Clean Eating is Just Code for Diet & Me No Likey

For the last few years I’ve been seeing the phrase “clean eating” become the latest craze in Dietlandia . And what in the holy hell is that? I mean, really, isn’t clean eating just a regular ‘ole diet dressed up in a jazzy new outfit? It’s like calling water “that wet stuff.”

The clean eating craze has given voice to lots of instagramers who take photos of their clean food, which include mostly fruits, veggies, and protein. There is little to no fat in sight. Except for avocados. They love avocados.

body  positive affirmations (3)

Unfortunately, I think clean eating is a dangerous business, especially for those with eating disorders. It suggests that food and eating are a moral issue — that there is good food and bad food. If you eat the former, you are good. And if logic follows, if you eat the latter, you are bad. What an awful assault on our individual choices and worth!

I fucking HATE diet culture. It is responsible for so much self-hate and it breeds competition in the worst possible sense. I am officially calling it out as a not-so-undercover attempt to rebrand weight loss propaganda. And this bish ain’t havin’ it.

xo

 

Things You Should Know and Other Stuff, Too

I’ve read some really good articles this week and thought I’d share with you those really resonated with me. As always, I want to hear your thoughts!

Catching Up With Gloria Lucas and Nalgona Positivity Pride    By NATALIE MISCOLTA-CAMERON

gloria-lucas1

Nalgona Positivity Pride is a community-based effort to increase body positivity in the Xicana/Brown*/Indigenous community. Started in Los Angeles in 2014 by Gloria Lucas, the organization relies on community outreach, support groups, social media, and even an Etsy store to spread its message.

I recently sat down with Gloria for a Q&A to find out more about NPP and the person behind it.

You’re personally recovering from an eating disorder. Can you talk a little bit about this?

I recall secretly hiding food, sneaking to the kitchen in the middle of the night and overeating as young as 11 years old. I started inducing purging in my late teens.

It took me some time to find out why I had an eating disorder (ED). Most of the current information that explains the causes of eating disorders never mentioned racism and classism, so I didn’t feel like those theories didn’t quite fit me. It was not until I read up on historical trauma that I realized that my unhealthy relationship with food is a deeper issue caused by colonialism, poverty, systemic racism, and cultural sexism. Historical trauma is a theory by Dr. Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart which explains trauma as a transgenerational occurrence. In other words… READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

 


Gabourey Sidibe Has the perfect Response to Love Scene Fat-Shamers      By ZEBA BLAY

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Actress Gabourey Sidibe attends the Screen Actors Guild Foundation 30th Anniversary Celebration at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on November 5, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

On Wednesday night, the writers of “Empire” made a bold move when they included a scene of Gabourey Sidibe’s character Becky having sex with her boyfriend, MC J Poppa. The scene was refreshing because it reminded us that, yes, fat women like and have sex, and it shouldn’t be a big deal.

Unfortunately, the scene generated a few mean-spirited memes fat-shaming the actress. But, like the queen she is, the 32-year-old actress isn’t bothered.

In a blog post for EW published on Thursday, Sidibe wrote: “I, a plus sized, dark-skinned woman, had a love scene on primetime television. I had the most fun ever filming that scene even though I was nervous. But I felt sexy and beautiful and I felt like…” READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

 


Looking Back: Our Fave Ashley Nell Tipton Instagram Moments Before Project Runway     By MARCY CRUZ

ashley nell tipton

Project Runway Season 14 winner Ashley Nell Tipton may be new to the mainstream fashion industry with her appearance on the show but to the plus size community, she is already well known as an amazing designer who creates clothing for women in sizes 1X to 6X. While many plus size designers only stop at a 3X, Ashley is one of those designers who truly embraces women of all sizes.

Many of us have loved Ashley before Project Runway and it is exciting to see her progress on the show and in her career. In honor of her win, we took a look back and here’s our favorite Instagram moments from… READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.


I hope you enjoyed my picks. I really wanted to highlight all the awesome things that fat women everywhere are doing. They are healing, they are thriving, they are succeeding!

xo

That One Time I Had Liposuction and My Life Still Sucked

This is 12 pounds of fat removed through liposuction.

