Temporarily Rendered Speechless

Published September 20, 2011 by Fat Heffalump

Yeah, only temporarily.

Ok Heffalumpies, I need to put my ranty pants on, so brace yourselves!

Y’all know I bought a Thermomix a month or so ago right?  Well I did, and it’s awesome.  I have a lasagne cooking in the oven right now that took me about 20 minutes to put together, INCLUDING cooking both the bolognaise and bechemel sauce from scratch.  That puppy is going to feed me for about a week.

Anyway, I’ve been following quite a few Thermomix blogs, forums and Facebook feeds since before I bought it, and so far they’ve been fantastic and very inclusive, with no judgment about weight or food or eating, but lots of great recipes, from the ultra efficient tummy fillers to delicious indulgent treats.  I’ve really loved that about the Thermomix community, that I’ve felt included even though I’m a big fat person!

Anyhoo, imagine my shock this afternoon when I see one of the prominent Australian Thermomix bloggers (who I am not going to name here, I don’t want to give them any traffic) post this horrible article to their Facebook page, with this comment: “Oh wow, these people need to find [redacted], the chocolate appetite suppressant…”

Trigger warning on that article lovelies, there’s a headless fatty on there and a whole bunch of fat hate. I’ve redacted the name of the “chocolate appetite suppressant” because I’m not giving that stuff any promotion.

So I left a comment and asked could they please keep it to cooking/Thermomix and not bigotry against fat people, because fat people both a) have Thermomixes and b) read their blog.  I also talked about my eating disorder past and how my Thermomix has been instrumental in helping me learn to eat competently and reclaim my right to enjoy cooking and food.

Said blogger then sent me a message saying that they hadn’t intended to offend (yeah right, by suggesting that “obese people” need a damn appetite suppressant), that they would remove the post, that they shared it because it would be “interesting for those who care about eating proper food” and could I please email them privately.  I did so, expanding on how my Thermomix and the online community has been fantastic for helping me in my recovery from an eating disorder, outlining the problem with the article they posted, and expanding on my highly disordered past with a history of abusing appetite suppressants and other diet products, both natural and chemical.  I even said, and I quote:

Fat people don’t need chocolate appetite suppressants, we need to be able to live our lives without stigmatisation and shaming, and to find the healthiest ways to feed and move our bodies as they are, and not hold off on life “until we lose weight”.

I also sent them a link to my earlier post about the topic.

Well, you can imagine how speechless I was to receive a response offering me a sample of the “chocolate appetite suppressant”!!

This is akin to offering a recovering alcoholic a drink, or a recovering drug addict a shot of heroin.  It is both irresponsible and tactless, and actually, it’s dangerous.  I’m one of the lucky ones, I’m well enough down the road of recovery that I can say no, and do so without being triggered horribly.

When I did a bit of research into the “chocolate appetite suppressant”, I discovered the active ingredient is Theobromine, a caffeine like stimulant (alkaloid).  It is the ingredient in chocolate that is harmful to cats and dogs.  It is not “entirely harmless” to humans, and can cause illness and even death if consumed in enough quantities.  From Wikipedia:

The first signs of theobromine poisoning are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and increased urination. These can progress to cardiac arrhythmias, epileptic seizures, internal bleeding, heart attacks, and eventually death.

Now if someone has admitted to you that they have a history of abusing appetite suppressants, are you going to suggest they try something that if abused, can lead to the above?  I should hope not.  It’s like handing an addict a loaded needle.

It goes to show that people shilling these products really don’t care.  They don’t do the research, they don’t listen to people and they don’t take responsibility for how their snake oils might be abused by vulnerable people.

How I didn’t tear them a new orifice in my response email, I don’t know.  My God, am I actually learning restraint???  Say it ain’t so Heffalumpies!

Needless to say, I’ve removed that particular blog from my RSS reader, unliked their page on Facebook and will be avoiding them like the plague.

28 comments on “Temporarily Rendered Speechless

  • O_o

    You’re not the only person left speechless by that response. I mean, seriously, what the hell is that blogger’s malfunction?

  • What a mad mongrel. Seriously do they believe in what they say? Glad you tried to inform them but by the sounds of it they might not have the intellect to comprehend it.
    And are you mellowing Kath?

  • Shit like this incenses me, as someone who abused herself on diet pills for years. When I think of the time, money, and self-loathing in those years…it makes me wonder how that shit remains legal, despite KILLING people and is probably why I still have seizure problems (which I didn’t have prior to being shamed into taking diet pills.)

    On a happier note I wonder if I could find Thermomix in the US, their website didn’t tell me anything. It looks so nifty! Especially as I work from home 90% of the time now and would love to have something going in the background that could feed me for a week while I’m reconciling accounts in the other room.

    • Rachel and Jerome, I believe that Thermomix is not yet available in the US (and there is literally no equivalent on the market) but I can’t imagine that will stay that way for too much longer. More and more people are wanting them. Perhaps a campaign to Vorwerk (the company that makes them) to start selling in the US is in order!

      They do sell in Canada though.

  • Wow. Yeah, I would’ve been rendered speechless too. They probably don’t believe that abuse of diet pills is a real thing, or if it is, it can only be abuse if you’re skinny. Cuz, you know, anything a fat person does to make themselves less fat is automatically healthy.

    • I really do think it’s a case of “it’s only bad if the beautiful people hurt themselves”.

      I’ve gotten this same thing from people telling me I need surgery for my “big fat nose” or laser hair removal for my “hairy cavewoman arms”–they don’t care about the cost to me or the possibility of it hurting my health and needing tons of return visits to fix something else–I’m not a ‘beautiful people’–so I don’t matter until I am.

