Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Well, I had visible results today from my yoga and stretchy exercise bands. The last time DH and I went to the VA and had to walk from the lab to the cafeteria (about 2 blocks), I had to stop 3 times to give my back a break. Today, I walked the whole way without stopping, and I wasn't in severe pain by the time we got there. I know this may not seem like a big accomplishment to some, but for me, it's a measurable improvement. Now, I knew I had improved some because when my son came up on Saturday to put in an outdoor plug-in for our vehicles, I was actually able to walk through Menard's the whole time we were getting the wire and other supplies he needed. That was about 15 minutes worth of walking. Granted, I was using a shopping cart for support part of that time, but I actually walked the whole time. That is just so amazing to me, and makes me more determined to keep up with my routine, and gradually increase it. Since winter is coming up, I'm looking for a used exercise bike so maybe by spring, I'll be ready to ride the bike that's out in the shed (I used to ride a bike all over Spokane when I lived out there from 1972 to 1976, and where I live now, there are actually bike trails, and they go right past our house, YAY!).
And this is all from exercise I'm doing sitting in my chair and on the floor (thank the powers that be that I'm at home, it's not pretty watching me get up off the floor, but at least I can get up off the floor). What I like about this, is that I figured it out with the help I got reading the FA blogs and researching when I found an idea I thought might work. Now, I'm not a doctor, or a nurse, and the only college education I have is in data entry (and that was back in the 80's, how far we've come since then!). So if I can figure this out, why the hell can't doctors and nurse practitioners and other medical personnel come up with similar solutions for fat people? It's not rocket science, and anything that gets you moving and improves your strength has to be worth trying. The yoga dvd cost me less than $20 on amazon, and the exercise bands were less than $20 at Wally World. So for about $40, I'm improving my mobility, which is what that $15,000 WLS was supposed to do, didn't, and in fact, made worse (I'm guessing on what it cost, I don't have a clue since Medicaid paid for it). But then, no one made a huge profit off anything but the WLS, so why am I not surprised that nothing else was suggested?

Monday, October 29, 2007

America's most sedentary cities


It's no secret that Americans have grown accustomed to convenience, where cheap 700-calorie cheeseburgers are only a 10-minute drive away.

But this lifestyle is literally killing us.

That's because our eating habits contribute to our ill health. According to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity is associated with 112,000 deaths each year in the United States, and contributes to an increased risk of contracting chronic illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
What's also to blame? Lack of exercise and sloth.
Let's not get any current statistics here, and we'll keep on using the same old, tired scare tactics because all we have is correlation, no causation, but we'll keep harping on it anyway.
I want to know if the Neilsen data on tv viewing is able to distinguish between households where the tv is on for background noise while housework is being done (or other things) and households where the tv is on and people are actually watching it. Because I know at our house the tv is on from the time DH gets home from work until he goes to bed, but we aren't always watching it (we're cooking dinner, doing dishes, playing with the cats, doing laundry, etc, etc).
I also want to know what they consider exercise. Because if you ask people do you exercise, most of them will not consider their walk to the bus every day as exercise, or climbing the stairs at work, or chasing their kids on the playground, or mowing the yard, or any of the other myriad chores that require energy to keep your house and life running smoothly.
And you can put all the fresh fruits and veggies in all the corner stores in all the neighborhoods you want, but if the residents of those neighborhoods can't afford to buy them, it does them absolutely no good at all. I'm not even going to discuss the use of low-fat anything, to me low-fat means less filling because the fat is replaced with non-nutritious fillers and sugars to make it taste half-way decent.
This is just another way to demonize fat people as lazy gluttons, and I for one am totally sick of it.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Can o' worms, anyone?

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. I'm beginning to wish I had never posted about my WLS experience this last time. I've been following what everyone has been saying on the blogs that are covering it, and it's just blowing my mind that the experiences Heidi and I are having/have had with this are causing so much trouble and in-fighting and all-around bad feelings in FA (probably not all of it, but the part of it that I read and go to when I need inspiration or encouragement, anyway).
All I really wanted to say was that I want to belong to fat acceptance, in spite of the mistakes I've made with diets and WLS, because I want to say I contributed to the movement that pushed doctors to look beyond the fat for the causes of fat people's problems. That pushed society to see all people as worthwhile and treat them with respect and dignity. That was finally able to get the facts out that diets don't work now, haven't worked in the past, and will never work for permanent weight loss and do more damage than good, and had them actually believed. That got the word out that mutilating a perfectly good digestive system is not a cure-all for any/every ailment a fat person has, that it can kill you, will not guarantee permanent weight loss, and will give you tons of complications in the years afterward, and had it actually believed.
Every one of us is a unique individual, with unique experiences. What may work for one of us, may not work for another. What is health for one person may not be health for another. I was told by an anonymous poster on this blog that I should reconsider my definition of healthy since I can't walk a block without being in severe pain. Do mobility issues preclude health? I don't think so, but this poster does, and all the poster could offer was diet, exercise, and physical therapy. *head desk*
I wasn't saying that FA has to affirm Heidi's decision (or my past decision, or anyone else's) to have WLS. I don't think anyone is saying that. FA can be against WLS/WLD, and should be, it's dangerous, doesn't work, and can kill. But until we can get doctors to treat a fat person the same way they would treat a thinner person, and quit shoving WLS/WLD down our throats as the only option one has (or they refuse to treat until weight is lost), what are we to do? If a doctor refuses to look for underlying causes until you lose weight, and your quality of life is severely curtailed, and getting more and more painful, just what in the hell is that person supposed to do? Is a person in that situation supposed to give up and accept that they will have no quality of life, and things are just going to get worse and worse until they die? FFS, I sure as hell hope not. Not many of us can afford to keep shopping for doctors until we find one that is willing to look beyond TEH FAT. Insurance limits you to certain doctors in certain areas, and chances of finding a fat-friendly doctor within those limits are slim and none, and for a lot of us, slim just left town.

