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I used the word "fat" in the title of this page. I have reached the point where Referring to myself as fat no longer bothers me. As I am fond of saying, "Fat is not a four letter word. If it were, then it would be fate." What do I mean by that?

"Fat is not a four letter word...."

In fact, it is not an insult, it is simply a descriptive term. It is no more an insult to call someone fat than it is to call them short, or blonde, or Black. Being fat is not a character flaw, it is not a sin, and it is not a sign of mental deficiency. The fact that the word fat is treated as an insult is the work of bigots and profiteers. One of the goals of the size acceptance movement is to stop the word fat from being used as an insult, and to fight the stereotypes which that usage represents. For example, the word fat is part of the name of the Usenet group, soc.support.fat.acceptance The philosophy behind this group can be understood by reading the group's FAQ.

"...If it were, then it would be fate."

Researchers at the National Institute Of Health (NIH) set out in a comprehensive survey (published in 1992) to try to find an effective method for weight loss and control. Their conclusion was that there is no such thing. The panel was forced to conclude that for most people, achieving body weights and shapes presented in the media is not a reasonable, appropriate, or achievable goal. The panel went on to say that being fat is multifactorial in origin, reflecting inherited, environmental, cultural, socioeconomic, and psychological conditions. They also pointed out that increasing physiologic, biochemical, and genetic evidence suggested that being fat is not a simple problem of will power. The available studies indicated that people lose weight while participating in almost any program, then universally regain the weight over time. As to the myth that losing weight is one of the goals of a healthy life-style, the panel noted that evidence that reductions in mortality follow weight loss is meager. Most epidemologic studies suggest, instead, that weight loss is associated with increased mortality. That is, trying to lose weight is likely to shorten your life. The healthy decision is to accept your body the way it is. The entire text of the NIH study is available online.

The alledgedly link between health and weight has been vastly exagerated by the popular media. Consequently, it is one of the chief excuses for perpetuating prejudice against fat people. A more balanced look taken directly from the actual research regarding health and fat can be found in a page maintained by Sharon Curtis. Sharon's personal viewpoint on health and fat is also online, and very much coincides with my own.

In fact, my feelings about health and weight loss did not even change much when I was diagnosed with diabetes. Here's why.

Other size acceptance resources

The National Association for the Advancement of Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) has been around for 25 years. This is one of several organizations working towards the abolition of prejudice against people of size. Their web page is worth investigating.

Recenlty, NAAFA went through a little self-examination. Some members of the national leadership had proposed changing the name of NAAFA. Basically, they were proposing a set of alternate names which avoid the word fat.

As I stated at the time, this would have been capitulation. By doing this, we would be saying that we are not proud of and happy with ourselves the way we are, and we do believe that being fat is something to be ashamed of. It certainly doesn't express the opinion that it is OK to be fat.

But, NAAFA did the brave thing, the right thing. They kept their name the way it is, and by doing this, made a statement to the whole world that it is OK to be fat.

I think that is the entire point of their existance. I'm kind of proud of them.

In addition to the web page for NAAFA's national organization, several regional chapters of NAAFA have web pages. These include the Washington State chapter, and the Philadelphia Chapter, and the Pittsburgh Chapter. There is now even a budding web page for the Rocky Mountain Chapter! The Washington State chapter also has e-mail at wscnaafa@hotmail.com

A page that has a great set of fairly current links, and which has a very interesting edgey perspective on this whole size acceptance thing is Such A Pretty Face.  This site is definitely worth a look.

There is also a relatively new size acceptance group in San Diego, called the Southern Californa Size Acceptance Coalition. They have a web page running. In addition, there is a group in New Mexico called the New Mexico Fat Acceptance Network (FAN), who have a page established.

Another regional group is the Wisconsin Fat Acceptance Network. They have a very neat graphical page, news about fat positive events in their neck of the woods, and a nice list of resources that goes way beyond Wisconsin. You should have a look.

There is also a size-activism mailing list. You can get on the list by sending e-mail to majordomo@world.std.com. The body of the message should be "subscribe fat-acceptance".

Rump Parliament is a print magazine dedicated to "Working to change the way society treats fat people." It is a very well put together magazine, as demonstrated (among many other things) by the fact that they have published three of my articles! If you are interested in size-rights issues, you have to check out Rump Parliament's home page.

International No Diet Day

is almost upon us! Check out the official web page for more information.

Other general resources

There is a kinder, gentler Usenet group called alt.support.big-folks This group tends to be more resource-oriented, and less activist-oriented than ssfa. Their FAQ. explains the philosophy of the group.

