Dear “Sarah Lynn,”

I put your name in quotations because you’re not a real person. I know this because this weekend after I read your comment on a Facebook photo of me (Damn!! You are a big O’ girl), on my fan page, no less, I clicked on your profile. (It’s always puzzled me why people friend others or like their fan pages so that they can criticize them. I genuinely cannot imagine taking the time to do this, but different strokes for different folks.) After seeing your one profile picture, your 30 friends, and 2 likes, I quickly realized that this page was a front so that you could say something to me on the Internet that you weren’t comfortable putting your real identity behind. But it doesn’t matter that you aren’t real, “Sarah Lynn,” because there are a million men and women just like you in the world and I’ve officially encountered too many of them to keep my mouth shut about it any longer.

Today, when I got back on a computer for the first time since I saw your comment on my photo, I saw that (1) in my Other box on Facebook, and I found this lovely message from you.Sarah Lynn

While this is nowhere near the most hateful thing that has been said to me on the Internet, or otherwise, I thought it was a good representation of so much ignorance fat people (and more specifically, fat women) deal with on a daily basis, and since I’m an optimist and you might just really be uninformed and not a hateful asshole, I’d like to address your points. (Note to the readers: the spelling, grammar, and capitalization that follow are “Sarah Lynn’s,” not my own.)

1. “Hey nobody wants to see fat rolls!!!!”

Actually, some people do. Some people don’t. Some people want to see blonde hair. Some people don’t. Some people want to see long legs. Some people don’t. Some people want to see big lips. Some people don’t. I would go on, but I reckon this point is pretty elementary and has probably been sufficiently illustrated. Different people like to see different things and as human beings functioning in society, sometimes our eyes pass over things we don’t find particularly aesthetically pleasing, but we just move on. Because it’s easy.

2. “I would not want my daughter to see this and think its ok to be over weight.”

Unless you plan on keeping your daughter captive in a house full of average or underweight people, devoid of magazines, television, Internet, and other forms of media, she will inevitably see overweight people. She’ll also see black people, Korean people, physically disabled people, sick people, old people, mentally challenged people, tall people, freckled people…and it’s certainly “ok” to be all of these people. People are what they are and they can’t inherently be “wrong.” If you wish that your daughter not be overweight, I can assure you that similar to black skin, Korean eyes, freckled skin, and aged bodies, being overweight is not contagious. Exposure to my fat body won’t cause hers to morph into something it isn’t already.

3. “Nobody should be proud to be fat…”

This might shock you, “Sarah Lynn,” but I’m not particularly proud to be fat. I do happen to enjoy parts of my body – I think I have beautifully shaped teardrop breasts, full eyelashes, and big nail beds. I like my belly button. I think I have a killer smile. These are all parts of my body, but they’re not me. I am fat. And I am proud of myself. But I’m not proud of being fat any more than I’m proud of being brunette or proud of being 5’2″. These things just are. Am I comfortable being photographed in lingerie? Yes. But I wonder if you would look at a short-legged woman in lingerie and say, “Nobody should be proud to have short legs” or look at a woman who had size A-Cup breasts and say, “Nobody should be proud to have small tits.” For some reason, all other women in their various non-fat bodies are just existing; just wearing bathing suits in the summer; tank tops around the house; or lingerie for a boudoir shoot and no one shames them for that; no one accuses them of having so much pride in their body that they aren’t afraid to show it. I’m proud of myself as entire person. My body is fat. I deserve to wear the clothes I want and live the way I see fit just like every other non-fat person. End of story.

4. “…they should (you) try to get skinny and show our youth how to loose weight.”

One of my pet peeves, “Sarah Lynn,” is when people assume. I’m sure you’re familiar with the old adage about that. I’m almost 30, and I was not overweight until I was 19, so I’ve actually lived the majority of my little life here on Earth as a “thin” woman, a “normal” woman, an “average” woman, whatever. I’ve also tried to “get skinny.” After being diagnosed with PCOS (save both you and me time and just Google it), I was never able to “get skinny,” but I did lose 94 pounds in 8 months with the help of a wonderful personal trainer named William Powell and a shit-ton of dedication and hard work. Those are all just tid-bits, because really, it’s no concern of yours what I should do with my body. I also understand that I’m a radio personality in little ol’ Greensboro, NC, but I’m not sure this gives me the responsibility of showing “our youth” how to do anything. Although I do try to just be myself, which I hope shows people how to be happy and confident, but that’s neither here nor there.

5. “America is one of the most overweight countries in the world and I hate that because fat = lazy”

I will agree with you there; America is one of the most overweight countries in the world. I’ve lived on two other continents, so I have firsthand experience with this observation. I’m also sure there are lots of determining factors in this that I find interesting and worth delving into, but that has little to with me. Finally, I must whole-heartedly disagree with your statement that “fat = lazy.” Some fat people are lazy. Some aren’t. Some thin people are lazy. Some aren’t. Some black people are lazy. Some aren’t. Some Korean people are lazy. Some aren’t. Some freckled people are lazy. Some aren’t. Things come full circle, don’t they? Again, it’s not any concern of yours if I’m lazy or not, but…I’m actually not. And plenty of fat people aren’t. I’ll never forget the time this 250-lb woman busted her ass at the gym, outperforming all of the thin people in there, ran 4 miles and walked out to her car, dripping with sweat to be greeted with “Hey, fat-ass!” from a passing car. That 250-lb woman was me. Pretty wild how a 250-lb woman can have those arms, right? Laziness builds some pretty awesome muscle definition.

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“Sarah Lynn,” I’m not mad at you and I’m not hurt by you. I just think you need to hear a different perspective, and any time you want it, just come right on over here and I’ll give it to you. ♥


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Comments (154)

Anonymous 17 Dec, 2013 at 02:22 am | Reply

You’re so amazing, Whitney. Truly…..truly amazing.

whitneyway 21 Dec, 2013 at 12:33 am | Reply

Thank you! <3

Rob 12 Mar, 2014 at 11:01 am | Reply

Amazing response! It’s heartbreaking to hear young women & men talk about themselves, and feel about themselves, in such a negative way. The voice in their heads may be their own but so often it’s the “Sarah Lynn” in their life. Thanks of sharing yoursel-love, thoughts and encouragement!

