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hello i am fat

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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.

  1. Blogger Mamato2boys | 3:26 PM |  

    Welcome back! Ok I think I would just die if that happened to me. I look forward to reading the not-so diet and all about you blog.
    anywho...
    WB
    Ang

  2. Blogger Jimmy Moore | 3:43 PM |  

    Hey Anne,

    Hey there, this is Jimmy Moore from the "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog that you mentioned in this post.

    Let me clarify that my blog post about your blog was not intended to be a criticism of you or what you write about at "Hello, I Am Fat." My concern was more with the fact that Squires was attempting to display your site and the other mentioned in her column as the "typical" weight loss blogs out there. By your own admission as well as some of the others that were in the story, you are definitely NOT a weight loss blog and do not want to be put in a box like that. I can certainly respect that and appreciate that your posts are your "personal" thoughts and nothing more.

    As for being called a "professional blog," I can't help but laugh at this description. Uh, thank you, I think. I started my blog in April 2005 after losing 180 pounds in 2004 doing low-carb and wanted an outlet for telling others about the success I had to help spur them on to their own triumph over their weight problem. I am not paid to write on my blog, but it is something that I do in my "spare" (LOL!) time because it is that important to me. While I try to make it as professional as possible, I certainly would not call myself an expert blogger. There are many others out there in blogdom that do a lot better job than I do.

    I say all of that to say I'm sorry if I offended you in any way. That was certainly not my intention at all. I'm happy to hear all of this attention is creating traffic to your blog and that you are writing there again. Everyone who has a voice should make theirs be heard, right? Keep up the great work and let me know if I can ever assist you with anything. Take care!

    Jimmy Moore, "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Man"
    http://livinlavidalocarb.blogspot.com
    livinlowcarbman@charter.net

  3. Blogger The Troescher Team | 4:26 PM |  

    I am very delighted to see you writing again not only for my own selfish pleasure but because I hope it signals a lessening of the demons that drove you away in the first place. Welcome back!

  4. Anonymous Anonymous | 4:29 PM |  

    Ummm, can I just say WTF?!! How so very weird. That anti-sugar lady link really freaked me out...but I must say that her blog is VERY professional. I found your writing a few months ago when I was searching out some much needed inspiration for my own weight loss journey. Laughter is a great way of stepping back and looking at the problem of "fatassness" in a completely different way. It doesn't have to be devastating while you're on the way down. Things can be funny. I think you are super, and I don't care that you have lost and gained and lost and gained. I'm glad you are back to write more hilarious things for me to read.

  5. Anonymous Nicole | 4:32 PM |  

    I was really excited to see you mentioned in Sally's article. You may not be a Professional Reporter with a clip file the size of Mt. Everest with a Professional Website to boot, but who cares? You're a fucking awesome writer. Welcome back; you've been missed.

  6. Anonymous Anonymous | 4:59 PM |  

    I was getting irritated that you hadn't updated in a while, but this post was so fucking hilarious, it made me laugh until I snorted. Then cried. I love reading your "blog". Even if you are "Obese & Sad" LOVE IT! LOL!

    -Andrea

  7. Anonymous j @ rta | 6:07 PM |  

    Glad you're back.

  8. Blogger noelle feather | 6:32 PM |  

    Glad you are back! I was about to move on from your blog! Glad I didn't tho! I'm sure I have much I can learn from you and your adventures....of life and everything else that comes along with being a GIRL, who is F*T. :) (Because I am, too)

  9. Blogger Dee | 6:52 PM |  

    You're so wonderfully funny!

    I'm so bloody glad you're back.

    You're professional (even if it's in eating peanut butter cups) in my eyes.

  10. Anonymous Anonymous | 3:10 AM |  

    Welcome back. Don't let the weirdos get you down - you're my fave writer I've found writing about this stuff - thank you for your humor and candor and junk and stuff. Yay you!

  11. Anonymous dietgirl | 6:47 AM |  

    ooh ooh! i can say that i knew you when... well, read you :)

    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.

  12. Blogger Zara | 7:57 AM |  

    I don't care who's interviewing you or what the hell they (or anyone) think about your blog. I'm just glad you're writing again because I love reading it, for its own sake! You could write about sorting your socks every day and I would still read.

