on couldn’t be right, could it? If I was doing the math correctly, I’d lost 13 pounds since the last time I weighed myself, two months ago.
I hadn’t been trying to lose weight, exactly. I had tried more consciously to lose a few pounds last year, getting up at 5:30 every morning to work out for an hour, but I hadn’t changed my diet much, so, to my disappointment and frustration, the scale never budged. A few months ago I decided to ditch the goal of weight loss and just start eating intuitively. I still exercised because it made me feel good, but I didn’t go crazy about it.
And now here I was, staring at proof that I was shedding pounds, and I wasn’t sure how to feel about it. I was surprised, happy, but more confused than anything: how could I have lost more than 10 pounds without really noticing? And why didn’t it feel like a more momentous occasion? Keep reading »
Oh for fuck’s sake, fine, I’ll respond to the click-baiting article about yoga on xoJane. A writer going by the name of Jen Caron (her real name, Jen Polachek, was removed as the byline following the backlash to her article) has written the following essay: “It Happened To Me: There Are No Black People In My Yoga Classes And I’m Suddenly Uncomfortable With It.” Caron is a self-described “skinny white girl” and what “happened to” her is a “fairly heavy black woman” attended her yoga class and seemingly had a difficult time with some of the poses. Obviously, Caron writes, the fat Black woman who isn’t as “good” at yoga must resent her, in all her skinny white yogic glory, and this (utterly imagined) racially-charged tension made Caron uncomfortable. But the discomfort, the ruined yoga class, was worth it because isn’t her essay about it brave and compassionate? Jen Caron cares. Keep reading »