Tag Archives: positive

Hater Plate

LicensePlateThe other day, I was waiting in the drive-thru for an iced tea to quench my thirst.  Delirious with the 100+ degree heat, I had to look twice when I saw the license plate on the car directly in front of me.  I even took a picture (see below).  I won’t give you the exact spelling or lettering on the plate, but I will tell you that the basic meaning of the letters on the plate was unmistakeably “You Are Ugly.”

plate copyI have to admit, this gave me pause.  I mean, clearly there was no reason for me to take this personally.  Everyone who gazed upon this license plate saw the same message.  Even supermodels would see the message that they are ugly.  This message was broadcast to men and women, and even children.  And I had to wonder–what kind of person orders a vanity plate that puts down everybody in the world who looks at it?

I’m sure the woman driving the car thought she was pretty cool and pretty funny behind her mirrored sunglasses.  I suppose it is possible that she was simply borrowing somebody else’s car, and was feeling humiliated.  But somehow, I don’t think that was the case here.  I imagine that she thought she was being ironic.  But I really wonder if it made her feel any better.  Did it make her feel superior?  Did it make her feel important?  Did it make her feel a little bit more pretty?

Or was she acting out of some sort of deep pain?

And I really started thinking about how many of us are sending and receiving messages like this every day?  Is putting everybody else in the world down the only way we feel able to lift ourselves up?  Are we so injured by the daily barrage of messages telling us that we are unworthy, that we feel the need to lash out at the world?  Have we been so indoctrinated by the world of haters that we feel like we need to become one of them simply to survive?

I don’t know.  I do know it put my right off my unsweetened iced-tea (xtra ice).  I felt more than a little sick to my stomach.  But in the end, I think we each have to make a choice.  We can continue the anger and dish back the hate.   Or, as Harry Belafonte put it, we can turn the world around.

So in response to the H8tr plate, I’d like to offer this:

happyplateYou and me and everyone we see, we’re ALL hot!  And speaking of hot, I’d like to remind you that the second annual Hot Flash Mob is just one week away in San Francisco.  Interested in joining the fun?  Of course you are!  So CLICK HERE!

In the meantime, don’t be a h8tr, be a “hot plater”.




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On being a Shameless Woman: How Forbes Got it Right

Ooooo, I’m so excited about THIS article from the Forbes.com site She Negotiates!  In this piece, author Brooke Axtell talks about why shame doesn’t make us thinner OR healthier, and she rounds up an amazing group of experts including Dr. Michelle Segar and Dr. Linda Bacon.  And I’m resonating so deeply with what is said here that I’m ringing like a big old bell!  The article starts out asking a simple question:

The U.S. Diet and Weight Loss Industry produced over 60 billion dollars in revenue last year. With all the available information and products, why do many intelligent women continue to diet and exercise without achieving lasting results?

Good question!  Why do we keep banging our head on this same wall over and over again?  Why do we keep doing the same things we’ve always done before and expect different results.  Why are we behaving in a way that could be defined as insane?

The article goes on interview Dr. Michelle Segar.  And while I don’t intimately know her work and can’t comment on her personal feelings about weight loss, I couldn’t find much to fault in her interview here.  Basically, her research indicates that if you start trying to change your health and wellness from a point of self-hatred you are doomed to fail before you even start.  The article goes on to state:

Many of the behaviors that improve health, such as getting more sleep and making better eating choices, also lead to experiences, such as reduced stress, that contribute to happier lives. It is the positive experience that we crave and it is far easier to measure on a daily basis. Although many claim that their health is a priority, the truth is that we are far more motivated by wanting to feel good than to improve our health.

Yes, yes and YES!  In my experience with all of the folks that I work with, it’s the immediate pleasure of having fun, of building relationships with classmates, it’s the better sleep and higher confidence and improved sex life that comes with exercise that keeps them exercising.  You can create charts.  You can pull out your calipers and scales.  You can give the “deathfat” speech all you want.  You can even give them a “gold star” for being “good”.  But what keeps exercisers coming back for more is having a good time and feeling good both during and after exercise.  Period.

This is such an important idea.  So often people ask me why I call myself The Fat Chick.  They ask why I can’t just skip over the issue of being “curvy” and tell people to have fun while they are losing weight.  They ask why I can’t just “suggest” that they could or should lose weight.  But I can’t.  Because telling people to have fun while they are on the way to being worthy, while they are in the process of becoming okay just doesn’t work.  I have to tell them that they are okay now.  I have to let them know that they are worthy even if they never achieve the BMI or number on the scale they are seeking.  I have to let them know that we will experience joy right from the beginning of our work together, not after some magic number or arbitrary goal is achieved.  As the article states:

Ultimately, it matters why we exercise and eat healthy foods. This is important not only to sustain our efforts of authentic self-care, but also to resist the toxic messages of a 60 billion dollar industry that depends on women feeling ashamed of their bodies.

Amen, sister.  Amen.  So I’ll keep calling myself The Fat Chick, and I’ll keep focusing on feeling good and having fun.  I will refuse to fuel the industry built on shame that keeps us down and holds us back.  I’ll keep working with people of many different ages, weights and abilities.  I’ll call myself and all of my students worthy on the first day and the last day and every day in between.  To put it simply, that’s what works in the short term, the long term and the whole term.

Thanks for listening.


The Fat Chick