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09 July 2008 @ 02:06 pm
So I almost started a tiny flame war on a weight loss site this week (http://ronisweigh.com). A friend linked to the site in her blog and I clicked over because I was curious. Basically it was an appalling example of how rampant body hatred is in this country, especially among women. I read "Roni's story" and the subsequent comments (all of which were along the lines of "oh you are so wonderful to have lost weight and kept it off! My life is just like yours except I can't lose weight! What's wrong with me!" And of course I'm generalizing) and felt really sad about the state of the world in that all of these women were focusing all of their energy on this one thing about them that, a) is almost impossible to change and b) will likely not really make them happy even if they do succeed in changing it. So anyway, I can't keep my big mouth shut so I posted the following:

How incredibly powerful would all of us be if we stopped wasting our energy and inner strength controlling the food we eat, writing it down, feeling guilty or virtuous about it, thinking that the size of our hips has anything to do with our value as people? How amazing would it be if we could instead focus on finding our own happiness, making a difference in the world, loving ourselves as we are today? I have as much trouble as the next person looking in the mirror and loving what I see but there’s got to be more to life than the number of points in a tortilla, yes? You don’t have to be someone else’s idea of thin to live an active, happy life.

Roni emailed me back insisting that she was happy and that I had done her and her readers a great disservice by assuming they weren't.  At that point I realized that it wouldn't do any good to keep insisting that my point of view was the only correct one, so I focused on finding some common ground.  Anyway, we emailed back and forth a bit and she agreed with me that weight loss isn't the be all end all that some women think it is, though she continued to maintain the idea that this weight loss site she was running wasn't pushing that idea.  Whatever.  I guess I still feel like it turned out to be a small victory because she posted my comment and our subsequent discussion and now people who go to her site (at least for a few days) will see my comments offering another point of view besides "you must be thin to be ok".  Whether or not that will sink in now is irrelevant.  At some point down the road, perhaps some of these women will remember that idea and it will click and they will start down the road to self-love and acceptance.  Perhaps.  
(Anonymous) on July 9th, 2008 10:31 pm (UTC)
Who's Happy?
WOW, well thanks for the fake conversation, I guess. Here's the difference between you and me, I'm not trying to "win" anything I'm genuinely trying to start dialogue and spread a positive message.

I'm not sure why you think someone who found happiness and healthy way of living needs to "insist" they are happy. Another very condescending remark by the way. I'm not quite sure what I've done to deserve your animosity except by being actually happy instead of trying to spread a message of happiness I don't think you really believe.

I should have read the sarcastic tone in your replies and now I regret giving you my time and energy in what I thought was an interesting conversation where we were both honestly sharing our thoughts.

You come across as very bitter, resentful and frankly, unhappy. I guess spreading that message is making a great difference in the world, better then trying to be a positive influence on peoples lives.

mcjessen2 on July 9th, 2008 11:12 pm (UTC)
I'm happier thin than FAT
I've read Roni's blog for over a year. I have never once thought she was pushing a "Skinny" lifestyle. She is all about being healthy. While you do have a different opinion (one I can't make sense of) and I acknowledge that, I think your are completely ignorant in the fact that being healthy is better for you than carrying around extra body FAT. Not only physically but mentally. If you are happy with high cholestrol, blood pressure and diabeties, I say, keep doing what you're doing. If you're happy being miserable and depressed, good for you! Don't bring others down by spewing your bad attitude and jealously of other people's accomplishments. In the words of my five year old, you're MEAN! Maybe you should really look at yourself before you judge others!
(Anonymous) on July 9th, 2008 11:43 pm (UTC)
What A Shame
What a shame that you take so much pride and glee in being hurtful and rude! I don't believe Roni or anyone else (myself included) should have to defend their lifestyle choice or their happiness to you or anyone else. If you are happy being obese (as your picture clearly indicates you are), then so be it. It is your choice. I am also overweight; it is my choice to change that. I was happy overweight; I will be happy when I am no longer overweight. I made the decision to lose weight not to make myself happier but to make myself healthier. Any victory you may have experienced in this unfortunate experience must be very hollow. Maybe it is time for you to really examine you own health and happiness and stop judging others.
(Anonymous) on July 10th, 2008 12:09 am (UTC)
I think its odd that you keep harping on the "you must be thin to be ok", but in previous posts you call yourself fat and have gone to therapy (for what one can assume by your post) because you are heavy.
Perhaps you are jealous of Roni and the women that post of her site because you are larger. If anything, maybe you should be reading her site as inspiration, and take a few tips.
You should not feel like you won a small victory, because you are fighting a losing battle against yourself and your weight. Once you leave your state of denial, you might be open to not being skinny or thin, but to being HEALTHY, which is what all weight loss sites are about. I lack Roni's class and patience, but I do hope that you realize the stage of your life where you do not seem active nor healthy. Congrats that you can set up a tent, but you looked pretty worn out after.
CarriePcpadian on July 10th, 2008 09:28 pm (UTC)
Well, it's a fact that I am fat. Anyone with eyes can see that. I didn't go to therapy because of the fatness, I went because I was going through a difficult divorce and I needed to talk to someone about it. I think being healthy is an excellent goal for everyone regardless of their size. You and I just disagree on whether being fat makes someone automatically unhealthy and whether losing weight would then make them healthier. I personally think health is more a function of a person's actions as opposed to their weight or pants size, meaning there are healthy skinny people and healthy fat people as well as unhealthy skinny and fat people.
Give it up!!!! - (Anonymous) on July 16th, 2008 04:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Give it up!!!! - (Anonymous) on July 17th, 2008 08:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on July 10th, 2008 12:28 am (UTC)
Isn't it amazing how completely unhappy one must be to go to another blog and down grade all the wonderful things they're trying to accomplish?

