I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Health is Wealth – FML


Content Warning: I mention and use images to discuss and take apart the things people attribute to being healthy or unhealthy, I do not believe these things as I explain below. My use of said images is meant to be sarcastic and in no way promotes this toxic bullshit, I assure you.

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“Health is wealth, and I’m broke, so that’s all I’m after! Ha-ha!” he said with a hearty chuckle after no less than three people stood around my desk talking about their individual and collective weight loss successes and how they each achieved it in different ways. I wanted to growl at them, loudly. There’s no use in reasoning with people like this. The one with manners then apologized to me for being so distracting. If only they knew how absolutely full of shit each of them truly is! Ha-ha! The “Health is wealth” one admitted they no longer eat dinner and only half the lunch portion they used to consume. The classier of the three gets just shy of evangelizing, “Keto! You either know it or you don’t, but once you start you’ll never want to stop, it’s brilliant!” It was all I could do to pretend to ignore the entire conversation just feet away from me. Internally I may have rolled my eyes so hard the southern hemisphere rippled. (Also, none of these three has ever been fat a day in their lives!)

Health is wealth is the biggest piece of shit thing to say that I’ve heard in awhile! And that’s saying a lot, it’s not like any of us can avoid what our current president says every fucking day! But Health is Wealth is so classist it’s anger inducing and that doesn’t even get into the rest of the ball of bullshit wrapped up in that phrase. So let’s shred it, shall we? Let’s!
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Health: Is not what most of us think it is. It’s not a destination. It’s not something you can put your finger on. It’s not something you get to choose from a list of options. Many people are born with health issues/concerns, they never get to say “Health is Wealth” and that’s even if they get the best treatment there is. Health is more of a buzzword than anything with any actual meaning now days. I hear it so much every fucking day, “Oh that’s not healthy dude!” or “Look at me being healthy!” it’s not a verb, it’s not an adjective and it’s certainly not wealth in any sort of way that matters to me. It’s so aggravating and I do push back, a lot. It’s meaningless. You can slap the word healthy on anything these days and no one questions it. It is a noun: the state of being free from illness or injury. See, nothing to do with food whatsoever!
Food in and of itself is neither healthy or unhealthy, no matter what food it is or how it is prepared. It’s an inanimate object! That’s it! There’s no good or bad, no healthy or unhealthy, it’s just food. You either eat it or you don’t. I’ve had enough conversations about this that I am usually ready to explain myself because I am always questioned by the “healther” I’ll call them, or those that proselytize “health” as something we must all strive for constantly with our every waking breath! Fuck that!
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Very recently I was at a professional networking event and there were vendors giving samples and informational brochures about their products and services. There was one vendor I had been emailing with and had even scheduled a call to discuss how they might fit my current employer’s needs. But when I got up to the table to talk to the guy and introduce myself I very quickly saw that their entire marketing platform was built on the demonization of sugar consumption. That eye roll thing happened again, but I introduced myself anyway. And then I asked if this was their only marketing strategy currently. He never actually answered that question, but very quickly jumped to the, “It’s as addictive as heroin!” garbage and I asked why he was quoting an article on a study that was published over six years ago and has since been proven to be speculative bullshit. (It hits the same reward centers of the brain, so do likes on social media, there is no evidence of actual addiction to sugar). He insisted it was true and absolute. I asked him who paid for the study and how that information corrupts “results”. He didn’t know. I told him to follow the money. I told him that the American Medical Associate is funded in part by the beef and dairy council, he responded with, “Well, sure, if you look into something enough you’re gonna find something!” which was my point exactly. Their table was set up with samples of snack items with comparable brands and beside each were stacks of sugar cubes representing in grams what each serving size would be. He finally pressed, “Fine, what is healthy to you?!” and I said what I always say, “It’s our behavior, not food, it’s what we do with it. Life should be full of variety and moderation in most things. That’s it!” he had nothing to say to that. We both said we’d schedule that call, and neither of us have. Fuck him and his bullshit company.
I run the food and beverage program for a tech start up in silicon valley as the office manager. I have run many food programs for startups in the area. I’ve owned and operated my own restaurant. I’m food safety certified and a genuine food/nutrition nerd. I know more about this stuff than most folks, sadly and often, more than medical doctors, too. The average MD gets approximately 40 hours of nutritional education. I’ve had far more by leaps and bounds than 40 hours! I have read countless books, guides, workshops, you name it! Knowing the science about food was an eye opener and a game changer for me. Having people close to me with severe and “bizarre” allergies (or so doctor’s told them) taught me a lot, too. I have seen people destroy their lives over their food choices. My own food choices have created problems in my personal relationships in the past. The more you know the more informed decisions you can make for yourself. That is really all I am ever talking about here, autonomy! It’s a beautiful thing!
Because I run the food program for my company I am well accustomed and attuned to people’s “feedback” about the options we have on offer on any given day. 98% of this “feedback” is full of bullshit buzzwords that are so meaningless you can actually see the fear growing in their eyes as I open my mouth to ask them to clarify or provide more detail. Ha-ha! It tickles me sometimes, other times it’s down right triggering and fucking depressing. These are grown ass adults getting paid a fuck ton of money to do a job in one of the hottest markets in the country and yet they never bother to question what they are putting in their mouths (or heads for that matter), but they love to question me about it daily. I’m tough, I can take it, and I have a great work bff and personal support system in place when I need it. Not everyone does, though, and to me that’s the real trouble. They shame and blame others, they shame and blame themselves, never realizing that it’s all made up! No doubt this has caused many eating disorders and body image issues the world over. But please, let’s all continue to blame fat people for everything! Ha-ha!
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Also, fuck health! I live with old and recurring injuries. While I have no on-going health issues, the very size of my body is so often pathologized that I know to fast before going to any doctor’s appointment, even if it’s just a pap smear or a cold, because they take one look at me and send me for a fasting glucose test (obv fat = diabetes y’all, duh! – NOT!!! And that is not how that works!). It’s fucking everywhere, this toxic bullshit mentality. I want to punch it in the face! I know, I know, “it” doesn’t have a face. But it IS destroying us and our “health”! I hope that we can all trust in ourselves and our bodies to do and know what is right, and to seek solid information to better inform our decisions. If you haven’t already read it, I cannot recommend enough the book Health At Every Size by Dr. Linda Bacon, it was such an eye opener for me and showed me the ways in which we are taught to not trust our own bodies and minds. To me this is such a tragedy. I hope we can one day find ourselves not even talking about food and health in these ways.
Rad Fatty Love to ALL,


