Why do internet trolls have a full-on fascination with fat women? Why do they pretend to care about ‘health’ when all they’re really doing is abusing strangers? Why is it so upsetting for them to see fat people creating awesome online content? And how can trolls access the psychological help they clearly need? Finally, a long-overdue helpline is available for all fatphobe internet bullies! Join me for an epic conversation with Cara Macb, TikTok sensation and CEO of the Overweight Bitches Content Creators Helpline (OBCC). Join us for a HILARIOUS and firey conversation as we deconstruct the psychology of the internet troll. Cara’s sense of humour is razor sharp, her satire is ON POINT and she’s calling BS on the trolls!
(Transcript begins after the general show introduction)
Louise: Now, look, I am so excited to bring you this conversation. So a few months ago I was scrolling through Instagram as you do. And I came across this incredibly funny recording from a British comedian called at the time, then Nanny Macb who’s now Cara MacB, but she had done this satirical helpline for internet trolls. And I just could not stop laughing. I’m just going to play you a little clip right now.
Cara, Youtube Video: “Hello. You’re through to the OBCC Overweight Bitches Content Creators helpline. How may I help? Someone on TikTok displaying signs of happiness, despite having a larger body again. I see. Well, let’s have a look. So, you say you signed up to a patriarchal beauty ideals plan, are you still happy with that? It’s just that lots of people have upgraded because they found that plan quite constricting, between you and me. The company likes to move those goalposts a lot, so it is hard to keep up. You’re happy with your existing plan and the daily misery it causes? Fair enough.
Oh, you’d like everyone else to move back on to the old plan so they can be miserable too, to help you feel better. Have you tried giving less of a shit about what others do? Tried a bit of trolling to make yourself feel better? Yeah, but it doesn’t work. Okay. Well, we’re here it you want to upgrade, love. Anytime.”
Louise Adams: As soon as I watched that after I finished laughing, I basically contacted Cara to say, please come on this podcast and explain because you are too incredibly funny.
There’s the satire was on point. I mean, the idea of a helpline for people who are trolling fat people on the internet is just it’s gold. It’s absolutely. So, I am really looking forward to this, uh, sharing this conversation with you. She’s a British Tik TOK star. She’s a comedian, she’s an antidiet Crusader.
And of course, she’s now known as Cara underscore B, but we just had the most terrific conversation, which we are really deconstructing those trolls. And it’s hilarious. And we also hear about how Cara came to this place. To be so incredibly awesome around all of this. So, I’m very excited and, and now you’re going to have fun with this one.
So, without further ado, I give you me, Cara. Cara, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for coming.
Cara: Thank you for having me.
Louise Adams: All the way from London lockdown. So, tell me what is firing you up?
Cara: Well, mostly internet trolls who are…oh, myself being a fat person, the ones that bug me the most are the ones that are coming after larger people. For no reason whatsoever, it seems or they, well, they create their reasons, but I don’t ever think any of them are justified.
Louise Adams: I could not agree more. I’ve even… I think a little while ago, one of my friends here in Australia, who’s a fat activist came on the show to talk about internet trolling and just how intense it is, and if you are in a larger body doing anything in the public eye, it’s like fair game. And like he said, there’s no reason that can justify, like when we say trolling, it’s just bullying.
Cara: Yeah, absolutely. And the problem is half the time as well that they will say… they’ll start off with a main comment. And then if you try and challenge them on it, or even try and be a bit funny, which is my go-to, they backtrack and say, “well, I’m just concerned about health”. Well, how, if you’re concerned about people, coming in with a really nasty comment is not, is not going to change anything, is it? And you know that, yeah. You know, it’s such a lie to say, “well, you know, I care about people”. No, you don’t. You just want to bully and that’s that.
Louise Adams: Yeah. And on the internet, like it’s, it’s next level. So, what do you on the, on the internet… I’m so old. You’re on TikTok and Instagram. So is that, and I assume Facebook, even though everyone here in Australia is slowly getting kicked off.
Cara: Yeah. I know I was reading about that today, it’s so awful.
