And “BlogHer” sure looks mighty Gaelic when you write it all in caps. WI’ NAE WEE BAIRN O’ BLOGHER YE’LL ME BEGET. Oh, I have no idea what that means. But today I had a slight lull in between all my freelance-writing- for-fun-and-profit adventures to post about BlogHer for those of you who are coming next weekend, those of you playing at home, and those of you who might not even know my site at all. Way back in the early days of this site I had a FAQ section that people could read to find out where I was coming from, and it worked pretty well back then. So here’s a few Q’s that I’ll A right here, and feel free to ask more in the comments. Or just, you know, comment.
What’s this panel you’re doing and who else is going to be there?
It’s called Our Bodies, Our Blogs and the description is here. I’ll be on the panel with Laurie of Body Impolitic and Yvonne of Joy Unexpected, and Jenny at Big Slice of Life is going to moderate. Other BlogHer attendees who’ve mentioned they’ll show up and take part in the discussion (and they better) include Kate Harding, Weetabix at Elastic Waist, Jen from Angry Fat Girlz, Shauna (yes, that Shauna) and the notorious PQ. And anyone else who wants to drop a line in the comments and introduce herself (HINT HINT).
What business does a Weight Watcherer like you have being on a body image panel?
Yeah, apparently this came up in a discussion elsewhere. Initially I sort of shrugged off the question and simply pointed out that I stopped doing Weight Watchers about two years ago, just to put to rest any concern that I’d show up and totally ruin everything with my weight-watcherly ways. Like I promised I wouldn’t wear my fancy tape measure cinched around my awesomely trim waist, and I would also try not to get up in the middle of the panel and twirl the hell around like Lynn Redgrave.
Not like people who do Weight Watchers are actually like that, ever, but still.
Then again, even when I was doing that program I still had things to say about the way our popular culture regards fat women and about the way we appear in magazines and in the eyes of self-entitled douchebags who didn’t like the Dove ads, so maybe I didn’t have all my brain cells completely replaced by POINTSâ„¢.
Though it’s also it’s worth noting that the person who took issue with my place on the panel put the question in such a way that almost suggests that by being “smart, witty and clever,” my weight-watcherness was even more problematic, because God forbid anyone associate That Program with anything other than mandatory self-hatred. I could go on, but instead I’ll refer you to Jen’s and Erin’s reactions, which are much more thoughtful than anything I can manage right now.
Okay, but where are you with all this stuff now?
I gained back the forty pounds that I lost on Weight Watchers in 2001-2002, and all this evidence that most diets fail after five years sounds pretty intriguing to me these days. Intriguing and, um, true.
But I’ve also gradually lost thirty pounds since October from being more active and eating more vegetarian/vegan. It’s true I don’t write about the body stuff as much as I used to, and part of the reason is that I’m simply doing more offline writing than blogging these days, but it’s also because after more than five years of writing online about this, I’ve gotten weary of doing this elaborate dance. You know, where you feel like anything you say about changing your eating habits must be prefaced by the statement that you’re doing it to be healthy and not just a shallow dipshit, and that you’re focused but not obsessed, and that every time you happen to mention pushing yourself a little harder than usual during a workout you must issue the disclaimer that, yes, you like it, and yes, it feels good, and no, you really do not need to just give yourself a big hug right now.
Because yes, people have written in to say things like that over the years. So I don’t put the food and body stuff in my life up for discussion so much any more, which is fine, because I don’t feel like I need to write about them as much. When I do, I tend to write about the stuff that kind of thrills me: the bike thrills me. For fuck’s sake, soup thrills me.
Would you say you endorse WW?
Well, no, there are a lot of things about Weight Watchers that I disagree with. Feel free to ask me if you want to know, but I haven’t felt a need to write about it online. Maybe sometime I will, but I don’t feel like going there now.
Would you say you endorse fat acceptance?
Sure, same as always. I’m never going to be thin. Sometimes it’s not as simple as that, but you know what? Sometimes it is.
Any other advice for BlogHer?
Wear comfy shoes. You’re gonna walk your fucking head off at Navy Pier, you know.