P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Instagram & Facebook!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (You can listen straight from the web, too!)

Donate to this blog here:

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (and updated daily): 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it!

I also have an Instagram, though I need to get back into posting there:

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.):

posted under Bullshit, Buzz, fat, Food | No Comments »

Live Longer Through Community

I’ve read a few articles lately about the one thing allows people to live longer and healthier lives and I was not at all surprised, though many have been. It’s feeling connected to community. I can honestly say without hesitation that without that connectedness, without my local fat community, I wouldn’t be here. Fat community keeps me alive when even I don’t want to be. That is the truth in it’s purest form, folks. I have gone through many big life events in the last ten years and fat community was there for me at each and every turn.
Your community may not be fat, it might be queer or feminist or all three of those things at once. Your community may be nature fungi foragers, only you know what your identities and people are. How does one find their community, though? Ultimately, that is something I cannot answer for you. I can say that you have to seek it out, that it may suck at first, you may feel more lost or unconnected, but you should definitely keep trying! My first several attempts at fostering fat community locally failed, but in the end I found my peeps and some lifelong friends, too.
My fat community finding/fostering began with setting up a meet up at a local mall. I think I posted on Fatshionista, a LiveJournal group that I adored and was popular at the time. It was more of a “Hey would anyone be interested in meeting up and going shopping together?” We met up at the Cheesecake Factory and it was my first time meeting folks of size outside of work/school/life things. I was still new to calling myself fat in a positive way. It felt radical to be meeting in public as fat people, we took up space and then some and it was awesome! We ordered our food without guilt, though other needs were discussed (for medical or other reasons). We chatted and relished stories of coming out as fat, so to speak. We had about 12 people, if memory serves me, from the entire spectrum of fat (babyfat to superfat, if you will).
After we ate we decided to hit up Torrid in the mall. I had only ever been to Torrid once or twice at that time, I didn’t really have a sense of my own style as I had spent my youth hiding beneath layers of baggy clothing to conceal both my fat body and my femininity. But I was soooooo stoked to be in a fat pack of awesome people cruising the mall together. Torrid didn’t know what hit ’em! One couple bought each other sexy things to wear and even modeled for us and it was so fun and empowering and visually dazzling! I bought two heart necklaces that I still own and wear regularly (I cherish them, even if they are plastic).
Next we headed to Lane Bryant, the only other option in that particular mall. At LB I did try on clothes and had fun with some of the other folks from the meet up in the dressing rooms. Just that feeling of, “Oh hey this is cool we all get that this is hard so let’s make it fun” sort of a thing. Like tossing each other things to try and others running to get each other different sizes. I recall a classic trench coat I had wanted badly, but even their 26/28 was ill fitting in how the buttons gaped. We discussed sizing bullshit and size-ist bullshit and it was a great time. I never really heard from or saw those folks again, save one.
I tried several more times and once I opened my own cafe I started a regular one on Saturdays there. It was great to have my own space and to host, something I’d never been able to before. Accessibility being a struggle, always, it was so important to me that my own cafe be open and inviting to all, but it was also a historic building where there were no ramps. My meet ups there were intermittent in attendance, but I was there and hopeful for every one we scheduled! More often than not, no one showed, but I shrugged it off and kept at it. Luckily I had also started this blog around this time and got to meet some of my readers this way. I made great friends at that time and some I still consider tried and true, though I’ll admit that others have come and gone, for better or worse.
