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There are worse things than being a fat bride

This article just broke my heart. Samantha Clowe didn't want to be the dreaded "fat bride", so she dutifully got permission from her doctor and started following the LighterLife diet plan. It certainly seemed to her eleven weeks on the diet Samantha decreased her BMI by two whole points. Then she collapsed and died.

My heart goes out to Samantha and her family. I can only imagine the thoughts that might have driven her to choose the plan, like longing to fit her body into society's favored mold, the idea that whoever she was now wasn't good enough to stand up in front of her friends and family and get married. Maybe, like many dieters, she believed that this fat thing was only temporary and if she could just find the right plan and just try hard enough, she could finally be "normal" and, therefore, "happy".

I will confess, I have had these thoughts too. Some not even all that long ago. You know why Samantha and I and millions of other people have felt this way? Because somewhere along the way as we were growing up, enough people told us that our bodies were wrong that we started to believe it. Some of us believed it so much that we tried whatever we could to make our bodies behave and were thwarted when they fought back and grew even bigger, further outside of the realm of okay. Eventually, some of us were so freaked out by being fat that we gladly paid someone to cut into our bodies and mess with the way our digestive systems worked, all so we could finally be..."normal". The thing is, there are a million different kinds of bodies out there. "Normal" doesn't really exist.

The thing that really incenses me about this article is that the LighterLife people are blaming Samantha's death on the fact that she started out all deathfat so she was probably just a ticking timebomb anyway. So it seems we are doomed to death even if we go along and do as we're told to conform. What a load of crap.

Samantha was only 11 weeks into the program but on the LighterLife website they say women should do it for 14 weeks or even more if they want to lose more weight at the end of that time. This is at least the third death linked to LighterLife. I wonder how many more people have to die while following their program before someone finally shuts them down.

Update: As suggested by MichMurphy, I've started a photo gallery for fat brides on flickr. Feel free to join, post any and all fat bride photos and pass on the link to all of your fat bride friends! Here come the Fat Brides!

Fat people exercising!! | Oh hai blatant discrimination!

diane September 13th, 2009 | Link | It's sad--but this could be

It's sad--but this could be the story of someone who used to be one of my closest friends. She ordered her wedding dress two sizes too small and was determined to fit into it. A month or so before the wedding she went on a crash diet and exercise routine because when the dress came it didn't fit. So like the woman in the story----my friend could have collapsed and died as well.

I find this statement in LifeLIte's rebuttle interesting... "the evidence did not point one way or the other as to whether this was contributory." The whole reason for their existence is based on that very statment! Because their so-called "evidence", one way or the other, does not show any causation of being fat to any of the diseases people rattle off as why being fat is bad for one's health. Ironic isn't it?... and infuriating!

And this little gem by them is most appropriate "Current evidence shows that obesity shortens life" Oh yes... it certainly did in this case. Being fat in this Society does shorten one's life because of all the dangerous methods fat people are forced to try in order to "get healthy", which we all know really means "thin". Driving someone to dispair is a kind of murder---or at least it is to me. And our collective blind vile hate of fat people for no other reason except their size and the bombardment of messages foisted upon fat people by Society can certainly drive one to dispair... causing death.

How can someone live on 400 calories a day for extended periods of time? How could one possibly get enough nutrients and have the energy to just go about thier day--much less exercise!?! But their answer to that and eveything is as I stated above, the full quote of the sentence is this:

"Current evidence shows that obesity shortens life; "losing even 5 – 10% of body weight improves life expectancy, reduces cardiovascular risk and prevents the development of type 2 diabetes."

And they get away with it. Truly sad.

MichMurphy September 13th, 2009 | Link | I think we need another

I think we need another photo gallery -- showing fat brides.

It might encourage people to get married as they are, rather than doing dangerous things like this. I was a fat bride (at nearly 200 lbs.) and I had my dress custom-made to fit me. I looked awesome.

CarrieP's picture
September 13th, 2009 | Link | Good idea! Done and done.

Good idea! Done and done.

MichMurphy September 13th, 2009 | Link | Awesome! Thank you!