Sherry 17 Dec, 2013 at 02:27 am | Reply

Very well said. I believe I’ve said it before but you are a phenomenal writer! Hope she reads it!

whitneyway 21 Dec, 2013 at 12:33 am | Reply

Thank you!

tish wyatt 15 Jul, 2014 at 03:02 pm | Reply

He’ll yeah! U tell them whitney. Your beautiful. As I have told u before. Stupid people just don’t get it.

Katrina Grindstaff 17 Dec, 2013 at 02:31 am | Reply

Loved this Whitney! our stories are very similar in regards to our weight struggles and I too have PCOS as well as Chronic Kidney failure. The sentiments you shared in the above letter to “Sarah Lynn” I am certain can be echoed by many women out there. Thank you for your positive and beautiful outlook on life. :)

whitneyway 21 Dec, 2013 at 12:34 am | Reply

Thank you…best of luck with your health!

Tasha 17 Dec, 2013 at 02:33 am | Reply

Hey girl…it’s Tasha from Martinsville! I love it! You are as always awesome. Some people need to get a life and stop worrying about others. Maybe Sarah Lynn is just upset you can out dance her, out zumba her, out sexy her and then some while be completely happy with yourself.

whitneyway 21 Dec, 2013 at 12:34 am | Reply

Heyyyy girl!

Anonymous 17 Dec, 2013 at 02:36 am | Reply

Witney, you rock and size has nothing to do with it, your funny and talented….and beautiful

whitneyway 21 Dec, 2013 at 12:34 am | Reply

Thank you.

Janelle 17 Dec, 2013 at 02:37 am | Reply

Love, Love, Love you Whitney! <3 Rock on Sista!

whitneyway 21 Dec, 2013 at 12:34 am | Reply

<3

Laura 17 Dec, 2013 at 03:13 am | Reply

I am blown away by some people and how they see the world. Why are they so judgemental? Who gave them the right to judge. I could really delve into this, but I won’t. Just hear this ‘Sarah Lynn’, if this woman needs to ‘get skinny’, then you need to ‘get an education’!! It’s ‘LOSE weight’ not ‘LOOSE weight’. Instead of worrying about the outward appearance of someone else that will eventually fade away….worry about your own education. Education and intelligence doesn’t fade. So get some

Haila 17 Dec, 2013 at 03:27 am | Reply

I LOVE YOU WHITNEY! I can honestly say you are one of few people who has my complete admiration! Thank you for being yourself because that is the best thing ANY woman can learn to be!

Angela Ferreira 17 Dec, 2013 at 03:36 am | Reply

That was beautifully written Whitney, Your amazing on the inside and out. Oh and Sarah Lynn can maybe show her daughter not to be a bully towards others. What is that proving. As a mom I can help my daughter see she is gorgeous if she is big but ignorance is something that can’t be fixed. I teach girls each day to see their full potential within themselves and I feel bad that I can’t protect them each day from our cruel world but know I gave them the right tools to be the strongest them possible and to lead by example.

Jennifer Dixon 17 Dec, 2013 at 03:42 am | Reply

“Sara Lynn” should teach her daughter that it is okay to be proud of who you are! You are wonderful Whitney!

hannahehayes 17 Dec, 2013 at 03:55 am | Reply

How does the old saying go?…”I’m fat, and you’re ugly, and I can exercise.” She is setting a horrible example for the daughter she claims to want so badly to shield from all things that make her uncomfortable. I’ve struggled with the weight battle (and still do daily) as do many other people in the world. The notion by many that somehow being over weight is contagious is astonishing.
These hateful messages every once in a while I’m sure pale in comparison to the number of people you inspire with your story and your confidence. Be proud of the person you see in the mirror and the person you are and know how much your story resonates with the rest of us! (The level-headed ones that is!)

Anonymous 17 Dec, 2013 at 04:20 am | Reply

Fat people who have the thought its ok or a disease are lazy wont exercise as far as anyones rights to judge we have a whole justice system specificly designed for judgment you know to lock up the bad guys stop making excuses and make a commitment to a workout program

eve adam 06 Feb, 2014 at 10:59 pm | Reply

Illiterate people who have the thought its okay or a disease to not know how to spell use punctuation or construct coherent sentences are lazy wont learn as far as anyones right to an education we have a whole education system specifically designed for education you know to teach the illiterate guys stop making excuses and make a commitment to graduating from sixth grade

“Make a commitment to a workout program”??? What would you suggest as activities that will specifically target her metabolism and help her lose weight? Oh, that’s IN ADDITION to what she’s doing in her videos. We’re all anxiously awaiting your obvious expertise. Just do us all a favor, and develop a passing acquaintance with punctuation, spelling, and syntax first.

Nodijo 07 Feb, 2014 at 12:21 am | Reply

Wow – Anonymous dec 17, 2013 …
1. You have a right to your ‘opinion’ and that is what you expressed – not a fact, although you tried to pass it off as one.
2. What-in-the-blue-blazes of hell does the “justice system” have to do with ‘weight’ which is the issue at hand. I realize you were trying to correlate the two- using how ‘bad guys are locked up’ as an example, but you failed to understand in the first place or you would see you were in error…
3. When I as a 55 yr. old cancer survivor and fat woman myself, say to someone who asks or is discussing the subject, “You know what I’m learning to be ok with me and love me for who I am,” I am NOT making excuses nor saying it’s ok- in order for me to lose weight and keep it off, I have to love and be ok with and accept myself FIRST. That said…
You do not know me and therefore if you respond to my comments negatively, then you are a ‘hater’…and you ARE judging me and every other ‘fat’ person based on your own, petty, distasteful, and stubbornly obtrusive point of view and YES I did just make a ‘judgement’ call … just like you did.

mrsbrightshine 07 Feb, 2014 at 06:05 am | Reply

Hey Anon, if you actually read the entire blog you would know that she does work out. You would also know that she isn’t lazy, I think your ignorance is a poor excuse to criticize her. Maybe you should commit to actually reading for once.