This is 12 pounds of fat removed through liposuction.

I have vaguely mentioned my liposuction surgery in other posts, but I’ve never really delved into it until now. When I was 23 I had 11 pounds of fat removed from my stomach, hips, and thighs. I had the surgery done in the Philippines, where my parents were working for two years.

It was the summer of 1998, and I recall my father first mentioning to me how inexpensive it was to have plastic surgery done in Manila, and my heart skipped a beat at the thought of thin thighs. He kept hinting at it until I pressed him for more information on the procedure. I probably weighed around 230 pounds at that time, and my self-esteem was in the crapper (I weigh about the same now). I had zero self-love and I was desperate. I really just wanted to feel desirable and beautiful. And thin, of course.

Why I want to lose weight

I believed this would make me happy. It never did.

I had no idea I was already magnificent.

I met with the surgeon and finalized a date for the surgery. In the days leading up to it, my father threatened to not pay for the liposuction. He wanted to make sure I was going to commit to losing more weight afterwards.  His intentions were good (tough love and all that), but it really just broke my heart. All my hopes in this life-changing surgery were about to be dashed. How could he threaten to take away the very thing I’d always hoped would make me happy?

Me before the surgery near my top weight of about 230 pounds.

Me before the surgery near my top weight of about 230 pounds.

In the end, he paid for the surgery. I remember waking up in the hospital bed wrapped in layers of gauze, alarmed at the amount of pain I was in. My father stood at my bedside, gleaming, and telling me they’d sucked 11 pounds of fat out of my body. All I could think was, I wished they’d sucked more out.

It took my body many weeks to heal. Plastic surgery is real surgery. My body was altered permanently, which at the time, seemed like a good thing. But it would catch up with me years later.

This is the cannula being inserted into a woman's stomach. They basically jam this violent instrument into your body.

This is the cannula being inserted into a woman’s stomach. They basically jam this violent instrument into your body.

In the months following the surgery, I moved to NYC to study interior design at FIT. I walked. A lot. And the weight came off quickly. I went down to about 160 pounds, 60 pounds down from my pre-surgery weight. And although I enjoyed shopping for clothes in mainstream stores, my self-esteem was not improved.

post surgery 1

Probably weighed around 165 or so here.

post surgery 2

Started to gain a little bit of weight, but still quite slender.

 

You see, I thought I was taking a shortcut to self-love by having liposuction. I honestly believed that having a smaller body would magically make me a happy and fulfilled person. So when it didn’t happen, I was devastated.

NY was a lonely place for me, and I ate to numb the pain. When I left with my design degree in hand two years later to head back to my hometown of D.C., I had put on some of the weight I’d lost.

My struggle with body image only got worse in the years following my surgery. I hadn’t dealt with the real reason I wasn’t happy with myself. I could not fathom the idea that I could be fat and still be worthy. The crazy dieting went on for years and years, well into my thirties. It wasn’t until I found 12-step programs, that I learned to find acceptance in my body. That, and lots of therapy and self-reflection.

therapy

I think plastic surgery is a personal decision that people make for various reasons.  And if you’re considering it, please do your research and think about why you’re doing it. There are many days that I regret having had it because I still have scars and a lower stomach that is uneven because my surgeon didn’t do a great job (I might qualify for the show Botched. Ok, not really). But then I remember that all these life decisions are what make us who we are. Perhaps if I hadn’t had the surgery, and the experience of being thin and unhappy, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

This E! show depicts people who have had plastic surgery gone bad.

This E! show depicts people who have had plastic surgery gone bad.