I first realized that I had fat community, and that I was (am) fat community at a Big Moves dance show, the first I attended. It was also my first time going strapless in public and I was accompanied by my two bffs. I had chatted with Marilyn Wann online about something (honestly can’t recall) and we were to try to meet each other after the show. The show itself was a life changer! Never before had I seen such joy embodied entirely, start to finish. My cheeks hurt from smiling so much! After the show we waited outside, but Marilyn never showed. Through happenstance we asked a nice person nearby to take our photo. It just so happened to be one of the original Fat Lip Readers, former professional portrait taker, and the ever lovely and fabulous Carol Squires who supports Big Moves to this very day!
I did end up meeting Marilyn Wann at my cafe not long after. She signed my copy of her book, “Fat! So?” and even made me feel better about a haircut mishap I was feeling bad about (though the front was hella cute). Through these meet ups and Fatshionista and Marilyn, I was riding high on my fat activism and positivity at that time. It was 2011 and International No Diet Day was an epic event for me, still is. I met people at that “Flesh Mob” that I still call friends (I have written about it here).
Soon I was attending NAAFA and NoLose conferences, BBW Dance Clubs and a Bash and figuring out where I belong, if I belonged at all. The short answer is that I didn’t belong, at least not in those specific groups/conferences. So I started Fatty Affair, which was a fat positive event in San Jose, California, free to the public, that included performances, a clothing swap, a bake sale and vendor tables. It was intended to be a one-off event, but turned into two; the first in 2012, the second in 2013. I have had many people ask me about another (some downright demanding), but alas we outgrew our awesome venue and I have yet to find another suitable spot for our fabulousness.

It seems through all of the great fat things I was doing and attending, I gathered my own version of community close to my heart unwittingly. I began performing with Tigress in the annual Big Moves shows. I started to find power in my vulnerability and a strong sense of responsibility to do the very things for others that were such an inspiration to me before I was part of that world. That is what keeps me going. It’s a belonging, it’s a connectedness, but it’s also a community of misfits.
When you think about community as a basic word, we often think our neighborhood or schools, associations we may be a part of. When you think about what you truly feel connected to, when the chips are down as they say, what do you envision? Do you see your city council members or mayor? Do you see the PTA? Do you see your family and friends? What makes you feel most fulfilled and connected? For me that has been fat community, hands down.
I was recently out of work for a spell and not just down on my luck but truly heading towards dire straits. My blog’s annual hosting bill was looming and as the deadline drew closer I was afraid that I would have to lose it entirely. I didn’t want to ask for help, but didn’t know where to turn. I didn’t need to look far, my local fat community stepped up in a big way! I was so surprised and moved! It actually got me back into writing again, too! My blog saved and so many people wishing me well and sending good vibes and love, I felt connected and seen and humbled and inspired. You can’t put a price on that.
Rad Fatty Love to ALL,


P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Instagram & Facebook!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (You can listen straight from the web, too!)

Donate to this blog here:

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (and updated daily): 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it!

I also have an Instagram, though I need to get back into posting there:

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.):

The Lies They Sell in the Name of Body Positivity


Women’s Health (Ha!) magazine published an article by Anonymous (Not the cool one, I assure you) entitled, “How Becoming A Nudist Helped Me Accept My Body” (I refuse to link because fuck that magazine and all it promotes) with the following image at the top:

(Photo depicts a thin, white, seemingly able-bodied woman from behind with long wavy brown hair coming up out of the water.)

My immediate and initial reaction was an overly dramatic eye roll. Not at being a nudist, mind you. Nah, to each their own, live and let live is my way. My reaction was mostly to the photo. My inner thought was a very snarky, “Oh sure, it’s a helluva lot easier to love your body, especially amongst nudists if you are the embodiment of western social beauty standards! Psshht!” Today I decided to examine my own snark and read the actual article. My initial reaction, I found, was not wrong. Ugh!

