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The Narwhal Factor

by Dr. Deah on Feb.04, 2011, under Tasty Morsels: by Dr. Deah Schwartz

You know the phenomenon.  It’s the thing that happens when you first learn about something, someone or a new word and then over the next week or so EVERYWHERE you go Voila!  The word you just learned is in the crossword puzzle the next morning.  You are on the phone with a friend and they use the word in a sentence, you are eavesdropping on a conversation at the coffee shop and they are discussing the nuances of the word.

Talking about Narwhals

My step-mom and I called it the Narwhal Factor.  She and I were talking about a children’s book that my son had just received as a gift for his third birthday.  It was an alphabet book.  It was a POP-UP alphabet book.  IT was a POP-UP alphabet book where the picture for the letter N was a narwhal.

“What the hell is a narwhal?” she barked over the phone. I explained that it was a whale that had a unicorn type tusk coming out of its forehead.  “Well I’ll be damned,” she said, never heard of it.”

The next day she called me from New York, “You’re not going to believe this!”  I was flipping through the channels and I swear to god, there was a documentary on NARWHALS!”  We laughed about it and chalked it up to coincidence.

She called me three more times that week, once from FAO Schwarz Toy Store in Manhattan where they had a display of stuffed whales the centerpiece was….of course….a narwhal.  The cover of the National Geographic in her Dentist’s office…Narwhal….A book review in the New York Times about…well you get the point. 

We decided this was something that needed a name and so we dubbed it The Narwhal Factor.

I know that most of the folks that visit our Leftovers To Go website are usually:

  • Already active in fighting size-ism and have heard about us through word of mouth.
  • Clinicians, therapists, and professionals looking for resources to use with clients who are bravely working on their relationships to their bodies and food.
  • Educators that are looking for curriculum to use in the classroom while training future therapists, or providing CEU’s to already practicing clinicians.
  • People exploring options to work on their own personal self-acceptance and have seen our DVD trailer.
  • My father and my sisters.

So I guess you would say that so much of what we talk about on our Website, Facebook page, and blog, Tasty Morsels is a little bit like preaching to the choir. But this isn’t just a website…it’s a mission…

Sure we want to sell trainings and books and DVD’s (oh my).

Trainings & Books and DVD's OH MY!

But our meta mission is to be the Narwhal of someone’s Narwhal Factor.  The first step of the Narwhal Factor for someone who is just learning:

  • Stereotyping fat people as freakish and repulsive is wrong 
  • Ignoring the kids that are bullying kids who are too scrawny or fat is wrong.
  • Believing that diets work when in fact eating disorders can be caused by dieting is wrong.
  • Believing that all fat people are unhealthy is wrong.
  • Hating yourself because you are too fat and because that is what everyone tells you so it must be true is wrong.

Today’s blog is dedicated to the up-swell of Size Acceptance Activity going on all around us. Some of us may be too busy to notice or the activity doesn’t get the same media attention as the “Obesity Dilemma” or The Biggest Loser.I always try to include links to other people’s work in my blogs and links to what they are doing. But today I’m going to just list some names and links of Narwhals

cute narwhal

that are doing exceptional work in changing the way people feel about themselves and the way society portrays and judges fat people.  People who are promoting and scientifically proving that self-acceptance and health can be attainable at any weight.  Who knows, maybe if someone hears about Health At Every Size (HAES(sm)) for the first time here, then everywhere they go for the next week they will be seeing and hearing HAES(sm) this and HAES(sm) that.  Maybe if they read about FAT SO? here….the next thing they know they will be seeing Maralyn Wann cheerfully chiming in with her “Wheeeee!”

Think what you may about what you consider attractive in a man or a woman that you may want to have a fling or a relationship with, that’s your choice.  But why there is so much vitriolic hatred and disgust aimed at a person because they are fat?  That is something that needs to be changed.  Here are some folks who are doing just that, not in any particular order, but with equal amounts of verve!

Coming soon:  A list of DVD’s and Videos

(Visit our Resources Page for additional links, people, and narwhals)

Golda Pertetsky  Body Love Revolutionaries Telesummit Conferences Tuesday evenings free!

Susan Koppelman The Strange History of Suzanne LaFleshe: And Other Stories of Women and Fatness

Dee Miller  Big Fat Blog

Substantia Jones of the Adipositivity Project http://www.adipositivity.com

Anita Johnston http://www.dranitajohnston.com/

Tracy Brown http://tracybrownrd.com/

Ragan Chastain Dances With Fat

Peggy Elam Pearlsong Press www.pearlsong.com

Mia Elwood  Director, Healthy Futures

Karen Smith  http://www.fullliving.com

Normal in schools  http://www.normalinschools.org/

Association of Size Diversity and Health:  (ASDAH) President:  Deb Lemire

National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)

Binge Eating Disorders Association (BEDA)

Lydia Jade Turner Managing Director & Psychotherapist BodyMatters

Judith Matz, LCSW http://dietsurvivors.com/Matz_Diets_and_our_Demons.pdf

Linda Bacon, Lucy Aphramor  http://tiny.cc/HAES

Deborah Kauffmann, RD, LDN  www.edcbaltimore.org

Fierce Fatties Web Site

Jeanne Courtney, MFT www.FeministTherapyAssociates.com

Ellen Shuman Founder/Coach A Weigh Out & A Weigh Out Members’ Circle  www.aweighout.com
Dayle Hayes  http://www.eatrightmontana.org/eatrighthealthyfamilies.htm

Pattie Thomas  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/i-take-space/201101/new-years-resolutions-who-is-failing-whom

2 comments for this entry:
  1. Mulberry

    I love the word NARWHAL. A narwhal is one of the very few animals whose name begins with an “N”. Handy info to know if you’re playing Scattergories or a similar game.

  2. THE PHRASE | Leftovers To Go

    [...] this is the first time you’ve heard THE PHRASE, chances are the Narwhal Factor will kick in and you will start hearing it everywhere you [...]

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