Remembering Why This Work is Important

Every so often people tell me they couldn’t do the work I do with so much backlash and outright hatred that is directed towards me personally but so many people in fat community.

I do it for people like this. Over the years I’ve had an outpouring of messages from people who have told me how my work has changed their lives and it means the world to me. I can’t fully express it but it gives me energy and reminds me why I’m here.

Thank you. ❤

Your blog means so much to me.

As a woman who has been through several well-renowned and extremely expensive inpatient programs designed to uproot my eating disorder, I can honestly say that nothing really stuck until I discovered the body positive community via your blog.

Treatment taught me how to eat again, but once I left, I would fall right back into my old habits. I hated myself and my body so much that I was willing to do anything to be thin, even at the expense of my health, even at the expense of the emotional well-being of my friends and loved ones who knew exactly what I was doing when I ran to the bathroom.

It wasn’t until I discovered exactly why thinness is elevated the way it is in our society that things started to change. I stopped feeling helpless and started to feel angry. The realization that my misery, my suffering, and my failing health resulted from my role as a pawn in an expertly calculated but indisputably evil hypercapitalist scheme to breed self-hate in order to sell beauty and diet products hit me hard. I felt manipulated and I felt used, and I was determined to never be taken advantage of like that again.

I’m doing a lot better. At this point, I’m “chubby” and not “fat” due to mountains of stress and being too broke to buy all of the groceries I like to buy, but I loved myself when I was. I learned to love myself at my highest weight and I would love myself if I reached an even higher weight than that. I no longer tie my personhood and self-worth to a number on a scale. I haven’t even weighed myself for months.

And that is largely because of this blog and the resources I found through reading it. I am in debt to you, Amanda, and I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels this way.

Please keep writing and doing you, it means more than you could ever know.

As always, connect with me on tumblr and twitter.

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Abundant Bodies 2015 – Support Fat Community Projects

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The Allied Media Conference will be happening June 19th – 21st and for the second year in a row the Abundant Bodies Media track will be part of the conference for the weekend. I’m one of the coordinators of the track for the year and we are currently fundraising to support our track, session presenters and participants. We’re not only hoping to help people out with travel expenses but to also pay presenters for the knowledge and time they will be giving throughout the weekend.

We have a TON of amazing perks including a fearless craft-a-thon with Marianne Kirby, a gift pack from Re/Dress, tarot readings, a mental health / chronic illness chat and more!

Please consider supporting and sharing our fundraiser with your networks.

The track was created and continues to be primarily ran by Women of Color, our sessions are also primarily ran by People of Color. Here is some more information about the track,

This year at the Allied Media Conference 2015 (June 18-21 in Detroit, MI) we are coming back together to continue our conversations, share skills, experiences, stories, media, knowledge and strategies to build a more beautiful, body accepting and abundant loving future!

ln this track we will gather, share and celebrate the wisdom and abundance of our bodies. Abundant / thick / fat bodies are the target of so much hate, policing and negativity, even in our organizing communities. How do we unlearn mainstream ideas of what a body should look like and (re)-learn to celebrate the diversity, resilience, wisdom and beauty of all bodies? How can we work together to deconstruct fat stigma and other forms of marginalization while building a stronger inclusive fat community? How can we challenge ourselves to decenter whiteness, capitalism, ableism, cissexism, heterosexism and classism while we explore what it means to be fat?

This track will explore these questions and create spaces to challenge the ongoing ways mainstream media shames and harms abundant bodies. Our goal in our organizing and activism is to create media and practical strategies for resistance, healing and community building. We will broaden the conversation around fat activism by centering this track on the voices of Indigenous, Black, People of Color, Dis/abled, Super-sized, Trans and Queer fat folks. Through workshops, panels and skillshares we will transform mainstream ideas around abundant bodies and create resilient communities utilizing different forms of media such as zines, theater, oral histories, poetry, social media, dance, comics, and art.

You can view the entire AMC2015 schedule here and find out about all of the amazing sessions we will be having during the weekend.

And again, please consider supporting and sharing our fundraiser with your networks.

Support Fat Community Projects!

This is a round up of current projects that need funding or support.

