Monday, January 13, 2014


Repost from my livejournal. This was written in late 2011, and were I writing it today, I'd make several changes. Rather than a current picture of my struggles with disordered eating, consider this is a snapshot of where I was a couple years ago.

Trigger Warning: disordered eating, sexual assault

Anorexia is a weird thing.

For a girl who was 300+ lbs throughout high school, anorexia was always the terrible disease I longed to catch. I tried being anorexic--not dieting, I mean, I tried cultivating a fear and hatred for food. Didn't work, for the obvious reasons. So I had a gastric bypass, which may or may not have been about as destructive (my intestines ruptured; I nearly died). It got the job done, and I made the decision with my eyes wide open about possible deadly consequences (though no one mentioned intestinal rupture!), so I don't waste time regretting my decision. Anyway.

A gastric bypass isn't a magic bullet, especially when you are very heavy pre-surgery. The first year, it's impossible not to lose weight, but after that, you're on your own. I got down to about 180 lbs, then went to rehab and shot up to 230 lbs pretty quick. Since I had lost over 100 lbs, I was still considered a success story, but it certainly didn't feel that way. So I resolved to try and lose weight again, and began actually doing healthy things, like limiting food intake and exercising. All for the good.

That changed after I was raped.

Weighty Reality

This is a repost of something I posted on facebook in 2010--for context, before I became disabled.

Trigger Warnings: disordered eating, fat hatred, self-injury

People on a message board I frequent (at My Fitness Pal, a very cool website with some assholes in the community--like pretty much every community, everywhere) were talking about how they hate seeing fat people in public, and how fatties just gross them out, and how awful they feel when they see a fat person buying unhealthy food at the store, etc. I was so angry that I just had to reply. Here it is:

It is impossible to tell from looking at someone what their lifestyle is. Even when I was at my heaviest (300+ lbs), I still worked out and tried to eat healthy.  Hell, I was a vegan! I have a medical condition and am on medication that makes weight loss almost impossible (which is why my doctor recommended a gastric bypass, which helped but didn't magically fix). When moving hurt, I still made time to exercise in a healthy way, and I was able to keep my blood pressure and sugar levels in a good range (a better indicator of health than pant size). Weight is incredibly complex...experts and studies confirm that it is so, so much more than "eat less/exercise more." Genetics, medication, health conditions, and past lifestyle choices all play a huge part. And heavy people have often been on many, many diets...most of which, studies show, fail, and then cause excessive weight gain and slow metabolism later in life. The assumption that someone who is overweight doesn't take care of themselves, or if they just worked at it they could lose weight, is false and fed by our weight-obsessed society.

Class and money play a huge role. Have you ever tried eating a healthy diet on food stamps? It's almost impossible. My mother tried to feed a family of six on a very limited food budget...she would have loved to have fresh fruits and veggies in the house, but when a package of Top Ramen was cheaper than an apple, and actually satisfied the hunger of her children (an apple is a great snack, but doesn't cut it for dinner), she chose the item that didn't make her kids go to bed starving. Processed food is terrible for you and causes weight gain, but that's what poor people buy, because a) it's cheaper, b) it lasts, and c) it's quick to make, and when you're working 2-3 jobs and going to school (as my mom was), you don't have time to cook healthy dinners. So please don't judge the mom whose shopping cart is filled with items you personally disapprove of; you have no idea what they're going through.

And you really don't know what someone's lifestyle is like based on a quick glance in the grocery store. A couple years ago, my mom sent me the store to pick up candy and other desserts for a church party that evening. While standing in line, the person in front turned around and sneered, "You'll never lose weight if you keep eating like that." Well, considering the food all had milk in it, I wasn't planning on eating any of it. And she seriously thought I was gonna take 15 bags of candy home to eat? Is that really what people think fat folks do, sit around all day eating bags of candy?

When I was the low girl on the work totem pole, my boss sent me out to get food from Costco for everyone. So I was getting several hot dogs and snacky things. When I was walking back, a woman said, "No wonder you're fat," with a horrible, smug and disapproving look on her face. Yeah, like I was gonna eat four hot dogs on my own, and anyway, it's none of her business! I was a lot less confident then, so I was in tears by the time I got back to work, and told my boss I couldn't do the food runs anymore (she was pissed on my behalf and totally agreed...they never made me go again). I was so hurt. It takes courage to go out and try to be happy when you're very heavy, and it just takes a little comment, someone reminding you that to the rest of the world you're hideous, to make you want to go home and slit your wrists or never go outside again.

I have on several occasions been used by mothers to fat-shame their children. It's horrible on two levels: 1) because they're talking about me like I'm disgusting and the worst thing someone could be, which is SO dehumanizing and hurtful, and 2) because they are using me to scare and shame their daughters, passing on the torch of body hatred, and teaching their kids that it's okay to make rude comments about someone's weight, because fat is the worst thing you can be. Quick example: when I was a cashier, a girl was bugging her mom for M&M's. The mom said to her daughter, "Do you want to end up fat like her?" (pointing at me). I quickly finished ringing her up, then had to take a break because I started crying. (I'm a lot tougher now, but, like I said, I used to be more sensitive about my weight.)

This is just one example of many over the years.

