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Old 12-10-2005, 01:53 PM   #1
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Default Big black women

Author Robyn McGee asked me to post the below:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Author and Speaker Robyn M. McGee Tackles Weighty Issues in her book
Hungry For MoreForeword by Joycelyn Elders, M.D, former U.S. Surgeon
General


December 2005—If you are an African-American woman, chances are you are
considered to be fat. Statistics show 70% of black women are
classified as overweight or obese. Is this a result of the classifier
or the classified? In reality, it is both. Due to their genetic
makeup, very few adult, African-American women are able to wear a size
2, the image that the movies, music videos and magazines serves up as
the body type of the “perfect woman.” Though outwardly stylish and
confident, inwardly, many African American women feel as if their self-
image is under attack by the constant barrage of messages subliminally
reminding them they are not beautiful because they don’t have
the “correct” body dimensions. Buying into this impossible standard
can be both mentally and emotionally draining-and dangerous. Robyn
McGee author and speaker knows first hand how damaging low self-esteem
combined with trying to live up to someone else’s idea of beauty can
be.

“My sister Cathy always loved a good party. The last time I saw her,
she was hosting a friend’s wedding” McGee reveals. “With her head
thrown back in laughter, Cathy held a champagne glass in hand and was
surrounded endless bottles of wine and enough food to feed ten armies.”

Cathy was always self-conscious about her full bosom, wide hips and
thick legs, yet Cathy was a beautiful and accomplished black woman.
She was married with four children and she owned her own business.
Despite living what many consider the American dream Cathy was forever
dissatisfied with her looks. Her lifelong obsession with her weight
compelled her to indulge in the wrong foods, at the wrong times all for
the wrong reasons. Eventually, Cathy gained the one hundred pounds
over her ideal weight that qualified her for gastric bypass surgery.
Her desperate quest to be thin proved to be deadly. She died from an
infection four days after her operation. Cathy never made it back home.

“As I look back, I realize that Cathy’s struggle was not with her
weight, but with feelings of inadequacy,” declares McGee. “If she’d
understood that her perceptions were obscured by the societal norms and
popular culture, she would have appreciated the dimensions that God
gave black women and celebrated what she was rather than chasing
something she wasn’t.”

Today more and more African American men and women are seeking weight
loss surgery as a quick fix to a lifelong problem. It is estimated that
150,000 people had gastric bypass operations, in 2004 about 15% of
those patients were African Americans. Frustrated after a lifetime of
dieting disappointments, sick and tired of the teasing, the insults,
and in poor health, many folks rush headlong into this major surgery
without considering all the ramifications. In fact in October 2005,
NBC news reported that 1 in 200 people died within a year after having
weight loss surgery. This number is much higher than was previously
reported.

In Hungry for More: A Keeping-it-Real Guide for Black Women on Weight
and Body Image, author and speaker, Robyn McGee offers a holistic
approach to weight and health by addressing their social and cultural
implications. With foreword and praise by former U.S. Surgeon General,
Joycelyn Elders, M.D., Hungry for More is a straight-talking,
informative book that encourages readers to take control of their lives
and utilize practical ways they can combat obesity and an unhealthy
lifestyle. McGee believes that without self-love and self-acceptance
no diet or operation can be successful long-term.

“Unless you change what’s in your heart and mind, no amount of surgery
will make you feel whole. Without psychological change to go with your
physical change, you could risk gaining all of the weight back and
still be miserable,” McGee said. Although she is not a medical doctor,
in Hungry for More, McGee suggests trying less drastic ways to lose
weight permanently before calling the weight loss surgeon. Weight
Watchers, Overeaters Anonymous, seeing a therapist for possible
depression, consulting a nutrition expert along with a commitment to
regular exercise, could offer the results overweight people desire
without the pain and risk of weight loss surgery, according to McGee.

Keeping her sister’s memory at the forefront, McGee’s timely tome is
nonjudgmental, sympathetic and upfront in conveying to readers the
importance of honoring themselves by making healthy lifestyle choices,
being patient and diligent, seeking help when necessary and remembering
that they are much more than a dress size or the numbers on a scale.

Hungry for More: A Keeping-it-Real Guide for Black Women on Weight and
Body Image is due to be released in December 2005 by Seal Press, an
imprint of Avalon Publishing Group, Inc.

