Dear Kate, Fillyjonk and Sweet Machine,
I'm a fattie with a long term compulsive/binge eating disorder, and I've been reading Shapely Prose for less than a year. This time last year I was weeping on the eating disorder clinic's couch about how I couldn't cope with my eating disorder any more and couldn't cope with being fat any more and oh my God please help me or I'll die. (They didn't, for various reasons.)
Now it's a year later, only a year, and I am faced with a PCOS diagnosis and possible diabetes diagnosis and the resultant change of diet that those things may entail for best health, and, amazingly - beyond amazingly, staggeringly, astonishingly, incredibly - I'm okay. I'm emotional, sure. I'm worried, definitely. And I'm really pissed off when I go into the shops and see foods that I'm being advised to avoid to help with my insulin resistance. But I'm still okay. I'm not pissed off because I need all those crazy foods I'm being told to cut back on - I'm pissed off because it's so incredibly boring to have to worry about this.
The thing is, though, a year ago? Boredom wouldn't have even entered into this. I would've been crazy and desperate and bingeing like a maniac. Only a year ago...
At some point early last year, after the encounter with the eating disorder clinic (which didn't go very well), a friend of mine pointed me towards Shapely Prose, and it's just struck me that without her recommendation, without your blog, and without the whole FA environment (including all those awesome people who have been reading my own blog), I really doubt that I would be where I am now. Without understanding that it was okay to accept myself exactly as I was, even if I was fat, even if I was crazy, even if I was unhealthy, I would not have stopped binge eating completely.
Yes, of course, there are other factors - I recommend Stephen Cope's work a lot, and there are various other things I've been up to, and I've slogged my guts out over the past year. But I can't underplay the importance of what reading your blog has done for me.
If I hadn't found you, I wouldn't be in recovery. If I hadn't found you, I wouldn't be able to face all this low GI nonsense with relative equanimity and emotions going only from grief to boredom. If I hadn't found you...I don't even want to think about it.
So from the bottom of my heart, I thank you. Thank you for pointing out that it was okay to be fat, not just fake okay, but really, really okay. Thank you for pointing out all the flaws in the "OMG FATZ IS BAD" illogic and bad science. Thank you for giving me a language to talk to myself about this in which was positive and logical, because without you, I doubt I would have made it, and I'd be facing the illnesses I'm facing without the tools and relative equanimity I now have.
I know the three of you get a lot of shit for all kinds of reasons, but I wanted to put it out there that what you do here is of immense value. For me, it has been life-changing.
Thank you all three so much. Seriously. Thank you.