A Fat Acceptance Weight Loss Blogger?

June 14, 2012

The past few weeks, I’ve watched something interesting happen on my Google Analytics. For non-bloggers or web nerds, Google Analytics is what lets me see how many people are visiting this site and from where. For a couple of years, I’ve watched people find me after searching for “fat porn” and “extreme weight loss methods.” I’m happy to report that those are now moving down the list (thankfully), and another phrase has skyrocketed to the top: weight loss blog.

This made me really happy because it meant I might reach more people with my story. The past couple of days, however, I have been doing some deep thinking. (I know, I tend to do this a lot. You might want to take a potty break right now before reading on.)

The #1 mistake I have made with this blog is calling it “Skinny Emmie.” Certain people get turned off by it because they think I’m chasing some societal norm to be “thin” by whatever standards they have in their head. Right before starting this blog when I was messing with the layout, I approached a member of the fat acceptance (FA) community to do some work on it, and I was turned down because a weight loss blog went against her beliefs.

I got upset and worried that I was ruffling feathers. I wasn’t brave enough at the time to go:

“Hey now. I have considered myself a member of the FA community for years. I’m not doing a weight loss blog to promote being skinny or looking a certain way. I’m trying to change my life because I don’t feel good the way I am right now. I have the right to be unhappy with my health and my body, just as you have the right to be happy with your health and body. If I need to come to a place of self-acceptance, a large (pun intended) part of that is going to be getting my health, and yes weight, into a range where I feel comfortable within my skin.”

Last night, I read an article on The Huffington Post about body image and the FA movement that included an interview with Lesley Kinzel. I’ve read her writing for a few years now. At first I started reading because of her outfits (she blogged as Fatshionista), and then I continued to read because of how comfortable she was in her body. She has a new book out, Two Whole Cakes (disclosure: have not read – on my list of to-read), which covers some of her story and fat acceptance. As a regular reader of xoJane, I read Lesley’s posts and love them because they make me think hard about my own image. (Also at xoJane is Marianne Kirby, other FA advocate.) Instead of chiming in though, I sit back and wallow in the confusion that is someone who identifies with both weight loss blogging AND the fat acceptance movement. How can I effectively straddle the line to both support FA and support my desires to lose weight because my health was failing?

An excrept from what Lesley said about fat acceptance in the Huffington Post article:

…What I try to get people to walk away with is knowing that any decisions they make about their bodies and their health needs to come from a place of self-love, and not self- loathing. Decisions to diet often come from seeing an unflattering picture of yourself or seeing yourself in a mirror where you don’t look the way you think you want to look. That’s a bad place to be making those decisions. If you want to make changes, make sure they’re coming from a place that’s not “I hate my arms” or “My husband is no longer interested in me sexually.” [You'd do better to make decisions from]: “I want to take care of myself. I want to feel good. I want to feel comfortable.”

I agree with Lesley wholeheartedly. Yet, I do have negative feelings when I see an unflattering photo of myself. Am I to be condemned for that? I hope to hell not. Ultimately, my decision to lose weight comes from self-love: Wanting to take care of myself. Wanting to feel good. Wanting to feel comfortable.

Lesley also struck a chord with me when she wrote “Is “Fitspo” the new “Thinspo?” (seriously, if you’re in the fitblogging/weight loss blogging community, please read it.) Again, as someone in this weight loss blogging world, I see “fitspo” everywhere. Other bloggers, friends, on Facebook, and Pinterest. It always makes me cringe because the bodies are so perfect and not what I want little girls to see and go on to believe that is what they have to look like. I’m not going to take time here to write out all my rambling thoughts on fitspo – perhaps another day on another soapbox. I will say though – I am not judging my friends or fellow bloggers for liking fitspo. I don’t know their motivation for liking it – do they want to look like that because that’s what society says is “healthy” or is it motivated by something like a personal desire to bench 350 pounds?

Anyway, the point of all of this is that I’m tired of worrying what people think of me. When I started a plus size fashion blog, I was criticized for actively trying to lose weight, so I worried about that decision for weeks. When I put the word “Skinny” in front of my name, I worried that people wouldn’t think I still supported the fat acceptance movement.

Screw it. I’m done worrying about what other people think.