This was written by someone who claimed to already love their naked body, to feel their best when wearing nothing at all. They then go into how they were at their largest size after years of yo-yo dieting. The writer then aims to demystify what nudism is and how meetups and events work. Sexual and lewd behavior is not allowed, it’s all very normal and nice, just nude. I was open to what they had to say until it ended with:

“Now that I feel a healthy acceptance of my body, I feel all the more motivated to improve it. The body that I love is healthier than ever, and I consistently make an effort to nourish it, exercise it, and pamper it.

After all, I have quite the audience these days. And I love it.”

One of these days I will surely get my eyes to permanently roll so far back the can no longer sit in their natural place! For fuck’s sake! How did I fucking know?!?! This person never loved their body and they still fucking don’t! This person points directly to how their size increased and then recommits to the same destructive pattern in yet another futile attempt to “improve it” after participating and feeling part of a community that has embraced her and believes:

“Nudists (or naturists, if you will) consider the human body a beautiful creation, and something of which no one should be ashamed.” 

What in the actual living fuck?!?! NO! This is not how that works! Why did I read this infuriating article? Why am I sharing this here and with you at all? Because we all need to recognize and think more critically about this bullshit that gets shoved down our throats in all media, even and maybe especially when it paints itself in pretty, body positive colors. UGH! Yeah “body positivity” is really just another way the weight cycling (read diet/fitness/etc) industry adds to its billions of dollars in profit. That profit comes from those who just want to feel better, to feel like they belong in this world, to feel whole and human and right. It’s all lies!

You need only to scratch the surface to find co-opted language ripped from the fat positive/acceptance movement directly. I remember the gross, deep, awful feeling that sat in the pit of my stomach as I saw for the first time the weight watching ad depicting an outright rip off of Marilyn Wann’s “Yay! Scale”. I’ve seen companies such as lane bryant pushing a seeming body positive message in order to shill their control-slimming-torture garments in order for us all to fit in…or is it really just fall in line?! No thank you!

All bodies are good bodies

“There is no wrong way to have a body!” I believe originally said/written by Lesley Kinzel, but google results were too numerous and varied to prove this, thanks to further co-opting in the name of body positivity that actually isn’t at all. We don’t need media further profiting off of us when we’ve been beaten up our entire lives by a society that sees us as inherently wrong and othered. I refuse to consume anything that makes me feel like shit or tries to convince me to. Fuck that noise! That’s all it is, too, is noise. It is a din that finds its way into our very pores and then sells us pore minimizing creams lest the rest of the world discovers we inhabit actual human bodies.

I am obsessed with Sailor J, who has a YouTube vlog in the style of makeup tutorials. Only she uses her fantastic and sarcastic sense of humor in such a way I have not encountered online. To find inspiration in someone so much younger than myself is humbling, but awesome! One of my closest friends is 24 and while the world opens its doors to her as it slams them on me, she is open-minded and willing to see what that means and why that is. Sailor J reminds me of her, but funnier and more feminist in her own way. Love them both! I think it is both easy and wrong to dismiss the views and experiences of those younger than us/me. I highly recommend Sailor J’s Contouring 101 video. I have no interest in the subject itself, but it is a fantastic commentary on the absurdity of beauty standards in a patriarchal society.

I am fat. And I have this radical idea that I am allowed to exist.

There is nothing wrong with having a fat body, of any size. There have always been fat people, throughout time! Humans seek to control anything that feels out of their control. Today’s beauty standards have not always been based on thin, white, euro-hetero-centric bullshit. How fucking boring and unreasonable is that?! I love the diversity of where I live, the San Francisco Bay area in California. I love that nobody looks the same or is shaped the same. I have visited places where that is seriously not the case. It was surprising to me and I couldn’t feel comfortable in those locales. Why anyone would want that I will never understand, nor try to, honestly.

While we cannot change other people, or their beliefs or ability to see people of size as whole and equal, we can choose to laugh in the face of those who oppress us with those boring and small-minded views. We are not here to be pleasing to everyone, or anyone, other than ourselves, dammit! We have just as much a right to exist in this world, to seek happiness and create a life of our choosing, as anyone else. They will try to lie to our very faces and insist we live a life confined by their standards and miseries, but that isn’t the life I want. That isn’t the path to fulfillment. Follow the money, examine what media you consume and think critically about it. They love to take and take and take from us, but to walk in our radically self-accepting shoes would rock their damned world!
(Que “Fat Bottom Girls” by Queen LOL!)

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,



P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Insta & FB!