    I wish the best for you and I look forward to reading more of whatever you write. It's the honesty and human reactions that I enjoy the most. The weight issues are just a bonus. ;)

  13. Anonymous Heather | 9:43 AM |  

    I think you are just fabulous! I found your site through the "Lean Plate Club," as I somehow became a member of their email list (as a devoted member, usually I promptly delete each message as soon as it arrives). But through some stroke of luck I found your site, and I just love you! You should write a book, or even two, and then you will be rich in addition to being so fabulous. :-)

  14. Blogger thealphafry | 12:42 PM |  

    i think you write well and your posts are funny and interesting to read. You don't have to be of the 'professional' variety to be interesting!

  15. Anonymous Anonymous | 1:22 PM |  

    Love your blog!

    That's a strange article. Why did she pick that particular group of blogs? Did she just not have much time to research? (Not that I don't think any of the blogs she mentions are good; some of my favorite reads are in there. It's just a very odd selection for the points she seems to be trying to make.)

  16. Blogger CAD Monkey | 8:02 PM |  

    I hoped you'd come back, and you have. Here's to living la vida sofa!!

    I find the so-called "professional" blogs to be boooooring. Give me an amateur anyday.

  17. Blogger Megan | 10:48 PM |  

    I'm so happy to see that you've return. Welcome back, or welcome home, or..um..thanks for having me since I'm actually the guest. Your blog is one of my favorites.

  18. Anonymous Annalisa | 6:51 AM |  

    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."

    I can see why she picked you, Anne. I mean, you're hilarious and a fantastic writer. 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.

  19. Anonymous Anonymous | 8:29 AM |  

    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!!

  20. Anonymous Anonymous | 8:46 AM |  

    I'm so glad you're back. Hey, don't you think someone who writes about weight issues for the Washington Post would get her stats right? The stuff from the National Weight Loss Database isn't accurate---she gives the "average" statistics as though EVERYONE on the registry has lost 70 pounds and maintained it for five years. Some expert. I studied journalism, and she sounds like a very lazy "reporter" to me.

  21. Blogger always write | 10:42 AM |  

    In this case, I guess there's no such thing as bad publicity: I found you through the Lean Plate Club newsletter, of which I read only the recipes and occasionally the weblinks. And I think you're brilliant :)

  22. Blogger Michelle | 11:54 AM |  

    However it happened, I'm glad you're back. Now don't stay gone that long again!

  23. Anonymous hopefulloser | 10:37 PM |  

    You tell'em lady!
    I'm glad you are back and that "lean plate" article was whack.

  24. Blogger K | 1:55 AM |  

    Yes, have to admit I'm happy you've been tempted out of hiding, although 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.) Long live yours as well, because you are indeed brilliant.

  25. Blogger Carolina_so_Divina | 10:58 AM |  

    MY HERO! Would you believe I found your blog by putting "I am too fat to live or wear anything sexy" into the yahoo search box....and there u were!!! believe me, you are performing a much needed service. Stay strong!!!!

  26. Blogger Carolina_so_Divina | 10:59 AM |  

    Hey Anne,
    You are truley a Godsend! Would you believe I found your blog by typing in "I am too fat to live or wear sexy clothes" lol. No kidding. I had just been shopping for clothes online, having a fat day...totally disgusted. Now I see I am not alone. thank u thank u !!!!

  27. Blogger Kerri | 1:58 PM |  

    Anne, very glad to see you posting again. Missed your wit and honesty and "unprofessionalism." ;-) Hope this means you're having better days, better moments, better peanut butter cups.

  28. Anonymous Jenne | 12:29 PM |  

    LOL-- I've been doing this blogging thing for six years now, and every so often, some mainstream journalist comes along and writes a poorly researched article full of assumptions (apparently, that's how they teach journalists to do research in their fancy MA programs). I was called out in late '99 for having sections of my site devoted to things other than weight loss. "Professional" journalists will do anything to protect their food source.

    Anyway, I love your blog and read it whenever I can.

  29. Blogger ms ralph | 5:11 PM |  

    I just read the article. I came to your site from a link at diet chick's site. I read her site religously because I find I want to know what will happen next. I am ashamed to admitt that it is almost like watching a soap opera. I probably have regular readers who think the same about me.

    But the article, although somewhat informative barely scratched the surface of what the weight-loss blog community does. There are so many kinds of people out there who are fat and want to lose weight so of course there would be just as many different writing styles and bloggers.

    I had a regular diary type thing that was popular, but I had to end it. When I started looking for weight loss inspiration I decided to write my own blog. I'm glad I did. And I'm glad I found you.

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