Lyn 07 Feb, 2014 at 06:56 pm | Reply

I’m not sure that committing to the use of periods would help this person! And clearly they didn’t really read or learn anything from the letter. As a nation we are fighting an uphill battle trying to be fit when our government is allowing the food industry to feed us poison. The food in the grocery store is formulated to make us fat by the ingredients that are added that stop our bodies from telling us we are full. To add to that, even the fresh fruit and vegetables they sell have been so chemically infused that they have no nutritional value. We are a nation of overweight people and the only way to fight it is to stop buying what they are selling and start eating organic foods. Degrading someone for any reason is wrong and until you “walk a mile in their shoes”, you have no room to talk, or to throw the first stone!

cheri l 15 Jul, 2014 at 04:17 pm | Reply

quit being a bully and mind your business….I’m sure there is something about yourself that you could concern yourself with changing…may I suggest u start with your judgemental behavior. Educate yourself with all of the possible reasons people are fat and then if you would like to be part of the solution come up with something helpful or encouraging to say. Sweep your own front porch until then.

Bri 15 Jul, 2014 at 06:09 pm | Reply

Do you even speak English? Someone needs to lock YOU up in the grammar section of a library…

Lacy 17 Dec, 2013 at 05:21 am | Reply

You really are a true inspiration, and you are absolutely beautiful. Having lived in Greensboro for about eight years, I’m sad to say that I haven’t been an avid listener to the radio, and thus haven’t heard of you before until this late eve. I saw one of my curvy girl friends share this post on facebook, and I just had to read. You are superbly strong in what you said. I’m a big girl. I’ve always been a big girl, and being at my heaviest, I really admire what you have done and where you put yourself. You are confident, and real. No where did you try and make excuses or lie, you were honest and I find that incredibly honorable. Keep up the great work Whitney. If anything you’ve definitely given women of all shapes, sizes, races, something to think about.

Johnice 17 Dec, 2013 at 06:07 am | Reply

Go girl!! Well said! Love it!!!

Anonymous 17 Dec, 2013 at 07:56 am | Reply

The person who wrote that is horrible. You are not fat, either. But my problem with your comparison to everything on your list is that being fat is something you CAN change. You CAN’T change your race. You CAN’T change your heredity or your sexual orientation. You CAN lose weight. It’s hard, yes. Some people can’t physically do it because of actual real medical problems, yes. But there is another problem with enabling a culture of excuses. You are not fat, but people who are obese and want to play the victim are enabled by stuff like this. It works both ways. I’m not a jerk about my preferences, but I like thin women. I’ve been attacked by overweight women on this. Apparently they can like a skinny guy, but get all angry when I like a skinny girl. They also don’t seem to understand that people who act like them have horrible personalities anyway (like Sarah Lynn). Maybe they need to work on themselves and be a person that is so amazing that I look beyond their weight. That’s what’s most important after all.

Not saying that being overweight is a choice, but being a better person (health or personality-wise) is.

Olana Owen 02 Feb, 2014 at 12:38 am | Reply

So then, why Anonymous? Just sayin’…

Linea 08 Feb, 2014 at 02:01 am | Reply

This is in response to Anonymous up there. I’ve come a little late to this party, but I just have to address a couple of your comments, mainly the 2 that read, “You are not fat.” I suppose that you are directing those at Whitney, who considers herself a fat girl as I also do. So why would you say that she’s not fat?? Is that because you buy into the idea that fat does equal lazy, sloppy, ugly, etc.? That it, in & of itself, is a derogatory term?? I am here to tell you that “fat” isn’t a bad word, like “blue eyes” isn’t a bad phrase, nor is “red hair”, nor any other fact about a person. Fat = fact. It is an adjective to describe someone, not a name that one would call someone to make them feel badly about themselves. That’s what the No Body Shame Campaign is all about!!

Pamela Ball 17 Dec, 2013 at 08:27 am | Reply

Whitney, I am a long time AML as is my husband. We love your personality; not because you “make the best of things” but because you are genuine, honest, and fearless! I have two daughters and I would much rather them go through their lives being confident in who they are as opposed to constantly trying to live up to Hollywood standards. True happiness is not in your jean size, it is in your heart and your mind; The good Lord wiling, my kids will know this and will rise above the ignorant, arrogant jackasses that people like “Sarah Lynn” are cultivating.

KFD 17 Dec, 2013 at 09:52 am | Reply

Whitney, you are in inspiration to many! One of my favorite taglines is “Adversity is Defeatable”, and you clearly demonstrate that! You fan in Japan (for the time being)…

Ralph White 17 Dec, 2013 at 10:10 am | Reply

Some people have certain metabolic syndromes..throid issues..etc. But that’s a very small percentage of over weight people. There is flawed logic in your seemingly heroic point. Races don’t get to “choose” their race. Height isn’t a choice either. Your point here is “generally speaking” out of control invaild. Being fat,there are some exceptions, for the ridiculous vast majority is a choice!!!!! Its so wrong you are making this point. America as a whole is so unhealthy by choice! I feel so bad for the overeaters buying in to the terrible message you are telling them! It’s not anymore ok to be fat by choice than it is to be a drug addict/alcoholic by choice. Although I may have a genetic predisposition to be an alcoholic doesn’t mean its okay to be an alcoholic. Do you agree its okay to be a crack addict too!! Or a self induced diabetic! All the terrible afflictions are made by choice ! All terrible to a individuals health just as obesity is. Your message it so terribly made it makes me weep that people agree with you. Some people claim you made an “intelligent point”! You made a most unintelligent point!! Obesity is a serious epidemic in the U.S.A. one for the vast majority made by choice. A very selfish choice. A very hedonistic choice. Over indulgent choice. Over cosuming choice. Wasting the world’s resources choice. A pollution friendly choice. Go ahead spread,your message to all your listeners if you agree with all the afore mentioned. Tell your listeners it ok to over consume, to be unhealthy to get heart disease to get self induced diabetes! You should be ashamed with comparing being overweight to race,nationality,height,etc. Yes-there is a terrible unrealistic physical image problem created by main stream beauty mags tv,ads blah blah blah. But that’s a totally separate issue. So is loving the person for who they are on the inside. But you are condoning something so wrong, In such a wrong way.