Donate to this blog here:

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (and updated daily): 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

I also have an Instagram I’ve finally started to actually use:

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.):

Fats Hating Fats


I know that I no longer really use the term Fat Acceptance anymore, but for the context of this post I will. I have been a fat activist and fat acceptance blogger/supporter for many years. Gosh, how long has it been now? Well, I’m not exactly sure, but a long ass time. For me it all started with a copy of BUST magazine and the article about the U.K. Chubsters fatty gang. I immediate hopped online to discover all I could about  them and the movement they represented and talked about.

Soon I found myself jumping from link to link to blog to blog until finally happening upon the community that would change my life for the better:’s Fatshionista community. Without that community I never would have dabbled in fashion, question my own internalized fatphobia, learned to heal my relationship with my body, taken a helicopter ride over Maui (had to buy 2 seats and feared fat shame, so glad I did it!), started my own small business or this very blog.

I longed for fat friends, solidarity and community. It took awhile, but I did find it. The key was that I refused to quit no matter how hard it got. The first few meet ups I organized were disappointing. When I had my cafe there were times when no one would show up at all. Or the clothing swap where only four people came and I was left with a car full of left over clothes to donate. Slowly but surely though I met the right people and found my community in fat acceptance.

I have met some very famous fats on my journey but only one gave me that awkward “OMZ! I have your book!” feeling and moment. What I have found is that most fats, famous or not, are awesome people. I never had fat friends growing up and the few that I did hated themselves and the world, too. I haven’t always been fat myself, but was fatter than most and then some once I hit puberty. I had a fat bff when I had the cafe, but her refusal to accept my fat body and her constant self hate was too much for me to handle.

Years of attending fat events and conferences and meet ups and dances and picnics and more and I thought I knew what my local fat community was: awesome! What I hadn’t realized until the last year or so is how it is also very fluid. It changes and reshapes itself constantly. There are the veterans and the newbies and while I thought everyone was accepting and positive and loving and all of that, I was very wrong.

Even in a community where we share the same pain, oppression and battle against a society brainwashed by marketing schemes, there are still cliques and mean girl attitudes that continue to shock me. This past weekend I heard stories of fats hating fats. Of famous fatties saying things like, “I’m fat, but not mid western fat!” or terms like “Forklift fat” and more. I’ve heard disabled fats feeling invisible or worse, that their needs were “just too much.” It seems even in a community where we bond over our mutual struggles in the world, there is still so much room to grow in just loving and accepting each other. The worst is the whole “good fatty versus bad fatty” mentality. It has got to end if we are to make any progress outside of our own community.

Racism is an especially vital subject that often isn’t addressed in the fat acceptance realm. Racism is something I have been keenly aware of, an activist and ally against and a struggle in my own life as far back as I can remember. In a space like No Lose I learned so much last year in the anti racism workshops and white allies group on Facebook. I had no idea until then what a privilege I have by having grown up in such a diverse community (the San Francisco Bay Area). I was looking forward to doing more of this type of work and learning this year and was excited to jump back into the tough dialogues and conversations necessary to make this community inclusive and safe for everybody.

What I hadn’t thought I would hear in such a space is how I and other white allies, regardless of the work we do within our community and at home, would be reduced to nothing but a skin color. I heard a story from a fellow fat that in seeking information to coordinate for a workshop they were told, “I’m not talking to white people this week.” and dismissed. Had this person given them even a moment to speak they would have thanked them for helping them through a difficult time last year, but they never had the chance. It breaks my heart to see past connections broken like this. I have no idea what caused this, nor is it my place to guess, but it was still a surprise and in an activist space I do not think that this is okay.

From the No Lose page:

NOLOSE* is a vibrant community of

fat queers and our allies,
with a shared commitment to feminist, anti-oppression ideology and action, seeking to end the oppression of fat people!  

I did not see this philosophy or attitude at the conference itself. The workshops I attended did not once mention solutions, healing, community support or even open discussion. It seemed to be more of a sharing of painful stories, anger, frustration and experiences thing and not a workshop at all. I understand and support having a safe space for connecting and bonding over shared pain and experiences. I think that it is important and vital to have this, but not alone. There needs to be more of a creative mindset, I feel. There were caucuses for this, but workshops? Nothing was “workshopped” in my eyes. At least not in the five or six workshops I attended.

No Lose may provide a more revolutionary space than the straight world has to offer, but it is not the inclusive utopia it strives so hard to be. There is work being done, don’t get me wrong. But the work and solutions versus accusations and calling people out and insisting upon accountability without making it safe to do so just isn’t happening or working. In a previous post I was put upon to hold those accountable who bullied me at the conference. If you’ve ever been bullied you know this is not an easy task, often it is impossible to feel safe to do so.

