Quoting Quiverfull: More Fat Shaming From Lori Alexander?

Quoting Quiverfull: More Fat Shaming From Lori Alexander? April 18, 2017

quotingquiverfullby Lori Alexander from The Transformed Wife – Called to Moderation in a Culture of Excess

Editor’s note: The entire post I’m quoting this from is filled with blaming and shaming on everything from alcohol use to internet habits, but I found her return yet again to weight to be telling. Does this not read like someone pissed off with the entire idea that they cannot eat that whole cake themselves? Plus this ‘be skinny but don’t exercise’ is a very bad idea for your health. I’m sure everyone has seen those ladies who are rail thin with zero muscle tone. Our bodies need  a certain amount of physical exercise daily, everyone does regardless of the size of their bodies. Sorry, Ms. Alexander, life is not a ‘one size fits all’ existence.

Don’t listen to this nonsense if you are struggling with your weight. Eat the best you can but don’t beat yourself up with guilt when you blow it. It’s normal to have ups and downs, and eating patterns differ each day. Do what works for you, don’t worry what others, like Lori, think or say.

Moderation should define us! What does moderation even look like since it’s hard to find this quality in a nation that is overweight, gluttons, seekers of pleasure rather than seekers of God, spendthrifts, and entertainment seekers?

If you are tempted to overeat, remind yourself that you are going to be the master over your flesh from now on and it is going to be your slave. You aren’t going to allow it to bully you around anymore. Yes, you can take a couple bites of a rich, chocolate, gooey birthday cake. The cake doesn’t have to have mastery over you since Christ lives within you and you have everything you need for life and godliness. You can choose to have some cut up veggies for a snack instead of chips every time you are hungry. You. can. control. your. appetite!!!

We don’t need to exercise for hours every day. We don’t have to have a perfectly toned body like they show on all of the magazine covers and television shows. Our tummies don’t have to be flat and our arms perfectly toned. It’s okay to grow older and spend more time on things that have eternal value. Let’s become more like Jesus and learn to have a meek and quiet spirit instead, because true beauty comes from within and not our dead and dying flesh.

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders, cultural enforcers and those that seek to keep women submitted to men and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull and Spiritual Abuse honestly and thoughtfully.

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  • paganheart

    I’m starting to think Lori has an eating disorder, or has struggled with one in the past. And once again with the whole “Jesus is the answer to all your problems!” schtick…. people​ with as many mental and emotional problems as Lori need a psychiatrist and a licensed professional therapist a lot more than they need Jesus!

  • megaforte84

    I’m fairly amazed at the stress on appetite being solely a willpower issue in the quoted passage, as if absolutely nothing else is involved… like, oh say, having burned far more calories than you’ve eaten.

    I got a Fitbit last week because a store near us had refurbs at a good discount and I needed a new watch anyway. I started using the calorie tracking thing in part because my spouse is having to keep food logs himself right now and solidarity is a thing. So, we’re at the mall this weekend about to get dinner and I start guilt-tripping myself for really wanting the upsized combo because it’s 1000 calories and I have relatives who talk like Lori… and then I look at my phone and realize I’ve walked 6 miles without noticing because I’ve been walking around town all day and the hunger I’m feeling is an estimated 1500 calorie deficit since midnight. Turns out I was craving the large fries because I needed the calories. Willpower didn’t come into it, and even someone intentionally running a deficit to lose weight shouldn’t be running that DEGREE of deficit.

    And there’s a very good reason the activity tracker on the app associated with said device includes CLEANING as something that counts as reportable exercise. Even before this week, my spouse and I have had to talk about the baggage I picked up as a kid and teen of ‘Man Of The House always gets largest portion’ being an expected thing no matter what other factors are present – like said Man being on a medically-assigned restriction diet, what happens when everyone else has spent the day cleaning but he has a desk job, etc.