Louise Adams: It’s weird. But that, those are your kind of platforms. How long have you been on and doing stuff in comedy or just… because it looks like your platform- your platform that is so awesome- and you cover a lot of topics.
Cara: I do. Yeah. I mean, I’ve been told before that I should try and stick to one thing and, and find my niche, but I find that very difficult. I’m a multifaceted person. There’s a lot going on and…
Louise Adams: we can have many niches.
Cara: Yeah, exactly, exactly. Well, I joined TikTok at the beginning of lockdown last year, 2020. So, that was March. And I didn’t even post for a while cause I, I couldn’t, I I’m, I’m also getting old. I couldn’t figure it out basically so much, but I was enjoying the content, but I was desperate to kind of get involved as well. So, I forced myself to figure it all out and spend time on it. And at first, I sort of started just joining in with the trends that occur on there.
And then I thought I’ve got to start putting out my own stuff cause I’m enjoying being creative and, and you know, performing, I suppose, for want of a better word. I was enjoying doing that again and putting myself out there. So, one night something held me up there’s I mean, obviously I follow a lot of body positive, Health at Every Size creators on there and just… looking at the comments are just horrendous.
Louise Adams: I know.
Cara: Completely disgusting.
Louise Adams: It’s not on at all. Like hats off, and huge shout out to anyone who’s a fat content creator because like its absolute shit, what you have to put up. Not ‘have’ to put up with, but what hate comes from…
Cara: That’s what I was going to say. You have to have a thick skin, but actually you shouldn’t have to have a thick skin. That’s the problem. But, yeah, so I was just, I was completely riled up by it all. And like, as I said, my go-to is just making light of situations with a bit of comedy. And so, yeah, I just, just out of the blue, just tapped something out on the keyboard. Filmed it, did it in one take, put the captions on, posted it before going to bed.
It was ridiculous hour of the night as well, because I tend to stay up late so that I have more time to myself and my kids and everyone’s in bed and it’s quiet.
Louise Adams: I can relate.
Cara: So, I thought, you know, it’s 3:00 AM. Shove that out there. If I wake up in the morning and it’s got no views, I’ll just delete it. It’s fine. And I woke up and it had blown up.
Louise Adams: Wow.
Cara: And then not only that, there were people asking for more. So, I said, well, okay, well, this is… I can continue with this because I’ve got lots to talk about. So, yeah, that’s how it started.
Louise Adams: Okay. And that’s the post that was the overweight bitches content creators.
Louise Adams: Oh my God. And maybe this is why you resonated so strongly with me because like, I got pissed off the diet culture enough to make a podcast, even though I really am an introvert, and it takes energy and anxiety and all kinds of stuff to put it out. But you did the same thing, right? You just got the shits with something.
Louise Adams: And then from the shits came brilliance. Just creative brilliance.
Cara: Thank you for saying… yeah, I really didn’t expect it to do what it did. I really didn’t. But I’m pleased at it did, but yeah, I’m an introvert as well. I’m…you know, that’s one of the, one of the reasons why online stuff is great for me, because I can do my little thing while I’m in my little bubble in my little world and then put it out there. It’s great.
Louise Adams: Yeah. Yeah. But it blew up because it resonated. Like, I do think I love comedy as a way, you know, satire does highlight injustice and I think the British do it better than anyone.
Cara: Lots of people have said that, lots of people have said the accent adds to it just because it gives that extra little sting. The extra bit of sass.
Louise Adams: Yes. Yes. Because you have a… the way you kind of in a motherly tone let these trolls know maybe it’s them? Maybe?
Cara: Yeah, yeah.
Louise Adams: It’s beautiful stuff. So, when you say it blew up, what was that like for you to just be
someone who’s like, literally just learn TikTok and then boom?
Cara: It was bizarre. I mean, I got, I got quite… excuse me. I got quite overwhelmed by it at first because I was kind of… my brain was trying to go, “but why, what is it about this”, you know, and obviously the subject matter is important. And I know lots of people talk about that already. But you know, I just didn’t understand why that particular thing had hit. And I think for me, because I overanalyze everything and I think of…I overthink things and I’m constantly trying to sort of figure everything out. So, I was obsessed with like, what is this winning secret?
