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hello i am fat

metalicious: tastes like twinkies

I think I've mentioned before that I've written on the internet elsewhere and elsehow, for many years in a row, in some cases, though not very consistently. Which is so totally unlike me, right? Right. I wrote what in the Olden Days we called an Online Journal. Online journals had journalcons and gatherings and meetups, and it was all very exciting, and there was a sense of community and back and forth linkage that was frankly just embarrassing.

But the online journaling community has, in the face of the Blog Revolution (and please believe that I'm very tempted to conflate that into some kind of exciting catchphrase like "Blogovution!" or Revblogution! or something like that, but I wouldn't do that to you, and also it has probably already been done, at least twice) and there isn't so much a community any more and everyone's got blogs anyway, and I went and got one, and another one, and maybe another, and I've got this one too, now, though I still really hate the word blog. BLOG. BLOG. BLOG.

No, I still hate it. Which is very 2004 of me, I know.

So I have been writing away online and to handfuls of people and it has been very nice. It is always very nice when someone wants to read the things you are writing, and I've always been really grateful to the people who say nice things, and I've even met people who are important parts of my life through these things and I have been amazed by the kindness of people and their generosity and hearts and how much some people suck, but how most people rule.

But then I started a non-professional weight loss blog, and I am just floored by the sense of community and rooting-for-ness and kindness and collaborative like-feelingness there is in this whole scene. I am blown away by all the comments to my last entry, the supportive stuff you guys have said and the emails I've gotten and it is just astonishing and pretty fucking amazing and really, really cool. I wanted to say thank you for that. Group cheer! Woo! Fuck yeah.

Now I need a twinkie to dry my happy tears.

Anyway, I also wanted to point out that there were some really interesting and very smart comments on the entry, regarding the amateur/professional blog dichotomy.

Mr. Living La Vida Lo Carb was very kind and clarified that he was not intending to criticize my site, but to point out that this is not a "typical" weight-loss blog, by Sally Squires definition, but I think that is not quite what I was trying to say. This is a typical weight loss blog, in the sense that it is a record of a struggle with weight and weight issues and food and trying to lose it – the weight, not the food, though I suspect that losing the food would go a long way towards losing the weight – and it is a very personal account. I think these personal blogs outnumber the more magazine-like ones, like Skinny Daily Post, which generally hold to a higher, professional – I love that word – standard and generally have a kind of huge audience. I think that makes the more pedestrian, personal ones, which I personally love a great deal, more far more "typical."

But I appreciate Mr. Lo's explanation of his intent, and I see what he's getting at.

Dietgirl has got exactly what I meant, and more:

i dunno about that doctor guy in the article. i think the whole point about diet blogs is reading about other people's experiences, not to find a particular diet to follow. we all know what to do, after all. it's more about looking for someone to relate to.

i think these articles usually miss the point of what it's all about, but then again it's quite hard to capture something as messy and huge and varied as blogging in an article, whether it's mommie blogs or fat blogs or cat blogs.

And you know, I bet the parent blogs get a similar sort of audience and community going on – there is something about having a specific topic, and being passionate about that specific topic that engenders that kind of community spirit, that in-it-togetherness that I was going on about incoherently, above.

CAD Monkey made me cackle when she said "Here's to living la vida sofa!!"

And my girl Annalisa articulates it precisely:

It always makes me laugh when people who don't get the blogging community (of which I have been a part since 1997) write articles about it in large publications.

Frankly, I thought her article was pretty lame, and she really missed the point about why people choose to write about their struggle with weight, in such a public way, online.

Dr Hill said, "These blogs are generally about helping people restrict certain foods to lose weight," he said. "I worry that in reading a personal story people will think this strategy works for everyone, and that's rarely the case."