I know my intentions here, and changing my name from “Skinny Emmie” to “Girl-Named-Emmie-Working-To-Get-Healthy-Because-She-Felt-Like-She-Was-Dying-And-Yes-She-Is-Losing-Weight-But-You-Don’t-Have-To-And-She-Still-Loves-You-No-Matter-What-And-You-Should-Love-Yourself-Just-As-You-Are-Without-Shame-Because-You-Kick-Ass.com” just isn’t in the cards. It doesn’t roll off the tongue. I will continue calling myself a weight loss blogger and those who choose to believe that I’m doing it for external v. internal reasons can believe it. I’ll say I belong to the fat acceptance movement even if it means that other fitness bloggers incorrectly think that means I’m not as healthy as they are.

In the end, all we can be is ourselves, and I’m a fat accepting weight loss blogger.

I would really love some dialogue going on about this. Please leave (respectful) comments below. Feel free to chime in about the “fitspo” article as well.

 

  • Jessica

    I’m one of your new readers that searched for weight loss blog :) A number of sites recommended your blog. Your doing a great job!

    • Jessica

      Oh and I’m from Kentucky living in Australia. Had no idea where you were from till I started reading your blog.

      • http://www.authenticallyemmie.com/ Emily Sandford

        Hi Jessica! Thanks so much for reading :) And yep, I’m from Lexington!

  • http://profiles.google.com/msgracechang Grace Chang

    I definitely agree with the statement that our journey should stem from self-love and not self-loathing :)

    Keep being you.

  • http://www.FitandFreeEmily.com Emily

    I”m so glad you posted about this, Emmie!
    I myself have been approached by members of the FA community, shaming me for promoting weight loss. Say what?! I’m just trying to make my life and my body the healthiest and happiest it can be. Is it so wrong to want to lose weight? Like you mentioned, I”m doing this out of love for myself, not hate. I get completely turned off by those that insinuate I’m in denial … that the simple act of refusing to be complacent in my life somehow damns me into “i hate myself and all overweight people.”

    /rant

    That being said, I love and appreciate the drive behind the FA community. Loving yourself. Couldn’t agree more! You can’t take care of something you hate. (Can I get an Amen? ;) )

    Thank you for posting the article about Fitspo. I definitely find inspiration in a lot of Fitspo pictures, but not because I think I should look like that. I find the physical strength/fitness goals behind those pictures amazing!! I also pin a lot of pictures that would be considered “Curvespo,” of curvier, heavier women. It all comes down to confidence for me – - THAT’s the inspiring part!

    • http://www.theyearofthephoenix.blogspot.com/ Jill (Lady Lazarus)

      It’s sad that opting to lose weight really is seen like we’re turning our back on FA and suddenly hate all overweight people.This is MY decision after a lifetime of being overweight/obese. It has nothing to do with YOU, regardless of your own weight.

      And Amen. Love that, “you can’t take care of something you hate.”

  • http://twitter.com/TheRAVegan The RA Vegan

    What a wonderful article Emmie! I completely feel that you can be a weight loss blogger who also believes in fat acceptance. To me, the two do not necessarily cancel each other out. See, I’m a fat vegan. Going vegan did not automatically make me lose huge amounts of weight, nor did it take me out of the plus sized clothing sections. What it did was help me feel better both physically and emotionally. Do I still look in the mirror, or at a picture, and wish I looked different? Yes. But am I worked very hard on loving me right where I am right now, limitations from the auto-immune disorder and all? Absolutely. I think that these two things can happen simultaneously. Yes, it means that you are trying to focus on doing it for health and not vanity. But isn’t there a little bit of vanity in all of us??

  • http://inhabitthebeauty.com/ Lydia

    That Fitspo piece is pretty amazing. Thanks for linking to it. When I had a Pinterest account, I was definitely guilty of pinning some fitspo – usually fitspo that included a pretty cheesy motivational message. Especially in the early days of trying to lose weight and exercise, those images spurred me on and kept me motivated. Then, I gained some achievements of my own – I logged my calories for 30 days in a row, I lost that first ten pounds, I ran a mile, I ran a 5K, I ran a half marathon. I became my own fitspo and I needed those (mostly) commercial images less and less.

    I can see that fitspo could be just as dangerous as thinspo, but agree with the article that restricting it without discussion is just sweeping the problem to a less widely-known corner if the internet.

    now, so I can end this novel of a component, I’d also like to agree with you that you can’t please all the people all the time, so you have to go with what works for you. When you’re genuine, readers can tell and know where your beliefs and opinions lay. Great post!