Sabrina 01 Feb, 2014 at 10:25 pm | Reply

Although you highlight obesity in America as a unhealthy epidemic, which is true you forget to highlight the common misconceptions that are viewed from FAT. Just because one is fat doesn’t mean they are unhealthy, vice versa skinny doesn’t equal healthy. At least a 3rd of overweight people don’t over eat. You could have spoke with a doctor, dietitian, or Google how fat is stored in your body. Some people just don’t eat enough to lose weight. Food is fuel so when some overweight people don’t eat the fat they put in their body is stored rather than being burned thus they gain weight. That’s why a skinny person with a high metabolism can eat more thus burn off more. So being fat doesn’t mean someone is gluttonous. And also the same society that determines what weight is idealistic makes it hard for one to be healthy that’s why organic is higher than produce made with unhealthy substances, and they offer so much processed foods which are unhealthy for anyone. Size is a factor that shouldn’t be highlighted but living a healthy lifestyle should. Yet physical perception is more important than health. Ignorance is accepted more than being informed. People shouldn’t be so quick to discriminate and judge someone’s situation in ignorance. Thus regardless of one’s size, age, or race they should have confidence and love their self regardless if someone else likes it. If you wasn’t blinded by your ignorance you would notice Whitney wasn’t being a advocate of obesity. She was however sharing her story to empower people to own their truth and love the skin they are in.

eve adam 06 Feb, 2014 at 10:07 pm | Reply

Sabrina, I’m not sure from where or whom you got your information on the relationship between overeating and obesity (“You could have spoke with a doctor, dietitian, or Google how fat is stored in your body….”), but your interpretation of it here is not accurate.

Food is, indeed, fuel for our bodies. It fulfills the body’s energy requirements for the performance of physical activities and the basic functions of internal body systems that keep us alive and healthy (i.e., basal metabolic rate). In a normal, healthy human (whether or not they are overweight), the body converts food – carbohydrates, proteins, and (particularly) fats – into the fuel that is used for physical activity and metabolic functions. If the amount of this “fuel” exceeds the body’s requirements, the excess calories are stored in adipose cells as fat, i.e., as energy reserves for future needs.

Obesity occurs when the amount of food taken in routinely exceeds daily energy requirements (i.e., overeating), causing the adipose cells to grow ever larger as more fats are stored. There are metabolic disorders that interfere with the amount of energy used (e.g., overactive/underactive thyroid), but DECADES of medical and scientific research have consistently demonstrated that excessive caloric intake is overwhelmingly responsible for obesity.

That being said, “excessive caloric intake” does not automatically translate into “gluttony”. There are millions of obese people who eat what appear to be reasonable amounts of food, however, that food may be high in calories. And even if they are only taking in 50 calories more in food than they are expending in energy each day, those 50 calories in fat stores add up after a while.

Trust me – it’s an inescapable fact: if you routinely eat more in calories than you expend in energy, you WILL gain weight. I am curious to know the source of your statement, “At least a 3rd of overweight people don’t overeat”. While it IS true that the term “overweight” is somewhat open to interpretation, a healthy person who is 20+ pounds heavier than the top of their normal BMI span is that way because they have, or they are, overeating. The only ways that they will achieve a healthy BMI is to (1) eat fewer calories than they expend in energy, (2) burn more energy by exercising, and (3) develop some sort of “wasting” disease. I don’t recommend #3.

Linea 09 Feb, 2014 at 01:18 am | Reply

“Obesity occurs when the amount of food taken in routinely exceeds daily energy requirements (i.e., overeating), causing the adipose cells to grow ever larger as more fats are stored. ”

So first of all, I’d like to know if you are credentialed to work with obesity & how many obese people you have studied to come up with this dangerous generalization. I didn’t gain weight from eating more than my body used as energy. I gained weight from taking a medication that caused me to gain 100 lbs in 10 weeks. As I have explained to others, & this may be the last time I’m going to say this, because I’m tired of trying to educate ignorant people whose beliefs are that they are the only ones who can possibly be right: 1 lb in weight gain = 3,500 extra calories intake. In order to gain 10 lbs, I’d have had to increase my weekly intake by 35,000 calories!! Have you ever tried to even eat 3,500 extra calories, let alone 35,000? And do that consistently for 10 weeks??? My diet is not only more healthy than most other people’s diets, but definitely lower in calories. Most days, all I eat is plain Greek yogurt with high fiber/low calorie & sugar granola, fresh fruits & vegetables, spinach salads with minimal dressing–since I prefer the flavor of the salad over the flavor of the dressing, & carrot juice. Very seldom do I ever eat anything high in fat &/or calories. I never eat fast food, in fact I rarely eat at restaurants at all since I don’t know what’s gone into their food. I am, quite simply, a very healthy fat girl. I do have depression that I’ve had for 60+ years & prescription refills & yearly testing are generally the only times I see my Doctor. Please stop spreading that lie. Thank you.

eve adam 11 Feb, 2014 at 01:11 am

Let it suffice to say that I’ve practiced for 30+ years in an academic medicine setting, and although I have extensive experience in treating morbidly obese patients, what I posted is very basic biology: a calorie equation taught to physicians, nurses, and nutritionists in the course of undergrad education, and reinforced in postgraduate studies. I felt compelled to post this in response to Sabrina’s statement that “Some people just don’t eat enough to lose weight. Food is fuel so when overweight people don’t eat the fat they put in their body is stored rather than being burned thus they gain weight”. While most of this statement is accurate, I felt that it was important to correct the misinformation within.

But I urge you to go back and re-read my post in which I stated, several times, that I was referring to normal, healthy individuals. There are a number of illnesses and disorders, and many medications that can cause significant deviations in the way caloric intake is metabolized.

