We’re Cup of Jo with an agenda!
Burnt Toast works as a "touching stone" for my life, my work, my parenting. In the past, I used to judge myself for not being "finally fixed" from diet culture. And only recently have I realized (thanks to reading BT) that the pressure weighing down on all of us to be thin is exhausting and downright inescapable. It is everywhere. (I live at 7,500 feet elevation, in relative obscurity, and even out here, I STILL run into the mental pressure to be thin.)
The voices I hear are all so sneaky and slimy—and they normalize distrusting myself at nearly every goddamn turn. I realize now that building in touchstones like BT is part of my self-care plan, not because I need to be indoctrinated with anti-diet spiels, but because I deserve to hear from people who aren't actively trying to make me hate myself.
As an aside: I do wonder if BT has a place for body-trusting professionals who aren't explicitly working in anti-diet spheres. Two reason I'm asking: one is that, when I do seek out professional/creative help, I can pick up on someone who actively hates their body even if we aren't doing "body work" and this makes me very sad and tired; and two, because as an editor, I'd love to have a way for other writers to know that they can bring their stories to me and my work as an editor is grounded in full confidence that they know what they are ready to say. Not trying to pitch myself here. But also, trying to stand up and say, I'm an editor and I innately trust bodies and I think this matters in relationships beyond the physician/patient dynamic.
I'd love to see some writing. Or some discussion done around being fat in fitness spaces. I'm a yoga teacher and pilates enthusiast. Since covid I find it incredibly hard to find places that feel safe for me. I even find my own students' discussion around their bodies hostile towards larger beings or added "pandemic weight.." The pandemic was a long healing time for me with food and movement. And I guess I don't see a lot of discussion like that
I recently went to a new anti-diet group meeting started by a parent that I don't know and I was so thrilled to have a community of people near me. It was a zoom and everyone was (95%) on the same page. It was great to talk about all of this stuff with people who agree, but everyone except me was ... thin! Has anyone else had this happen? I live (rent at a below market rate) in a very privileged neighborhood of a city and often feel like I'm surrounded by thin wealthy women. I fully support everyone going on this anti-diet journey no matter their size or any other qualifier - but I was hoping to meet people who have also experienced life in a fat body. I'm not sure what exactly I'm looking for here - I guess community! Thanks
Fun to see the data!
Here’s a teen topic related to eating that I am trying to navigate. Our middle son is 18 and a competitive extreme athlete (downhill mountain bike racing = a parent’s worst nightmare—I should have let him play football: it’s way safer!). In the past year, he’s bought into male diet culture: eating protein and veggies, intermittent fasting, the whole 9 yards. Our youngest son is 16, struggling with anxiety and depression, and on the mild end of the autism spectrum. He’s gained weight, which I refuse to comment on. (I also refuse to comment on the transition to buffness of the middle kid.) However, middle kiddo (despite endless coaching) CONSTANTLY makes mean comments about younger kiddo’s weight, food choices, and body, which lead to regular meltdowns.
The middle kiddo leaves for college next week, so the immediate problem will resolve itself. Longer term, I know that brain development will eventually make the issue dissipate. But surely I am not alone in trying to create a body-positive space for everyone, while also contending with challenging interpersonal dynamics between teens, so sharing this as surely someone has researched this!! (I am waiting to buy Fat Talk until I return from extended travel with the family, so apologies if this is covered there!)
Virginia, it is worth the subscription just to have you advocate for fat people like you did in the Cup of Joe piece. So powerful, so bravely and professionally done. You must have reached so many people with a message they rarely get to hear.
Yay for a Seattle event!!
Gearing up to do my first reader survey next month as CIHAS turns one - as a baby newsletter it's really cool to see how more established newsletters are getting on. Super appreciate you sharing this!
It just struck me that the paradigm burnt toast and others (Aubrey Gordon) posit is so like second wave radical lesbian feminism. I am 76 and in the 1970s I was a part of a group that eschewed concern with body size. Any size was OK. Not shaving your legs or your armpits was just fine. We chose to ignore what is now called the male gaze. There seem to be many similarities between that time and what you all are doing now. What you all are doing is not just about body inclusivity (don’t know the right descriptor) it is also very much about feminism. I love it!
I adore the podcast and wanted to say please keep up the fabulous work! My only
wish is that they came out more often!
Just wanted to say that I love BT (the newsletter, Friday threads, and especially the podcast!) and regularly give it as a resource to my clients, especially parents, who are struggling to feed their families or themselves. Fat Talk is awesome, and I cannot wait to read The Eating Instinct soon. I especially love your episodes with Corinne- you two have such easy, engaging conversations that cover a multitude of unrelated topics in a seamless way.
I’m going to shamelessly request another “Is It a Diet? The Answer is Always Yes” segment because I literally laugh out loud listening to your spontaneous critiques. You also offer so much helpful insight that I struggle to articulate at times when I’m debunking these diets/plans/programs for clients. I know you’ve said they’re tedious and ridiculous to do but I think that’s partially why they resonate. Diet culture is so pervasive and insidious, and regularly reminding ourselves that even if we’ve divested from it, we likely know or love someone who is still struggling with it.
Thanks for sharing this information! And thanks for providing this space.
Okay you got me, I subscribed and I am happy about it!