When I was FAT I had your attitude as well. I didn't care what I looked like, and I didn't care what others thought of me, and I made sure that EVERYONE knew that. But the truth is I did care, and so do you.

You can sit there and make fun, and judge those who are doing something about being overweight. You may think that we are "wasting our energy on something that is almost impossible to change", but it's not impossible, you've just failed at all of your attempts and now hate others who are doing better than you are. And it's sad you feel this way, because it's not true, and you CAN do something about it.

But being hateful and rude isn't the way to make yourself fell better. I used to think so until I did something about it, I lost 100 pounds. And YES living a thinner HEALTHIER life does make one happier and more active, and able to pass this on to others including our families and children IS the way we CHOOSE to WASTE our energy.
(Anonymous) on July 10th, 2008 12:41 am (UTC)
Re: WOW!
I LOVE Roni, she is a great inspiration to many of us.

shame shame!!!
Re: WOW! - cpadian on July 10th, 2008 09:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on July 10th, 2008 01:18 am (UTC)
Did you know
that one of the ads that run on your page are for a free diet profile? I bet the people who click on those, which then support your page would be happy to hear about 1 point tortillas!!
CarriePcpadian on July 10th, 2008 04:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Did you know
yeah, unfortunately I don't have any control over which ads pop up on my page. I don't make any money off of them, blogspot and livejournal do.
(Anonymous) on July 10th, 2008 01:19 am (UTC)
I don't read Roni page because I want or need to lose weight. I have always been in a healhty weight range. I read her page because she has wonderful ideas that she shares on how to balance life: family, work, health, etc. As a mother of a 2 year old, wife to a wonderful man, cross country coach to a whole team and a woman who wants the energy to enjoy these things as well as my own hobbies, I appreciate her example.
(Anonymous) on July 10th, 2008 02:11 am (UTC)
And YOU'RE happy?
There is a big difference between placing all your happiness in your appearance and being happy but deciding to make a healthy change. Roni has never pushed the happiness=skinny mentality. You're right that we shouldn't all focus on negative body images, but the fact is that extra weight makes you move slower, it makes your joints ache and it puts you at increased risk for diabetes and heart disease. Eating healthier and taking that weight off makes us feel better, gives us more energy to play with our kids or hang out with friends and yes, gives us the opportunity to walk into a store, like an outfit and be able to walk out with it feeling confident.

What I don't get is that you see that as negative. What I don't get is that you somehow equate fat with happiness. Why do we have to stay fat to be happy? How is it in your mind that when you lose weight, you lose who you are? You are not your weight, and what YOU are doing is focusing on the exterior and saying that if we decide to lose weight, we are not happy with who we are. I'm not happy not being able to play with my son as much as I'd like to because it's just harder to move around more weight. I'm not happy having acid reflux disease because I have too much stomach fat.