I don’t know what medication you took that caused your ten-week 100 lb. weight gain, but the evidence shows that there is a significant number of medications from which many patients experience rapid major gains in body weight with concomitant metabolic changes. You mention that you have a lifelong history of depression, and mental health medications have been consistently implicated in this type of weight gain (although typically limited to approximately 6 to 10 lbs per month). Regardless of the medication, or reason for which it was prescribed, I am very sorry that you had this experience. I know, from my own personal experience, how frustrating it is when successful treatment of an illness, or its symptoms, comes at the price of a 50- or 60- pound weight gain.

The Clinical Guidelines On the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity In Adults, issued by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, summarize it beautifully: “Obesity is a complex multifactorial chronic disease that develops from an interaction of genotype and the environment. Our understanding of how and why obesity develops is incomplete, but involves the integration of social, behavioral, cultural, physiological, metabolic and genetic factors.”

Linea 11 Feb, 2014 at 03:32 am

I owe you an apology. Apparently my knee jerk reflex didn’t allow me to see much beyond what upset me. So I hereby apologize for misunderstanding your post. But the sentence which I quoted is the one that I’d love to never hear again in this lifetime. Because many people believe that as gospel, such as my sister who refuses to believe that I didn’t just eat too much & that I must be continuing to eat too much without any exercise. Until the arthritis got so bad that I was finally unable to walk even a block or to stand up to cook for longer than 3 minutes without needing a break, I was a most active person. I was a dancer when I was younger & until the weight gain, I averaged 5 miles per day 7 days per week, walking all over San Francisco, including up & down those infamous hills.

And what this campaign is about is not shaming anyone for whatever body they happen to have at the moment, whether you think that it’s too fat or too thin. The BMI calculation isn’t any different from the height-weight charts that I grew up with in the ’40′s & the ’50′s & after. They just named it using this acronym to make it sound like a more scientific method of determining who is overweight & who is underweight, according to that fancy BMI chart. Yep, it calls me morbidly obese, although I have no other conditions that would indicate that I’m not healthy. Different people are different people, after all. Some people think that cilantro tastes like soap, while others including myself, think it has an amazingly delicious smell & taste. Go figure, huh?

So what the BMI has done for us is to give people who need to make themselves feel better a way to shame those who don’t fall into the correct range. I have a friend who I’ve been with face-to-face twice over the last few months. She posted something on my Facebook thread one time about how “morbidly obese people are lazy & annoying because they could lose that weight & feel better if they wanted to.” When I told her I was considered morbidly obese at my height & weight she said, “No, I don’t mean people like you! I mean those people who are 250-300 lbs.” And I had to tell her that I weigh 250, & she was shocked. Apparently I tend to carry my weight well, or I have just such a vibrant personality that people don’t realize how much I weigh. When I told one man that I was fat he said he didn’t want anything more to do with me. When I questioned him about why he didn’t think I was fat, he said he thought I was just “big-boned!!”, whatever that means.

I am proud of who I am & I love my body no matter what size it is today. I eat healthy because it makes me feel well, not to lose weight, & if I ever did lose or gain weight, I’d still love my body, because this is the vessel for my soul. I am very happy with the woman I am becoming, & the only connection that my bod size has with that is that it’s made me see both sides of the coin. I was raised to believe that fat was the worst thing a woman could possibly be!!

I wish you well.

Love,
Linea

Chantee Penn 17 Dec, 2013 at 11:25 am | Reply

Whitney I agree with you and thank you for taking a stand to these simple minded people. Everybody don’t want a BONE (skinny person) some of us like meat on our bones. I am a big ol girl I may not be proud of it but I love myself. Thanks again!

Katie 21 Feb, 2014 at 02:05 pm | Reply

Chantee, you are taking the absolute worst message from this blog. NO body shame. Calling someone else a “bone” for being skinny is every bit as shameful as calling someone a whale for being fat. EVERY body is beautiful, whether they are skinny or fat, and no one should be shamed either way.

Carrie Boyd 17 Dec, 2013 at 11:49 am | Reply

It is so funny to me that the only person to comment and talk negative posts it as anonymous ….just saying!

Bonnie Hornaday 17 Dec, 2013 at 02:17 pm | Reply

You go girl!!! Proud of you in the little ole town of Bennett, NC!!!

Jennifer Bardall 17 Dec, 2013 at 02:45 pm | Reply

See, here’s the thing that pisses me off – people who then leave comments in which they *insist* that being fat is wrong.

Listen. Being fat isn’t good or bad, right or wrong. It just IS. And the fact is that yes, in many to most cases it’s a choice. The person in question may not even realize they’re making a choice, but they are (and that’s probably issue #1, right there). It is what it is. And calling a person fat (like they have no idea) or telling them that they’re wrong (because they don’t already feel wrong on some level) isn’t going to change anything, much the way a fat person’s self-abuse and name calling won’t magically make them slim and healthy. THAT is the issue at hand here, not the inherent rightness or wrongness of being overweight.

Why can’t people who swear up and down that they only care about the health of the person in question, or the strain they’re putting on our healthcare system, blah blah blah, just admit that they have a personal problem with fat people – and then get some freaking help from a therapist? Because guess what, snowflake? It has nothing to do with you! Why do you even care? It’s like the sickos who hate on homosexuals and hide behind the Bible while they do so. Cowards.

Shakespeare said “There is nothing right or wrong but thinking makes it so”. And that’s exactly 100% the case. Being fat in and of itself isn’t bad or wrong. It’s up to us to decide to treat each other with respect and dignity and really have a conversation about this – without hiding behind fake names and a keyboard.

Deborah J Sheperd 18 Dec, 2013 at 12:50 am | Reply

Yeah! You tell it like it is. You just made more sense then anyone on this page. I like your thinking.

eve adam 06 Feb, 2014 at 10:13 pm | Reply

What a great – and wonderfully astute – quote by Shakespeare you provided in your post: “There is nothing right or wrong but thinking makes it so”.