HAES/Diabetic husband broadening my food choices

Ya know, I never thought I would say this, but broccoli, celery, onions, and mushrooms are actually pretty tasty. This is pretty damned amazing, coming from someone who has always thought that the only edible veggies were corn, carrots, green beans, spinach, and beets, sometimes lettuce and tomatoes.
But since getting married, and having to learn what I can cook for DH to help keep his BGs under control, I've been researching diabetic sites and lists, and have I ever found some awesome recipes, using veggies I would normally not even think of touching.
Tonight for dinner, I made a chicken/broccoli casserole that was out of this world. It had chicken (of course), broccoli, mushrooms, celery, and onions, topped with a whipping cream/mayonnaise/shredded cheese/garlic blend and then baked. Awesome. I downloaded a pdf file with 300 recipes in it that were especially created by/for diabetics. I will definitely be trying more of them.
The recipe is:
Donald's Awesome Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
Ingredients : 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
8-6 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 cups broccoli cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup thinly sliced onion
4 celery ribs, diced
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
1/2 Cups whipping cream
1/2 Cups mayonnaise
2 Cups shredded cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 13 X 9 inch baking dish.

Heat oil and 2 tbsp of butter in large frying pan over medium-high heat (until butter melts). Add chicken and brown on each side, turning once. Transfer chicken to prepared baking dish, spread broccoli around the chicken.

Melt remaining 2 tbsp of butter in frying pan, add the onions, celery, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent (about 5 minutes). Spread over the chicken and broccoli.

In a small bowl, mix the cream, mayo, cheese, and garlic powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the chicken and vegetables.

Cover tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving. (serves 6)

Nutrition Info Per Serving: Effective carbohydrate: 5.9 grams
Carborhydrates: 8.2 grams
Fiber: 2.3 grams
Protein: 63.7 grams
Fat: 45.9 grams
Calories: 703

I don't worry about the calories, I'm more concerned with carbs and fiber, and this seems to fill the bill for DH and his BGs. We also have enough left over that he can take it to work the next day for lunch, and I can have some for my lunch.
I used shredded cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese, and am thinking about substituting cauliflower for the broccoli next time (or maybe a combination of broccoli/cauliflower). I was totally amazed by how good this tasted and I will be making it, and variations of it, again.
Bon appetit.

A maverick among foes of fat

I don't know where to start with this, so I'm going to leave it up to you readers to check the article out and tell me what you think.
The one thing I will comment on here is that while professor Barbara Hansen doesn't know how to keep people from getting obese, she still thinks calorie restriction is the only solution that works so far. She does say, though, that the only way it will work is to put people behind bars and only feed them a certain number of calories a day.
"It is a physiological disease," Hansen said. "It has a small behavioral component, but most of obesity is physiological. And because it's physiological it is very, very hard to fix with behavioral methods."
Unfortunately, she says, "the message that the press is currently giving patients and humans all over the world is wrong. And that message is this: 'You did it to yourself and only you can fix it.'
"The problem with that is it blames the patient: 'The reason you're obese is because you're not controlling your will.' But your will, in the area of food intake regulation, is physiology.
"I know that there is nothing we could do to the environment that would fix obesity," she insists, including removing fast food from our lives and soft drinks from school vending machines, or adding treadmills in every home or getting rid of cars.
Which is, of course, rather mind-blowing. "If I didn't have the credentials, you would think I'm nuts, wouldn't you?" she jokes.

Actually, no, I don't think she's nuts. Experience has taught me what she's learned in the lab.
And at one particularly well-attended symposium, "Obesity During the Lifecycle and Metabolic Risk: The CARDIA Study 20-year Data," speakers offered evidence that years of drinking sugary soda and fast food increases body-mass index, often to the point of obesity. But the mere mention of the study made Hansen roll her eyes too.
"I know that it is not fast food," she said. "They have no evidence of that -- zero proof. That's what I call politically correct science. Armchair science."

I think we need more people like Barbara Hansen researching the whys of obesity. And we definitely need more press for things like this.
Okay, it was more than one thing I commented on, but I got carried away......

Friday, October 26, 2007

Workstation/treadmill combo to combat obesity in the workplace

Ok, I don't know about anybody else, but I used to do data entry (and I spend quite a bit of time on my computer at home now) and I don't think I could walk and type at the same time. At least not and type accurately or with any speed.
So now they are willing to sacrifice speed and accuracy on work just to have thinner employees? Do they think what they supposedly will save on medical bills and insurance costs will more than cover lost productivity? And $4,000 for a workstation? Sounds a little spendy to me. When I worked for Young America Corp, we had about 400 people doing data entry in-house. I don't think they would have been willing to part with $1,600,000 for workstation/treadmills so we could exercise while we worked. And I think it would have been considered discrimination if they bought them for only the workers they considered fat and no one else.
I want to know how they know that everyone who sits at a desk at work all day long is also sitting in a car/bus/train on the way home, and then doing nothing at home but sitting on their ass in front of the television and/or computer. Shit, I forgot, it's only the fat people who do things like sit on their asses all day long, no matter where they are. And they are still counting on burning more calories = health. When are they going to get a clue?