There is also a document regarding various resources for people of size.

There are also specific documents offering assistance in finding clothing in North America and Europe.

A magazine with a different outlook on being fat is Fat!So? They call themselves a magazine for people who don't apologize for their size. Their web site bears investigation.

Radiance Magazine now has a web page! This powerful, upbeat mag has been an asset to large women for years, with articles that focus on postivie achievements of large women, and encourages them to lead full, active lives right now! Although they are slick and uptown, they have occasionally taken on the tough issues (although noone attacks the issues like Rump Parliament). But, Radiance's web site definitely deserves your attention!

Dimensions magazine, which started as a publication for fat admirers (FAs), is still mainly, though not exclusively, dedicated to getting FAs and fat people together.

The Dimensions site, however, has something that everyone should investigate. It is a list of about 300 fat-related links! If you haven't found it on my page, this is a darned good place to go next!

Chicago is fortunate to have a dance/social club for BBWs and their admireres. BBWsRock has a very nice web page. It not only has a lot of info on upcoming events in the Chicago area, it has a resource link list that is worth a look (especially if you are in that part of the country.

While on the subject of general resources, Paul McAleer has a very interesting and well-designed site, which he refers to as the Fat Acceptance Resource (FAR). This site has some activism, but follows a more general resource tone. It contains original articles, links to other fat acceptance sites, a personals area a "BBS" (actually, a small browser-based message board), and a few other goodies. It is a well-designed and attractive site, and a lot of what Paul has to say about fat acceptance seems on-the-money. It is worth a visit.

Along a similar line, but with a different target audience is Fat Girl, a magazine aimed at fat lesbians. Their web page, nonetheless, contains a resource list which may be of interest to any person of size.

I have to say that I got a kick out of Jellyroll's Home Page, which the author describes as a "Look AT Life Through A BBW's Eyes". This was once largely an autobiographical page, but it has grown. There are some interesting resources listed, and it is a very nice effort graphically. In addition, there are several articles that are worth reading.

A page that is similar, in that it look's at life through a BBW's eyes, is MaryMc's Fat Accpetance Stuff. I believe that the story she tells of her journey from a determined dieter to a fat acceptance activist will strike a cord with a lot of people.

A lot has been said lately about Carnie Wilson's decision to butcher herself in the name of fashion. Although I haven't penned an essay on this subject myself yet, the book editor at Borders.com had a great editorial on the subject. This essay also talks about the loss of Jennifer Paterson of "Two Fat Ladies". In a touch of irony, Ms Paterson died on the day that Carnie had her surgery, and the fat acceptance movement lost two champions that day.

But, we still have some champions. Camryn Manheim's book and official web site help, along with her award winning television presence, help to demonstrate the fact that a fat woman can be not only beautiful, but dynamic, outspoken, and successful.

Just because you are fat is no reason that you shouldn't relax and have fun. If your idea of having fun includes traveling, and you are interested in one of the most popular vacation destinations on earth, check out this guide to Walt Disney World for large people!

Design Graphics Unlimited provides unique T-shirt design, screen printing, and specialty items, all with a unique, fat-positive flair. Check them out for getting that chapter logo on some specialty items, or other personalized graphics needs!

There is a fairly regular channel for BBWs and their admirers on IRC. It's on Undernet, and the channel is #BBW.

Things that bug me

If you are tempted to send me e-mail regarding your latest fantastic diet product, click here first.

Remember "The Nutty Professor", with Jerry Lewis? Well, a a sequal to the remake of "The Nutty Professor" is on it's way to your theater, and it is, again, not a pretty thing.

The FDA has a penchant for approving diet drugs which are neither safe nor effective. It is interesting that the scrutiny which they normally reserve for medication is suspended when diet products are involved. When I find the time, I'll write an essay about this obsession our society has for finding the ultimate diet pill, why it is doomed to failure, and what the real costs to all of us are. A recent horific example of the failure of all diet pills is, of course, Redux. You should check out my Redux page, because the story didn't end when the FDA pulled this poison from the market.

Feedback welcome

That is, as long as you can deal with feedback on your feedback :^)

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This web page is provided as a service by Joe Obrin. It was going to be affilitated with Living Large And Loving It!, but LLLI never got off the ground. Still, it was a great idea.

We are proud to be a recipient of The Size Wise Excellence Award. The Size Wise
Excellence Award

We are also quite happy to have received the "Limit's Rejected" Award from the BBW Network.

BBWNetwork's LIMITS 
REJECTED Award - Level 2

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