    Now,

  • crystal

    I find you an amazing inspiration in the battle of losing weight, geting healthy and finding peace with who you are. People will always find fault in what you do. Whether you call yourself “skinny Emmy” or “Healthy Emmy” or “desperately seeking Emmy” someone will have issues with it. I read your blog because of YOU. You are honest, frank and truly endearing. What difference does it make what other people think? Continue being yourself that’s enough for me and should be for anyone.

  • http://twitter.com/BTC_Blog Courtney

    amen! thank you for sharing that!

  • glenna

    I think you are 100% a rockstar in all that you do. I’m glad you’ve come to the conclusion that you shouldn’t let what other people think of your efforts get you down. I found your blog googling weight-loss blogs and I use your blogroll links to follow other blogs almost every day now. I was so excited when I saw that you were from Kentucky too (I’m also in Lexington area). This has been my personal experience… My highest weight was 277. My norm from college-2011 was around 250 lbs (I’m 30 now). My high school weight was 220. I have always been large. I never dreamed of being anything else and honestly, I was pretty comfortable in my own skin 90% of the time. I decided it was time to change things after my daughter was born. I’m now 1 year into my weight-loss journey and am at around 185. Finally in the “overweight” range for my height. My goal is 180 so I’m getting very close. You know what I’ve realized? I’m always going to be large. Yes, I can now buy regular sized clothes for the first time in my entire life, but I’m never ever going to be smaller than a size 12 or 14 because regardless of how much I lose I still have a larger build. I love how i feel and how much easier things are that I never even considered to be an issue, but I’m still not sure what to do with my new body and I think I will always identify more with my former self. That being said, this isn’t about me loving my body… this is about me loving my daughter enough that I want to be there for her. My mom had a stroke when she was 50 yrs old. That’s the path I was headed down. Like it or not, it’s just the truth for me. Like you, I choose health regardless of how comfortable I was in my own skin. Please keep sharing your story no matter what weight you decide you want to be permanently, it has inspired SO many people and you are amazing and brave for putting yourself out there for all of us who don’t have the guts or the voice to do the same. :) Much love to you!

  • Erin

    From personal experience, I think you can only lose weight when that thing I can’t name clicks in your brain and you get the determination to make a change. If it health, a mean comment you hear someone make out you or not liking what you look like in the mirror.
    I don’t know what that magic thing is either that makes one love themselves. If being thin and healthy is part of that so what?
    I think it only makes sense to try to make yourself healthy. But like with me that are often deep seeded issues that have to be worked out before that can happen.

  • Jill (Lady Lazarus)

    That Fitspo/Thinspo article was VERY informative and interesting. Thank you for sharing!

    It’s a difficult place to be: Someone who spent years championing Fat Acceptance and saying I was perfectly okay with my body because, well, I was championing Fat Acceptance when the truth was I was fat because I was very, very unhappy and emotionally eating. So now I’ve lost almost 90 lbs and it seems counter intuitive to still be in support of FA and I confess I felt a little guilty in the beginning, like losing weight somehow made me a hypocrite. But I’m HAPPY and HEALTHY now and that means more to me than what anyone thinks about this decision.

    More than it, it shouldn’t just be “fat” acceptance but BODY acceptance. We should be teaching and encouraging people to love their bodies *or* teach them how to get bodies they will love in a healthy way.

    • Katy B.

      I second “body acceptance”…well put.

    • http://www.FitandFreeEmily.com Emily

      Yes!!
      I have many friends that are skinny, just naturally. What kind of message does it send those people when we promote things like “only real women have curves.” YIKES. I’m for “body acceptance” all the way! :)

    • Amanda

      Hi Jill, I am new to FA, and because I have never had a successful (permanent) weight loss from dieting, I was wondering if you could share how you lost weight and if it is staying off without restricting or tons of exercising? I just want to know if there is any chance I might lose by some other means than a “diet” and have it be permanent. Thanks!!