I was minutes away from a full blown panic attack when I was physically pushed aside by a smaller fat. This was moments before the talent show began. When it was time for me to hit the stage there was an issue with the mic stand on the stage (I needed it moved in order to dance) and then my music started late and I could barely hear it and I forgot all of my choreography. The moment I left the stage my panic attack hit me harder than a brick wall and I ran hysterically crying up to my hotel room. By the time I’d composed myself and calmed down enough to re-enter the conference space again, everyone was gone. The dance party was canceled and so I chose to hang out with some awesome people in the bar for an hour instead.

The following morning was my volunteer shift bright and early and then the Sunday Salon where I read my controversial piece “Fatty Dancer” and things would never be the same again. Not once did I feel safe enough to report or hold accountable the people that bullied me (physically or emotionally, there was way more than the pushing incident). There was so much going on, and in the end, what would it have accomplished? All I have ever wanted to be is myself. I fight for the right to be me and to live the life I want to live everyday in the straight world. I didn’t have it in me to fight for that at No Lose. Perhaps that is on me, so be it.

Since no one is willing to tell me exactly what I have done wrong, what specifically in my piece hurt people or is racist, I cannot see that anything with it or me is wrong. I was held accountable, I got up in front of the entire conference and acknowledged the pain I’d caused without knowing how or what caused it. In an activist space I expected more information, compassion and discussion. There was no discussion that I was allowed into. Many superfats felt invisible in a conference where the social currency was fuckability and always the smaller fats deemed more popular/accepted.

I wanted to quit being an activist due to how I and other fats were treated. But fuck that! I am an activist. I have always been and always will be an activist! I may not always have the spoons to speak up for myself but I almost always want to help and stand up for the underdog. I know the work I have done and continue to do can speak for itself. My events are inclusive to all. There is talk and sharing of pain and struggle, but always with a message of healing and connecting and community. No one is an island, but we all know what that feels like.

Living in a fat body in western society is hard enough. We are the embodiment of many people’s worst nightmares. Those on either end of the spectrum of oppression get it worst of all and that doesn’t take or give to anyone else. We have to stay connected and work with each other and for each other in order to make things right. Hating people you do not personally know is continuing the oppression you claim, as a fat activist, to want to end. What the fuck is that about?! We can do better! So stop spouting hate about who is or isn’t in your cool fatty club and realize that you’re harming all of us by doing so. There are so many great minds and vibrant voices being silenced and shut out. I refuse to sit idly while this happens. I will not be silenced and I will not stop working towards something better. Please join me.

Rad Fatty Love to you ALL!


















No Lose 2013: Sunday Salon Submission “Fatty Dancer”


This is the piece I submitted and read to the attendees of No Lose for the Sunday Salon. A lot has been said and assumed about this piece and about me because of it. I have reflected and acknowledged that people were hurt by this piece at the community feedback session that same day (see my quote/response and thoughts below).

No Lose 2013: Sunday Salon Submission  “Fatty Dancer”

I want to tell you that I am fat. I want to tell you that I’m a dancer. But the truth is I haven’t always been either of those. I started dancing when my toddler feet hit the ground, but I was a weird, skinny kid who always felt awkward and ugly. At age five I was at a friend’s house dancing to the radio when her sister came in and told me, “What do you think you’re doing? White girls can’t dance!” I was crushed. I ran home crying and begged my mother to change me so that I could dance once again.

As friends went to dance lessons and gymnastics, I stayed home and danced in my carport. I pretended there was a grand ball or a life changing showcase for all to witness my amazing dance skills. I danced with my bff to the radio and cassettes. We had dance routines for everything! We had big dreams and bigger hearts. We loved to dance and refused to stop.

Junior high meant social dances, just like in the movies. Only, the big song of the day was “Me so horny” and I was boy crazy! Puberty hit and with it so did a lot of other stuff. Drugs, boys, depression, weight gain…these things are common, for sure, but for me it felt like the weight of the world on my shoulders, too. High school was a special kind of torture. I fell in with the “wrong” kids and started cutting classes, experimenting with drugs and sneaking out at night to kiss boys in graveyards.

By the time I met my abuser I’d forgotten all about my dancing days. Somehow I thought having a boyfriend was the biggest priority. Oh if I could shake some sense into my fourteen year old self! Meeting that individual would change the course of my entire life. I spent the next five years as a hostage in my own home. Every aspect of my life was controlled by him. I would spend so much time in my head and retreat and disconnect entirely from my body. I had to. I disconnected to protect myself from the abuse. I would fantasize about escaping, about being saved, about evaporating into a vapor. I did not dance for those five years.