1. Abundant Bodies Track at the Allied Media Conference

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The Abundant Bodies track at the AMC this summer needs your help to support the work of fat activists with their workshops and activist organizing.

I’m part of two different sessions but there are so many amazing workshops and other activists who are coming to Detroit to talk about fat politics over the weekend. They all need financial support to not only get to the conference but also for lodging and other expenses over the weekend.

via the funding campaign,

Some of the most well-known fat activists (including Dr. Charlotte Cooper, Amanda Levitt, Virgie Tovar) will be sharing their brilliance alongside up and coming young qtpoc fatties. Some of the topics and issues folks are exploring include race & fat activism, the “dangers” of excessive selfie consumptions, exploring fat & kink, building an inclusive fat community, body autonomy vs. body positivity, reimagining desirability, fat activism for unruly people, and so much more!

From the program guide:

ln this track we will gather, share and celebrate the wisdom and abundance of our bodies. Abundant/thick/fat bodies are the target of so much hate, policing and negativity, even in our organizing communities. How do we unlearn mainstream ideas of what a body should look like and (re)-learn to celebrate the diversity, resilience, wisdom and beauty of all bodies? This track will explore these questions and create spaces to challenge the ongoing ways mainstream media shames and harms abundant bodies, to name fatphobia in our organizing and activism, and to create media and practical strategies for resistance, healing and community building. We will broaden the conversation around fat activism by centering this track on the voices of Indigenous, Black, people of color, dis/abled, super-sized, trans and queer fat folks. Through workshops, panels and skillshares we will transform mainstream ideas around abundant bodies and create resilient communities, media and art centered around abundant bodies!

Please support and share this campaign! There are a ton of awesome perks for donating too!

2. Suport a Fat Art Exhibition!

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Second Helping Exhibition and Performance Fatinee is raising funds for their event!

Second Helpings is a group visual art exhibition, a “fatinee” of multidisciplinary performance, and a queer intervention into American popular culture’s understanding of the fat body as a deviant body. Exhibiting artists fight the stigmatization of fat bodies, radically re-envision the notion of body diversity, and destabilize deeply embedded hierarchies of desire.

Second Helpings features works in many media by 20+ visual artists, and 8 solo and ensemble performances. Selected works deconstruct and reassess body politics to foster a collective understanding of fatness that empowers and heals fat-bodied people emotionally, sexually and politically.

A new theatrical work humorously addresses the correlation between body shame and cultural imperialism. A 5-piece band named after pastries snacks ritualistically onstage. A debut video work explores racialized and gendered experiences of fat-phobia. A chubby drag queen pushes back on the ways her body is treated as a dystopian object of desire. Come ravenous. Help yourself.

3. Help the Fat Nutritionist become a registered dietitian.

Michelle aka the Fat Nutritionist is raising money for an unpaid dietetic internship so she can become a registered dietitian. 

Becoming a Registered Dietitian will allow me to offer clinical nutrition counseling — as well as the Health at Every Size approach — and will also make me a powerful voice in the fight to end weight stigma. 

To become a dietitian, I must complete an unpaid dietetic internship. 

Internships are difficult to get into, require a more-than-full-time commitment, and offer no financial aid to interns. In March, I was lucky (THRILLED, ELATED, OVER THE MOON) to be accepted to a 9-month internship that starts in September 2014. 

Now I need to raise money to help me actually do it!

$7,000 is less than I need, but I’m trying to set an achievable goal. My stretch goal is about $10,300, which would cover the costs of the campaign itself, as well as my internship. The money is for tuition, transportation, professional membership/insurance fees, and 9 months of living expenses.

Any money raised over this amount (plus the cost of new perks and taxes) will be donated to an as-yet-undecided good cause.

She has already raised her original goal amount of the extra funds will help her time during the internship easier.

4. Support a fat positive movie about fat representation in the media

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The move Fattitude has been running a kickstarter campaign since the beginning of April and have already reached their funding goal. They could still use more funding to make the movie even better.

Support as many fat community projects that you can! If can’t donate with money, donate with your voice and share this post around your own social networks!

As always, connect with me on tumblr and twitter.