  • Sarah

    I have been trying to reconcile my own identity within the frame of FA and weight loss for a while now. I think that FA was something that I personally needed when I found it. It helped me learn that it was okay to love myself where I was, but part of that journey has led me to understand that loving myself means doing good things for my body. Some of those good things include monitoring the things I eat, so that my body gets the nourishment it craves and works the way it is supposed to. Other good things are losing weight and exercise, so that my knees last as long as I am alive and my heart, pancreas, and blood are healthier.

    I think that there is a very blurry line that gets crossed very often in FA. There is nothing wrong with promoting the idea that some people are fat, and those people deserve to be treated as human beings with dignity and respect. There is nothing wrong with inspiring people to accept themselves where they are. The problem begins when they start being exclusive (as they were with you) and try to tell people that they don’t need to lose weight. Some fat people do need to lose weight o be healthier, and that is a fact that often gets glossed over. There’s this extreme attitude that things are one way or the other, so people feel as if they are betraying the FA movement by attempting to better their own health and doing what they want/need to do for their bodies.

    • http://www.FitandFreeEmily.com Emily

      “There’s this extreme attitude that things are one way or the other, so people feel as if they are betraying the FA movement by attempting to better their own health and doing what they want/need to do for their bodies. ”

      Yes! Very well put, Sarah! Maybe we should all ban together and make a “health-at-any-size movement”. As in, let’s put our health not size as the #1 priority! For some that may mean weighing 250, and also being able to run a mile 3 times a week. Others, 150 and not binge eating anymore. We all have our own personal views of what out HEALTHY is!

      Anyone else on board with that? :)

  • Katy B.

    The Fitspo article really struck a chord with me. One of my best friends has fallen into that world and I really worry about her. I’m all for her working out, eating better, etc, but her goals come from a place of poor self image. She’s thin (like size 2 or 4), looks great, but she’s not going to rest until she has washboard abs. I’ve asked her “what comes after you achieve that…what is the next body part you won’t be satisfied with?” I wish she’d change her goal to something that doesn’t further damage her self-esteem. She’s really gotten into self-defense type classes, so rather than “I want washboard abs” why not “black belt in karate”?

    I decided to get serious about losing weight and getting more fit at the beginning of the year. I got a FitBit, and set a goal to do 8000 steps a day. Then it be came 10000 a day. Then I joined my neighborhood running group with the goal of running a 5k. I’ve lost 20 lbs so far, mostly from moving more and making sure i eat slightly less than I burn, with lots more veggies and fruit and homemade meals. No crazy diets, or cleanses like my friend keeps trying in her effort to get washboard abs.

    All of the changes and goals I’ve made have made me feel prouder of myself. The only way I can fail is if I abandon them completely. I’m not so sure my friend could say the same. She could do everything “right” and still not get those washboard abs – which will only make her feel less adequate. And those Fitspo images only reinforce her goals for her.

    Oh…did I mention the constant facebook posts about what workout she’s about to do? How many calories she burned today? Photos complaining about how she looks so she’ll get “you don’t need to lose weight you look great!” comments? Facebook is making me like her less and that makes me sad.

  • Donloree

    YES! I have a similar story and it is not about being thin, fat, athletic, etc. It is about being the healthiest YOU inside and out possible. I lost nearly 100 pounds to be healthy and happy, not just to be thin. And heck, due to epic health concerns I’m up 20 pounds, but I love ME. Finding in despite the fat or thin is what is important. How about you just be ‘Emmie’. I’m just going to be Donloree. :D Rock on fabulous lady!

  • Ping Flanders

    Fat or skinny either way is judged by society, the most important thing is healthy and feel good, when you feel healthy and good, no need care about your body fat or skinny, what you feel is important, when you decide to lose weight is ok, at least is depend on your personal will, not based on socity viewpoint, then the weight loss plan is good for yourself.

  • http://twitter.com/mylbsonlbsoff Rachelle Patching

    I think some people are happy when they are fat and some people are unhappy when then are skinny. I don’t think being skinny or fat can make you happy or unhappy on it’s own. I think it is based on your self image. What others see of you and what you see in the mirror are often very very different and so I think the goal everyone should have is to find that inner person that is comfortable with themselves, no matter if they are skinny or fat.

    I have heard all my life that there are different times and seasons of your life and sometimes things that you want to do must wait for a different time of your life. I think your weight also varies with that idea. I think there are different sizes that people are based on what they need at that time of their life. Often being fat leads you down a different road than being skinny does and maybe it is that road that you need to travel at that time. I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone else but I think there are different sizes for different people and that people are different sizes at different times of their lives for a reason.