Louise Adams: What’s the formula?
Cara: Yeah, exactly. But I think what it was is just, people had never kind of… other than saying, “well go away, you’re not being very nice” or trying to sort of hit these trolls with facts about fat bodies and the fact that like you can be healthy at every size. I don’t think anyone had sort of shone a light on why they behave the way they do, or at least, you know, not in a way that had had resonated before. I think, you know, it’s very easy to say, you’re just being mean, but I mean, maybe it’s because I’ve always worked in childcare. If there’s a bad behavior, I’ve always tried to figure out what’s prompted it. There’s a need there that’s not being met, usually. Yeah.
Louise Adams: What is it about you…?
Cara: Exactly. So that’s why I kind of, you know, was able to kind of deconstruct the troll a bit, I think. And then I think a lot of people were like, that is why they do that. That is it. It is because they’re a bit miserable in that, you know, whatever’s going on or whatever, in their lives.
Louise Adams: Yeah. And it’s like, nothing to do with the health. Like that’s one of them where you’re like, well, if this fat person was to die, are you going to contribute to their funeral costs?
Cara: Yeah. Exactly, exactly.
Louise Adams: It is not about health concern. And we, you know, lots of people say that, and what is it called? It’s called concern trolling.
Cara: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah.
Louise Adams: Highlighting that there is no concern here, but there’s a troubled human.
Cara: Yeah, exactly, exactly. And I’ve got my own experiences to draw it as well, because I’ve been in a thin body. I’ve been in a bigger body than this. I’ve been all over the place. I remember growing up and I was fairly slim for a long time and still feeling that scrutiny on me and my body and because of the behaviors I was modeled growing up, you know, it’s okay to look at the fat person and laugh.
Or it’s okay to look at the person who’s wearing shorts when they’ve got big thighs. Because of all of that, I used to assume that people looked at everybody in that way. Everyone was scrutinizing everyone. And if I saw somebody in a larger body just moving through life, happily carefree, I was confused. I would just look at them and be like, how are you doing this? I don’t understand. And then a lot of the time that confusion would bubble up and its habit to then spit out something, some comment, because that’s what you’ve been modeled. So, it’s like, well, that person shouldn’t be wearing shorts because they’re fat. And so, I had, you know, that’s the other thing as well.
I had my own experiences of being quite mean. I’d like to think I’ve never actually actively gone and hurt somebody, but the thoughts were there. Thoughts of being like, well, “how dare you exist in public as a fat person? That’s not what we’re supposed to be doing. We’re supposed to be torturing ourselves to not be fat, thank you very much. So, yeah, I found it… I try to sort of assume or not assume, but I try to sort of wonder if maybe that sort of thing is going on within the troll as well. “I’ve got to attack you for your choices because they don’t align with mine”.
Louise Adams: I just, like, I don’t understand. Cause like what you’re, I think you’re talking about like internalized weight stigma, these messages that we all get. All of us, thin, fat and in-between, all of us get these messages that in diet culture, it’s always got to be thin and anyone who’s not and isn’t trying needs to be put back in their place and reminded of their, you know non-conformity that you’ve, you’ve obviously examined that and come to a different conclusion, whereas maybe some of the trolls just haven’t. Maybe.
Cara: Yeah, I was, I was talking to somebody last night actually about diet culture and how, because we grow up with it, it’s just one of those things that just is, it’s there. So, we don’t think to question it. No, that’s just life. And so, when you see somebody who has questioned it and maybe stuck two fingers up, instead of fuck that I’m not doing it, it is, it’s jarring.
You just don’t, you just don’t get it. And then you’re kind of angry because you’re watching them live their best life without this burden that you don’t even really know. You have, you know, it’s there, but you don’t know how to label it or what to do with it. And you’re watching somebody move through life without that burden.