Advance Praise for Hungry for More:

"Hungry for More is deliciously informative, real satisfying food for
the soul, and a must read for all women."—Josefina Lopez, Chicana
activist and author of Real Women Have Curves.

“With the obesity epidemic among African-American women on the rise,
this book provides very valuable information for black women who want
to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Following much of the advice in this
book will lead to a higher quality of life.” —Alvin F. Poussaint, MD.
Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Judge Baker
Children’s Center, Boston MA.

“I promise this book will make you feel full. McGee dares to go where
few authors do – into the heart, stomach and pulse of the African-
American female battle with hunger and weight. This is a personal and
urgent account of how women are destroying ourselves – and how we can
turn the tide away from hunger and obesity into freedom and power.” —
Eve Ensler, Playwright.

“This insightful book comes at a critical time: when more and more
women are dying to be thin. After losing her own sister to gastric
bypass surgery, Robyn McGee set out on a mission to get to the bottom
of Black women’s with obsession with their weight. The result: A
fascinating read. This is a great book to give to your sister, your
mother, your best friend, and, even better, yourself. —Pamela K.
Johnson, West Coast Editor, Essence Magazine.

About the Author

Robyn McGee is a longtime activist and women’s rights advocate. She is
currently Director of Women’s Resources at California State University,
Dominguez Hills, and she frequently lectures on women’s issues and
popular culture. Her work has been published in Seventeen, The Black
World Today, and Fireweed Feminist Journal. She lives in Southern
California, with her daughter. For more information, visit
www.robynwrites.com.
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Old 12-10-2005, 08:35 PM   #2
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Weight loss surgery should be banned.

I'm not surprised that Big Black Women have their self esteem under attack. After all, someone who is very very rich seems to have a strong vested interest in keeping his foot on the necks all the beautiful fat women in this country. It just so happens that the neurosis about weight loss that is so acute in the white community is not yet as acute in the black community.
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Old 12-10-2005, 08:45 PM   #3
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Of course, this book comes in the wake of the pioneering work done by Sir Mix-a-Lot.
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Old 12-10-2005, 09:32 PM   #4
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All I'm gonna say is my name is McGee. Matt McGee.
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Old 12-10-2005, 10:22 PM   #5
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Default Big Black Women

The title alone says it all--Big. Black. Women. The triply oppressed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Webmaster
Author Robyn McGee asked me to post the below:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Author and Speaker Robyn M. McGee....“As I look back, I realize that Cathy’s struggle was not with her weight, but with feelings of inadequacy,” declares McGee. “If she’d understood that her perceptions were obscured by the societal norms and popular culture...."

Gee. let us think--why did Cathy feel inadequate, class? Was it perhaps that she was OPpressed, rather than DEpressed? Depression arises FROM oppression. Cathy was oppressed because she was big. She was oppressed because she was black. She was oppressed because she was a woman.

Yes, her perceptions were obscured by societal norms and popular culture. Tell me how easy it is to escape that. Tell me why children as young as 5 go on diets. Tell me why teens equate reality with what they see between the covers of slick magazines. Tell me why they starve themselves to death in attempts to achieve that warped vision of reality. Tell me why mothers and fathers fuck their children up beyond measure when they ridicule and demean their children for being larger than "normal."

"....she would have appreciated the dimensions that God gave black women and celebrated what she was rather than chasing something she wasn’t.”

If you believe in God, did He not give us ALL dimensions? Who decided we should all look the same--be the same size? Is that God's Plan? I think not. I thought God made no mistakes. Why, then, do so many of us fight what we are? Because we're oppressed. Because there are so many fucked up people beating us down. Because they are allowed to get away with it. Because they can. Because it makes them feel better about themselves.

“Unless you change what’s in your heart and mind, no amount of surgery will make you feel whole. Without psychological change to go with your physical change, you could risk gaining all of the weight back and still be miserable,” McGee said.

I have no need to change what is in my heart and mind, and I'm willing to bet that Cathy didn't, either. Nor do the scores and scores of us (who make up the majority) who are fat. The hearts and minds that need change are of those who seek to oppress us. For whatever reason.

I am too exasperated to even respond to the rest of that quote.