    Being fat protected me from situations that I wasn’t prepared to deal with, or wanted to deal with. Becoming skinny again has forced me to take a different road and opens me up to those situations, but I’m ready now.

    No one should be judging why anyone else is fat or skinny…and if someone chooses to gain weight or lose weight that should be their choice and no one should judge them for that.

  • http://twitter.com/BigGirlBombshel Big Girl Bombshell

    What struck me the most is “Can we please stop using “healthy” as a code word for “attractive?”

    It is about acceptance but not just the fat, not just the body, and sometimes not the self. who we are (self) is multi layered. Self-love is a good term but again there are parts I love and parts, not so much but i also accept the things I can change.

    I am moving toward choice acceptance…mine and others…

  • sarah

    Perhaps you could put a question mark after your name Skinny Emmie? I’m a new reader I think it is quite clear from scanning over any given page you’re not promoting “skinny”. You’re right if you don’t feel good you can’t accept how you are, that is accepting you don’t have a right to feel good or healthy. As a feminist I do think that women shouldn’t feel a need to look a certain way because of societal pressure. However I do think women can want to lose weight for other reasons such as health or wanting to move around more freely. I think some people feel these lines are blurred and that everyone who wants to lose weight is doing so to look like a model. There is a lot in between……
    PS love the blog

  • http://twitter.com/debslosingit Debra Wilson

    This is the first I’ve ever seen the term “thinspo” or “fitspo” for that matter. Several years ago, I was all for the fat acceptance movement, and was a vocal part of several online groups promoting it. And to be honest, my first serious weight loss attempt was spurred by suddenly realizing I had stretch marks on my arms. My arms! But shortly into that attempt, I realized that as the weight came off, I could move easier, breathe easier, and fit clothes easier. I watched the scale (like a hawk unfortunately) but I also noted my fitness levels. I went from being able to swim maybe one pool length to being able to swim a mile. From dying after 15 minutes in a water aerobics class to busting my ass for a full 70 minutes. Yes, I like to see the number on the scale go down. Yes, I like to see my clothing get smaller. But more than either of those, I like seeing how my health and fitness has improved. I have nothing against fat acceptance- different people have different feelings and being able to love yourself whatever your size or shape is wonderful- but for me its not about that any more. Its about being the best me I can be.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jen.cywinski Jen Cywinski

      I agree with you on this. We all have to do what is right for our bodies. It’s about being self aware and smart. If we’re happy being larger and we feel good then cool, but if you’re loving being large and you’re having weight related health problems then it is perfectly fine to re-assess your self-image and health. Ditto for being smaller.

      P.S. I love how I can actually run now. Me! Running! Who’da thunk it?!

  • Laurel

    Actually, I think your logo as a whole does a good job of conveying your purpose in this blog – I’ve always liked that the little cartoon Emmie is curvy. I cannot imagine how many people have been inspired or reassured by what you write. Spiraling into self loathing can be a habit, but a dark one – the fact that you put it out there makes it easier to stop the descent, realize it’s normal to feel that way, then try to find a healthier attitude. As I’m sure you know, everyone has to find their own motivation to walk their fitness path, whatever it might be. You are clearly on the path, and don’t let anyone knock you off it.

    What I always see when I look at your page is a beautiful woman with a beaming smile wearing incredibly snazzy clothing. Whether you feel it in your head and heart yet, what you broadcast to the world is Emmie Acceptance.

  • achievemygoals12

    Thanks for writing this…I had no idea this was happening..!! I’ve obviously been on another planet..I appreciate you for bringing this latest trends to my attention…

  • http://domwillrunforbeer.wordpress.com/ Dominique

    Thank you for posting this, Emmie!

  • http://twitter.com/TheBoldBlend Barbara Davis

    I love the Skinny Emmie name. It’s catchy and easy to remember. It sort of rhymes and rolls off the tongue. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it at all. Your message shines through that name and anyone who reads your thoughts shouldn’t get hung up on it.

  • http://www.lifeplusrunning.com/ calee himes

    My good lord. I have never heard of FA, and I’m glad it’s out there because I like the idea of promoting good body image no matter WHAT your body looks like BUT seriously? If you are large enough to have major health concerns and need to lose weight, then by god, lose weight. From what I have read (not much yet, but I will) of your blog, it sounds like you were unhappy with your health and wellbeing and the fact that you weren’t able to fit into clothes and places was a constant reminder of you not being healthy.

