Tag Archives: sports

On Golf, Waffle House and Becoming a Professional Hater

Recently, Bubba Watson won what is arguably the most important title in professional Golf–The Masters.  He didn’t go to Disney World to celebrate.  Nope,  Watson celebrated his 1.6 Million dollar winnings by taking his family for a celebratory feast at a Waffle House restaurant.  He tweeted the event to his 1 Million plus followers and the tweet went viral.  The photo shows Bubba sitting next to his wife and best friend (Judah Smith, a pastor from Seattle).  By and large the coverage was positive.  Not only had Bubba managed to win the Masters for a second time, he had brought attention to an event that had primarily received coverage for the fact that Tiger Woods would NOT be attending.  He managed to make a sport that is often seen as the exclusive playground of the rich seem more fun and less stuffy.

But not everyone was complimentary about Bubba’s trip to Waffle House for Grilled Cheese and Hash Browns.  Apparently, self-appointed food policewoman, Katherine Tallmadge recently appeared on Neil Cavuto’s show on Fox recently–bashing Bubba for being a “poor example” of how athletes should eat–at least in public.  Tallmadge fumed:

“Well, it would be great if celebrities and sports figures set a better example for our obese nation,” Katherine Tallmadge huffed to Fox TV host Neil Cavuto.

“There’s nothing wrong with the Waffle House if it’s an occasional splurge, but these gazillionaires love to show Americans that they’re one of you. And so, to win a popularity contest, they go to Waffle Houses, diners, steak places, when in reality, to be a great athlete or a celebrity in good shape, they don’t really eat like that.”

Okay, let’s break this apart, shall we?  This guy won one of the highest titles in the land for one is arguably one of the most nerve-wracking sports on the planet but gets publicly scourged on a national level for eating some hash browns at Waffle House?  Would it be better if he ate hash browns in secret where nobody could see.  Is he failing to sport the fashionable eating disorder that should accompany any person receiving this much public attention.

And apparently, along with basic information about nutrition, registered dieticians receive training in clairvoyance and divination.  Because although Tallmadge really doesn’t know Bubba or anything about his personal life, she feels she can safely comment on:

1.  What Bubba eats on a regular basis.

2.  Why Bubba took his family to Waffle House.

3.  What all real sports stars eat on a regular basis.

4.  Bubba’s general health status and physical condition.

Were Tallmadge ACTUALLY able to discern all of this about someone she’s probably never even met, she might warrant some of the media attention she’s recently received.  Because, wow–MAGIC.  Unfortunately, all Tallmadge is really able to do here is receive media attention by making self-righteous and unfounded assumptions about famous people that are just controversial enough to earn her some air time.  Naturally Tallmadge has appeared often on television shilling her “nondiet eating plan for losing weight”.  Forgive me if I don’t name her program or give it much credence.  When people start talking about losing weight by eating right and not dieting, I tend to have trust issues.

Tallmadge’s web site is full of references to her multitudinous media appearances.  And it all tends to remind me of another woman who appears a lot in the media–MeMe Roth.  Ms. Roth has a degree in Journalism and had built a career working for top Public Relations companies. She also received a Health Counseling Certification from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in 2008.  The institute’s teachings and requirements have been called into question.  But none of that stopped Roth from appearing in the media over and over again as an “Obesity Expert” (airquotes evident) who felt perfectly justified in telling fat people that they are ugly and useless and a scourge on society.  Roth has made a media career out of being a professional hater.  I’ve personally gone up against her brand of nastiness on the Dr. Drew show and have watched her scream and stomp and spit her way through many interviews since.  She gets booked because she is a spectacle.  She’s the train wreck that pulls the viewer over the commercial break.  And her work on television would be laughable if it weren’t for the terrible damage she does to people of all sizes.  She damages large people because she convinces them that they are ugly and worthless and unfit to join society at their current size.  She damages smaller people by confirming for them that staying small is without question the most important thing they can do with their lives.  While Tallmadge certainly sports somewhat better credentials–she seems to be headed along the same trajectory.  She’s garnering massive media attention by serving as a professional food nanny–whether we’ve ordered one up or not.