WLS/Dieting and Fat Acceptance

I have read various things at various times on FA blogs where some think that anyone who has had/is having/is contemplating WLS does not belong in the FA movement. If that is so, then I don't belong here either. I say that because 10 years ago, I had a VBG, which I have said before, and posted in comments on other blogs. Yes, it failed, and yes, I'm still alive and still fat, and still healthy, just like I was before the surgery. Do I have complications from it? I don't know, mainly because I can't afford to see a doctor to have the problems I'm having diagnosed for causes.
Now, 10 years ago, I was in a totally different headspace than I am now. Back then, I didn't know that fat acceptance even existed, let alone what it could mean for a fat woman like me. I had minor mobility problems (yeah, they were minor compared to what I'm going through now). I couldn't walk for more than a couple of blocks without my back cramping up and causing pain. I was still able to sweep and mop floors without having to take a break halfway through, I could vacuum the whole living room without having to stop, and I could do a sink full of dishes without having to sit and take a break till my back quit hurting. I didn't have to use the motorized cart at Wal-Mart to do my shopping. I didn't have any problems getting in and out of the shower, or even being able to stand long enough to take a shower. All of those things are more difficult for me now, after the WLS failed and I gained an additional 40 lbs.
Why did my nurse practitioner recommend the WLS? Not because I was diabetic, or had high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. I didn't have any of those, and still don't. She recommended it because I have arthritis in my right knee, and it's getting worse all the time (degenerative joint disease, and it runs in our family). I did a lot of roller skating when I was a teen and young adult, and every time I fell, I landed on that knee. Did that start the arthritis early? Could be, since I was diagnosed with it at the age of 33 after a particularly nasty fall and had to have fluid drained off the knee. She said that there was no way an orthopedic surgeon would even think of replacing my knee at my then-weight of 350 lbs.
So I took her advice, since I couldn't take the phen-fen anymore (yeah, she had prescribed that too, and it worked, till it was taken off the market). I went through with the WLS, and I can say now, looking back, that it was the worst mistake I ever made. Yeah, I lost 70 lbs in the first few months, but when I followed the surgeon's recommendations to start adding regular food back to my diet and stop relying on the mashed/pureed food, it all went to hell. I couldn't keep anything down, no matter how well I chewed it or how small I cut it up. My stapling came undone, and I started gaining the weight back. But it didn't stop there, I not only gained back the 70 lbs I had lost, I gained an additional 40 lbs. I also gained a side effect that no one told me anything about, and it's one of the reasons I don't eat fast food very often anymore. Lovely side effect, it is. If I eat at McDonald's, or Hardee's, or Burger King (or anywhere even remotely like that), I had better be near a bathroom within an hour of eating, or I will need to take a shower and change clothes (I really don't want to get more graphic than that, it's totally embarrassing for me to say that much).
I didn't want to lose a lot of weight, all I wanted was to go from my then-weight of 350 down to 250, maybe 225. I would still have been fat, but fuck, at least maybe I wouldn't have had so much trouble walking and standing. Now, damn it all, I just wish I was back at that 350 lb mark. At least then I could do a hell of a lot more than I can now. Now, I'm lucky if I can walk half a block before I'm in severe pain. I have to sit down in the middle of vacuuming, sweeping, and doing the dishes. I have to use a motorized cart at Wal-Mart when I shop because there is no way I can walk all the way through the store without severe back pain. And I totally relate to Heidi when she says she can't even wipe her own ass and how that makes her feel (I'm not there yet, but if I gain any more weight, I could be). I can't sleep flat on my back in bed because my back cramps and it hurts to move. I can't keep my right leg straight in bed because then it doesn't want to bend without pain. I had these problems before the WLS, but they've gotten worse since. My nurse practitioner back then didn't want to see if anything else was causing the problems, she was just positive it was my weight, and I was fool enough to believe her. Yeah, when I lost the weight, before I gained it back, I felt better and could move more easily (after I healed), but that short period of time where I felt better and could do more was so not worth what I'm dealing with now.
When I applied for SSDI and had to go see their doctor, he said "Yeah, you're disabled all right. Have you ever thought about WLS?" Told him been there done that, no way is it happening again, it doesn't work, and I'm proof. He said I should try the RNY (a friend of mine in New York City had it done last year, he went from 325 to 265 and he's currently at 290). Yeah, right, I am so not going there. No more WLS for me. I have enough problems from the last one, why the hell would I want to give them another chance to fuck me up even more? But that is my personal decision, based on what has happened to me.
I am not going to pass judgment on people who are considering WLS/WLD because I haven't walked in their shoes. I don't know how bad their lives are, nor do I have any idea what they have to cope with. If I were to be asked if I thought it was a good idea, I would have to say no, just from my own experience. I know diets don't work in the long run, been there done that too many times. I know WLS didn't work for me, and it killed my best friend, so I don't have a lot of faith in it either. However, for some people, this may seem like their only chance to improve their life and they may be willing to deal with all the possible complications and the possibility that they may even die. If their lives are so bad that risking death via WLS seems like a viable option, who am I to tell them no?
Banning people from the FA movement because they are desperate for an improved life is not kind or compassionate. I can understand that it's hard to see how someone who is having WLS could say that they love their body when they are willing to mutilate it. But it's damned hard to love a body that doesn't let you move, that you can't take proper care of, and that causes you pain every hour of every day. Those people can bring a needed perspective to this movement, just by telling us what is happening with them and how they got to the point that WLS seemed to be their only option. Why wasn't something done earlier, before a person got to the point that WLS seemed to be the only way out? What illnesses/diseases weren't diagnosed because all a doctor saw was the fat and refused to look further? What can we do to stop this insanity and get people to realize that fat is not the enemy, it's the blindness and bigotry that says everyone must be thin to be worthwhile?
I know this is not going to be popular with some, but it's the way I feel. I'm working hard to love the body I have, but I can tell you, there are days when I go "Body, I don't like you much today, you hurt and I can't do what I want/need to do, and I'm so tired of this shit." I also have days that are pretty good and I like my body and what I can do, and I'm looking forward to more of them as I get in better shape. But it's not an easy road, and I've made a lot of wrong turns and detours on the way. I'll get there, eventually. But shutting me out, and people like me, because we've made those wrong turns, doesn't advance anything.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Youth say it's possible to live large and look young