    I also feel like this community would completely rip me apart and treat me like I know that vapid skinny girls have treated fat girls for years. Reparations? No. Just immaturity. I’ve gone shopping with my larger friends and helped them pick out great outfits at Torrid and Lane Bryant. And every time I’m in the shop I get the same looks that I know big girls get in the Gap. I even had somebody say right in front of me about what I was wearing, “That’s a cute top, if only she could fill it out.” Seriously?

    Bottom line: We need to quit judging others on appearance or choices they make. And being healthy isn’t about being thin. Or strong. Or looking a certain way. It’s about being happy with yourself and trying your damndest to make healthy decisions about how you use your body and what you put into your body.

    Thanks much for posting this. I’m going to check out the fitspo article and probably be back with some more comments.

  • http://www.lifeplusrunning.com/ calee himes

    PS Normally the moniker “skinny” annoys the shit out of me (especially when used in recipes and food) but here? I like the idea of rebellion.

  • http://www.lifeplusrunning.com/ calee himes

    Okay — fitspo/thinspo. I am a fan of Fitspo within reason — I don’t like when they use models that are just thinspo in disguise or are obviously photoshopped. I don’t like when they have them wearing clothing that I wouldn’t wear to the gym because my AA-cup-sized boobs would fall out. I hate when they say things like “Skinny is bad” because that’s the same as saying “Fat is bad.” In other words, I do hate when they are actively promoting a specific body image.

    I do like ones that actively show people working OR that have actually inspirational quotes or messages on them (the one in her gallery with the nike gal I really like) OR the ones that have a workout on them (except the ones that have the message of do something for 5 minutes and you will be hot and thin). I need to clean off my pinterest board because some of the stuff I initially pinned doesn’t adhere to my criteria.

    I like models like Jamie Eason. Key word: MODEL. She is a model and what she does for a living is workout/eat right to look good. We aren’t models. We have other jobs. But what I love is that she provided an incredible program (LiveFit if you’re interested — it’s a lot of lifting) and it shows you how to find your way around the gym and get to the fitness level you desire (if muscles are what you want).

    One thing that I do like about this whole fitspo community is that people have finally stopped talking about weight. I weigh 10-15 lbs more than I used to before I lifted weights. It freaked me out (I have dealt with eating disorders in the past). But you know what? The strong is healthy images did help me get past that. I look a little like a fitspo model right now, and though I am not happy with my weight, I look much healthier than I did when I looked like a thinspo model (not cool!).

  • http://www.lifeplusrunning.com/ calee himes

    ONE MORE THING! Sorry. I leave novels.

    I have a gorgeous friend who is big and curvy. I never ever ever once thought she was fat. She isn’t unhealthy and she takes great care of herself. She has great body image and she works out when she wants to (which is quite often) because it’s something she likes to do — zone out and read a magazine on the elliptical.

    Anyway … the “healthy” as a code word for “attractive” made me think about her. She’s healthy. And she’s attractive. Part of why she is super attractive is because of her confidence. And the same goes for people who have bodies of any shape (including currently coveted shapes — I am not happy in my skin, and I’m probably pretty close to fitspo/thinspo) … I would be MUCH more attractive if I was healthy all around … mentally healthy and confident.

    PS You are officially on my reader. Beware. I have a lot to say!

    • Emily Smith

      I agree, Calee!! CONFIDENCE is sexy!!!!

  • Sharon Emery

    Thank you *so* much for writing this! I’ve recently felt like a bad feminist and a crummy fat-acceptance advocate because I’m trying to bring health to my body by exercising more and eating less. Yes, I want to lose weight, but I’ve felt guilty about attempting to do it. I go back and forth between, ‘Woo hoo! Two more pounds down!’ and, ‘Why can’t I just accept my body the way it is?’. Well I *won’t* accept my body the way it is because it’s causing me pain and anguish. I want this body to live a very, very long time, and it won’t do that if I don’t treat it well. I do love my body, and I will show it how much I love it by filling it full of healthy food and allowing it to work for me through exercise, thorough sleep, and lots of bubble baths!

    Thanks again, Emmie! Now off to read the other comments.

