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Ellen Anne Eddy
Author of Thread Magic: The Enchanted World of Ellen Anne Eddy Fiber artist, author and teacher
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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Fat Girl Boot Camp? I Don't Think So!

As Good as it Gets
It's no secret I battle with my weight. I am blessed with what the #1 Ladies Detective Agency refers to as "the traditional build." So every so often, I notice that I'm particularly larger and pull things in a bit. 


Another thing I was blessed with was a small birth defect. My mother, being Irish and collecting tragedies the way other people collect Hummels made that into a huge issue. After being a March of Dimes reject, being fat is a cherry on top. It's almost a non-sequetor.


So I was appalled today to run into a blog that suggested Boot Camp for fat ladies.  It was suggested that if you had extra punishments you carried with you at all times to remind yourself of what horrible thing would happen if you ate something other than a celery stick. As if you would miraculously not eat. They suggested you decorate a sign with your goal weight with glitter.


I will not give you a link to this site. I consider it toxic. 


I'm tired of aversion fads, and I'm particularly tired of the fat aversion fad. It's like punishing people for having a birth mark. It's about fear and self loathing. The science isn't all in yet, but it's beginning to show that although no extreme is good for you, being fat is not a death sentence. The attitudes about it are faddish, not necessarily fact.


But most of all, I'm tired of the attitude that says you should do it to yourself. Pour that kind of hate on yourself.


Renoir's Two Girls
Fat aversion is a fad. It has come but it will go as well.I love this image of Renoir's. Would we want these lovely girls anorexic? He knew they were gorgeous. And in our own way, so are we all.


The difference in me gaining weight and losing weight is my ability to hear when I'm full. That translates to three extra bites on my plate per meal.  Once I've been that mean to myself I need that extra three bites just to cushion myself from the sore spots on my butt from having been emotionally spanked.


I think I'm going to decorate my butt with emotional glitter.  I think I'm going to say it's all me, and love it the way I love my sunflowers and morning glories, even when they grow way out of proportion. Then I'm going to love every bite of food I take and try very hard to listen lovingly when my body says, "Thanks that's enough!"


You'll find "The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency" on Amazon and in your local book store. Read it. It's a delightful, loving portrait of vital, fun, kind decent people who just happen not to be thin.



11 comments:

Janice said...

I love this book! I also love that in most countries people are celebrated for who they are rather than their body type. what I don't love are men who can eat what they want, be whatever size they want to be but then expect all the women on the street to be incarnations of Barbie. And most of those Barbies who spout things like glitter signs are too insecure in their own skin to recognize their own emotional baggage. I'm just saying......

Fran Wessel said...

Would we be more creative, or better artists if we were thin? I don't think so.
I'm what my father called an "easy keeper." That was his description of a farm animal that stayed sleek and fat on a small amount of food. This as opposed to some that no matter how much they ate they looked skinny and sickly.
So, Ellen Anne you put glitter on your butt, and I'll glitter up these triple D's and we
will shine and glow and to heck with the critics.

marj k said...

Ck out the # 1 Detective Agency movies too. The star is a lovely woman that wears African print dresses that are amazing....There is also a blog about a girl that is going 365 days without mirrors - very interesting experiment that is helping her self-esteem. Its just a number - live and love and enjoy life.

dejablu503 said...

Ellen, while I agree a "Boot Camp for Fat Ladies" is a bad idea, a self loathing idea.... I think all of us hit an OMG point eventually. I love to cook, and I like to eat, both facts that work against me. During my last physical I was introduced to high cholesterol, renal problems and borderline Diabetes. That was my OMG moment... and I eat rational amounts of healthy food, ask anyone. Obviously that was not enough so I cut out 80% of my added salt, I limited my cholesterol intake to 25gm per day, and I put the kibosh on my refined sugar consumption... I am learning a new way to cook. I haven't changed what I eat, but how I cook it and what I add to it. I am an occasional omnivore, but largely vegetarian. I do not consume or serve anything with more than 520mg of sodium per serving, my sugar comes from fruit rather than sodas, I cook with coconut syrup or agave, I drink my ice tea with lemon. So far, I changed my glucose level from 107 to 76, my cholesterol from 231 to 200, and I have dropped 15 pounds in a month without dieting.

I am happy in my skin, I accept that I am never going to be a little girl... I work in home health, I'm muscular... I can lift 250 pounds of dead weight alone, with good body mechanics, a couple tricks and my upper body strength I can transfer a double amputee to a wheel chair alone. Because of my natural bone and muscular structure even when I dropped to under 140 pounds at 5'9" tall, I was still a size 12.

I am who I am, but what I want to be is healthy, not skinny... it's not a fad and that is taking more discipline and some sacrifices as I get older. Some days it takes avoidance tricks too. I use to LOVE drinking Cokes... then I found the picture on this page- http://is.gd/wqUCM7 I have to admit, the thought of consuming 10 cubes of sugar helps me choose tea or water, so I have it in my car and on my frig. IMHO, avoidance memos have their place in learning to eat healthier... as long as they don't make you look like an idiot...

Lyn Wolf Jackson said...

Thanks for the post. You helped with with a mother moment. She (and I) are very, very Irish and lunch with her is a litany of tragedies - anyone's, in any time period, on and on. I hate it. just did not know it came with the Irish everything else. Love you! (and her)

Linda Teddlie Minton said...

"I think I'm going to decorate my butt with emotional glitter." I nearly choked on my Diet Coke! Thanks for an uplifting post, and my best laugh of the day. You go, Girl, and keep the faith for the rest of us.

Judy said...

I love all the No 1 Ladies books.They are also out on audio books.I am reading the Sunday Philosophy Club at the moment.it has a mild Detective flavour about it.Little snippets of Philosophy which I love too.

Mary Ann Mauney said...

You are such a beautiful writer and beautiful person, you just be you!

Ellen Anne Eddy said...

Just as an aside: I've started paying attention to that 3 bites extra and lost 5 pounds in a week. And my glittered glorified butt is gorgeous!

Ro Bruhn said...

I love the books and we have just started to see the series on TV here, it's wonderful. If it's any help my grandmother was rather rotund, didn't worry about what she ate, loved like and lived to the ripe old age of 96, she out lived her skinny husband by 26 years.
I've just read your article in Quilting Arts, love what you do.

susan said...

ellen-i have not seen in you in years but as i remember you, you had what i consider a "normal" woman's body. a body with curves and soft places, not a dang twig. some men might like to look a long necked big breasted (fake) boobs, long legs and of course no brain BUT in reality, i think the average man wants a real woman, a woman who when he holds her can feel the weight of her, not a shadow woman. i am not knocking naturally slim gals, they cannot help it if they can eat like pigs and loose weight, grrrrrr........... big smile! i think you are just right and besides, who cares what you look like, your art is fantastic! one day i hope to be able to visit your little piece of heaven, as i am not that far away from you now that i live in da UP. i loved your article in the new quilting arts mag. you rock!

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