I don't think any of the so-called weight loss blogs I have read attempt to give advice about the subject of losing weight, at least not intentionally. People are documenting their journey, and that's it. It's no different than posting about the same subject matter on a WW forum, or CoolRunning, or whatever. And not every blog has to be written some super interesting, inspiring do-gooder. I mean, c'mon, most of us just write for ourselves, not for others, and we are just average Janes. Again, she misses the point by watering the whole topic down to "there are blogs where people write about losing weight, although some of them don't really lose any. go read them. the end."

…there is a lot of meat to your posts, which run the gamut from giddy to sad. We can all identify with those feelings, and you validate them by being as candid as you are. And I think your readers are smart enough to know that you're not here to write the Diet Gospel of Anne, you know? Regardless, you give us plenty to think about, and the perspective we need to remember that this is an individual journey, with plenty of hills and valleys, and we traverse the dieting landscape on our own paths.

Yes! Exactly! I just pumped my fist. That was totally aerobic.

And Anonymous also made me laugh a lot, a lot:

My guess? The author of the article, along with "LaVida" and "SugarSh**" are threatened by your sardonic take on the whole weight-loss enterprise. That's their livelihood--their not-bread and not-butter, if you will--and they must therefore treat it with the deadly upbeat, great-guns-ablazin', full-steam-ahead seriousness it deserves. Which is why I don't read "professional" blogs.

To sum up: You scare them!! You are famously scary!! You go, scary girl!!

Yah! Yah! Yah! Boo.

K had a really good point:
…that article did indeed contain some weird stuff.

You mean, to have a blog you have to

a) already have an "inspiring" story to tell
b) be sure you have The Ultimate Answer
c) take it all completely seriously?

If so, I'm sorry, I'm in the wrong room. Long live the amateur blogs. (When did amateur become an insult? It used to mean someone who does something for love.)


And I am filled with amateur sincerity and thanks-ness, for all the other awesome comments you guys left. Long live, indeed. Now I will go start a mom blog.

revising upward

When I was way less heavy than I am now (coming out of my funk: 15 pounds up from the last time I weighed myself, several months before pre-funk, I think? I hope? Where the fuck does it all come from? Free-floating fat needs to get off my ass, and now), I used to think that weighing 120 pounds would be the best weight ever in the history of the world.

I would be hot. Sizzlingly so. You could bake things on me, but not too many things, because my surface area would be so magnificently reduced, you'd be lucky to fit a single sausage link on my finely-toned ass.

This was back when I was under two hundred pounds, and did not have that far to go, to get to 120. Well, it was pretty far, but not that far in the grand scheme of things, I say wearing the 20-20 hindsight glasses that are colored dark with despair. Big, fat despair.

Then, I gained some weight. A lot of weight. I shot up over two hundred pounds. People would look at me, and tell me that there was no way I weighed that much. I carried it so well! I carried it beautifully. I carried it the way some women can carry a giant basket of water on their tiny little heads without spilling a single drop.

And you know, thinking about it, that right there must be where my mild and not at all clinical body dysmorphism comes from – for so much of my life, I have been convinced that while I was fat, nobody could tell, and that is why it was always such a shock and a misery, anytime someone would make a comment about my size. I would actually feel my heart drop, not just from shame (because there is a lot of shame in it) but from horror that I had been recognized, and found out.

Anyway. So over two hundred pounds, I started to think that 140 was a reasonable weight to get down to, even 160. I carry my weight so well that I'd be a glowing goddess. 120 is entirely too skinny. If I weighed 120, I would be a skeleton. I have birthing hips! You need some meat on these kinds of hips!

And then I gained more weight. I did not shoot, or rocket, it just sort of crept out from around corners and leapt onto my ass and hung on with the kind of tenaciousness only fat, or bulldogs, or fat bulldogs can show. And then I started to think that under 200 pounds would be fine. Just under 200. That would be all I would ask for in life. A one in front of the number I weigh. Sarah calls that "onederland," which is both hilarious (because it is so silly) and true (which makes it doubly hilarious).