    (I also kind of want to yell at the high school gym teacher who griped at us for the
    fact some of our nutrition logs the one week we had to do them for an assignment were going to come back with 3000 to 4000 calories a day on them, when most of us HAD to run between classes and we had marching band members and athletes in the class. 2000 is a base guideline from the FDA for omeone who is fairly minimally active and roughly the population average height, not a divine mandate of what everyone needs to eat to live.)

  • bekabot

    Moderation is…moderation, and the one thing it doesn’t include is saying ‘no’ all the time.

    I’m starting to think Lori has an eating disorder, or has struggled with one in the past.

    I think so too, and the reason I think so is that she says she thinks it’s not-okay to get fat (and thus to get bigger) and she also says (in so many words) that she thinks it’s not-okay to get muscular (and thus to get bigger). The goal with Lori, seemingly, is not to get bigger, and not to get bigger for any reason. Her notion seems to be that it’s all right if you dwindle — which proves you’re focused on Divine things — but you’d better not swell, even with health. This, specifically, is the anorexic attitude…and the anorexic attitude (in women, not men) has had a certain amount of religious currency in the past, though mostly amongst Catholics and not Protestants (though it’s a historical fact that one of Jonathan Edwards’s female groupies starved herself to death for love of him). The idea behind it seems to be that it’s fine if you’re not well so long as your being not-well indicates that you’ve been good. The Protestant version of this sentiment has been secular and novelistic and has revolved around the spectacle of a pure young woman dying before her time.

    …people​ with…mental and emotional problems…need a psychiatrist and a licensed professional therapist a lot more than they need Jesus!

    I’ve never been a staunch fan of either, but I don’t see why you can’t have both (if you want both).

  • Jennny

    ..true beauty comes from within..doesn’t that contradict her other writings about looking beautiful for your lord and master or he’ll cheat on you and it will be ALL YOUR FAULT! And her idea of inner beauty=submission and slavery, no thanks.

  • Nightshade

    ‘Our tummies don’t have to be flat and our arms perfectly toned.’ OK, Lori’s got a point there. If only she had written just that line, and no more!

  • katiehippie

    Has it occurred to her that an 1828 dictionary might have totally different meaning for the same words we use now?

  • Rachel

    I just don’t like the implication that exercise is vanity and therefore a sin.

  • Nightshade

    Neither do I.

  • megaforte84

    There actually is a form of eating disorder that is basically obsession with exercise, along with a one that is obsession with eating only the right things. That section could be an appropriate statement, IF the stress was on ‘every day’ instead of where it seems to be.

  • megaforte84

    It’s the Cannot Ever Win effect in female weight-shaming.

    I was getting the same sort of officially anti-anorexia messaging from relatives in high school at the same time they were telling me I couldn’t wear certain things because of a tummy roll no woman in the family ever manages to get rid of. Meanwhile, classmates were practically ready to launch an intervention over my weight – I graduated lighter than I entered and my body fat percentage was scarily low.

    I’ve been catching crud from relatives since the wedding because they’ll accept that The Freshman Fifteen got me up to a healthy weight but won’t accept that at least half what I gained since I got engaged was from a hormonal change due to surviving past age thirty (while facing some things that make that an actual accomplishment). And Lori would probably join them in it for gaining as much as I have since saying ‘Yes’ and ‘I Will’.

  • yulaffin

    I believe at least one, if not both, of her daughters has struggled with eating disorders because of Lori. She’s a sick, sick woman.

  • Rachel

    That’s why I react so strongly to her language, I struggled not too long ago with an eating disorder and exercise addiction. It was language like hers that had me so convinced that becoming “fat” would mean nobody would love me anymore, and if I was just “disciplined” enough then I wouldn’t gain weight. Discipline, of course, meant eating under 800 calories a day and exercising 1.5-2 hours a day 6 days a week and punishing myself if i didn’t make the day’s goals. I wasn’t exercising out of vanity, I was exercising because culture had me so terrified of not meeting their ideal body standards!