Lastly, you seem to focus on being happy with yourself. It seems obvious to me that you aren't happy with yourself, so how can you judge others? You say it's basically impossible to lose weight, which, unless you have a medical reason, is just not true. Yes, it takes a heck of a lot of effort and it's really friggin hard, but it is possible, and that's what people like Roni show the rest of us. So before you go judging others and just being a nasty, bitter person, maybe you should step back and think about how happy you are. It's not our fault that you're unhappy, so don't blame the rest of the world.

In short, if YOU are the example of happiness, I'M happy being miserable.

CarriePcpadian on July 10th, 2008 09:42 pm (UTC)
Re: And YOU'RE happy?
You're right, there is a difference but unfortunately there are a lot of people out there who do believe that if they lose weight they will automatically be happy. It's just not true. I think you misunderstand me if you think I am trying to equate fat with happiness. Fat is merely a body characteristic, like tall. Having a particular body characteristic, even if it's one that is celebrated by our culture, is not an automatic guarantee of happiness or unhappiness. It's just a part of your whole.

And no, I'm not always super-happy with myself, but then again nobody is happy all the time. All you can do is try to make decisions that move you in a happier direction and deal with the results of those decisions.
(Anonymous) on July 10th, 2008 02:30 am (UTC)
What a snarky bitch
Open your fat eyelids and READ, honey.

Roni isn't saying "you must be thin to be ok." She is just posting her experience of having accomplished something HUGE (on her own terms, I may add) and offering support and encouragement to others who PERSONALLY WISH to take the same road.

You're a fat pusher! Get over yourself.
CarriePcpadian on July 10th, 2008 09:43 pm (UTC)
Re: What a snarky bitch
I love this comment so much. :) I have no problem with being a fat pusher. Go fat!
(Anonymous) on July 10th, 2008 02:31 am (UTC)
I honestly cannot believe you are "downgrading" Roni so to speak. I've only been reading her blog a couple months, but she has been such an inspiration to me, not just to lose weight, but to live healthy. I read her food site as well as her blog and all her recipes are about healthy foods and tasting good. I don't believe in anyway she is pushing us to lose weight and be skinny, I think she is pushing herself to be healthy, and trying to be great motivation for the rest of us out there. Maybe you should take a page from her book, you could learn a lot!
CarriePcpadian on July 10th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC)
I wasn't trying to downgrade Roni in any way. What I was responding to was really the comments on her story from all of these women who seemed unhappy with themselves and seemed to think that it was all because of their body sizes. I think a person can be happy whatever size she happens to be (again, not saying that anyone can be happy all the time) but there was a time where I believed that the only way to be okay was to lower the number on the scale. When I heard of the idea of fat acceptance and size positivity for the first time it was like a lightbulb went off in my head when I realized that there was another way to be besides always dieting and always miserable. My comment on Roni's site was meant to spread that idea because it had freed me from so much self-hatred.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on July 10th, 2008 11:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cpadian on July 11th, 2008 02:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
withoutscenewithoutscene on July 10th, 2008 03:29 am (UTC)
It's really no use replying to "anonymous", but holy fuck on every account. You may have made an assumption about her, but NO ONE is making ANY assumptions about you, huh?
(Anonymous) on July 10th, 2008 03:48 am (UTC)
Carrie, what the hell is wrong with you? You're a bitter, angry, overweight sicko who seems bitter about someone who actually lost weight and has a family and a life she loves. You need help.
CarriePcpadian on July 10th, 2008 09:51 pm (UTC)
We all need help, honey.
(Anonymous) on July 10th, 2008 05:23 am (UTC)

I'm guessing you were the fat, mean dork in high school. You were that girl who sat in the corner and scowled at people all day long, primarily the pretty, popular girls that knew what they wanted in life. The ones that had ambition, something that you clearly lack after reading the quotes on your page. You have a lot of quotes about exercise and losing weight, which you OBVIOUSLY haven't inspired you to move much further than your refrigerator door. You're the socially retarded person that at 31 years old can count her friends on one hand...with fingers to spare. You have to PAY people to drive you home!?!?! Seriously??? I guess you were a hit at the second bar. Bet they were thrilled to see you come back. So Carrie, how do you feel? How does it feel for someone to come on your blog page, read what's important to you and let you know that you're nothing more than a total loser? How's that for a reality check?