Awesome! Thank you!

jeani September 13th, 2009 | Link | I love the fat bride gallery

I love the fat bride gallery idea, Michelle! Smiling

I, too, was a fat bride -- not to mention short. I also had a custom dress made and I must say that I looked pretty damn great in it. It's amazing how good I felt when I had the opportunity to have a fat-friendly designer work with me to make a dress that I loved.

Before the wedding, I seriously considered dieting even though I had been part of the size acceptance and non-diet movement for several years at that time. The pressure our society puts onto women every day is magnified many times over on one's wedding day. The pictures are forever, and what bride doesn't want to look her best? Luckily, some awesome non-dieting friends reminded me that I could diet, but the result would be temporary and I would gain back the weight plus more. Not to mention the way it would fuck with my head. I decided that wasn't worth it, and now I am so glad that I looked like ME on my wedding day, instead of some odd skinnier Jeani who would never look like that again.

How many more of us have to die before the fat hatred ends?

vesta44's picture
September 13th, 2009 | Link | It's not just LighterLife

It's not just LighterLife that's guilty of this crap, it's also all the doctors pushing WLS on people and not telling them all of the consequences/complications that can/will happen, including 2% chance of death in the first 3 months after surgery. But a 2% risk of death is perfectly acceptable to those WLSurgeons because, to their way of thinking, we're the walking dead already, just looking for a place to happen and we don't know it yet (and it's much better to die thin and miserable than to die fat and happy, donchaknow).
And for every fat person that dies, that's one less fat person that all those fat-haters have to look at, and they could care less about the effect that death has on the loved ones of the fat person, or the employer of that fat person, or the friends of that fat person.
Because everyone knows that fat people don't have loved ones, employers, or friends. /sarcasm

WLS - Sorry, not my preferred way of dying. *glares at doctor recommending it*

rebelle September 13th, 2009 | Link | I agree, vesta. I'm in the

I agree, vesta. I'm in the library right now and I flipped through Dr. G's "How To Not Die" book. She has a whole chapter called "Dead Weight," and you can guess what that's about. (And to think I was once impressed with her because on her TV show, she didn't automatically assume a fat woman who landed on her autopsy table died of teh fatz!) I was pretty irritated with her irresponsibility in the book, though. First, she insists that BMI is not perfect, but only because it can mislabel healthy athletes as obese. Then she insists that 300,000 people die "of obesity" every year- a stat that has been debunked, and as a doctor she damned well ought to know that! Then she says it is impossible for an obese person to be "completely healthy." And finally (to get back on topic), she has a whole sidebar about WLS, saying that if it were her, she'd take her chances with the surgery, because if you are obese you are definitely going to die early! GRRRR!!!

pani113's picture
September 13th, 2009 | Link | What I think is really sad

What I think is really sad is that somewhere in the article it mentions how she wanted the respect of her co workers. What I want to know is what were her co workers doing to earn HER respect?

"Fat can be beautiful. Intolerance is ALWAYS ugly!"

osxgirl's picture
September 14th, 2009 | Link | Well, when you get the photo

Well, when you get the photo gallery going, let me know. I'll contribute. Meanwhile, if anyone wants to see photos, go to my website... (oops - didn't see the update... I'll have to go out and add a pic or two!)

Kim's World

I still want to get all our pictures up - I have a ton of pictures our photographer took, and we did the Magic Kingdom Portrait Session on our wedding day, which, though I wasn't happy with what the photographer did, there were a few good photos in it. But I have at least a few of the really good photos up on the website, under the Engagement and Wedding section.

And I can tell you - when I went to order this dress, the bridal shop tried to tell me it wouldn't fit... tried to get me to look at something else... really didn't want to sell it to me. Why? Because they had to order the largest size in it for me, and when it came in, it fit me, well, almost perfectly. The only alterations that had to be done were a hem, taking in the shoulders just a little, and tacking down the pleat so it would lay flat.

In other words, they couldn't order it a size too large so they could charge me for a ton of alterations. And I wasn't the type of bride to order it a size or two too small, and then need them to fix THAT huge mistake later either. (Plus, I sew. Even if it had been available in the next size larger, I would have refused to buy it.... I know my measurements, and knew what we needed to get!)