And there’s an anger, there’s a jealousy there. And then it’s like, “no, no, hold on. I’m going to make sure you come back into this box. I’m going to make sure I tell you that you’re wrong. You’ve got to be back over here in the box conforming with me”. That’s what I think it is sometimes for some people.
Louise Adams: That’s a really awesome understanding of it. And that sort of, now I can see how you got the idea of the helpline. Like, there is literally help out there if you’re a troll.
Louise Adams: Come to nanny and you will explain these things. But I always wonder, you know, cause there’s a level of misogyny that you can’t ignore in all of this trolling behavior that it’s about men controlling often women or, you know, anything different as well too, to just the male, female binary. But what do you think of that, that kind of controlling element with trolls?
Cara: I did. I think I did do… one of the OBCC helplines was about this. It was basically saying, “are you really mad at fat people? Or is it just that if you see women existing without a care for continuing to look as thin as possible or to match whatever beauty ideal does your is going on, are you worried that you’ll be less able to use that as a form of control?”
I mean, I’ve seen it all the time with friends and family being in relationships. It’s like, “Oh, well, you know, so-and-so said I should be watching my weight”. Or, you know, “so-and-so said I shouldn’t order dessert”. I just think, why? Fuck these guys, what are they doing? How dare they, meanwhile, they’re off out doing whatever the fuck they want.
Louise Adams: Yeah, having twelve beers.
Cara: And I remember saying to them, “it’s not about your weight. They just want to control you. That’s what it is”, which obviously didn’t go down very well. I did try and be a little more compassionate than that, but yeah, and that’s exactly what it is, you know, there’s, it’s the same thing. It’s like control, concern trolling within a relationship, men trying to, you know, find a reason to put women down and that they can keep them feeling not as worthy as they are in order to keep them by their side because not many men are worthy of the presence of a woman in my opinion.
Louise Adams: I am just like having a quiet standing ovation here. Thank you. Absolutely true. And you know, it’s poignant tonight, you know, in Australia it’s the 12-month anniversary of the murder of a woman and her three kids by her violent ex-husband who had been controlling her for years. And it’s just such a dreadful story. So traumatic. And what is coming from that is this push to recognize coercive control as abuse and violence. It’s staggering to think where in 2021 and you know, there’s basic recognition of how men control women is. It’s not legislated, it’s not recognized. Kind of like, yeah, it’s mistaken for, “Oh, I’m just concerned about your health.”
Cara: yeah. It’s awful. I was talking on my Instagram the other day, actually about how as women we’re conditions to always put other people’s feelings before our own. And that includes our comfort. We’ll question ourselves and we will dismiss bad behaviors from other people in order to make everyone comfortable.
And aside from putting our own comfort aside, we’re also conditioned, I think, to be the caregivers for everyone. So, when something happens, if somebody treats you badly, it’s like, well, what’s the fallout for everyone. It’s not just me. It’s my family. It’s their family. And so, I think things like that are what keep people in abusive situations because we’re busy worrying about everybody involved.
Not it’s not just between the two people.
Louise Adams: Hmm. Everyone except ourselves.
Cara: Yeah, exactly. Whereas men are not conditioned. They can just move through life and you know, brothers can move away from home and never be responsible for the parents. Whereas women are the ones that are more obligated to stay and keep the families together and stuff.
And I think in general, that allows…and a lot of men play on that. They know what’s going on. They know they can abuse are our kindness and our compassion and our just willingness to keep the peace, whereas they can just run like a bull through a china shop and not care. Somebody else is going to pick up the pieces.
Louise Adams: Yeah. Look, I mean, it’s, everything you’re saying is so true and it’s important to raise awareness of it, which is why, you know…you through the power of humor and satire are rising awareness. That’s why you blew up because now’s the time. I think a lot of people are waking up and recognizing that control is in a lot of unexpected places.
Cara: Yeah. Yeah. Hundred percent.
Louise Adams: And pushing back. And I absolutely love what’s happening. Like the whole world of body positivity and Health at Every Size and just the right representation of diversity and respect for diversity. It’s accompanied by a big push back. Because, you know, when your position of power is threatened, you’re gonna, you’re going to up the volume on the trolling.
