A newsletter examining weight science, weight stigma, and what evidence, ethics, and lived experience teach us about best healthcare and public health practices for higher weight people. Created by Ragen Chastain, a professional speaker and writer, trained researcher, co-author of the HAES Health Sheets, multi-certified health and fitness professional and queer, fat, woman (she/her)
How did you get into this?
I started using my background in research methods and statistics to study the research around weight and health about 20 years ago as a personal project. By 2009 I was writing and speaking about weight science and the impacts of weight stigma in all aspects of our culture, including healthcare. In 2012 I officially started doing this work full-time.
Don’t you already have a blog though?
Yes! I started my blog DancesWithFat in 2009. That blog now has over 1,800 posts about wide range of topics, and millions of views. It’s my first baby and I’m proud of it, and I’ll still be publishing non-healthcare-related work there.
So why are you writing here?
A lot of my speaking and writing over the last decade+ has been, and continues to be within the healthcare/weight science sphere, and I’ve received a bunch of requests to create a space where that work is specifically centered so that it is easy to find and easy to send people to. This is that space!
What do I get for signing up?
There will be two new posts each week (on Wednesdays and Saturdays) including information and strategies to help fat people deal with medical weight stigma, research breakdowns, discussions of best practices for higher weight patients in healthcare and public health, conversations with practitioners and other experts, real world case studies, answers to questions that you submit, and more.
Do I have to pay for this?
Nope, you can subscribe for free. If you want to support my work and/or want to get the paid subscriber perks you can subscribe for $5 a month or $50 a year (note that if you are already a DancesWithFat member, the paid subscriber perks will be included with your other member benefits, check your email or the member page or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get the details)
Also, if you are not able to afford a paid subscription please email me at email@example.com for a comp subscription and I will be sign you up no questions asked.
So what are the paid subscriber perks?
A weekly discussion thread every Friday
Audio commentary on some of the regular posts (kind of like the director’s commentary on a movie)
Behind-the-scenes bonuses from my research and interviews that don’t make it into the final posts
My undying gratitude for your support of my ability to research and write about this - of all the things I write about, this topic is definitely the most time-consuming, difficult, and emotionally draining, since I’m often writing about harm that I’m personally subjected to.
I want you write about this thing or answer this question…
Cool! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with a question or topic suggestions and I’ll do my best.