    But this post might be an insight into why she doesn’t pursue physical therapy for her “bad neck.” If exercise is vanity and focusing to much on this “dead and dying flesh,” then why would you exercise, even if it would improve your quality of life?

  • megaforte84

    I’ve never ended up with an actual eating disorder, but I know I’m enough of a rule follower that I’ve had issues in the past when I needed to make slight dietary changes – luckily things degraded fast enough that I could pull myself out of it by recognizing things weren’t normal, although I did freak out a professor once when she realized how often I was checking my weight on a scale in a public bathroom on campus (I was making sure my weight wasn’t crashing as I recovered from one of those incidents).

    I hate the social stress on ‘as much as I weighed when X’ being goal weight – as much as someone weighed before the first baby, as much as someone weighed at marriage, as much as someone weighed when they graduated high school. My mother gained ‘too much’ when she was pregnant with me and kept it on after because she finally got to ‘normal’ weight, but in the eyes of some that’d make her a total diet failure. Same with me and the Freshman Fifteen – got to a ‘normal’ weight, total diet failure for gaining a normal food schedule. My spouse boggles when I tell him some people – like Lori – would claim I defrauded him by gaining a pound since the moment he proposed even though we both knew the uncertainty of the early-thirties-hormonal-shift was about to hit me and was actually slightly overdue, and he met me *mumble* pounds ago just before I gained that Freshman Fifteen and pulled up from 15% body fat. Not even a full-blown eating disorder could get me down that low again, but that’s my ‘high school graduation’ weight some folks would hold up as the gold standard for weight maintenance!

  • bekabot

    Man, I could tell you stories…and the stories go back to the generation before mine. My mother once admitted about this about her age-peers: “Everyone knew Marilyn was beautiful, but none of us wanted to look like her. She was too fat. The woman we wanted to look like was Audrey Hepburn.” So the mess has been cooking (no pun) for decades and decades, and nobody’s immune to it. The most you can do is try not to turn into a nut and make everyone crazy, including yourself. I’m not blaming Lori Anderson in particular, since the same stuff’s at least as prevalent in the secular world, if not more so. What I’m saying is that I don’t notice that she’s any darn help, and I expect the younger women who are looking to her for help on this score (if there are any) aren’t going to come away with much of it.


  • megaforte84

    Worst story so far in my family was the elder who fell and broke something, had the predictable amount of muscle wasting during the lengthy recovery, and even after she was given The Talk by her doctor refused to risk gaining any more back than she had to while under orders to gain at least ten if not twenty pounds,

    This was not her first fall.

    In elderly women especially (thanks to bone density changes), padding from fat is an essential protection in falls. It prevents bone breaks and organ damage. That’s part of why the BMI ‘overweight’ category has better survival stats than the ‘normal’ category – protection from impact injuries after outgrowing the ages where healing is easier.

    She was very lucky none of the next THREE put her in the hospital again.

  • pinkie

    What she really means: you don’t have to have to have a perfectly toned body, as long as you look exactly like I say you should.

  • bekabot

    I can identify. One of my female relatives, a woman I was pretty close to and who acted, in some ways, as my substitute-mom, came down with cancer when I was in my twenties. Eventually it killed her, though she had several remissions first. She was a very stocky, muscular, strong woman, and she was also a fat woman…and however much she hated having cancer and hated the damage it was doing to her body, she was delighted that the disease was (at long last) letting her lose some weight. In fact the disease forced her to lose an s-ton of weight, and she wasn’t unhappy to see any of it go…even though what the weight-loss meant, in the long run, was that she was dying. I was around her when she expressed her happiness about losing the weight, and her happiness was absolutely genuine. It wasn’t that she was happy to be dying; it was just that she was happy to be thinner. Being thinner was so important that it took priority over questions of life and death.