And that's the bottom line... for the bridal industry, for the diet industry... it's about the money. It's about making US feel we don't look good enough, we won't be good enough, we won't match up, we won't be adequate, if we don't fall into THEIR idea of what is acceptable.

And while there are certain physical realities that are problems, because they have been made that way (seating, roller coaster rides, etc. not being engineered large enough, things like that), most things they tell us will be problems for us because we don't conform simply aren't true. We won't find someone to love us... wrong. We can't be beautiful... wrong. We can't be... well, whatever it is we want to be. And that we are going to die in 2, or 3, or 4 (notice it's always within 4?) years, because our body can't sustain the weight we're carrying. What? Then why am I so healthy? Why have I been this weight for 20 years, if I'll die in 4?

And all these idiots are ignoring the fact that more and more data is showing all the time that the variation in body sizes is normal, that people CAN'T just diet their way down to being thin, that even if they could, it isn't necessarily healthy to do so, that crash starvation diets like this are extremely unhealthy... I could go on and on.

But people tend to believe what they believe, and twist the data to support whatever they already believe.

rachelr's picture
September 14th, 2009 | Link | Love the Fat Bride idea! I

Love the Fat Bride idea! I added one of my wedding photos to the set.

rachelr's picture
September 14th, 2009 | Link | I just read an expose of

I just read an expose of sorts on the co-founder of LighterLife, Jackie Cox, who is very rich and still very fat. The article cites a few other cases in which people have been killed or seriously harmed while on LighterLife.

JeanC's picture
September 14th, 2009 | Link | Meh! Do as say, not as I do

Meh! Do as I say, not as I do Sticking out tongue

Posted some of my wedding pics on the Flickr group. Not the greatest in the world, I should dig them out and rescan them and do some tweaking on them.

osxgirl's picture
September 15th, 2009 | Link | I did get a few of mine put

I did get a few of mine put up - different ones from the ones on my web site.

Something that happened on my wedding day made me think later (I was way too busy and way too happy at the time to think about what it meant at the time!)

We got married at DisneyWorld, and did a Cinderella theme. I even picked the dress I did because it put me in mind a lot of Cinderella's wedding dress at the end of the original movie (except mine has some color in it). We walked around various places outside the parks and at the resorts, taking the monorails and the boats, to get a lot of our wedding pictures with the different Disney World backdrops after the ceremony.

Well, when you do that at Disney, you get a lot of congratulations from a whole lot of strangers, and a whole lot of compliments too. But the really cool part was hearing little girls every once in a while telling their parents, "Look, she looks just like a princess!"

Like I said, at the time, it was nice, but of course, on your wedding day, you're kind of floating anyway, and it's all kind of a blur. Weeks or months later, when I thought back on it and remembered that, though, it hit me. Here were these little girls, seeing me... fat me!... in this "princess" wedding dress, with my Cinderella tiara (yep - had that too!), and saying I looked like a princess. I'd never been called that in my life! But to them, it wasn't about size at all. They didn't care. I had the dress, I had the tiara, I had my prince.... ergo, princess! Smiling

And while I'm most definitely NOT about wanting little girls to aspire to that... just being about getting the prince and being Cinderella, I can't help but hope that maybe there was some fat little girl (or maybe more than one) who needed to see that. Actually, I hope that none of the fat little girls need to see something like that to feel better about themselves, but we all know they are getting negative messages about their sizes. So I hope that maybe, seeing me, and seeing I was happy, and that I was a "princess" made them help realize that those negative messages about their self-worth just because they are fat are just a load of crap.

If more little fat girls (and little fat boys too! look at my husband in my pictures...) get that kind of messages, the diet industry won't be able to kill women like Samantha Clowe anymore.

MichMurphy September 16th, 2009 | Link | I think you must've set a

I think you must've set a very positive example for those kids, one they're not likely to encounter very often in this culture.

And I, also, thought you looked like a princess when I saw your pictures. Cinderella came to my mind too!

fat_chic's picture
September 16th, 2009 | Link | Not only is this disturbing,

Not only is this disturbing, this is one of the only places I've read that has covered the incident. There's so much about how FAT will kill you, but when dieting does - and does much faster and more definitively in this incident - it's virtually ignored.