Cara: There was a personal trainer who’s got quite a large following on Instagram, recently, ranting again about fat people and…
Louise Adams: Which one?
Cara: Oh, his name is James something.
Louise Adams: Yes, I think I’ve done a podcast…I think I know the one you’re talking about.
Cara: Yeah. And he was, he was ranting again. And I just thought, dude, your business is not in danger. Like, what are you doing here? You’ve got plenty of people who do take fitness seriously. You don’t have to come after fat people. And you know what, if you are worried about, you know, your income and your industry and everything else, you know what, if you are kinder to people in larger bodies…because people in larger bodies, don’t just reject health. You know, there are people who still have fitness goals and things like that. If you want to include those people, all you’d ever do is increase your market. You know, shutting down fat people, you are not protecting something. You will just be alienating a bunch of people that you could include in what you’re doing.
Louise Adams: You’re becoming a dinosaur. Yeah, exactly. You’ e kind of ensuring your own extinction. Yeah. Like clothing shops that don’t have full ranges, like most of them. Yeah, again, that absolutely confused as me. Why people would say… like our one of the major fitness brands here in Australia is always criticized because it doesn’t, it stops at like the average Australian women’s size. It stops. That’s the highest and famously they were saying “look, there’s no market”. Oh, have you checked the stats on human females? It’s kind of weird to say, like, people don’t exist when like clearly, they do.
Cara: Okay. And the average, the average size has been increasing steadily over the years. And yet the clothes have not moved to cater to what is now probably the majority of people.
Louise Adams: It is, it’s so weird. And yet, like somehow, we’re all clothed.
Cara: We had, I think it was, it was a major sports brand who bought out a specifically specific plus size range. And it got splashed all over Twitter and the media and people were saying, “well, if you, if you get that people, clothes to wear at the gym, you’re promoting obesity”. How does that make sense? You’re telling us fat people to not go to the gym, then that’s what it comes back to. People just want to believe, they want to have…that number of people that they can feel that will make them feel better about themselves. They have to have people below them.
Louise Adams: Yeah. Let’s keep everything narrow. Let’s keep the unrealistic ideal and let’s keep excluding, let’s keep it like that because that’s what I’m comfortable with. And that’s like, that’s not gonna threaten my power. And it is like a giant school yard. And you mentioned that you’re in childcare. So, is that… are you a childcare worker? Are you a nanny?
Cara: Yeah, I was a nanny. Yeah. I was a nanny until my last job ended because of COVID so yeah, but I’ve worked in all sorts of settings. I’ve worked in earlier years and schools and yeah, it’s tough. It is really tough because I’m finding with my own kids as well…. well, my son’s school age, but all the work we’ve done at home with him on, you know, about accepting all different shapes and sizes and colours of people. And then he goes to school and one kid says something and it’s, you know, kids, they will much rather take the word of their mates and even their teachers than they would mum and dad or, you know, whatever at home. So that’s been hard to fight against, but there was one good incident. Actually, there was a kid at my son’s school who tried to piss them off by saying “your mom is so fat”. My son just went “and?” You didn’t get the significance of the insult. He was just like, “yes, congratulations, your eyeballs work, well done”. And he came home, and he told me, I was like, “so weird that he said that”. I was like…
Louise Adams: Good on your son.
Cara: Something is going in and staying there, which is good, which is good. But yeah, there’s still a lot of, a lot of stuff that kids pick up from their parents that they’re still…
Louise Adams: They still have to go out into the soup of diet culture. It’s funny, isn’t it? Because I raised my kids also to be really body positive and really inclusive. And at around…I can’t remember how old they were, but my oldest child had something like that happen. And their friends said, “Oh gosh, your mom’s like fat”. And my kid goes, “you realize, you said that out loud”.
Cara: That’s so good.