And was there ever a time when it was more applicable in America? Not in my lifetime,at least.

Anonymous 17 Dec, 2013 at 03:10 pm | Reply

Beautifully said by a beautiful woman. :)

Lauren 17 Dec, 2013 at 03:16 pm | Reply

So proud to have you as our radio personality in lil ol Greensboro,NC. You are absolutely beautiful and well spoken to boot. Its nice to know that other people’s opinions don’t affect you. I hope this person feels like the idiot she is. I look forward to listening every morning, keep up the good work pretty lady:-)

Anonymous 17 Dec, 2013 at 04:58 pm | Reply

You are awesome and an inspiration to many. I struggle with weight loss myself since the birth of my daughter but I still try. These ignorant people are so judgmental and sound so sad. I hope you continue to speak words of inspiration and happiness.

stephanie lipton 17 Dec, 2013 at 07:02 pm | Reply

Eloquently classy ……I am now ur #1 fan

Megan Stage 17 Dec, 2013 at 10:49 pm | Reply

Whitney…here’s to you girl. I love your words and think you are such a great role model. Thank you!!!!

Deborah J Sheperd 18 Dec, 2013 at 12:53 am | Reply

Whitney, you did us all justice. Thank you for speaking for us all. You did a fine ass job!

Jessica 20 Dec, 2013 at 08:47 pm | Reply

Very well said, but I wish you’d lowered yourself just a BIT and called her an asshat.

eve adam 06 Feb, 2014 at 10:39 pm | Reply

Tempting as that may seem, it doesn’t do a bit of good. People like Sarah Lynn – like so many of today’s WWW hit-and-run posters – are intellectually and socially limited, incredibly clueless, and yet completely convinced of their own superiority. Actually calling her an “asshat” would have had absolutely NO impact since she exists in a world in which she NEEDS to hurt and insult others, including complete strangers.

Whitney is a helluva dancer, and she is equally skilled at turning a phrase – like it was a stiletto. She may not have called Sarah Lynn an asshat, but her open letter leaves no doubt that Sarah Lynn IS one. An incredibly illiterate one, to boot.

Calling her an asshat would have no impact. Stripping her of her anonymity, and exposing Sarah Lynn for what she truly is most assuredly will.

San 07 Jan, 2014 at 09:24 pm | Reply

While I try not to spend much time on unimportant people like “Sarah Lynn”, I do wonder — and actually pity — how devoid of purpose, kindness and joy people like “Sarah Lynn” are. I (much like you I’d wager!) am busy with LIFE (friends, love, work, healthy and fun activities, my kids, music etc) to comment on — or even think about — commenting on someone else’s size. It would never occur to me to do that… how pathetic and sad.

Since I was a little girl, my mom always said someone who would take the time and energy to put someone else down is “just jealous of your joy and beauty.” As an adult, this has stayed with me. Isn’t it the core of what people like “Sarah Lynn” are seeking to do? Bring you down to their level of self hatred and ignorance? “Sarah Lynn” is jealous of your self confidence and beauty.

Just wanted to share mom’s quote with you. To this day, it makes me stand taller in the face of the truly sad people who seek to put others down. Keep doing what you’re doing, girl, and stand tall. You’re awesome.

Anonymous 01 Feb, 2014 at 04:25 pm | Reply

Well said.

Katie 01 Feb, 2014 at 05:32 pm | Reply

Well said. The only thing you didn’t address which I thought you would is how she said you should “loose” weight. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people don’t know the difference between loose and lose.

Mags 02 Feb, 2014 at 07:33 am | Reply

Fuck the skinny bitch she’s just jealous she can’t move like you

Yadi Suazo 02 Feb, 2014 at 02:06 pm | Reply

Im proud of who you are you go girl you inspire me god bless you mija

Anonymous 02 Feb, 2014 at 02:12 pm | Reply

Wow! I must say you have lot of patience. I swore I was gonna read an article with excessive obscene language aimed at “Sarah” but you handled this like a boss. BRAVO!!!

Islandgirl

sarah m wilson 04 Feb, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Reply

Amen!

Pam 05 Feb, 2014 at 10:54 pm | Reply

Enjoyed your video. You are an intelligent,beautiful women and your website will empower women to accept themselves as they are,and if they choose to change their bodies it should be done because they want to, not because society says they should. Keep up the wonderful work!!

Carol myers 06 Feb, 2014 at 06:24 am | Reply

Whitney,
What you have shown the world here is more than standing up for your rights. You are showing every little girl in the world that it is ok to be different. It doesn’t matter what color your skin is, or the color of your hair and eyes, or the size of your body. It doesn’t matter what others think of you or say of you. When I read your blogs and this response, all I see is a very proud and confident person. I would love for you to be a roll model for my daughter. Aren’t these the moral lessons we want for our children? Sarah Lynn was absolutely wrong in saying our nation’s young women shouldn’t see you. I think your story and journey should be a lesson in perseverance that every young girl should see. If we all learn to be comfortable in our own skin instead of trying to imitate the washed up, photo-shopped, fake pictures we see in every newspaper and magazine then we could learn to Love ourselves and be confident in our own skin. You keep showing your real self to the world because we all should take lessons from you. May you continue to inspire pride and confidence in the young minds of the world!

Erin 06 Feb, 2014 at 07:57 pm | Reply

So very well put. Good for you! Be proud of who you are!

Nodijo 07 Feb, 2014 at 12:38 am | Reply

Thank you Whitney, you are an inspiration truly an inspiration. Congratulations for being bold enough to make the video and for starting the “No (Body Shame)” Campaign. We are NOT asking/telling people to accept that we are fat, we want you to accept us for who we are despite that, we don’t need to be told to lose weight, exercise, blah, blah, blah…we already KNOW that, we just need/want to be loved/liked/accepted for the real person we are not our shell…which oh wise petty, with problems of your own, person how do you know we aren’t already taking steps to lose the weight you so deeply despise? If we were books you people would throw us into the book-burning fire without ever even reading it and miss a wonderful story.