You can find me at:

tgeller's picture
September 18th, 2009 | Link | Re: The fat brides idea...

How cruel! Attractive women, all done up to the nines... and all unmistakably taken!


Bilt4Cmfrt's picture
September 18th, 2009 | Link | Fat chic , according to The

Fat chic , according to The Independent, you'd only be half right. Apparently consensus over there is that these women only died because they weren't doing Crash Dieting right. . . Yes, you read that correctly, they weren't doing their Crash Diets right.

Calories in always equals Calories out and everybody's metabolism is the same so if you don't lose any weight dieting / lifestyle changing / cutting out HFCS's / sacrificing a wombat, it's 'cause you're not doing it right. WLS will knock 60 - 75% of your weight off and if it doesn't, or you end up with crippling complications after the surgery, or you start regaining weight after 3 or 4 years, it's because you did something wrong.

Of course. Why not. Fat folks are already at fault for getting so fat in the first place if they don't happen to survive the above mentioned medical evisceration. So, if a few of them die from what amounts to systemic shock after suddenly trying to starve themselves thin? Just make sure the coroner pronounces an appropriately vague cause of death and, PRESTO! They died because they were doing it wrong. Besides, Dr David Haslam, chair of the National Obesity Forum says Very Low Calorie Diets are BETTER than any other form of weight loss because-

"The truth is the number of sudden deaths among the obese ... is significantly higher than those that occur among people on VLCDs,"

If this wasn't so sick and twisted, it would almost be comedy. . . No, I'm wrong. It would still be an insult of the lowest and most foul kind to the victims, their families, and anyone who knew / loved them. This is subhuman behavior at it's best.

Learn how to logic- Lesson #4
Obesity is NOT caused by food addiction.
Stop smoking / drinking entirely and you can go on with your life, smoke / drink free. Stop eating entirely and you starve to death. Death is a problem.

Moody Blue's picture
Moody Blue
September 24th, 2009 | Link | I was a big, beautiful bride

I was a big, beautiful bride and my wedding day was by far the happiest day of my life. The only glitch was when the stupid DJ played the "Too Fat Polka"...I was a bit pissed, but looking back I was the only one who really noticed. One of my bridesmaids ordered her gown two sizes smaller because she insisted she would be able to lose about 20 lbs before the wedding. Well, she didn't, and put herself through a lot of hell and expense because she wound up buying two dresses: The smaller one and the one she had to wear the day of my wedding!
No way am I going to make myself ill trying to fit the current "standard of beauty".

richie79's picture
October 4th, 2009 | Link | My wife, who I married two

My wife, who I married two weeks ago yesterday, has agreed that I can post some of our gorgeous wedding pics on the Fat Brides group. Having now completed the process, I can very much concur that the pressure on women in particular, but increasingly men too, to 'look their best' on their wedding day (namely, be as thin as one's body will allow) is nothing short of ridiculous.

At least one of my wife's bridal party bought into the 'dieting into the dress' nonsense, as did her sister for her own day a couple of years back. My biggest concern was that the tuxedo rental place wouldn't have anything to fit me (especially when the guy, on seeing my measurements, exclaimed to my wife "Who has a 19" collar!?!") but fortunately my fears on the day were unfounded.

As those who've been around here a while might know, our relationship is quite an interesting story of love against the odds, across the miles and an international divide, so I'll also add something to the 'Museum of Fat Love' when I get a few minutes.

"The reward for conformity is that everybody likes you except yourself" - Rita Mae Brown

CarrieP's picture
October 8th, 2009 | Link | Fantastic! Congratulations

Fantastic! Congratulations to you both Smiling

strawberry October 11th, 2009 | Link | RICHIE! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

RICHIE! CONGRATULATIONS!!! {Enveloping you both in a great big hug}. Where will you be living now?

@Moody Blue: I've also heard the Too Fat Polka at a wedding. Maybe DJs just have a limited repertoire. I was at a bar mitzvah once and heard "When the Saints Go Marching In".

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