Now here I am, the heavier than the heaviest ever (I think I prefer "heavy" to "fat." Heavy makes me sound like I am substantial and important. Fat makes me sound – well, you know. Fat. "But wait a second!" you say, and then I punch you. But not really, because I love you.), and getting on the scale this morning, after a week of back on weightwatchers, complete with an extra point because of my extra ass, I realized that all I want is to be back under my previous record for land mass. I want to be the previous heaviest ever again, because this weight I am now, it is unsupportable. It is insupportable. It sucks.

But I lost four pounds this week, and I am just going to keep my head down and try to keep the numbers getting smaller and maybe, soon, in a couple of months, I can start looking at far-flung goals again, and as they go down, I can revise downward, too.

I am become famous

Sally Squires is a writer, for the Washington Post, about important issues like salt and BMI and her column is called "The Lean Plate Club," but I responded to her email anyway. She wanted to interview me about having a "blog" and what's having a "blog" like and isn't it wacky, this "blog" thing?

So I said sure! Why not? And she called me and I chatted to her about things like community and support and the support of a community and community support, and she sounded very interested in me and all the absolutely fascinating things I had to say, regarding both community and support, and how community, but also support, related to both community and support.

It didn't sound like she had done much reading of my site – she kept mentioning peanut butter cups, which I realized was an entry just one or two below this, so I think she at least skimmed the front page – and she didn't seem to understand the whole "blog" thing, but she seemed very friendly, and amiable, and amenable to the idea, until she asked me how much weight I had lost.

Uh, I said. Er.

And then, she didn't sound too thrilled, because I am not so much a shining example of Weight Loss Success Through That New-Fangled "Blog" Thing, and I get the sense that that was, in part, her "angle," if you will. I think journalists need "angles." The way I need peanut butter cups. Ba dump bump! Cha! I think she also was working the "exciting tips and nutritional ideas from blogs" angle as well, but again – where the hell do I come in, there? My nutritional tips run along the "maybe I shouldn't have eaten those peanut butter cups" line, you know?

I don't know how she found me, and I really couldn't tell you why she still used me in the article. "Blogs are great for losing weight! Except for this chick, who's still really fat!" It doesn't seem to, you know, quite go with her whole theme. I'd have maybe cut out those paragraphs, stuck with the supporting evidence, but what do I know? I am just a "blog" person. In an article in which I didn't belong. Hello, every body!

So there was that, and it was funny, and many people came to see me (hello, everybody!) and then it was reprinted in the LA Times, and more people came to see me (hey! how's it going?) and then it was apparently syndicated in the Calcutta Telegraph (hiya!), as I received an email from Mr. Kumar, whose opinion is that I come across as "Obese & Sad," but still a very nice person, which is so totally the name of my next website, or possibly even the tagline of this one.

And there are also posts floating around from "real" bloggers -- professional bloggers, even [who knew that self-publishing on the internet (where everything you read is totally the truth) was something you could be a professional at? golly! I wonder how much that pays?] who are just as horrified as me that this blog appeared in an article about diet blogs. That's not a real diet blog! That's a horrible and sad excuse for a website! they say. And grind my bones to make their bread. Except they can't eat bread, I think. With the la vida, and all.

Well, they weren't that mean, perhaps, but it was still startling to see myself and my dumb little website called out quite so firmly and dismissively.

But also kind of goofily and missing the pointily - because, you know, I never claimed to be doing anything inspiring, or to be writing a diet blog or a weight loss journal, and I never claimed to be a professional blogger (whatever, really, the fuck that is) – this is a personal site. There's this thing, over in the sidebar? Yeah, that's where I mention something about this just being a personal site, and how this isn't really a site about losing weight. I am not a professional. Don't try this at home. Closed course.

Anyway, my very experience with The Media and also Professional Blogs (ha!) has been itty bitty and tiny, and weird and hilarious, and hello, everybody.

Also, hello, all you people who have been reading all the time through. I think I'm back. Thanks for the kind comments, and for waiting on me.