Yeah, it's possible to live large and look young if you can afford it. Places like Making It Big, Big on Batik, Love Your Peaches, and The Big, The Bad, and The Beautiful are making clothing to fit fat, younger women, but their prices are way out of my range (and yes, I like some of the younger fashions). Being almost 54, I suppose I shouldn't mind the "matronly" plus-size fashions, but I don't see myself as matronly. I don't feel matronly, I don't think I look matronly, and I certainly don't want to dress that way. So I can relate to younger women who don't want to dress that way either, just because they are fat. I don't know how many times I've seen clothes in stores and thought "I wish that came in my size, I really like it". I've also looked at clothes in those same stores and no way in hell would I be caught dead in some of the clothes they carry.
I also resent the fact that most of the places that are finally carrying clothes to fit fat women are charging so much. I can't afford $80 for a top or $90 for jeans/slacks, let alone $150 or more for a dress. I truly don't understand why those clothes are so expensive. Being a seamstress (and having worked in a garment factory in my youth), I know that patterns and fabric and notions aren't that costly. Once I have paid the $15 that a pattern costs now (damn, I can remember when they were only a couple of bucks), I can use it innumerable times, and make all kinds of changes to it so that it's not the same garment every time I make it. Even good fabrics aren't all that expensive (and when you buy in bulk, wholesale, they're even cheaper, like manufacturers can do), same for notions. So why is a top that costs maybe $15 to make marked up 5 or 6 times that in the store? I don't mind companies making a profit, but they won't make any profit if women can't afford to buy their clothes.
I buy most of my tops from Catherine's, but very seldom do I pay full price. I shop the clearance racks when they have deep discounts (I've gotten $40 tops for less than $10 that way). I can afford to buy more when it's on sale. I'll admit I'm cheap, it hurts to spend $50 on a top that I can maybe wear for a year or two before it's shot. I have tops in my closet that I made 15 years ago and I'm still wearing them, but I don't have any tops I bought ready-made that are more than a couple of years old.
If I make it myself, I can change things like sleeves, necklines, hems, and collars, and details such as embroidery, appliques, or top-stitching. I get to pick the style, the type of fabric, the color of the fabric, and the pattern of the print on the fabric. This gives me something that no one else will ever have in their wardrobe (I hate going somewhere and seeing someone wearing the same top/outfit as I am).
So, while our clothing options are expanding, I do wish they were more affordable for those of us who don't have a lot of money to spend on clothes (I take care of the necessities of books and internet, then the luxuries of food, shelter, and utilities, and last of all are clothes).

Sorry, I just couldn't resist, this is too funny

My aunt sent me this, she rocks (she taught me to do the Twist back when I was 7 and she was 29).
I thought it was time for some fun and light-heartedness for a change. Enjoy (or groan, or both).


1. Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married. The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent.

2. A jumper cable walks into a bar. The bartender says, 'I'll serve you, but don't start anything.'

3. Two peanuts walk into a bar, and one was a salted.

4. A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

5. A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm and says: 'A beer please, and one for the road.'

6. Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: 'Does this taste funny to you?'

7. 'Doc, I can't stop singing 'The Green, Green Grass of Home.'' 'That sounds like Tom Jones Syndrome.' 'Is it common?' Well, 'It's Not

8. Two cows are standing next to each other in a field. Daisy says to Dolly, 'I was artificially inseminated this morning.' 'I don't believe you,' says Dolly. 'It's true, no bull!' exclaims Daisy.

9. An invisible man marries an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.

10. Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bull before.

11. I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn't find any.

12. A man woke up in a hospital after a serious accident. He shouted, 'Doctor, doctor, I can't feel my legs!' The doctor replied, 'I know you can't - I've cut off your arms!'

13. I went to a seafood disco last week...and pulled a mussel.

14. What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh.

15. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says 'Dam!'

16. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it
sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

17. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. 'But why,' they asked, as they moved off. 'Because,' he said, 'I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer.'

18. A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named 'Ahmal.' The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him 'Juan.' Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, 'They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal.'

19. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He
also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him. (Oh, man, this is so bad, it's good. . ) A super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

20. And finally, there was the person who sent twenty different puns to his friends, with the hope that at least ten of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.

Rising food prices to stop obesity epidemic

I saw this article quoted two places, exactly the same wording both times, so the above link is the one I went with. On to the commentary.
Food prices have been going up for years, it's a natural progression of rising costs (higher wages, higher fuel prices, etc). Hell, I'm not that old (born in 1953) and I can remember when gas was 45 cents a gallon, a loaf of bread was a quarter, and a pound of hamburger was 59 cents, and those are all prices back when I was 16 years old. Rising food prices didn't keep me from getting fat (as I got older and was on my own), nor did rising food prices make me get thinner (and that includes the years I was on welfare/SSI and got food stamps and had a child I was raising on my own). Rising food costs aren't going to make anyone thinner, unless it's because they're starving, and I'm sure that's just so healthy. All rising food costs do is hurt the people who don't have enough money for food right now, and that number of people isn't getting any smaller.
When are these idiots going to understand that fat people, on the whole, don't eat any more than thin people? When are they finally going to see that some people are meant to be fat, some are meant to be thin, and some are meant to be somewhere in-between? And that there isn't a whole hell of a lot that can be done to change any of it in any drastic way? You can't make a thin person fat, you can't make a fat person thin, not permanently. If you could, there sure as hell wouldn't be any fat people. Because I'll tell you what, in this fat-phobic society we live in, it's a hell of a lot easier to be thin than it is to be fat, so if there was a magic bullet, a lot of us would jump on it in a heartbeat, just to be able to walk down the street without having it thrown in our faces how unacceptable we are by other people, ads, stores, the media, etc etc etc.
But thin people have their own set of problems, and I'm not making light of that. Because even if you're thin, you still have to meet this ideal of young, toned, taut, tanned, blond beauty. No one, no matter their size, is without some kind of flaw, somewhere, and all these companies are so willing to make beau coup bucks off selling products to improve those "flaws", all the while rubbing our noses in the fact that we aren't perfect and they have just the cure for those imperfections. But every time you fix one supposed imperfection, they will find another, and another, and another, ad nauseum, for you to fix so they can continue to keep you fixated on their useless products. But that's a whole nother rant, for another time.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Apples before meals the new diet?

