So I stumbled upon this little ditty tonight https://truthaboutragen.wordpress.com/2015/08/06/ragen-chastain-md/ and realized that a question that I posed to Ragen Chastain’s facebook page (of Dances With Fat (blog)) has been spreading, maybe not like wild fire but…quick-ish? I am not some faceless foolish fat woman who’s only hope was Ragen and her advice. I was not devastated when she would not supply me with the answers that I asked for (a body positivity community online that supports weight loss). I wasn’t even surprised. It was a long shot and It was posed in a moment of fear. Let it be said that I would never make a decision about my health based on concerns about acceptance in ANY community. I’m far too selfish for that shit. I asked Ragen on her personal page because in the fit fatties group and haes groups I am a part of, weight loss talk violates a safe space for too many people. It’s called a safe space for a reason and we don’t get to tell people who carve out their own spot of protection, that they can’t have it just because we want to talk about something that may cause harm to others. I am not a “poor” victim of Ragen’s beliefs and advocating. I am simply someone who followed/follows her blog. She doesn’t pay any of my bills, she doesn’t live my life and I don’t want her to. We aren’t best friends, we don’t even KNOW each other. What confuses me is the way in which my question has turned me into some sort of faceless victim.
Firstly, use my name and image if you’re going to reference me. Don’t strip me of my story. I posted in a public forum and I gave Ragen permission to use my question to blog about. Make no bones about it. I don’t care who knows about what I’ve been going through. I am not the type to internalize my fear, my pain or any sort of struggle that I go through (I mean…if you’ve seen my twitter or any of my blogs, I’d say that’s evident). I am open because I am LOOKING for people to relate to, and even if Ragen and I disagree, I absolutely found what I was looking for through that post. I am not shut down and close minded about weight loss, it is possible to want to support something that is positive and to want to be a part of a group that is positive, without believing in everything that they do. I am at this point in my life where I am prioritizing my health over everything. So there isn’t a weight loss friendly haes/body positivity group? FINE. I can make one on my own. Seriously. I can.
I am looking at some major change and it’s not all to do with my size or my medical condition…it has to do with wanting a master’s degree, a new career etc. Before I was diagnosed with PTC or IIH, I was working out 2 to 3 times a week. I was eating healthy on and off. Not gorging and wasting away in bed. One thing that body positivity gave to me was …the strength to be unapologetically visible and the desire to care for myself on my own terms. The scariest thing about my diagnosis is that I feel powerless. I feel like caring for myself on my own terms is no longer an option and that I…FatFemPinUp am out of my hands. Who wouldn’t that scare? This year was to be all about me, which is why i went to get my eyes checked in the first place, went to the dentist, got a GP! See self control/determination is so very important to me and so is self love. Accepting what I looked like and the fact that I took up space and that was ok….that had to happen before a decision for health/fitness or weight loss could be made. And while I did not have any weight loss goals before my diagnosis (just goals for fitness like walk 2 miles without getting tired, etc), I have them now. I am not going to gamble ideology against science out of the fear of changing my lifestyle or paradigms. My vision is more important What I sought from Ragen was support, I went away empty handed but she is not the only source of support for women like me! I have received personal messages of encouragement and personal stories and truly that’s enough.
So….I am not some victim of Ragen Chastain ….I am FatFemPinUp. I am not a blind follower of any movement or ideology. A question to someone that I admire (and make no bones about it, I STILL admire her) does not mean I am making drastic decisions over a facebook post. I’d wager that few people do. Judging by the number of messages I recieved from other people in the HAES movement, they don’t all believe that weight loss is terrible, futile and to be untouched/unspoken of. Most of the participants in HAES believe that every health decision should be made by the individual and that we should support that individual…treat them with dignity and respect (something I think was lacking in the tone of the article above ) and support their autonomy. My weight loss journey will not be televised, or blogged about. In fact this may be the only time you see me post about it. I simply want it known that if you wonder about my motives for asking that question, you should come to the source. Suggesting that you feel sorry for me is ….super shitty. I ask/asked for no pity, especially from total strangers.