I am so tired of people who refuse to think for themselves. The masses are brainwashed beyond salvation.
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Old 12-11-2005, 08:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by CurvaceousBBWLover
Weight loss surgery should be banned.
Mm, What a lovely ignorant statement.
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Old 12-11-2005, 08:40 PM   #7
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Robyn M. McGee radio Interview

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=5025842

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Old 12-11-2005, 08:48 PM   #8
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Well, it *is* a pretty risky procedure.
a. WLS has the highest complication rate of any elective surgery.
b. If the procedure is succesful you will not be able to eat enough food to survive and will have to supplement.
c. NIH quotes a 20% long term success rate.
So, basically, you turn yourself into an involuntary bullemic for a 1 in 5 chance of keeping the weight off. I know it's a good last ditch effort for someone who needs to loose the weight, but it's definately not the kind of thing that should be marketted to teenage girls along with diet pills and gym memberships.
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Old 12-12-2005, 06:30 AM   #9
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*sigh* Another drone selling snake oil on the chitterlings circuit. There is nothing new or innovative in her approach. It's the same tired drum beat that even her poor sister couldn't dance to. This woman insults the intelligence of black women everywhere with her patronizing tone and her repackaging of what we already know doesn't work.
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"...If the only pain you recognize as valid is your own, of course you'll have trouble identifying it when you see it in other people. That's the trouble with narcissism. It makes you really inadequate and boring."

Have you hugged a fat girl today?

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Old 12-12-2005, 05:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by isotope
Mm, What a lovely ignorant statement.

My friend, what is truly ignorant is the way the medical establishment and the weight loss industry hawk this dangerous surgery as if it were the panacea for all weight-related problems.
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Old 12-13-2005, 12:50 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by CurvaceousBBWLover
My friend, what is truly ignorant is the way the medical establishment and the weight loss industry hawk this dangerous surgery as if it were the panacea for all weight-related problems.
Can you back that up?

Atleast the medical establishment part. The weight loss industry lost it's dignity and self-respect long ago.

Weight loss pills always give me a chuckle.
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Old 12-13-2005, 06:30 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by isotope
Can you back that up?

Atleast the medical establishment part. The weight loss industry lost it's dignity and self-respect long ago.

Weight loss pills always give me a chuckle.
I'd be glad to, but not today.
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Old 12-14-2005, 07:13 AM   #13
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I found it interesting that, in the radio interview, Ms. McGee brought up doing more in the schools for the kids. I agree that Phys. Ed. programs should be kept in the school programs, but I am also sure that most kids will do what they are taught at home, as far as activity levels and eating habits.

Sigh...no matter the issue, the schools should fix it. But don't try to teach values.

Ok, rant over.
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Old 12-14-2005, 06:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBW Betty
Sigh...no matter the issue, the schools should fix it. But don't try to teach values.

Ok, rant over.
The teaching of values starts at home. Schools can't raise children. Government can't raise children. Parents can, but so manyh of them have fallen down on the job.
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Old 12-14-2005, 06:22 PM   #15
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It's all the damn hysteria over child molesters. Parents don't want their kids walking or biking anywhere for fear the neighborhood Kid Snatcha should swoop down at that precise moment. Then the kids jump on the bed and mom and dad yell at them to cut it out, so they do something quiet like watch tv or play video games... and then they get the munchies...

If it wasn't for local news broadcasts scaring the bejeezus out of everyone, they'd all get up and get their outdoors groove on more often.
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Old 12-15-2005, 11:58 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBW Betty
I found it interesting that, in the radio interview, Ms. McGee brought up doing more in the schools for the kids. I agree that Phys. Ed. programs should be kept in the school programs, but I am also sure that most kids will do what they are taught at home, as far as activity levels and eating habits.

Sigh...no matter the issue, the schools should fix it. But don't try to teach values.

Ok, rant over.

I agree, except that they should bring back all after school activities.
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Old 12-15-2005, 05:21 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by EtobicokeFA
I agree, except that they should bring back all after school activities.

And to do that, someone would have to stop cutting education funding. We ought to make some defense spending (wasting) cuts and transfer the money to education funds. Then we would have lots of money for after school activities.
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Old 12-16-2005, 10:35 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by CurvaceousBBWLover
And to do that, someone would have to stop cutting education funding. We ought to make some defense spending (wasting) cuts and transfer the money to education funds. Then we would have lots of money for after school activities.
Well if the US had a fair binding system for company, and not just give the contract to the company the VP has/had relations with, you save alot of money right there!