Life is full of lessons, some more painful and persistent than others. When I look at my scars and my oddly-shaped tummy, I am witness to the many years of self-hatred that I’ve had to let go.

body positive affirmation - mixed fat chick

Today I am stronger, wiser, kinder, and more compassionate with myself. I am learning everyday the perils of perfectionism, and moving courageously forward, sharing my story with the world. I urge you to the lift the veil of  your own past pains and to face them head on. It’s hard fucking work, but freedom is on the other side of fear. Be bold.

xo

May 6th is International No Diet Day. Amen.

international no diet day

 

I took this straight from Wikipedia because I’m feeling lazy:

International No Diet Day (INDD) is an annual celebration of body acceptance, including fat acceptance and body shape diversity. This day is also dedicated to promoting a healthy life style with a focus on health at any size and in raising awareness of the potential dangers of dieting and the unlikelihood of success. The first International No Diet Day was celebrated in the UK in 1992. Feminist groups in other countries around the globe have started to celebrate International No Diet Day, especially in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Israel, Denmark and Brazil.

Since 1998 both the International Size Acceptance Association (ISAA) and the National Organisation for Women (NOW) have sponsored similar days. ISAA’s day is the International Size Acceptance Day which is celebrated on 24 April. NOW organises a Love Your Body campaign, with its own annual Love Your Body Day in the fall, which critiques what it defines as “fake Images” of the fashion, beauty and diet industries demanding that images of women with diverse body sizes and shapes are used instead.

International No Diet Day is observed on May 6, and its symbol is a light blue ribbon.

no-diet-day

Let everyday of your life be a no diet day. You deserve to be free!

pia schiavo-campo

The Vilification of Fat Bodies: How Society Disses Us

 bacchus

Centuries  ago, being fat meant you were wealthy. You had more than enough food to go around.  And if you were poor, food was not plentiful and so you were thin.  Body size was one of many ways to assess class.

Today, we gauge people’s personal worth and right to respect by the size of their body. Thin bodies having superior privilege to fat ones.  I could dissect the various reasons we got here, but I’m sure you’ve heard it all before. And I want to talk about other shit.

 thin = goodfat=bad

I will, however, break down the reasons I think society has vilified fat.

We can’t always identify people’s socioeconomic status by looking at them. Rich people wear t-shirts and jeans just like the rest of us.  As a regular person walking down the street, I have no idea if they’re carrying an Amex Gold card in their wallet or an EBT card.  I can’t tell a real Gucci from Cucci.  And if we lived in a utopia where shit like that didn’t matter, then I wouldn’t have to write this article.

2

But it does matter. Because we’ve decided it does.

Just like we’ve arbitrarily decided that thin is good and fat is bad. It could just have easily been the other way around.  If instead of diets being forced onto women 50 + years ago, we decided that having rolls of gorgeous fat was aspirational, then right now I’d be writing an article about the plight of thin people.

This whole deal is about money, oppression, and class.

The private sector is concerned with making money at any cost. And if that means oppressing an entire group of people, then so be it.  The health industry in conjunction with the diet industry, have created a powerful monopoly on people’s self-worth. They’ve capitalized on people’s egos. Most of us want to feel like we’re on top of the world — beautiful, smart, worthy.  So what happens when you start selling the idea that worth can be bought?  You make a shit ton of money.

I can do it

I’ve spent my fair share of money on diet programs, pills, shakes, and books meant to inspire me into action and hopefully, thinspired bliss.  I searched long and hard for the route to my “goal weight” and hoped for an esteemed place in my thin-centric culture. I would regularly visualize what my head would look like on a thin body, and what that meant for my life.  I can tell you that wearing expensive clothes, traveling first class, and having hot men fawn all over me was part of the dream. But when I did get thin, I still had to go to my crappy job, travel economy, and meet disenchanting male suitors.

My head on J Lo's body.

My head on J Lo’s body.

What had gone wrong? Why didn’t my life magically change? I was pissed.  This couldn’t possibly have anything to do with my shitty self-esteem.

Years of therapy later, I know that my shitty self-esteem stemmed from over exposure to media that blatantly told me and others in as many ways as possible, that my body was undesirable, lazy, and in need of change. Those messages were supported by family members and peers who had also been exposed to the hateful propaganda.

Glamour-1

As a result of this negative messaging, generations of people, particularly women, are now trying to either recover from the damage that years of self-hatred have had on them, or they still believe in The Big Lie — that attaining a thin body will transform both your internal and external circumstances for the better.

And we’ve rewarded thin people with access to exclusive clubs, clothing, and experiences that validate their hard work.