Okay, eat 125 calories of apple before you eat a meal and you'll eat almost 190 calories less at the meal. Net savings, calorie-wise: a whopping 65 calories. Yep, I'm going to rush right out there and jump on that diet bandwagon, yes sirree.
What the hell is wrong with these asshats? Eat a low-calorie soup, salad, or fruit at the beginning of your meal and you'll eat fewer calories. Since when is a net difference of 65 calories per meal (195 calories a day) going to help you lose weight? Since not all people burn calories at the same rate, this might work for some, but not others. And why the hell are they still concentrating on weight loss? Why can't they concentrate on health, no matter what your size is? Make fresh fruits and veggies more affordable and more easily available and maybe, just maybe, more people will eat them. Make education more equitable, no matter where you live, so that people have a chance to get better jobs with better pay so they can afford a better standard of living. Quit making health a moral imperative, not everyone can have optimum health, there is always some disease or illness out there to which we will be susceptible, for which there is no cure (or if there is a cure, it might not work for everyone), and that is not our fault. It's life, and shit happens that is no one's fault. So quit looking for someone to blame, blame doesn't accomplish anything, and it sure as hell doesn't make anything better for anyone.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bill Clinton Promotes Healthy Living at Mayo Clinic

Clinton was at the Mayo Clinic for his friend Dan Abraham, the founder of Slim-Fast, who came to the clinic for the first time in 1983 with a terrible year-long cough.
"The patient care that you get here saved my life at least three or four times," said Abraham.
The center is named the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center and is for employees of Mayo Clinic. About 150 employees were able to attend the dedication.
The center has high-tech aerobic machines, weights and even a salt water pool. Abraham gave several million dollars to the Mayo Clinic to make the center a reality.
"I looked around and saw all of the wonderful people that were working here but the shape they were in was not inspiring," said Abraham.

Oh yeah, he could tell what kind of shape they were in just by looking at them, so obviously, they need to work out (like working in the medical field isn't labor-intensive for nurses, aides, orderlies, housekeepers, and cooking staff).
The former president talked for about 20 minutes about affordable health care for baby boomers and childhood obesity.
"We had a 9-year-old child in Harlem last year diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, where my office is," said Clinton.

A nine-year-old with type 2 diabetes? Now, I know I read somewhere that growing children have fluctuating blood glucose readings and that doesn't necessarily mean they are type 2 diabetic, but they are being prescribed oral meds and in some cases, insulin, to control their BGs. I wish I could remember where I read it (I thought it was at JunkFood Science, but I just spent the last couple of hours searching the site and couldn't find anything, so maybe I read it somewhere else).
"And if we don't rescue our children from a culture they had no hand in making, which is literally compromising their ability to have good lives, then we won't make it. That's what all these machines mean" he said.

Mr. Clinton, the only thing compromising our children's ability to have good lives is the bullying about being "fat" and the social mentality of "thin is healthy/smart/beautiful/rich, fat is unhealthy/stupid/lazy/ugly" that is being promoted. When we start accepting ourselves and our children as we/they are, no matter our/their size, then we will all be able to live our lives to the best of our abilities without being shamed for being different.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

No longer fat and I can't find a dress I like...boo hoo hoo!

I'm sorry, I don't have too much sympathy for a woman who admits she dieted and exercised like a woman obsessed and now she can't find a dress she likes that fits (and for under $200, no less). All she could find were dresses fit for fat women (they're ugly, jumpers, baby doll, empire, whatever). I wanted a dress for my son's wedding last year, and the least expensive one I could find that would fit me was $450 (I ended up making my outfit for the wedding and got tons of compliments on it, and it cost me less than $60 for pattern, fabric, and notions).
Then she bitches that she had to stand in line for a dressing room to try on dresses that she didn't like much. HELLO! If you don't really like the dress, why the fuck bother to try it on? If I don't like what it looks like on a hanger (style, fabric, pattern, etc) I'm not wasting my time trying it on.
She finally spent $70 on a dress that didn't make her look 20 lbs heavier or like she was pregnant. Whoop-de-fucking-do, must be nice to be able to spend that kind of money on a dress (I'm lucky if I can spend that on a winter coat that I'm going to wear for at least 3 or 4 years).
I'm sorry, it's just that I've waited for years and years for designers and clothing manufacturers to make clothing that fits me, and she has the nerve to bitch that she can't find anything to fit now that she's not fat anymore? Give me a break.
This is one article that I didn't mind reading the comments (most of them took her to task for complaining about fat women having clothing choices). A couple were trolls, but even the trolls were taken to task for their comments.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Fat camp for under-fives in Britain

This article is just so wrong, I'm finding myself speechless link
I mean, people, get a grip here. These kids aren't even school age yet, and you're going to subject them to the fat-phobia they will face once they do start school before they ever get there? And kids this young don't understand making healthy choices about food or what constitutes a moderate amount of exercise. All they're going to hear is that they're fat, they eat too much of the wrong kind of food, and they need to be thinner to be a worthwhile member of society. They're being set up for a lifetime of failure by your standards, and those standards are not even realistic or attainable by the vast majority of children who are still growing. Do you even care that by reducing the body fat of toddlers you can be limiting their growth and intelligence? Do you even care that no one is sure what other problems children who diet at this early an age will have years down the road? Probably not, because all you can think of is your aesthetic of thin is beautiful=healthy, fat is ugly=unhealthy.
Every body is uniquely different. Thin children don't necessarily grow up to be thin adults, and fat children don't necessarily grow up to be fat adults. Some do, some don't, but I can guarantee you that messing with a child's weight trying to lower it is going to set them up to be a fat adult since it's impossible to stay on a restricted calorie diet forever (choosing the 'right' foods usually goes hand-in-hand with restricting calories). And the jury is still out on what the 'right' foods are.
To pile insult on top of injury, this will be recorded by ITV for a series next year.

The Carnegie International Weight Loss Camp, based in Leeds, was the first residential weight-loss centre in Europe. It has helped more than 1,000 teenagers.