Louise Adams: Yes. And then I think this same year though, we’re in the health classes and they were telling the kids that they had to eat a certain way otherwise they would get fat. My kid comes home and says “but mum, I am fat? So, what do I eat?”
Cara: Exactly. The messaging is horrendous. It’s
Louise Adams: Yes, but you know, it’s, it’s like we can’t stop them going out in the world. Well, unless we’re in lockdown but it’s all these teaching opportunities to identify it as not a problem with your body or of mum’s body, a problem of how the body is being treated.
Louise Adams: Yeah. Yeah. So, I love the fact that you’re on the internet treating the troll like a giant schoolyard. Like come to the principal’s office, let’s have a talk about what you did and what was wrong.
Cara: This is the funny thing, actually, a lot of the times when the trolls comment on those videos, the helpline videos, they ignore everything that I’ve said. And they come there just to tell me again, that I’m fat. I’m like, dude, this video is about you, you realize?
Louise Adams: Yeah. So, you have lot of trolls commenting on the OBCC helpline videos?
Cara: You know what, touch wood, I’ve actually been…I’ve been shocked that I haven’t received as many as I thought I would, but I have a theory about that. I think it’s because I’m funny, at least I think I’m funny.
Louise Adams: You’re very funny.
Cara: I think that intimidates people a bit, I think they probably know they’re going to at least get a bit of sass back, if not completely, you know, slapped down. Do you know what I mean? That’s my theory on it anyway. Cause I mean, I see other people just dancing or, you know, even people just having a chat about something online and someone comes in and mentions their weight. I mean, it’s bollocks.
Louise Adams: But you’re directly challenging that in your videos, you are…and so that’s interesting.
Cara: So, yeah, I don’t get as many. And then the ones that do come, they ignore what I’ve said, and they just talk about the fact that I’m going to die at 40 of a heart attack. So, okay.
Louise Adams: Okay. That’s helpful and nice to know that they have understood this whole thing.
How did you come from…so you talked about like being a many different sizes and many different sorts of stages of recognition of weight stigma? How did you come to kind of Health at Every Size and body positivity?
Cara: So, I was… I’d lost a lot of weight for my wedding. And in doing so… and I should just point out that there was no pressure from my significant other to do that, by the way, that was just me thinking I must be a certain size to fit in a wedding dress.
Louise Adams: Well, that was not just you, that was diet culture kind of identifying that life-stage of, “”Oh, look, you’ve hit the bridal thing. So now it’s time to go on another diet.
Cara: Yeah, well, actually, while we’re, well, we’re slagging off Facebook. The minute I changed my Facebook status to engaged the tailored ads all switched to diet stuff.
Louise Adams: Seriously?
Cara: Yeah. Yeah. And then the day I changed it to married, I got adverts for divorce lawyers.
But, yeah, so, I’d lost a lot of weight for the wedding. And then, because you know, what I’d done was quite drastic as diets usually are it wasn’t long before I started piling it back on and I was getting unhappy with that because I don’t know why, for some reason, in my head that wedding diet, I felt like, well, I’ve smashed it and that’s me done now. I’m free of diets.
Louise Adams: Okay, but that’s what they tell us.
Cara: Exactly. That’s the thing. That’s the lie they sell, you know, just one more, one good one. One way you smashed it with the willpower and then you’re done for life.
Louise Adams: And that’s the dream to save us all.
Cara: Exactly. So, I was putting weight back on. I was desperate to try and get it back off when I was looking at more and more drastic measures and I found one diet that basically led me down a really dangerous rabbit hole, being obsessed with the quality of the food as well. It had to be clean eating.
Louise Adams: Oh, wellness diet.
Cara: Yeah, absolutely. Zero processed food. And it was taking over my life, like going to the supermarket was taking me three hours because I scrutinized every single label. I was shunning fruit because it had too much sugar. And that was the worst thing to me. Well, there were two tipping points. One was, I was at my mother-in-law’s house and she’d made a vegetable soup. And she said, “Oh, do you want some soup?” And I said, “well, what’s in it”. And she laughed at me and she’s like “vegetables”.