"Education cost money."
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Old 01-17-2006, 03:52 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by LillyBBBW
*sigh* Another drone selling snake oil on the chitterlings circuit. There is nothing new or innovative in her approach. It's the same tired drum beat that even her poor sister couldn't dance to. This woman insults the intelligence of black women everywhere with her patronizing tone and her repackaging of what we already know doesn't work.

Thanks for your feedback. I have been called lots of things, but never a "drone." I don't think. You sound like a happy, well-adjusted person, good for you.
May I ask, did you know Cathy?
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Old 01-17-2006, 04:08 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn McGee
Thanks for your feedback. I have been called lots of things, but never a "drone." I don't think. You sound like a happy, well-adjusted person, good for you.
May I ask, did you know Cathy?
Nope. Didn't know her personally. I'm just making an assessment based upon the information that has been provided and upon my own experiences, same as everyone else. It's merely my opinion which I stand by.
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Old 01-17-2006, 05:23 PM   #21
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I see Lilly's point. People don't especially like being told how they feel. "You have low self-esteem because you're fat and black and female, so you need to be handled with kid gloves." What people appreciate is a thoughtful discussion upon which they can build their own beliefs. Changing the way we feel about our own bodies and actively trying to change the way America perceives the people of color, the queer, the disabled, the fat, etc. is the only way to change things. A book full of Dr. Phil-isms like, "You're a big fat pig who needs to drop several dress sizes, but you're beautiful on the inside no matter what, honey!" helps no one I know.
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Old 01-17-2006, 05:28 PM   #22
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Ms McGee I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but weight loss surgery is not something that is just given out to morbidly obese people. It may seem this way due to it's frequency over the last few years, but Weight loss surgery is something you must qualify for. You basically have to prove to a doctor that you have exhausted every viable means to lose weight: Jenny Craig, Overeaters Anonymous, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, South Beach, joining a gym, etc. You must also undergo an exstensive psychiatric evaluation before being approved. I weighed approximately 350 pounds when I accompanied a dear friend to one of her initial appointments for the surgery and was told flat out that I was not a candidate for the surgery though I hadn't even asked. I would consider it safe to assume that if a person is on the table for weight loss surgery, they've already tried everything else and this is THE last resort.

I'm not in agreement with weight loss surgery for many of the same reasons that you're not and I agree with most of what you've touted in your book. What makes me uneasy is the faint fragrance your book seemingly leaves behind, "If you just try harder and do it better it will work this time." You won't hook anybody who has already consulted the bariatric clinic. It's not as if someone in their mid 30's hasn't tried dieting almost as many times as the years they've been alive if not more.

Small pox vaccines work, therefore we have no more small pox here in the states. Measles, mumps, all kinds of things that devastated us years ago are now no longer an issue to the point where administering the shot is no longer of pressing concern for children. If diets worked, Weight watchers would have gone out of business years ago. I'd hoped your book would have avoided dangling that carrot in the faces of people once again only for them to feel the failure just once more and lead them back to the same place. It seemed you were on to something until it turned into just another diet plug in disguise.
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Expecting the world to treat you kindly because you are a good person is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.

"...If the only pain you recognize as valid is your own, of course you'll have trouble identifying it when you see it in other people. That's the trouble with narcissism. It makes you really inadequate and boring."

Have you hugged a fat girl today?

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Old 01-17-2006, 07:17 PM   #23
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I hope you get a chance to actually read HUNGRY FOR MORE.(It's available on amazon.com)

I am in no way telling folks to lose weight if they don't want to. In fact just the opposite. My message is one of self-love and self-acceptance no matter what your size. Sadly, this kind of self-appreciation was what Cathy lacked most. SHe wasted years and years of her life on and off diets, travelling from N.Y. to L.A. to T.J. looking for the magic pill to lose weight and to fill the void inside. My sister was beautiful, but she never saw herself that way-despite having what many feel was the American dream, ie husband, healthy children, wonderful, warm home, large extended families and diehard friends. It was never enough.