Elizabeth Ainsworth 07 Feb, 2014 at 01:08 am | Reply

Beautiful spirit, beautiful person. Thank you.

Donna Rose White 07 Feb, 2014 at 01:44 am | Reply

Well said. I too was a thin person until about 20 years old. Then college and partying packed on the pounds. My fault. I am 46 years old and in the past 2 years have lost 80 pounds with another 50 to go. I am a big raw boned lady. I am 5 feet 10 inches with a size 11 shoe. When I was young I always envied the petite little girls my age?No more. I am perfectly happy with being tall. Would I like to be thinner,hell yes. I have a picture near my snack drawer of me when I weighed the most. I asked my husband of 20 years “why didn’t you mention my weight had gotten so out of control.He replied,I never noticed,you always looked good” The world needs a lot more people like my Rick for sure.
Does he make a big deal about my weight loss,not really,but he never made a big deal about the gain either! You go girl!

Kristin 07 Feb, 2014 at 04:20 pm | Reply

Whitney, I just watched your video of “Fat Girl Dancing”. I just have to say that you are such a role model for overweight women in this world. Not only are you comfortable in your own skin, but doing what you love. I have been heavy most of my life living in what seems a “skinny” world. I know the pain of going to a movie theater and sitting in a seat that could barely fit me, wondering if my friend next to me had enough room or even worse was thinking I was gross because I was so heavy. I have tried many times (some successful and some not) to loose weight. I am now on a journey of not loosing weight, but learning how to be healthy. I have goals that I have reached and many more to goals to reach. I have lost 65 pounds and am still going strong. Thank you for showing those of us out the how to learn to be comfortable in our skin, and change our thinking about ourselves!

Rocio 07 Feb, 2014 at 10:58 pm | Reply

I remember my birthday in 2011 getting ruined by an asshole I didn’t even invite to my birthday party who told me I used to be pretty in Highschool and how I was no longer pretty since I gained so much weight. I cried so much that day, I have to say that was one of the worst things anyone has ever said to me, if not the worse. I too have experienced the difference between being “thin” and being “fat”. I too always felt fat and when I was really overweight looked back at how different it actually is. I loved your interview in loving all types of bodies. I just wanted to say you are a beautiful person inside and out and you are amazing.

biggus 08 Feb, 2014 at 04:50 am | Reply

Whitney, you aren’t fat, you are morbidly obese. You aren’t healthy, you are extremely unhealty. You are also very pretty.
These are statements of fact, not insults, don’t confuse the two. I am very tall, and if someone calls me ‘beanpole’ or ‘storky’ I am not insulted, why should I be, yet, if someone calls you fat, that is somehow insulting? Why? Basically because you know that being fat isn’t ‘ok’.

Fitness and health are not necessarily the same thing. You clearly aren’t lazy, and I’ll take your word on not being gluttonous, but what you are doing, is eating the wrong food, in the wrong amounts, and drinking the wrong drinks. You are maybe even following the guidelines we have all had since the 70s, and that my girl is the problem.

Being fat is contagious, because when we are surrounded by fat and obese and morbidly obese people, it quickly becomes the norm. Believe it or not, I am not trying to be insulting towards you, and I admire some aspects of what you are doing, but I doubt that in 10 years you will be singing from the same songbook, and I doubt that in 20 you will be singing anything.

You don’t need a personal trainer to lose weight, you just need to eat the right food.

Forget blaming some condition, forget trying to justify the unjustifiable, forget everything in fact, and do some research. Googling “Sweden saturated fat” would be a good place to start. They did something in October 2013 that may just save us all.

Emma 11 Mar, 2014 at 11:55 am | Reply

Hmmm, “biggus.” Your last name is “Dickus”, I presume, because that is what you are acting like.

If fat really is contagious, you better run to the hills before you catch it. It’s already starting in your head.

If you would like to pass on some fact based, peer-reviewed scientific research I am sure we would all love to read that.

biggus 22 May, 2014 at 02:31 am | Reply

Emma, look around you, open your eyes, what you see is an epidemic, a pandemic in fact. It is contagious, but not for the reasons you think. Being fat isn’t ok, being morbidly obese isn’t ok. We are eating the wrong foods, no more, no less. When you look back at any film or TV from the 60s or before, you just don’t see any fat people, and morbidly obese people were in a circus, not surrounding us on the streets.
Why was this? They ate fat, plenty of it, but they were thin. If exercise makes you thin, why is that you didn’t see powerwalking housewives in the 50s and 60s, and gyms on every street corner? They are there now, in abundance, yet people are getting fatter every year, Don’t you think maybe, just maybe, we all have had the wool pulled over our eyes?

You don’t need scientific research to tell you what’s obvious. In fact, in many ways you can blame them for making us fat.

Do some research on what really is making us fat, and you might see why the pandemic is spreading. Watch Fathead (the comeback to Supersize Me) or The Men Who Made Us Fat (BBC 3 part doco) to get started. Then do some reading. Since you don’t believe me, see if you believe Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, Dr. Robert Lustig, or GaryTaubes.

Maria Cristina 08 Feb, 2014 at 11:50 am | Reply

Wow! Great post! Congrats, I admire you! [from Brazil]

Kim 08 Feb, 2014 at 10:19 pm | Reply

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=91817

One of many articles written by doctors backed by studies. I just always find it funny that when people talk about us fatties they are so concerned about our health. You don’t give a shit about our health you want us to look like you. Unless you know someone’s blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and family history you have no right to assess their health based on their body size. Period.

Whitney you are amazing. I too am a fat girl and I know I would like to be a bit smaller but that isn’t going to stop me from living right now! Keep on being awesome you! Can’t wait to see more moves ;)

Linea 09 Feb, 2014 at 01:03 am | Reply

Wow!! I’ve always said that I am healthier than a lot of people who aren’t obese, who have minimal body fat, but it never occurred to me that they really aren’t concerned about my health! You hit it right on the head of the issue. We’ve been told by the media that our health is of concern to everyone in the country because of our high medical costs. And did you know that a study shows that if you use the phrase, “a study shows”, more people will believe whatever you say??