On average, the children lost two to four pounds a week and their fitness levels were boosted by a fifth. Even after the course ended, around 75 per cent managed to sustain their weight loss.

Prof. Gately, who is starting the fat camps for toddlers, has been running weight loss camps for teens since 1999. I want to know how many of those teens are still maintaining their weight loss after 8 years, 7 years, 6 years. Bet you won't find those numbers published anywhere (cynicism runs rampant here). Because he was supposedly so successful with teens, he thinks it would be better to stop TEH FAT at an even earlier age. The hubris of these people who think that fat should be eradicated from the face of the earth is astounding.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Conference to examine world obesity

This article is so full of fallacies, I don't have a clue where to start (link)
1800 researchers are gathering in New Orleans this weekend to discuss efforts to treat and contain the worldwide obesity epidemic (what do you want to bet most of them have ties to big pharma and the diet industry, or are out-and-out paid by them?). 300 studies are going to be presented, and I would venture to say that the spin on all of them is to blame the fatties for being fat, and to continue to push weight loss, exercise, drugs, and genetic engineering as the panacea (not to mention shame and abuse because we all know how well all of those things work).
Let's see now, US population is approximately 302 million, and 60 to 64% are overweight (187.25 million) and 60% of those are obese (112.34 million) according to the statistics quoted. I find it hard to believe that the US has the majority of all the obese people in the world (they quote 300 million obese worldwide, so the US has at least 1/3 of them?).
Lifestyle, diet, and lack of exercise are quoted as the main causes of the obesity epidemic (yep, we sit around on our asses all day long stuffing our faces, fer shure fer shure).
Obesity can decrease life span by 5 to 8 years and is linked to increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, arthritis and cancer (and I really want to live that additional 5 to 8 years starving myself and exercising like a hamster on speed, yep yep yep). Not to mention that they haven't been able to prove that obesity actually causes any of those diseases (correlation is not causation, researchers).
An increase in the occurrence of type two diabetes over the past 20 years in the United States is due to the rise in obesity, according to The Obesity Society.
Being overweight is also blamed for doubling the risk of kidney cancer and breast cancer for post-menopausal women.
Death rates in the United States due to bad diet combined with a lack of exercise represent 16.6 percent of all deaths, almost equal to the toll from smoking.

An increase in type 2 diabetes....could that be due to better diagnosis, and more people being tested for it in the last 20 years?
You can blame obesity all you want for doubling the risk of diseases such as kidney cancer and breast cancer, but until you can prove causation, I'm not going to stress about it.
2.4 million people died in 2004 (16.6% of that is 398,000), so I think they are exaggerating how many of those deaths are due to obesity, since that number was revised down to 25,000 by the CDC.
The report urged "new, grand scale changes" across the country to stop the obesity epidemic from undermining the country's productivity.
"US economic competitiveness is hurting as our workforce becomes less healthy and productive. Obesity-related health care costs are draining dollars from the bottom line of businesses," it said.

I've got a new, grand scale change for you. Stop promoting the fat-phobic hysteria and start promoting Health At Every Size and respect everyone for the unique individual that they are, regardless of their size.
Obesity-related health care costs? The majority of those health care costs are caused by repeated weight loss dieting that doesn't work for permanent weight loss, doctors who refuse to look beyond a person's fat to diagnose and treat any illness, and people who can't afford to go the doctor until they are so sick their treatment costs more than it would have if they could have afforded early diagnosis and treatment. Not to mention that a lot of fat people put off going to the doctor because they are tired of being told to lose weight because any illness they have is caused by TEH FAT (yep, weight loss is going to cure that ear infection, it's going to make my arthritis go away, I won't have MS/fibromyalgia/cancer/whatever if I can just lose that extra 100 lbs or whatever it is I'm carting around).

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Addressing obesity in a fat-phobic society

It's time to stop treating obesity as the problem of a lazy individual.

Yes, yes, and yes! This article (title of post is link) needs to read by all those doctors who think that if we just lost weight we'd be healthy and happy and our lives would magically improve. However, I do have a couple of reservations about it.
You would never look at a working class, single mother driving a jalopy with three kids crawling around in the back and say, "Gees, what's her problem? Why can't she drive the Lexus hybrid like me?" You understand that she doesn't have the means, and furthermore, probably doesn't have the peer influence that would make it seem like a viable option.

I really don't think this is a valid comparison (since when did peer influence make any difference in one's weight?). And most mothers don't let their kids crawl around in the backs of their vehicles, they don't need a ticket for no seatbelts/carseats for the kids.
Our judgmental, fat-phobic society seems even more ridiculous when you consider that there is a strong genetic component to weight. We now have ample scientific evidence suggesting that we are each born with a set point within which our metabolism will automatically adjust no matter how many calories we consume. It's like our working class mom could be dedicatedly saving up for that hybrid, but the money just keeps disappearing from her bank account.

Again, not a valid comparison. Most single, working class moms with 3 kids are too busy paying bills, providing food, clothing, and shelter for their kids to have any extra money to bank for that Lexus hybrid. Calorie consumption (and where those calories go) has nothing to do with banking money (and unless you are careless with your banking info, money just doesn't magically disappear from your bank account and you don't notice that it's gone).
Instead of vilifying fat people, this country needs to look long and hard at the roots of our obesity epidemic. While we can't change someone's genetics, we can work to change the institutional disparities that make maintaining a healthy weight difficult for people with less money. Encouraging supermarkets to open up in poor neighborhoods by adjusting zoning laws and creating tax-incentive programs is a start. More funding for public schools in low-income areas would translate into better quality food in the cafeterias and more nutrition and physical education.