And I said, “no, okay. But like, if you put anything else in it”, so she handed me this packet of stock cubes and she said, “well, just that, just stock cubes and vegetables”. So, I read the label of the stock cubes and decided I couldn’t.
Louise Adams: Oh, you poor thing.
Cara: And I was like, afterwards, I thought it can’t be right that on a diet I have to turn down vegetable soup. It doesn’t make sense.
Louise Adams: Yes. There you are, coming to your own rescue.
Cara: I was doing all sorts of weird shit. Like I was cooking a full steak for breakfast because steak was okay somehow.
Louise Adams: That’s it, we get so obsessive though, because we’re so restricted. We will…
Cara: So, and then the other thing was, I was thinking to myself, cause obviously we just got married and we were thinking that kids would be in the future at some point. And I suddenly thought to myself, “Oh my God, what am I going to do when I have a kid and it goes to a birthday party and there’s cake, and my kid’s going to eat this cake and it’s going to get fat”. And that’s the worst possible thing that can happen. So, I actually had the seriously deranged thought that I was going to tell my unborn children that they were allergic to certain foods in order to stop them from eating stuff.
Well, at that point, I just went, what are you doing? Had a serious word is myself. What are you doing? Because obviously working with kids as well, I just thought I can’t deny my kid the joy of having that stuff. It’s going to be so bad for them. So, I’m going to have to lie and tell them there’s a real reason.
Louise Adams: Oh, my goodness.
Cara: I mean, how I talk about it? I can talk about it now, but for a while, once I got out of that mindset, thinking about that because…
Louise Adams: But you know, it’s not your fault because when we’re that restricted and that…it sounds like Orthorexia
Cara: Yeah, that’s what it was.
Louise Adams: That’s the pursuit, not of thinness, but of perfect eating and like your thinking does go almost like culty kind of.
Cara: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I know. I very nearly went down an anti-vax route as well as an offshoot of that.
Louise Adams: Isn’t that interesting. There’s that connection between… And they
Cara: draw you in with that. There’s like, you know, now you’re in this community of people and they draw you in with that whole thing of “look, we know better, okay? We know better than everyone else. We can teach you the way” and you’re already so lost, then you’re kind of like, “okay, Tell me. Take me”.
Louise Adams: You’re lost and you’re nutrient depleted and your brain’s shrunk because you’ve got not enough on board and you’ve already got this distrust of everything processed. Yeah. That’s not fun.
Cara: And you’re tired. And so, it doesn’t take long for somebody to go, “I’ll sweep you up, come over here and I’ll tell you more about, you know, how the whole world has lied to you about everything” and you just, yeah. You start to lap it up. But thankfully I knocked myself on the head and thought “that is not okay, that’s no”.
Louise Adams: That’s amazing, that there was this beacon inside you, that kind of came to your own rescue and your inner bullshit detector went off.
Cara: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Something just said, “enough now, come on”. As then I started…I again, I stood in that diet mentality. Really. I got quite drastic. I was like I’m ditching all diet stuff, throwing out all the books. I’m unfollowing all these accounts on Facebook. And then I found an account that was more promoting of Health at Every Size and talking about how diets are terrible. And I dived headfirst into that and I did the research and everything, and the more I read and the more testimonials I was looking at, from people who said that, you know, “no, this is true. You know, diets are really bad”. I started then to kind of crawl out of that headspace.
Louise Adams: Yeah. How long ago was that?
Cara: That was, it was the year after I was married. So, it was 2013. It was before I got pregnant. Yeah. Because I spent a whole year after the wedding going down that orthorexia rabbit hole.
Louise Adams: Jeez. Yeah. That’s so nice. That you came out of it in that way and that the kind of non-diet, anti-diet approach has been useful for you.
Cara: Yeah. A hundred percent.