When I finally escaped I was 19 and didn’t know who I was or how I fit into the world. At a size 20 I soon realized that I didn’t. I wore baggy corduroys, baggy t-shirts and coordinating flannels to hide what my body had become: fat! I was in a new town with a new job and no idea what my life was supposed to be now. I’d been given another shot at a life, but I was so depressed and unknowingly suffering from PTSD that I mostly just sat home and cried a lot. Soon my old friends came back into the picture and insisted I get out and dance!

We tried dance clubs where we could get in, but not being 21 made that tough. Until they talked me into going to a goth club in San Francisco called “The So What” and it was like a light bulb moment for me. I fought and resisted, “What is this goth shit anyway?” I complained. But they dragged me there kicking and screaming with smuggled in liquor and the promise of a good time. I didn’t believe them for a second. Until we hit the dance floor and this industrial band was playing and in a flash, I was in love!

The fashion, this different style of dance so new to my eyes. I was among the freaks and the weirdos…my people! They were free spirits and moved as they pleased, on their own, no couples! This was fantastic and I soon fell right into it! I bought a cassette of the band (16 Volt) playing that night and tucked it into my back pocket. Years  later I got to meet and hang out with those dudes in San Jose. So cool!

I went back to that club with friends and on my own. Sometimes I would go just to have a space to dance without people judging me. It always felt so free and right when I would dance there. It was when I first tried to love my body. I wore an oddly put together mish-mash of lingerie pieces and satin and random chains and crosses. I didn’t know how to do my own make up and would just sort of smear black eye liner here and there.

When I met my future (and now ex) husband, he wasn’t into dancing at all. He went with me to the goth club once but just stood against the wall, I’m sure trying his best to have a good time. I never went back. Later, that club closed and I never found one even close to as good as that.

13 years later, after so many careers, pitfalls and even running my own cafe, a friend talked me into going to FFE (full figured entertainment) in Oakland. I hesitated, but then figured I was in good fat company. I’d been a fat activist and blogger for some years and felt comfortable in my own skin. But dancing? I thought I was “too old” for the club. Ha-ha! I didn’t really know how to dress, but went with it just the same. I didn’t know most of the music but I picked up some new dance moves on the floor and had the best time! Soon I found myself returning to FFE with my friend as well as others. I got to know the club promoter, Tigress and even tried other dance clubs.

I did find a goth night in San Jose, but it will never be anything close to as awesome as “The So What” but what can ya do? It was perhaps a moment in time. I go to 80’s and new wave nights, I go to goth nights and sometimes I go to a local BBW club when my friend talks me into it. I’m not into the whole BBW scene, but when you’re with the right people and dancing you kind of forget about all of that other stuff (at least I try to).

When Tigress asked me to join her in a dance duet for Big Moves Bay Area’s spring show “En Masse” I said yes without thinking. I had not performed on a stage in seventeen years! I had moments of doubt and insecurity, but Tigress was awesome and we had so much fun busting our humps rehearsing for the show. I had never before experienced that whole “runner’s high” thing until those rehearsals. I get it now! It is a wonderful feeling. It is addictive. I fell in love with dancing all over again!

What was amusing to me was how few people knew I could dance or that I enjoy it. Some friends were shocked, others cried at my performance and many thought it would be a very different style altogether. Okay, they thought I’d be doing a bunch of booty shaking, which I’m obviously not opposed to, but they were so not expecting a serious number from the likes of me and Tigress. Ha-ha! I love that! It was such an honor to be a part of “En Masse!” It was a fantastic show and I would have attended even if I wasn’t in it.

I felt like a bit of a phony at first. These other girls had been performing and rehearsing and who was I to be in this big amazing show?! But they were all so kind and supportive. It was an emotional journey for me as well as a physical one. I had some childhood stuff come back to haunt me but worked through it with some major help from my friends. After our tech and dress rehearsals I had so many people tell me how fantastic our piece was that I couldn’t believe it. Then after the two performances, to see the looks on my friends and new boyfriend’s faces?! Well, that is priceless!

I felt a bit of loss after those shows were over, though. No more rehearsals? No more laughing and being silly with Tigress? Nothing to look forward to or work towards? I was in mourning for dance. I hit up the club as best I could, but that local BBW club’s DJ is the worst ever and it just wasn’t filling the dance gap. When I saw that No Lose was looking for people to be in the talent show I signed up, again, without even thinking. I had no ideas, no song in mind and no inspiration. I had to dig deep for that one! Ha-ha! I wanted to do it just to keep dancing.