  • http://twitter.com/kitchenkm Steph

    So glad you posted this. Sometimes with my own blog, I feel like I’m not taken seriously as an athlete because I’m overweight. I feel like I miss out on connections, opportunities, and even friendships because of my body appearance. I promote healthy living, I’ve lost over 100lbs in 3 years, completed 2 sprint triathlons, a 15k, numerous 5ks, and continue on my journey yet I feel like I still have that “girl sitting alone in the cafeteria in 3rd grade” syndrome. I’m not pretty enough, fit enough, thin enough, whatever enough for some people to take me seriously. I’m very curious to see how acceptance changes as my body style changes. I never really thought of the blogging world as a place for peer pressure and acceptance, but as I try and put my name out there, I’m starting to really see it. Thanks for this post, and keep doing what you do! You’ve definitely been a blogging/fitness inspiration to me. :)

  • Emily Smith

    HEy Em,

    Will read the fitspo article and then re-comment :-) Here are my thoughts….

    1.) Skinny Emmie= rolls off the tongue. Yes, it could initially imply negative thoughts/feelings for the weight loss community; however, if people look more into your blog & web activity…..it’s clearly easy to see that it is about YOUR health & wellness journey :-) KEEP SKINNY EMMIE! :)

    2.) I love how you clarified the reasons for getting fit…..here are mine (and no a man is not on the list!): I want to teach zumba and get certified/to have that energy I HAD to lose weight to keep up the momentum, fitting into my clothes that I once loved and now are too tight to squeeze into for a night on the town, feeling more confident/sexy, feeling HEALTHIER and that I am taking care of my young body that I want to last a lifetime, making new friends and finding a support community who will hold me even more accountable than I do myself because exercise and eating right is something I will do the rest of my life, having a more positive self imagine (smiling when going through facebook photos over the years instead of cringing about 5 lbs. here, 5 more lbs there, and lastly=because being HEALTHY ROCKS!!!!!!!!

    And lastly, I love your attitude- really do screw what other people thing! As females, we care about others and sometimes take too much into account about other’s opinoins- – but in reality, who’s matters….OUR OWN! You’re the one living in your body, you’re the one building your brand, you’re the one being a making sh*t happen blogger, etc. etc. And those who care enough about you/love you, will be right on that journey, despite a difference in opinion!

    HUGS! I love your blog because it is just another way to find support on a health & wellness journey and your transparency/humor are infectious! You go girl.

    Emily S.

  • http://twitter.com/KerriOlkjer Kerri

    Can’t we all just love each other and get along? :) Maybe it’s just me, but judging is judging. Whether it’s judging someone because they are over weight or judging someone because they want to lose weight. Same.

  • http://twitter.com/Schmiet Diet Schmiet

    Emmie, great post. It’s something I’m a bit torn about. In fact, I read this yesterday and wasn’t sure what I wanted to say. I also recently wrote a post (think it was called Celebrating vs Accepting etc) about a similar issue.

    I seriously struggle with body-image issues (because I’m overweight/obese) but admire those who can be confident, no matter what their size. But, I recently realised that I was concerned about a plus-sized magazine and its models… almost doing a ‘f*ck-you’ to the world at large. (My own perceptions shaping that – of course!)

    I didn’t have any answers in the post – but it raised a lot of issues for me… in terms of how I view myself and others and I guess… I did wonder if it’s possible to ‘accept’ oneself but still aspire to a healthier, fitter you – which is what you promote!

  • KCLAnderson (Karen)

    GREAT message!! I’ve struggled walking down that same line of wanting to accept myself right now and wanting to feel more comfortable in my skin (and clothes)…at the same time LOL Sometimes I feel like I’m talking to myself…that no one “gets” it. But you’ve just reminded me that this is about ME, not anyone else, and that it’s okay to pursue this whole healthy body thing my own way. And speaking of fitspo, I just blogged about the one that says “losing weight is hard, maintaining weight is hard, being fat is hard, choose your hard.”