Again, saying that being fat is not from laziness, but we need help maintaining a healthy weight? Who decides what is a healthy weight? And since diets don't work to get to that "healthy weight" and stay there, isn't that just a bit difficult to achieve? Supermarkets in poor neighborhoods are a good start, but they don't do much good if the people in those neighborhoods can't afford to buy the fresh produce sold there. Making fresh produce as available and affordable as processed food would be a good goal to go along with those supermarkets, I think. More funding for schools to provide better education would be another desirable goal, since the more and better education a person has, the better their job prospects are, and with that comes the opportunity to make more money, find a better place to live, and just possibly, better health.
It goes on to talk about soul-searching attitudes about fat, and separating the potential health risks of being fat from internalized stigmas about fat (potential health risks, this in spite of all the studies showing that those of us who fall into the "overweight" category live longer than the "normal" and "underweight" categories).
Whether you are a primary care provider, a nurse practitioner, a nutritionist, or a community health advocate, I urge you to treat your next patient like a living, breathing human being with complicated feelings, economic concerns, and cultural affiliations. Weight loss isn't the ultimate goal; economic equality, cultural diversity, wellness and happiness are.

In other words, respect us and don't automatically blame our illnesses/diseases on our fat. There might actually be another cause for it, and that should be looked for before useless WLDing is proposed.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Big Moves dance show

Big Moves proudly presents

LARD the musical ("like grease, but thicker")
October 18-20, 2007 - doors at 7:30, curtain at 8 p.m.
Cambridge Family YMCA Theater, 820 Mass. Ave., Cambridge
General: $15/adv., $20/door VIP: $20/adv., $25/door (if available)

Lily and Patty danced together, skated together, and invented 13 new burger toppings over the summer. They said they'd be friends through thick and thin. Then came senior year and everything changed...

Continuing in its award-winning tradition of producing size-diverse performers in super-size shows, Big Moves is proud to present the world premiere of LARD (like grease, but thicker). Set in the late 1950's and loosely based on a very familiar movie with another cooking substance as the name, LARD brings together upbeat dance moves, tuneful singing, and two best-friends-forever in a challenging, laugh-a-minute musical that will entertain audiences of all ages.

Director's talk before Thursday's preview! Mix-and-mingle opening-night reception!
Fantastic bake-sale table!

Thursday night is pay-what-you-can preview, cash at the door.
Friday night opening reception package: $25/adv. only
All tickets available online at http://www.bigmoves.org OR through your favorite Big Moves dancer!

This is the alternative musical theater event of the season, so be there!

Hospital floor can't take fat patients' weight

This article in the Evening Standard, a UK newspaper (title of post is link to article) just floors me (pun intended). Since when are buildings of any kind built with floors that can't withstand a substantial amount of weight? 30 stone is only 420 lbs, and they are saying the floors in the hospital won't handle that amount of weight? Then they probably aren't moving any heavy diagnostic equipment on any floors but the ground floor (in the UK, the first floor is what we call the 2nd floor, they go ground floor, 1st, 2nd etc, we go 1st (ground), 2nd, etc).
So if a patient weighing 420 lbs or more needs to be in an ICU ward that is not located on the ground floor, are they going to take a chance that the patient may crash through the floor if they put them there? Or are they going to make a make-shift ICU for them on the ground floor and hope they can give quality care in that situation?
If their hospital buildings are so shoddily built that their floors can't handle more than 400 lbs, then I don't think they should be allowed to put any patients on any floor other than the ground floor. After all, what about someone who is close to 400 lbs but needs a wheel chair and oxygen and other equipment? They are going to be over that 420 lb limit, so are they relegated to the ground floor also? This is just another way to blame fat people for the poor quality of care dished out by the medical establishment (I'm coming back to thinking we need the hippy phrase of the 60's, "Down with the establishment!"). You're too fat so we can't put you in the ward you need to be in, you'll have to make do with what we can find for you on the ground floor. You're too fat, we don't have exam gowns that will fit, you'll have to be naked and use a sheet to cover yourself. You're too fat, our gurneys, beds, wheelchairs, etc won't hold you, you'll have to find a hospital that does have equipment that can hold you (there isn't one nearby, oh too bad, so sad for you). And it's all your fault you're too fat, if you would just quit stuffing your face and get up off your fat lazy ass and exercise, you too could be magically thin (no, we don't want to hear about Health at Every Size, no, we don't want to hear that everyone deserves respect no matter what their size is, we just want you ugly, stupid, lazy, gluttonous pigs to die off so we don't have to deal with you because you make us look bad). And why do we make them look bad? Because we aren't dying from being fat, we're dying because they insist on mutilating our bodies to make us thin because all the diets they put us on don't work, we're dying because they refuse to look beyond our fat for the real cause of whatever illness/disease we have, but that's ok because fat people don't contribute much to society anyway, we're just a drain on resources (tell that to all the fat scientists, inventors, authors, politicians [wait, politicians, thin or fat, are a drain, I forgot for a minute], truck drivers, waitresses, nurses, business owners, entrepreneurs, and all the other fat people out there living their lives and supporting themselves, their families, and our economies).