I want to tell you that I am fat. I want to tell you that I’m a dancer. And I am both of those things now. I spent far too much time away from doing the thing I love to do that I just cannot stop now! I want to be the dancing granny on YouTube, in a dancing grannies dance troupe! I want to take every opportunity to move in a joyful way! I often say that human connection is the spice of life for me. Conversation is my drug of choice and listening to my glorious gut will never steer me wrong. But now I also know how very powerful movement can be.

I used to watch the Big Moves performances and be in tears the whole time. They were tears of joy, mind you, but inside of me lived an ache for dance. A knee injury and lack of health insurance kept me fearful for so long that I thought I could never do it. A little low-cost acupuncture here and learning to stretch properly there and being mindful and connected to my body now and I can honestly say that I have never felt better!

I know and love every roll, lump and wrinkle on my body now. I feel like I own my body and don’t just lease it. I had to learn how to eat things that would support my body better as well as my dancing. Because, leg cramps!!! Ha-ha! When people see me dancing all night long, all arm fat flailing and rump shakin’ goodness? I no longer care what they think of me. I’m having the time of my life while they’re holding themselves back. I cannot worry about that or them. I can only worry about what the next song will be and how I am going to bust all the moves when it hits! And when “California Love” comes on? You better clear the dance floor because that is my jam and I am going to get down! Ha-ha!

It took me 35 years to get here. To be the dancer I always wanted to be. To love the incredible gift that is this body, all 325 lbs of it. To understand and heal and appreciate what it can do for me and where it can take me. As it changes shape, I get to rediscover and reconnect with it. My grandma often told me, “Never get old, Sarah!” and while I can’t promise anything on that note, I can honestly say that I feel so much younger now than I did in my twenties. I no longer carry the weight of the world, I only carry my own. And I am happy with that.

Now I choose to celebrate life with every step…Dancing!

This is what I said at the feedback session later that day in response to several people saying that they were hurt by this piece, that it is racist or has “clear racist undertones” and I felt I needed to respond and respect their feelings.

“I want to acknowledge that people were really hurt by the piece I wrote for this morning’s salon. This was not my intention. I wanted to share my lived experience. I am going to take some time to reflect on it and I do not want to place that responsibility on anyone else. Racism is something that I work on in my life everyday and will absolutely continue to do so. Thank you.”

I never thought I would ever in my life be accused of being racist or that something I wrote would or could have racist undertones because of how and where I grew up and how and where I live my life now. I have always been committed to equality for all and work very hard within my communities to create a safe space for everyone. I know it is not the responsibility of those who were hurt by this piece to educate me on the how’s and the why’s. At the same time I do not at all understand but I want to very badly. I understand accountability and mistakes and I would absolutely admit to such an occurrence. What I don’t yet fully get is how sharing my lived experience has hurt people.

I don’t consider myself an ignorant person, despite the fact that I’ve had only up to a 9th grade education. I work very hard to be informed, educate myself and be involved in community and activism, not just in issues of size acceptance. I consider myself an ally to the oppressed and feel that everyone’s story is important and should be heard. When we take away the voices of others, when they are silenced and shut down, we continue that oppression.

I have done a lot of thinking on this and discussed it with others. It was brought up that perhaps how I was dressed/presented myself that made me appear a certain way that isn’t actually true of my real life. I was dressed in my Sunday best because I was speaking in public to a large audience. I felt safe to do so. I had planned my outfits over many months and was excited to get into my costumes for No Lose.

I would and could not hurt someone intentionally. I do my absolute best to not hurt anyone ever. To have my words twisted and misrepresented is hard and painful. What was worse was getting thanked and called brave for apologizing from other white folks when in fact I hadn’t apologized. What hurt more than that was not feeling allowed to talk about it, to question it or to ask what I could do to make things right. I have survived so very much in my short life, I help other survivors and those who are currently struggling, all of the time. I do it because I care and because I have been there. I am a compassionate individual but also a very publicly vulnerable one. This has taken me years of work to get here and I’m finding it hard to stay true to myself while carrying the burden of fear and shame along, too.

If you have questions, please ask me. If you have a comment, please leave one. I am always open to discussing things. I don’t pretend to know everything, far from it, and always seek more knowledge. I do realize that putting myself “out there” carries a risk. I have always accepted that risk. I want to be responsible in my vulnerability and compassion, though. Fat people get enough shit thrown at and on them and it has been a real eye opener to see that come from other fat people (not just on the subjects of this post). I hope that together we can improve things so that everyone feels safe in our community. I am willing and ready to continue to do the work.

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