  • Olivia

    In summation, “See how I’m thin? Like not perfect obviously, but I routinely deny myself to stay skinny. I’ve got some flab because who has time to work out? See that? Yeah that is the measure of perfection. Me.”

  • paganheart

    I have no problem if people want both, but I have a big problem when people think Jesus (or faith/religion of any kind) is the only legitimate treatment for mental illness, including eating disorders. It is not, and there is a terrible tendency among people like Lori and others in the CPM/fundie world to disregard the reality of mental illness, pretending it doesn’t exist (or is a product of everything from “rebelliousness” to demon posession) or can be better treated by the church than by professionals.

    This issue is a bit personal for me….as a teenager, I was depressed and anxious to the point that I was cutting myself. My parents, good Southern Baptists that they were, had little use for “shrinks” and instead took me to the pastor of our church for counseling (to be fair to them, it’s doubtful they could have afforded to pay a psychologist at the time.) The pastor told me I needed to pray and read my Bible more — not helpful. I didn’t get the proper treatment I needed until I got to college and could avail myself of free and low-cost mental health services that were available to students, and by then, I had permanent scars, physical and otherwise. My sister was bulimic and went through a similar situation. Both of us sometimes wonder how we survived as long as we did without getting professional help.

    If religious counseling, prayer, Bible reading etc help someone cope with mental and emotional problems, that’s fine, but it is not a substitute for professional care, and far too many people have suffered at the hands of pastors and other religious figures–many of whom may be well-meaning but have no mental health training–trying to treat serious mental and emotional problems with nothing more than “trust in Jesus,” as Lori advises.

    /end rant

  • Saraquill

    Self loathing, much?

  • Aloha

    Feminine, and soft … yet not obese.

    Is perfection so danged difficult for you losers! Just DO IT!!!!!

  • Nightshade

    Exactly! The English language has changed over time. How many words didn’t exist in 1828 because the things they name hadn’t even been invented yet?

  • bekabot

    Got it. Thanks. : – )

  • Rapunzel

    “Moderation should define us!”
    Way to totally avoid moderation in your discussion of . . . moderation . . . okay, that word is starting to sound funny now.

  • zizania

    I can relate. Being diagnosed with diabetes last spring was devastating, but losing nearly 70 pounds felt like a gift (or is that “booby prize”?)

  • “Let’s become more like Jesus and not grow older at all.”
    … kind of cynical, but inescapable when she puts those two statements so close together. And when I read it at Easter time.
    Jesus, the eater and drinker of wine, no less.

  • That was kind of illuminating, in a “has always made sense but now it’s SCIENCE!” way. (SCIENCE! is exaggerated, but basically means “look, measurable numbers!” – thank you for sharing those.)

  • … what’s a Freshman Fifteen, exactly?

    Funnily, I’ve maintained a weight more or less around the high school graduation amount for ten years after (and had had it at least for several years before), without any effort. Which, I think, basically goes to show that effort plays no particular role in it. Especially because I have certainly not maintained the figure; I’m bigger both above and below waist, and, in fact, slightly bigger in the waist as well if I’m not mistaken (which I do know because my graduation year was the year I started sewing for myself). Which means the weight got redistributed somehow, and that may not be a good thing necessarily?

  • megaforte84

    It’s the fear-mongery concept that American female college freshmen automatically gain fifteen pounds. It’s generally ascribed to bad eating, although in my case it was more the fact I finally had time to eat lunch (college schedule my minimum time from class before lunch to class after lunch was about an hour, high school schedule it was thirty minutes maximum with longer lines and I often only had ten minutes to eat) and wasn’t constantly running a one to two meal deficit 24/7.

    Weight distribution is often affected by hormonal changes – a fifteen-year-old woman does not generally speaking store fat the same way a thirty- or forty-year-old would.

  • I see.

    I think it’s more or less that – I have more fat tissue, whereas before I probably had more – not much, but more – muscle mass, what with regular PE classes and playing basketball for a while (badly, but it was regular exercise. 😀 )