Having been medically classified as fat for a good part of my life gives me license to say that fat is normal. Lots of people are fat. They are also accomplished, funny, sexy, successful, hard-working, athletic, and happy.

love-your-fat

What do non-fat people get out of hating fat people? What is the fear of seeing our bodies represented in media in a positive way? Is the fear that fatties will destroy the status quo by affirming that our bodies are just as valuable as thinner ones? I fucking hope so.

And I hope that as a result, the billion dollar diet industry will lose its stronghold on desperate consumers, willing to buy the next great thing in order to just be fucking accepted.

And that would be fine with me.

Fat is descriptor, not a life sentence. I am fat and my life is fucking great. I see my beauty and my relevance in the world.

I'm on the far right. Fat and happy and sexy as fuck.

I’m on the far right. Fat and happy and sexy as fuck.

I hope we can change hearts and minds so that we can focus on eradicating things that matter, like poverty, hunger, racism, classism, homophobia, diseases, and pointless wars.

That’s about all I have to say on the matter — for now.

In solidarity,

Pia

Being Fat in SoCal Can Cause Self-Body Hate

Over the holiday weekend, my husband and I spent a few days in San Diego to relax and get away from L.A.. For the most part it was fine, save for the sweltering heat and massive crowds.  But nevertheless, it was a vacation and I’m grateful for it.  

What I did notice, however, was the extraordinary number of very thin, fit people in the city. I’m not sure I saw one fat woman who wasn’t a tourist.  And my experiences in restaurants around the city supported my theory that being fat in Southern California is fucking hard.




One evening, in the Gas Lamp district, we stumbled upon the only restaurant that wasn’t overflowing with drunken fools. So, Thai food on 4th of July it was!  We were seated and I immediately realized that the chairs were so narrow that the low arms were actually cutting into my hips like a vice.  I looked around to see if anyone else in the restaurant looked uncomfortable, but they seemed at ease in their small bodies. 

I was really pissed off, and if I hadn’t been super hungry, I think I might suggested leaving the restaurant.  But I’d been grumpy for a good part of the day, and I felt my husband needed a reprieve from my complaining. So, I ate my noodles and kept my mouth shut.  




But after we left, and got back to our hotel, I wish I’d said something to the management about the chairs not being accommodating for anyone over a size 12.  The frustration I felt when my body was squished into that tiny seat kept me from being present with my husband and enjoying an evening out.  I don’t know if it was intentional, and I’d like to think that they just picked the chairs because they looked cool.  But I couldn’t help thinking that it was my responsibility to say something, so that other fat people visiting the restaurant wouldn’t have to feel the shame and humiliation that I did.  

The next day, while dining at another restaurant, I experienced the same thing on a tiny fucking stool.  The elegant, thick, wood stools were beautiful and made a bold statement alongside the marble communal tables. We sat down and my ample buttocks spilled over the seat and the very low back.  I couldn’t believe this was happening again.  I looked around to see if other types of chairs were available, but they weren’t.  Even my husband, who has an adorably small ass, commented on the discomfort of the seats.    

This is how I felt.


Not a few minutes later, a very tall, fat man came in with his family and I watched as he struggled to insert himself between the table and the stool (which by the way were bolted to the ground, so that adjusting oneself was completely impossible).  It took him a good minute to finally squeeze in, and I felt his pain. Resentment boiled inside me when I realized that I was spending my hard earned money in a restaurant that clearly was not meant to accommodate fatties.  And how dumb is that? Obviously I like to eat, so why not make my visit comfortable.

Was this coincidence or a carefully thought out plot to shame fat people?  



I’m still not sure, but the experiences I had left an indelible mark on my heart.  It triggered me so much that I began to think of diets and how I could lose 50 pounds in a week.  I even asked my husband if he wished I were thin! And that is not something I ever do.  I’m lucky I have an amazing husband who said, “I want you to be you. Besides, living in SoCal is not a reflection of the rest of the world.  It’s fake.”