Roni is an amazing woman. She has created something very unique to the world wide web. I've never seen a website that makes someone from Ohio feel like they're sitting in a coffeehouse with an old friend from Maryland along with 600 of their closest friends cheering and applauding in their successes and providing support and comfort with their struggles. Roni has devoted HOURS of her personal time to provide people that are interested the opportunity to become a member of the weight watchen community "family".

You know why I think you're a fat, mean dork? You went out of your way (you really did..I know this since you posted that you don't have internet right now) to hurt Roni's feelings. Here's what I think, Carrie. I think you care about weight. I think you care about your what others think about you and how others view you. I think you're completely uncomfortable in your own skin regardless of what you say.

This is what I have to say. If you'd like to be a fat, miserable, ugly, mean, socially inept, lazy loser that feels compeled to rain on someone else's successes that's fine. Be prepared to hear exactly what people think about you. If I were you I would invest my time in striving to be the best person I can be. You clearly chose another path.

Think about this...maybe if you were a little kinder you wouldn't have to pay someone to drive you home.

I think you owe Roni an apology.
(Anonymous) on July 10th, 2008 05:50 am (UTC)
That was very mean! not even Roni who was the offended one called her a miserable ugle mean socially inept lazy loser..
(no subject) - cpadian on July 10th, 2008 10:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on July 10th, 2008 05:46 am (UTC)
Fat or Thin

I don't think that the war between fat and thin will ever come to and end, and unless your personal doctor tells you that the extra weight is definitely going to kill you then what else do you care about what other people think? Obese people face a lot of disadvantages and discrimination, it shouldn't be. Your size shouldn't determine your paycheck. I'm guilty about that sometimes, usually when I meet someone obese I try hard not to judge them for their size and try to get to know them for their character, but in the back of my head there is always that bad thought, i.e. "I wish I never get like that", "how can she live with herself?". I'm sorry about that. We all just need to realize that everyone has a different story, some people are born fat, some others become fat later in life, others can eat anything under the sun and never worry about it while others gain 10 lbs just by smelling a cookie. I was always within a normal weight until I had my children, I gained a "few" pounds and decided to take them off, it worked for me. I read Roni's site all the time, I read it for her ideas on healthy recipes and for motivation to stay on track. I'm one of those that puts on the 10 lbs. just by smelling the cookie. I'm not going to give up, and yes, finding a 1 point tortilla helps me to keep going, but food is not all that there is to life. In a perfect world we should be able to be whatever size we want to be without being critized, bullied, or anything of the sort, I want to keep fighting the weight off, you have decided to not do that anymore. As long as we don't offend each other then great. But that is what you did with this post, you did to those people what the "skinny" people do to you. You don't want to get down to "our level"...right? On the meantime, good luck on being you, I loved your video on youtube.

(Anonymous) on July 10th, 2008 11:23 am (UTC)
OK, That's enough.
Name calling and pointing fingers is not going to get us anywhere. Carrie said her peace, I said mine. She and others feel one way, we feel another, that is the way of the world.

This all started because of a simple comment that tried to present a point of view in a sarcastic mean spirited way. If we all said our peace without putting others down we would get SO MUCH MORE ACCOMPLISHED. We can educate people insulting them.

Carrie's initial message and point was skewed because of her "tone" and now ours is being clouded my mean spirited comments. Please stop the name calling it's uncalled for.

(Anonymous) on July 11th, 2008 01:36 am (UTC)
Re: OK, That's enough.
Ronnie, I couldn't agree more.

I've been reading Ronnie's site forever, and I have certainly had days where I mentally thought to myself "God, is it really worth it to police what I eat so much that it is ALL I have the energy to think about every minute of every day? Is twenty lbs worth it to me?" That type of decision, (what is worth worrying about) is a decision every person has the right to make on their own. Carrie admitted her tone was a little off, and quickly APOLOGIZED, so why is she still being attacked? Can't we forgive and move on? Calling people names helps nothing.

I also want to ask some people how their comments would have changed if Carrie's picture showed a 5 foot six, 135 pound athlete? That is my physical type right now but I have uttered the sentence, "there is more to life than worrying if you went over your daily calorie count"

I continue to use Roni's site, but also gain perspective by reading lots of different views. I hope everyone can recognize that no one is perfect, and people bring different perspectives, even on different days of the week mine can vary greatly!