I have to confess, dear readers, that I don’t always call out diet talk when it happens around me. This is not the healthiest practice for my own sanity and I plan to change this (see below), but sometimes I just don’t have the time/energy to say “you know, diets don’t work” and prepare myself for the inevitable defensiveness that seems to come with being told this information.
It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change.
It’s not a diet, it’s a totally delicious meal replacement shake that curbs my craving for sweets and I definitely do not miss eating actual food for lunch.
It’s not a diet, it’s a permanent change to prevent heart disease/diabeetus/deathfatz/wev.
It’s not a diet, it’s making me feel healthier.
It’s not a diet, it’s a cleanse/fast/energy booster.
It’s not a diet, I have 10 pounds of excess poop stuck in my colon and when it’s out I’ll be 10 pounds lighter!
I get it. You understand that diets don’t work, but if you ~*permanently change*~ your philosophy/eating habits/lifestyle, you’ll totes lose weight and be healthier.
This whole diet talk thing is frustrating on multiple levels. It is, of course, ridiculous and eyeroll-inducing and annoying to hear people talking about dieting and expect praise for weight loss, but when these people (women) are actually fat (and they often aren’t), it kind of makes me sad in an I-wish-we-could-just-hang-out-and-be-fat-together kind of way.
Fat community is something I’ve been pondering lately; internet community is valid and awesome and not to be dismissed, but sometimes it would be cool to hang out at the beach or go thrift shopping or out on the town with some fellow fatties.* There’s no shortage of fat people in my area, but many of them are committed to the above not-diet philosophies.
This winter, I was in a laundromat folding my clothes. A woman who seemed eccentric but kind had come in a little while after me, and struck up a conversation with a man from the pizza place next door (it was in a strip mall) who’d come in to use the bathroom. After he left, she turned to me and started chatting about her new diet plan and I wasn’t very responsive because I didn’t want to be rude but I was pretty clearly uncomfortable. She then proceeded to tell me that I wouldn’t be able to go canoeing or some shit (something about outdoor activities) unless I lost weight and if I didn’t want to end up wearing size 22 clothes, I should get back on the diet wagon.
When I finished folding my (larger than size 22 in some cases) clothing, I said “have a good night” without much in the way of Minnesota Nice in the inflection, probably because I’m not from MN and haven’t lived here long enough to adopt such levels of “nice.”**
I am seriously considering putting together a body-positive zine/mini-booklet/something (on a smaller scale, so to speak, than FAT!SO?… I realize this is not an original idea) and giving out copies to people who assume I want to hear about their diet, dropping them surreptitiously at coffee shops/restaurants/college campuses, etc. as an act of guerrilla activism. What do you think? This has more to do with my desire for guerrilla activism than my fear of confrontation.
I’m thinking I could use this to facilitate local meetups, maybe a clothing swap or perhaps a more radical event.
*I have been to one LJ Fats clothing swap and it was awesome. However, it was 2.5 hours away from home and I was only able to go because I happened to be around for something else.
**read: passive-aggression. Not all Minnesotans are passive-aggressive, but Minnesota Nice is an alarmingly common behavioral pattern, possibly stemming from Lutheran guilt (I’m not Lutheran so I’m not quite sure), which often involves passive-aggression disguised as “niceness.”