Gail Miller 25 Feb, 2014 at 04:40 am | Reply

” I’m proud of myself as entire person. My body is fat. I deserve to wear the clothes I want and live the way I see fit just like every other non-fat person. End of story.”

Whitney, thank you for giving me the courage and permission to live my life, despite what others may think, say, or gasp at. I am 5′ 1″ and 202 pounds. I have always fought my weight, but when I had my last child at age 39, I never was able to lose that “baby fat”. I live across the street from a Water Park. I have been there ONCE in 3 years, as I felt like I was a beached whale on the sides of the pool. I would only feel half way comfortable if I kept my entire body under water but my head. I have been teased since I was 13 years old when I would go swimming. They loved calling me “Gail the Whale”. At age 57, I am still calling myself that detested name. NO MORE! Guess who is going to put on her swimming suit (and NOT the ugly black and white one that is meant to cover up all my heavy thighs with this skirt like thing that goes to my knees), but a new one that is going to be as Bright and Beautiful as I am going to feel as I lift my head AND BODY high above the water and take that dive off the board that I have wanted to do the past 20 years. I used to teach swimming as a teenager. If you can dance… I can swim! Thank you! I want to hug you so tight that you will truly know that you are loved, adored and cherished! Don’t let the skinny chickens get you down!

Ileyia Hines 28 Feb, 2014 at 10:41 am | Reply

THIS was A-mazing!!

I remember being called a fat ass in high school, right after my mom got sick and right before I dropped out my senior year, and without missing a beat, I told the girl, “At least I HAVE an ass!” as my friends said, “At least she HAS an ass!” We laughed and it pissed her off that her “hurtful” comment didn’t affect me like she thought it would.

Just do you, and be happy with yourself!

[Check out Laci Green's Sex+ channel on Youtube, she actually breaks down why America has gotten so heavy! Pretty awesome stuff yo!]

Keep up the amazing work hun! ♥

-Ileyia Hines

Jo 12 Mar, 2014 at 10:42 am | Reply

Bravo, Whitney! I, too have been both fit and fat. I am also a dance teacher. Now as an older, heavier version of myself (to quote others – “Hey – You used to be hot!! “) I am working harder than ever to move on the dance floor…but I do it. I do it for the simple fact that I need to show my students: body size, shape, and age does not matter. Do I get looks at the studio? Absolutely. Do I get glances at dance conventions. You bet. However, nothing made be prouder than the last dance convenition I attended – where to the top dancer was a “big girl” – brought to the front for everyone to follow as a shining example of a fine athlete, dancer and artist. She wasn’t there because she moved well for a fat girl…she was a fine dancer. Period.
We’ve come a long way…and still have a long way to go.
Thanks, Whitney – you take the lead, and we will be dancing strong in the chorus line behind you all the way.

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Carrie 15 Jul, 2014 at 02:51 pm | Reply

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Marcus 15 Jul, 2014 at 02:53 pm | Reply

why do we always ignore health aspect of the “fat” debate. Being overweight significantly increases the risk for SO MANY diseases and conditions. Kind of like drugs and alcohol. We dont want to teach our children it’s ok to be an alcoholic, why would we want them to think it’s ok to be obese

Britney 15 Jul, 2014 at 03:10 pm | Reply

I too have PCOD, and only people with the disease actually know how hard it is to lose the weight. I accomplished it at one point, but my liver was failing, my hair was falling out, nails turning yellow. I was anorexic. I was eating close to one meal every three days, and that one meal was only a couple bites on one thing. I’m healthy now, I exercise and eat right and I’m still at 200 lbs, and I love myself. I don’t care about anyone else’s opinion because they don’t pay my bills and I’ve never had trouble finding a mate :p

Sami 15 Jul, 2014 at 03:16 pm | Reply

You are so amazing. People are ignorant. Thank you for sticking up for all the overweight people in the world. You are an inspiration. When I have a child, I will raise them to respect ALL types of people, not just skinny blondes with big boobs. You are amazing. Thank you.

Charlene Marie 15 Jul, 2014 at 03:21 pm | Reply

You are awesome. I’m glad you wrote this post, though I believe that you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone! Some people are just ignorant. I guess “Sarah Lynn” gives true meaning to the saying, “Closed-minded people say close-minded things.”

Samantha 15 Jul, 2014 at 03:33 pm | Reply

Thank you for explaining that there are so many factors to being “fat”. Personally, I love my “fluffy” self, yet I know my size (and my gene pool) are contributing factors to my High Blood Pressure and Diabetes. You were quite eloquent with your answer and I am very grateful that you are a shining example to all females (young or old) that true beauty and acceptance starts from within.

Jeanna Carroll 15 Jul, 2014 at 04:07 pm | Reply

Good for you, Whitney. It’s a shame that some people can be so ignorant. Keep on doin’ what you’re doin’, girl. You are inspiring!

Hedda 15 Jul, 2014 at 04:28 pm | Reply

Man, if only ‘loosing’ weight were an actual possibility. Wondering if ‘Sarah Lynn’ knows the difference between loose and, what she really meant, lose.

Keep sharing, Whitney, you are amazing.

Terri 15 Jul, 2014 at 05:17 pm | Reply

I wish I could feel as confident as you even after losing 130lbs. I have to say I am in awe of you my dear. At almost 50 years old, I cannot have teh same outlook on myself as you do and I am still trying to work on that!

K 15 Jul, 2014 at 06:11 pm | Reply

People are so cruel. I too , am overweight, I’ve been working out and doing multiple boot camps for 18 months. I’ve lost 20 pounds and feel wonderful but am still overweight. I feel “ok” about myself, I was downtown with friends a few weeks ago photographing my friends daughter when someone yelled from their car, “get out of the road fat ass”, it cut me like a knife!! Keep on keeping on!

Rachel 15 Jul, 2014 at 10:15 pm | Reply

Whitney!!!!! Everything about this post hit it right on the head! I love everything about this, and wanted you to know that you are supported out here!!!! Thanks for being a part of the body love movement, and hope to see you at BLC15!

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