      It’s the sickening way media and parents raise their kids to think like this–that people aren’t worth living unless they’re considered attractive by them.

  • It almost sounds like an automatically generated response.
    Where you said “Fat people don’t need…”, I bet they didn’t get past the word “people”. Probably not even past the word “fat”. “We didn’t mean to offend” sounds like another stock phrase.
    It’s great that you air things like this. May your audience grow ever more numerous. You got to get them to listen somehow.

  • It almost sounds like an automatically generated response.
    Where you said “Fat people don’t need…”, I bet they didn’t get past the word “people”. Probably not even past the word “fat”. “We didn’t mean to offend” sounds like another stock phrase.
    It’s great that you air things like this. May your audience grow ever more numerous. You got to get them (companies that is) to listen somehow.

  • Theobromine is also a major portion of what helps a nice cup of tea pick you up. Well, that and Patrick Stewart saying, “Tea, Earl Grey, hot!”

    God, why wouldn’t you want to go and drink a nice cup of that, instead of eating some over-hyped, mass-produced, totally-not-what-the-TMX-is-all-about piece of crap anyway?

    The problem with people like her is that they think there is only one solution and that they have it. The sooner they pull their heads out of their collective arses and accept that one size doesn’t fit all the better.


    Love your work, Kath – you’re inspirational 🙂

    • Thank you Kate.

      Theobromine is also in chocolate, and it’s part of what gives one the happies when they eat chocolate. Eaten where it occurs naturally in food, it’s perfectly fine and won’t hurt humans unless they’re allergic. Om nom nom.

      But then to offer a concentrated, easily abusable processed product to someone with an eating disorder… I have no words!

  • Though I know from reading your blog how healthy you are in mind, body and spirit, I’m sorry they treated your life experiences and genuine concerns with such little respect and without regard to any duty of care towards you, their now former reader. Isn’t just plain ol’ common decency a valid human response anymore? When did lack of any responsibility for one’s actions become acceptable? They might not know it but, in loosing you, they have lost a valuble reader/contributor to their blog. Thanks for letting others know so that we can avoid their poisonous attitude.

    • It doesn’t matter how healthy anyone is in mind, body and spirit really. Health is nobody’s business but the person in the actual body. It’s lucky that I am emotionally robust though, because someone who might be struggling more would not have coped the way I have with the situation!

  • Great galloping insensitivity! The first bit just ignores that fat people are people and can read what any blogger writes, the second part ignores their reader’s lived experience to imply: but isn’t thin better by any means? It’s sadly not so shocking that people might forget to be considerate of fat people for the first bit of fail, but suggesting you do an unhealthy thing just to meet other people’s standards of *appearing* healthy is a special brand of “not getting it”. I doubt you lose much by not returning for that kind of insight.

    • Indeed, the default setting was that a) fat people wouldn’t use a “healthy” appliance like a Thermomix, and b) fat people don’t read a blog about good food prepared with a Thermomix. I noticed before the post was deleted from Facebook that several other people chimed in with “likes” on my comment, and also a few left “Agreed!” and “Hear Hear!” comments.

      So I wasn’t the only one to find the whole thing appalling.

  • I’m guessing that the asshat who posted the article and made the comment about the appetite suppressant offered you the appetite suppressant after your heartfelt e-mail to said asshat because the asshat wanted to mess with you. Which is why said blogger is an asshat. I might contact your closest online friends, give them the link to said asshat’s blog, and let them engage in a little asshat discrimination, a little asshat hate. …”Asshate,” if we’re in the mood to create portmanteau words. Give the asshat a taste of his/her own medicine.

  • “interesting for those who care about eating proper food”

    Yeah, because that toxin-ridden appetite suppressant is PROPER FOOD, I TELL THEE. It is on the food pyramid at schools! It’s sold at the local market! IT GROWS IN TREES! TREES!

    Seriously, that ‘proper food’ thing sounded like an indirect way of saying ‘I CAN TOTALLY PICTURE YOU PUTTING CHEEZBURGERS AND DONUTS AND MILKSHAKES AND PIES INSIDE YOUR THERMIE AND MIXING ‘EM WELL AND CHUGGING ‘EM LIEK SMOOTHIES BECUZ THATS WHAT U FATTYZ DO’. You know, making divisions between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ food, between ‘proper’ and ‘junk’. And you did well in not sharing their page, or else they would get bombarded by so many fat projectiles of rantness.

    Actually, why didn’t you share it? I totally feel like smashing some haters. Oh, well.

  • “It’s sold at the local market! IT GROWS IN TREES! TREES!”

    This made me crack the hell up!! But it’s so, so true. I remember when a personal trainer I fired told me that I “should be dieting” and I refused to take any advice from him for many reasons but he backed down when I asked to see any certifications in Dietetics/Nutrition and said “Well then are you REALLY qualified to tell me what to freakin put in my mouth?”

    How I knew not to listen– when he asked me if I was more concerned about “looking good or getting stronger”.and actually fucking told me that I’d bulk up like Arnold Schwarzenegger if I kept lifting the level I do…oh come on, we all know that’s a misogynist bullshit lie told to women so we have to dependent on the menz to lift shit for us. I fired his ass after that.

    I just feel sad for the people who probably DID listen to whatever BS he spouted about food…but saying “you should dieting” is fucking unprofessional, and so is suggesting those chemical-laden bars, shakes, and small portions of incredibly shitty and overpriced food.

    Geez if “health” was really a concern, what about food that DOES come from trees/the ground which is actually cheaper than those stupid “diet” dinners and of better quality?

    Rant over. 😀 I love that line and totally want to use it! (As you can see, diet drug talk is very triggering for me.)

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