It's the reason I always made my little sister get her own popcorn at the theater.  She (skinny girl that she is) likes a lot of extra butter. I told her that I just can't deal with the looks (if not the comments) that I get as a fat girl ordering extra butter. It hurts; I'm not going to put myself in that position. Or if I was celebrating a special occasion or was at a restaurant I really liked and wanted a dessert, sometimes I just didn't order (or made someone else order) because I couldn't stand the looks I would get. People didn't know it was something I rarely did. They just assumed that, hey, fat girl orders cake=she must eat cake all day long and that's why she's fat. Even if I just ordered the same thing my skinny friends ordered.

I have struggled with starving myself (which is the worst thing you can do to lose weight; it just made me unhealthy and more fat), with self-injury (taking out my body hatred on my stomach with a knife), with depression, with social anxiety. Some of it can be traced to the terrible things people have said to me during my life. I'm stronger now, I understand that the people who say and do those things are really just ignorant and scared (they don't understand the complexity of weight loss; they are scared of gaining weight themselves). But it took a lot of therapy and education for me to get to this place, and I still struggle with disordered eating and self-injury.

In conclusion: you don't know what someone's lifestyle is by just looking at them, and you don't know what medical conditions might be the cause of their weight. And you don't know how hurtful even your non-verbal actions can be. Get educated, and have some compassion. Pant size is a terrible indicator of a person's value as a human being.

God Saved Me?

 This is a repost of something I wrote on Facebook, mid-2012.

I need to talk about something that is deeply upsetting and problematic to me, but I'm afraid that it's going to offend people that I care about. So let me state up front that offending people is not at all my intention.

A year and a half ago, I nearly died. That's not hyperbole; it's fact. It took three emergency surgeries before the doctor believed I even had a hope of surviving, but for the first couple days, my loved ones were told that there was a good chance I wasn't going to make it. In fact, if I had been older, not in good health otherwise, or were it three years ago (before the technology used to save my life was invented), they wouldn't have even attempted to save me. I would have died.

Almost immediately, I was told in one way or another, "God saved your life."

To which I have to respond: "I don't have the words to convey how offensive that is."

(Let me try to find the words.)

Why I Don't Believe In God

This post has been brought over from my old blog. It was originally posted May 1, 2012.  Please note that while I include it for completeness, if I were to write this post again today, there would be a couple significant changes. Maybe I will re-write it at some point. But rather than being a perfect exploration of my current feelings and beliefs, this post is instead a snapshot of my thoughts as I was still coming to terms with my recent atheism.

It wasn’t because of  a tragedy.

It had nothing to do with those who call themselves followers of Christ, and yet do evil.


It’s not youthful rebellion, or a way to get back at my parents. (Note: I mean, it's really, really not.  My biggest regret about losing my faith is the hurt it causes my folks.  I get really fucking tired of this assertion.)

It wasn’t because I wanted carte blanche to run my life as I wanted.   

It wasn’t because I wanted to be different.

It wasn’t because I wanted to cause trouble.

It wasn’t something I went looking for.

And when I finally accepted it, it was with deep reluctance, and I still wished there was some way to go back.

I’m talking about why I am no longer a Christian.


I have been getting some questions about why I no longer believe in God, and I’ve been putting off giving a more public explanation, even though I know friends and family would probably like to understand what seems like a sudden and dramatic change.  I finally decided to just write up a blog post to point people to.  There's just not enough room on facebook.

I’ve been hesitant, for a couple of reasons.  First, it’s a more formal “coming out” as an atheist.  Secondly, I don’t want to offend anyone, and by explaining why I don’t believe something, it can seem as though I’m demeaning those who still do believe, which is certainly not my intention.  So let’s get that straight from the get-go: if you’re looking to be offended, you might be, but if you’re looking to understand me and other atheists like me, keep reading.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


Hello! Welcome to Delusion All.

I've been hanging around the edges of various feminist, atheist, skeptic, and social justice blogs over the last couple years, commenting off and on.  I've been more active on Facebook and Twitter under my real name (Erin). I have tumblr, also called Delusion All, but I haven't used it much, and to be honest, I haven't quite worked out how much I'll be posting there vs. here vs. Facebook or Twitter, how much crossposting, etc. On other blogs and communities, especially FreeThought Blogs, I've used the handle "EEB", though I've been trying to transition over to "Erin" everywhere. Having gone through several popular forms of social media and half a dozen handles over my last decade on the internet, it's been more work than I expected to consolidate them all!

Previously, I had a rarely-updated blog named "Shut Up, Bitch!" I borrowed the name from a few comments I'd received (especially on youtube), thinking it was a catchy name and a way to reclaim a slur at the same time. However, I heard from several people that the name either made them personally uncomfortable, or they didn't feel comfortable linking to blog with that name.  I felt my attempt at an eye-catching name wasn't worth the discomfort it was causing to other people (and that it was rather counter-productively limiting my readership), so when it became clear that I needed to consolidate my social media, I took the opportunity to rename and relaunch my blog.

For several years, I've been involved in various fandom communities on livejournal and writing fanfiction under the name LizzyPaul.  I will not be posting much, if at all, on fandom here at Delusion All. My livejournal has been hiatus for quite a while and is currently mostly "friends only", though all of my fanfiction is accessible.  I hope to "reopen" my LJ, and start writing fanfic again as well, but I honestly can't say for sure when--or even if--that's going to happen. Hope springs eternal. I'm also in the process of moving all my fanfiction over to Archive of our Own.

Over the next few days, I will be moving posts from my previous blogs (including some from my LiveJournal and Facebook) here to Delusion All.