Weight loss surgery is big business now. Lots of people are risking it who do not "qualify." In fact, a good friend of mine schemed and scammed and finally got an insurance company to cover her lapband surgery on the false claim that she had "sleep apnea." (maybe it's just the weird and wonderful in L.A. that do these things...mmm... ) Anyway, she is eating like she always did. So far the surgery has made no difference.

International Size Acceptance Association and the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance are listed as resources in the back of HUNGRY FOR MORE and on my website. Marilyn Wenn from FAT!SO, knows of my work and has responded positively.

BTW, this kind of dialogue for an author is heaven. thanks again.
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Old 01-17-2006, 08:48 PM   #24
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Robyn, I'm sorry that you lost your sister so tragically. There is nothing that can be said to ease that pain. I can understand your feelings about weight loss surgery, but respectfully, I don't think you "heard" what Lilly just said.

Why do people always equate a desire to become healthy with self-hatred, when the person desiring it is fat? Is it possible for me to love and accept myself, and yet still despair because my size is prohibiting me from living my life in a way that is meaningful for me? And how can you not see that telling me (or anyone else) to "try harder" on a fitness and diet regime assumes far too much, and is dissmissive and arrogant to the extreme?

Robyn, I'd ask you: what would you suggest as a viable alternative for an infertile 36-year-old woman, who is being told by every medical expert she sees that her excess weight is the cause of her infertility? Assume for a moment that I know myself and my body far better than you ever could. That being the case, if I told you that I've tried every diet known to man, and "dieted" my way UP to nearly 300 lbs, would you automatically assume that I was lying to you? The phenomenon of yo-yo dieting, and what that does to one's metabolism, is a well-documented medical fact. Here's the thing: I reached a point of despair, and I ran out of options. I chose WLS, fully knowing that I could face dire consequences, even death. I badly wanted to live - but I didn't want to live any longer in a body that was failing me, and preventing me from accomplishing what I wanted to. You can't know what infertility is like, unless you've experienced it yourself. If you have, than I know you will understand that all-encompassing despair that overshadows every aspect of your life, and robs you of your peace of mind, sometimes at the least expected of times (pregnancy announcements, baby showers, sometimes just seeing a happy family together). I haven't even gone into my multitude of other medical problems that have since become a thing of the past - hypertension, borderline diabetic, sleep apnea, incontinence, excruciating back pain.

Earlier this evening, my husband & I shared the news with my family that I am nearly 12 weeks pregnant. I feel that I can tell everyone now

My husband and I tried to have a baby for more than 10 years. I have been obese since I married him. I had WLS nearly two years ago, and lost more than 130 lbs. And I am pregnant with my first child. It is no less than miraculous to me.

I will never regret this very personal, very painful decision that I made. It has afforded me the opportunity to realize my deepest desire - to be a mother. Nobody should have the power to take that choice away from me.

Edited to add: You raise many compelling points, and I wanted to tell you that. I just wish that those in the anti-WLS crowd would acknowledge that for some people -- even if you don't personally agree with the choices they make -- WLS can be a life-saving and positively life-altering event. It seems to me that people in the anti-WLS camp have lost their ability to see both sides of the issue; certainly, they have not made enough of an effort to understand the struggles of overweight people with health problems. I say this because I hear the "fit at any size!" mantra within certain factions of SA, uttered with a manic enthusiasm that negates the very real experiences of those of us who CANNOT be fit at any size.
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Old 01-18-2006, 07:33 AM   #25
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TraciJo that is WONDERFUL news!! Congratulations, your family must be so excited. I wish you and your family the greatest of happiness, this news has made my day.

And thank you so much for sharing such a powerful and deeply personal story. It was definitely an eye opener for me in showing that the subject of WLS in not nearly as simplistic as many of us make it out to be. It's always tragic when things don't work out well with it or God forbid, someone should lose their life over it. Your story is a compelling reminder of the oftentimes painful and very personal path that leads to a decision like this that gets trivialized in our attempts to sort it all out for ourselves. Thanks once again TraciJo.
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Expecting the world to treat you kindly because you are a good person is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.

"...If the only pain you recognize as valid is your own, of course you'll have trouble identifying it when you see it in other people. That's the trouble with narcissism. It makes you really inadequate and boring."

Have you hugged a fat girl today?

@~;~~

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