For today’s Tuesday Reviewsday, I am pleased to discuss Harriet Brown’s recently released book “Body of Truth”. Harriet Brown is already well known for her previous book, “Brave Girl Eating” about her experiences with her daughter who suffered from Anorexia. “Body of Truth” uncovers Harriet’s epiphany regarding her own weight obsessed life within a society who complemented her daughter’s svelte figure even when they knew she was recovering from anorexia.
Like many of us, Harriet’s weight obsession and body hatred started early in life and lasted through most of middle age. It wasn’t until she saw the devastating effects of anorexia that she even began to question society’s readiness to conflate thinness and health and began to question her seeming moral obligation to have thin thighs. Harriet describes her own struggle in the midst of her Jewish family and describes the dichotomy of being in a culture that loves food and values hostesses who provide abundance at the dinner table while being terrified of fat.
Throughout the book, Harriet’s journalistic roots shine through clearly. She provides a wealth of current information and facts to back up her assertion that we as a culture are a bit off the rails when it comes to body image and weight. Much of the ground covered here will be familiar to those of us who have studied this area for some time. There are the statistics about the failure of dieting. There is an in-depth discussion of the “obesity paradox”. And she covers Flegal’s research and the ensuing shameful medical backlash. She follows the money and describes the intense conflicts of interest displayed by so many who serve on boards and are paid to do research to support the “war on obesity”. However, there is much recent research covered in the book, and a significant portion of the anecdotal materials (for example on Professor Miller) are new and fresh.
Above all, I feel Harriet does a terrific job of weaving her personal narrative with a tight journalistic style that presents facts and evidence in a way that makes for a fast and enjoyable read. I really enjoyed the book and I think it may especially resonate with middle-aged readers who are just coming to HAES at this point in their lives. I strongly recommend this powerful and enjoyable book.
Now, before I close, on to a bit of business. Have you heard about our new Fit Fatties Virtual Events? Have you signed up yet? It’s super cool and you don’t want to miss it. This time around the events feature a quintathlon option as well as Fit Fatties Flair. Learn more HERE!
Also, this year I am seeking to earn a new fitness certification and so I am offering special discounts off of my regular speaking fees. To learn more, send me an email describing your speaking request to jeanette at the fat chick dot com. Learn more about my speaking HERE!
Hey everybody! Here’s episode 17 of the Right Now Show. This episode is drawn from a speech I gave at the Wellness Beyond Weight Seminar at the ASDAH conference. It was a wonderful opportunity to teach people about exercise and expectations:
And this is also an opportunity to remind you that I love my work as a public speaker! If you’d like me to come to your business, university, special event or town, please consider booking me or recommending me to speak. You can learn more about my speaking HERE.
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It is difficult to describe just how happy this video makes me. You guys already know I have a thing for videos featuring spontaneous dancing. But unlike this video, in which the girl clearly carefully set up her video camera or phone to capture the moment, the “Dancing Queen” video subject doesn’t seem to know she’s being recorded. She’s just rockin’ out because she feels like it. She’s simply gettin’ down with her bad self! I especially love the punches at :43 and 1:41, the sassy finger move at :51 and the collection of awesomeness at 1:50 and 2:07. It makes me so sad when she finally gets on the bus and it all comes to an end.
It makes me feel so hopeful that in this world of stigma and shame and hate, people still find a way to let their inner groove thing out. Because this sort of spontaneous expression, this is what so often dies when people are shamed. This is the bit of ourselves that learns to hide when the bullies come out. This is what we lose when we insist on using shame and bullying to try to make everyone’s body conform to a single impossible standard.
This loss of our sense of wonder and playfulness and spontaneous joy is one of the great costs of a society that bullies people. And that is why I am so excited to be participating in the Stop The Pain Anti Bullying Conference this Saturday in Riverside with the Size Diversity Task Force. I’ll be giving a speech called “All Bodies are GOOD Bodies–Learning to Love the Skin You’re In” and participating in a panel discussing bullying. The event is already sold out, and over 600 young people aged 12 to 20 are expected.
I am hoping that I can help in some small way to help young people learn to protect themselves from those who would teach them to be less than, to stay under the radar, to go unnoticed. And I hope in small way to help them stop bullying themselves and one another, so they can take that ability to dance and live fully in the moment from when they were very small, grow up to start whole spontaneous dance parties like this guy, and still be dancing like this lady when they are old and grey.
P.S. Want me to come speak at your school, business or special event? I speak on a wide range of topics related to fitness, self acceptance, bullying prevention, body love, Health At Every Size (R) and love your body week! Click here or just send me an email to learn more!