I am often reminded of this clip from “Ratatouille”–one of my favorite movies ever.  In this clip, the famous food critic waxes philosophical about his role as a critic and how it stacks up against the role of creator in his industry:

“In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so..”

In that same way, I wonder about the work of a professional hater.  They risk very little and create very little other than wagging their finger in a mildly entertaining way at the rest of us.  Those of us who are writing books and inspiring others and winning international golf titles.  I wonder if those of us who are winners and creators in the world might find a way to simply ignore these haters–like the unwelcome and uninvited house fly buzzing around our banquets.  I wonder if we do this, if future employment opportunities for professional haters might be a little less rosy.  But for now, if you’ll excuse me I’m headed out to eat some waffles.


Jeanette DePatie, AKA The Fat Chick

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See Fatty Run: Designer Sweat and Supermodel Athletes

It’s enough to make you crazy.  People of size are constantly asked to exercise, but are criticized for neglecting to look like supermodels while they are doing it.  Sometimes in the same article we are told not only that we need to get off the couch and exercise but also, please, for the love of all that is holy do it somewhere in private where there is positively no chance the “enlightened author” will have to look at us.  Is it any wonder some of us get fed up with exercise?

It seems that even for those in the highest and most prestigious positions in the land are especially vulnerable to attack while exercising.  I’m not talking about physical attack.  Those secret service dudes are serious business.  I’m talking about emotional attacks that play out in traditional and social media.  I was struck by this recent piece in the Telegraph entitled George Osborne horror pic: Why do Fat Politicians go Jogging in Public.  Seriously.  For realz.  A major paper published an opinion piece by one of the EDITOR of their blogs complaining that politicians who don’t sport a perfectly toned and tanned body need to exercise in a gym, far away from they prying eyes of the public.

And this is by no means a new development. Bill Clinton was ribbed endlessly for his public jogging pictures–and not just during his presidency.  When new Bill Clinton and Al Gore jogging photos surfaced in 2011, it made NATIONAL NEWS for crying out loud.

Obsession with the weight of the president complete with the obligatory Bill Clinton jogging shot.

Even incredibly talented and extremely accomplished professional and Olympic athletes are expected to look like supermodels at all times.  I mean when an African American gymnast wins one of the most highly coveted medals of the 2012 Olympics we still feel the need to spend news cycles talking about her hair being a little bit messy.  Because as we all know, Olympic athletes are all about teh sexy.  And as the inimitable Ragen Chastain points  out, even winning Wimbledon doesn’t prevent snarky newscasters from expressing their disappointment that the winning tennis star doesn’t meet their personal standards for personal attractiveness.

I blame Sports Illustrated.  Not only do they have a swimsuit edition, which requires the featured women to have exactly enough athletic prowess to pose nearly naked on a beach for a few hours.

Is it any wonder that so many of us feel so very intimidated by the notion of going out to exercise in public?  Is it any wonder that many of us who can’t afford designer workout wear, fake tans, liposuction and a secret service team feel like we can’t be seen on public streets working up a sweat.  And once we get up the courage to get out there and stumble along, yet find ourselves facing some stupid kid hollering insults or making animal noises out the window at us, will we do it again?  Will we lace up our sneakers, head out the door and face more abuse?

With all the outcry about lack of physical activity in this country, I think we need to spend less time idealizing “athletes” who have their own hair and makeup people and personal stylists and spend more time making fitness safe for the rest of us.  We need to make more places that are physically safe for us to walk the dogs, ride our bikes and even run our untanned, unretouched chubby legs down the street.  And we need to create a culture that makes exercise emotionally safe for people who don’t happen to look like supermodels.


The Fat Chick

P.S. Dear friends, starting tomorrow at 10 AM Pacific Time, we will be streaming live from the Size Diversity Task Force Big Fat Flea Market in Los Angeles.  YOU CAN PARTICIPATE EVEN IF YOU ARE NOWHERE NEAR CALIFORNIA.  You can buy raffle tickets online and you could win one of over fifty prizes with a total value of over  $1,000.  You can also use our live streaming feature to connect virtually with one of our personal shoppers.  They will hand select clothing just for you and send it out via priority mail.  This all happens TOMORROW, and you so DON’T WANT TO MISS THIS!