Louise Adams: Yeah. Cause it doesn’t, you know, the Health at Every Size, anti-diet stuff, like, it just makes sense on a scientific level, on a social level. On an equality and oppression and social justice level, as well as nutrient wise and, you know, narrowing it down just to those physiological health indicators that your brain came back. You wouldn’t have been able to be this funny if you…
Cara: It’s true. It’s true. Yeah. This is the thing with the Health at Every Size community, you know, they’re just pushing out all of these, you know, the actual science and debunking all these diet myths. And that’s what really helped was like, okay, this is actual proper information, not just get thinner, get thinner, get thinner. This is them taking the time to break everything down and talk about how these things actually do affect your body.
And that, that made me feel like, “Oh, what if”, for the first time it made me feel like some, some institution is actually caring. About how I’m going to feel and how my body is going to feel. And my health rather than get thinner, get thinner, get thinner.
Louise Adams: And try and just ignore how uncomfortable or past mad you’ve gone.
Cara: Yeah, exactly. Don’t worry that you feel like you’re being tortured, like, just forget about that. No pain, no gain. So, yeah.
Louise Adams: Someone who a movement that says actually, pain in the pursuit of weight loss is stupid.
Cara: Yeah. There was just, there was just a huge ‘you matter’ vibe, and that you matter to yourself and to, you know, to the people around you and also the big message that you kind of owe it to yourself and those around you to not have your brain taken over by this stuff.
But the time and energy that I felt like I actually got back once I’d ditched all of that. It was just, it was actually phenomenal.
Louise Adams: Yeah, it’s full on, isn’t it? How like three hours in the supermarket reading labels is like, who has time for that shit?
Louise Adams: Yeah. Christy Harrison calls dieting ‘the life thief’.
Louise Adams: Yeah. It really is. It’s nice to get your life back.
Louise Adams: Was it like, I am assuming if you’re, if that extreme practice of wellness diet. If you stopped that, that your weight would have changed after you stopped dieting.
Cara: What, if I continue to pursue…
Louise Adams: When you stopped dieting that your weight changed.
Cara: Oh, I see. Sorry. Yes. I did. I did gain weight and that was…at first it was, it was scary, but because I’d found a good community of people online who will say,” look, a lot of us go through that stage. And you’re going to be fine”. And then there was also the focus on, “you’ve got to love your body as it is, or at least accept your body at every point you hit, you know, that is your body doing what it needs to do”. And a lot of it for me was, I saw it as recovery in a way, because…it was hard to get my head around at first because I’d already gained weight from my wedding. So, I was already quite big. I kind of felt, “well, my body doesn’t need to gain any more weight. Like that’s not recovery, I’m already big, but yeah. But then again, the Health at Every Size community and the online community I found pulled me out of that. It was like, “no, you can be, you can, you know, be” any size and still need to go through that stage of recovery of just healing your relationship with food”.
And so, yeah, so my weight did change, but then it was, it was only scary for me for a short time, because I’ve come to accept that this is what needs to happen.
Louise Adams: I think that’s really tough for people that, like, that, trying to accept that I actually don’t have control over my body weight. It’s going to do what it’s going to do and what I can focus on is trying to restore that relationship with food and nourish my body and kind of like, you know, stay grounded in the community that are telling you that it’s going to be okay. It would be really hard to do that on your own.
Cara: I agree. I agree. Yeah. That’s why I think online stuff helps so much. Yes.
Louise Adams: Yes. Well, that’s why…and Getting back to you and the overweight bitches content creators. It’s just such a beautiful subject matter. Are you going to continue putting out videos out?
Cara: As long as people want them, I’ll keep making them. Cause I enjoy it and it’s not like I’m short of materials, so…
Louise Adams: Oh, my goodness. And where can people find you?
Cara: I think on TikTok is the same as it…I think it’s nanny_macb, and I think my Instagram handle is exactly the same. Yes.
Louise Adams: You know what, I Googled Nanny McPhee and I’m like, she looks different. But yes, thank you for putting this stuff out there and, you know, may the hotline be flooded and who knows, maybe you’ll heal the world of trolls.
Cara: Maybe, maybe.
Louise Adams: Thank you so much.
Cara: Thank you for having me.
Find Cara on Insta at @Cara_MacB and on TikTok Cara MacB