I realize that I have the advantage of living in a place that has pretty awesome weather year round. But it comes with the sacrifice of being constantly reminded of my size. Whether it’s a billboard for $99 down for liposuction, or teeny tiny chairs in a restaurant — to be a person of size in a part of the country obsessed with thinness, is not a simple task.



I’m back home in my safe space, as I write this.  And though there is still some lingering anger, I know I have a voice and that I can do something about what I feel. No, I’m not going on a diet. I’m planning to call both restaurants and let them know their chairs are not size friendly and suggest they offer different seating options. And I plan to use the power of Yelp to leave my fat mark on their exclusive establishments.  



Signing off for now, until I’m back with another chronicle of my life as a mixed fat chick!

In solidarity,
Pia

www.chroniclesofamixedfatchick.com

3 Reasons I Avoid Talking About My Sugar Addiction

I’m a sugar addict. I am.  When sugar gets into my system, I get high.  And then I need more. And more. And….Ugh!

I don’t like talking about my sugar addiction for three reasons:

  1. It’s very real, but conflicts with my position on dieting, and my disdain for food/body policing.
  2. I’m not sure I can stop, and that frightens me because it completely affects my fibromyalgia and arthritis. Let me be clear, I am talking about MY health, NOT yours.
  3. I don’t want you to judge me.  Yes, I can be that insecure.

So, in order to tackle this issue, I’ve decided honesty is the best policy.  I’ve given up sugar three times in my life, for periods ranging from two months to a year, and I had lots of help. It felt so good, and my body was grateful. If you want to know what I did, you can email me and I would be happy to share more. But for the purposes of this post, it’s irrelevant.

Processed sugar is one of those substances that is in so many of the foods we eat, that it requires a lot of awareness and intentionality to avoid it. I know, I know — I should eat more veggies and just stop with the sugar.  But it’s not that simple for me.  Sugar behaves like heroin in my body.  At first it soothes, then it gives me a spurt of energy, followed by an awful crash that can only be avoided by eating more sugar. And so, I do.  The cycle is beyond vicious. It’s insane.

When I was diagnosed with arthritis two years ago, and fibromyalgia a year later, the first thing my doctor’s told me was to eliminate sugar because it causes inflammation.  It made sense, and I thought that having a doctor tell me would change my behavior, but it hasn’t.  Why? Because I’m an addict who fools herself into believing she can control the controller. And I’ve proved to myself thousands of times that I will always lose this battle.

So, why am I sharing this with you? Why should you care?

Well, I know a lot of people who deal with this addiction, fat, thin and in between. And I want them to know they’re not alone. They may be size acceptance activists like me, who are struggling with the moral dilemma of having a sugar or food addiction and not wanting to fall into the misogynistic trap of fad diets. You guys know I spent many years dieting, and I’m so over it (mostly).  But this isn’t about weight loss, it’s about continuing to do something that I know is harming my body. It’s like if I kept dipping my toe into boiling water and burning the fuck out of it, but doing it anyway because I just can’t help myself.  Yes, it’s that crazy.  It’s doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Which, by the way, is the definition of insanity. The definition of addiction.

I talk to my close girlfriends and my husband about this issue regularly, but I’m tired of thinking about it now. I simply want to let go of it so that in it’s place, a peaceful, spiritually sound woman can emerge. I want to make space for more important things, like working to create a world in which women of all sizes, ages, colors, orientations, and abilities are free to use their goddess-given gifts without fear of being judged on their appearance.

Is that so bad? 

This inner work is never done and it’s hard.  But I know it’s worth it. So, I don’t have any hard and fast answers to my sugar problem, but I just wanted to acknowledge on a public level that I struggle too. And I want to remind myself and you, that body positivity takes so many formsI can love my body at it’s current weight, and still aim for better health.
 

 That’s me!!

I’m so grateful for the Health At Every Size campaign, which proves to me that even at 230 pounds, I can achieve my health and fitness goals without having to ever lose a pound. I want to improve my downward facing dog because it would feel fucking awesome to push my body that much.  I want to wear a tight yoga top and matching pants that hug my every roll, and celebrate my shape as I move into a headstand. I want to give up sugar so my body won’t hurt so damn much.

That’s all.

In solidarity,
Pia