  • Shell

    I am totally sympathetic with the paradox of pursuing a healthier lifestyle AND Fat Acceptance. I admire those who are comfortable in their own skin. Ironically, I think more heavy people adjust to their bodies than those like me who fluctuate and obsesss, who have endured adolences of dangerous eating disorders, overcome death, but, never the dissatusfaction with our bodies. Society ruins females and punishes us in all stages of our existences. We’re objectified and treated like crap unless we’re young and thin. Men feel justification in dumping us and replacing us like old cars or things. Women over 40 are shamed if they show any wear and teae, so, we are not only pressured to have adolescent bodies, but, you have a generation of senior women who look like android robots, due to an obsessive investment in surgery.

    Fat acceptance for me is part of true liberation and possibly the salvation of women’s psyches and souls, from this cruel judgmental and hostile world.

    Women are the key to freedom if we can learn to accept our bodies, without the prejudice and propaganda of the porn-mentality that is corrosively destroying our culture. So, it’s not a paradox to want to learn to accept yourself, whether fat or skinny.

  • http://twitter.com/BrooklynFitChik M.A. Donohue

    Hi there! I have actually lost a friend who hates everything about the weight loss industry and disagreed with my content. She is a “fat advocate” and basically detests me now. YOu can NOT make everyone happy when you Blog. It’s a sad fact.
    I love you!

  • jen

    my word, but people have too much time on their hands, and waaaayyyy too much time to think about things. personally, i think its fairly simple – be who you want to be, within reason. dont be too fat, too thin, too healthy (wow, how boring life would be), too unhealthy (no congress, pizza is not a vegetable) and just – i dont know – relax. truth is, we’re all so bloody self-involved that we havent really noticed anyone else in ages. of course, this all sounds very well adjusted, but its nice to have something to aim for, no?

  • Amy Chaffin

    I have been so enthralled with your blog, and I would definitely leave the name and content as is. I have sat here all evening self-loathing because I am so tired of being overweight (aka obese)! I am all for fat acceptance however, if a person doesn’t like being fat it is the person’s prerogative to lose weight. People need to stop judging one another and come to the realization that we are all God’s creatures with one life to live. That life needs to be lived the way the person wants to live it,and if you are happy at your weight that’s great if not and you want to change it that is great too.

    In conclusion, I plan on becoming a regular follower. You are a beautiful, confident young woman who I hope can inspire this 45 year old grandma to quit self-loathing and get up and do something about it!!!

  • old woman

    preach it girl! continue to be who you are because you don’t have to be like everyone else. your blog is great, your quest is admirable and just because you support FA doesn’t mean you have to continue to wallow in it. the changes we make are for yourselves … its not the number on the scale that matters — its how it makes us feel and if it hinders you from being all you were meant to be or stops us from living, then i believe you are on a great track.

  • http://twitter.com/BhamJen Jennifer Dome

    I can sum up all my feelings after reading this with one word: Bravo!

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  • http://twitter.com/Fat2Flaca Fat2Flaca

    My blog is called fat2flaca and I found myself writing a disclaimer about using the Spanish word for skinny, “flaca” in my blog title for the same reasons! Great read.

  • helen

    I’m a personal trainer and hate fitspo as much as thinspo. in both circumstances the bodies are rarely healthy. we need to get away from what the body looks like and concentrate on how it feels and what it can do.

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  • IHateFatChicks

    My name says it all.

  • http://www.chelleshockk.tumblr.com/ Chelle Fitzgerald

    Thank you so much … I found this post when Googling “fat acceptance but trying to lose weight” … I have been down with FA, self-love, feminism and all that good stuff for awhile now, but have made to decision to lose weight myself. I’m not going after a size 8 or whatever, I just want to lose enough so that I don’t have to freak out every time I fly about whether I will fit in the damn seat or whether there will be some rude jerk next to me acting like I’m a 2nd class citizen because I’m fat. I know that the problem at hand lies with the airlines and not the individual, but until they actually change people’s bigoted attitudes or change the seat size, then unfortunately society has made it my problem. I’m also not one of those super rich people that can afford 2 seats, nor am I a loud person that enjoys complaining loudly and making an activism stance about why the seats aren’t big enough. Whilst I applaud those that do, I just want to get on my flight and get to my destination with as little occurrence as possible. So – long story short, I am now faced with the awkwardness of how to deal with people noticing my weight loss as it happens…. I don’t want to say “thanks” to their compliments because I don’t want to reinforce their subtle communication that I look better because I am a smaller size. I want to keep fighting the fight and saying that no, someone doesn’t automatically become a better person because they got smaller. Aurgh!!!

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