Monday, October 15, 2007

Coming soon: A picture gallery of my life

I emailed my mother a week ago to see if she still had all her photo albums with the pictures of me as a kid. I asked her to send me those pics, copies or originals I don't care, because I don't have any pics of me back then. I also wanted copies of the pics I sent her when I was living in Washington state because I don't have any of them either. She hasn't answered me, but I called my aunt (my dad's sister-in-law) to see if Mom got my email and was going to send me the pics (Mom and I don't talk, haven't for the last nine years). She said yes, Mom is going to send them to me, with my mother's comment that I probably wanted them so my husband could see how pretty I was back then (I also happened to be about 200 lbs lighter in the later photos). Now, I don't know that she was inferring that I'm not pretty now that I'm fat, but that's the way I took it. Why? Because I was never told back then that I was pretty. All I remember hearing is how fat I was and how hard it was to find clothes to fit me (from junior high on I had to shop in the women's department, teen clothing didn't come in a size 16 or 18).
I don't remember a lot from when I was a kid/teen-ager, and most of what I remember is not good (my mother and I have had an adversarial relationship for as long as I can remember). I'm not sure if the lack of memory has to do with the depression I've suffered from most of my life, or if it's because I just don't want to remember it all. I do remember that when I started dating, I couldn't figure out why guys wanted to go out with me (can we say lower-than-a-snake's-belly self-esteem issues here?). I mean, I had guys that were friends, and I could talk to them about all kinds of things (hunting and fishing and cars and life in general), I had friends that were girls, but we weren't close (didn't have much in common, other than we liked boys and horses and roller skating at the local rink). For me, if a guy wanted to go out with me, he wanted sex (and I was so starved for affection that sex was fine with me, at least someone was holding me and pretending they cared about me, even if it was just for that span of time). Why did I feel that way? Well, I've thought about this long and hard for the last 20 years, and I've come to the conclusion that it was because I can't remember my mother ever holding me as a kid or telling me she loved me. I remember being yelled at, hit, and told to leave her alone, she didn't want to hear my problems, she had to listen to the bitches at work all day and didn't want to listen to my shit when she got home. It took me 10 years of therapy, off and on, and being on Prozac for all that time, before I even began to get a handle on why I thought I was such a rotten person (my mother had been after me for years to get therapy, and when I did, and talked to her about what I had learned, all she could say was "What the hell does that therapist know?" because I was told I was abused as a child and she didn't want to hear that). To this day, she thinks I deserved everything she did to me, which is the major reason I don't talk to her anymore.
The last time I talked to her was when my son and his girlfriend (now his wife) took my grandson to Illinois to see her and my dad and we took pictures of my new granddaughter (my grandson's mother is my son's ex-g/f). I had a good job and a nice car, and all my mother could say to me was "It's about time you got off your fat ass and went to work." She looked at the pictures of my granddaughter and said in front of my son's g/f (who was my g/d's mother) that there was no way that kid was my son's (and if you look at pictures of my g/d now that she's 9, she looks like me at that age, and she looks like her half-brother who is the spitting image of his dad). Now, we were trying to make nice with her, but she didn't have one good thing to say to any of us, so I resolved that I was done making nice, I was an adult, and I didn't have to put up with that shit just because she was my mother. So I haven't talked to her since.
Now my husband is saying I should call her and try to make up with her, that I will regret it if I don't before she dies (she's 73 and in fairly good health, as far as I know). So I've been talking with my aunt, who has been trying to help me with this mess. She asked my mom what it would take for her to get past all this crap and start over with me. Mom says she can't put it behind her. I think that if I called her up and said "Mom, you've been right about me all along, I've always been a worthless piece of shit and deserved everything you did to me and I'm sorry I've been such a disappointment to you." she would be perfectly happy to continue to mentally and emotionally abuse me, no starting over and being decent to me (she doesn't think what she's done/doing is abuse).
The email I sent her was just the request for the photos, and telling her about DH's cataract surgery and his up-coming knee surgery, and that we were going to my son's for his and his step-son's birthdays. Nothing controversial, very polite. My aunt told me she printed that email out and showed everyone in the family, saying "See how nice she can be?" Yeah, Mom, I can be nice to you when you aren't riding my ass about shit that's none of your business and when you aren't putting me down for whatever shortcomings you think I have. But I'm being a nasty bitch when I tell you that if you don't have anything nice to say to me, to not say anything, or when you start in on me and I defend myself, I'm being nasty to you. This is why I don't talk to her, this is why I don't want to talk to her. I've had 9 years of peace and quiet and non-abuse from her, and I want to keep it that way. If that means not talking to her, fine with me.
Shit, this started out to be just a post about an upcoming photo gallery of me, and devolved into a rant about my mother. Sorry 'bout that.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

What if it's all been a big fat lie?

This is a long article, and I'm going to comment on parts of it, but most of it makes a lot of sense to me.
If the members of the American medical establishment were to have a collective find-yourself-standing-naked-in-Times-Square-type nightmare, this might be it.
They spend 30 years ridiculing Robert Atkins, author of the phenomenally-best-selling ''Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution'' and ''Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution,'' accusing the Manhattan doctor of quackery and fraud, only to discover that the unrepentant Atkins was right all along. Or maybe it's this: they find that their very own dietary recommendations -- eat less fat and more carbohydrates -- are the cause of the rampaging epidemic of obesity in America. Or, just possibly this: they find out both of the above are true.

The perversity of this alternative hypothesis is that it identifies the cause of obesity as precisely those refined carbohydrates at the base of the famous Food Guide Pyramid -- the pasta, rice and bread -- that we are told should be the staple of our healthy low-fat diet, and then on the sugar or corn syrup in the soft drinks, fruit juices and sports drinks that we have taken to consuming in quantity if for no other reason than that they are fat free and so appear intrinsically healthy. While the low-fat-is-good-health dogma represents reality as we have come to know it, and the government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in research trying to prove its worth, the low-carbohydrate message has been relegated to the realm of unscientific fantasy.

And who is behind the food guide pyramid? Who pays for the research on that pyramid? What foods are cheaper to manufacture and store? What foods make more money for businesses? And who profits from that and the obesity epidemic they have created?
Now, there is a certain junk food company who is touting their junk food as being healthier than other junk food. It's made with whole grain, it's made using less/no trans fat, it has less salt/sugar, it's baked not fried, blah blah blah. Everyone is jumping on the obesity epidemic needs to be stopped bandwagon and they are ignoring the research that tells them they created it and continue to fuel it with their emphasis on whole grains and low-fat this, that, and the other. I'm not saying whole grains are bad for you, they're not. But I am asking "Do we really need to eat five or more servings a day?" Whole grain or not, carbs are carbs (and yeah, for blood sugar purposes, whole grains digest more slowly and don't affect BGs as much) and carbs are stored differently by our bodies than the nutrients we get from meat, fat, fruits, and veggies.
My modified food pyramid would have whole grains at the top, then meat, then dairy and fats, then fruits and veggies at the bottom (and the fruits and veggies would be divided by high and low carb count). From everything I've been reading, and what I've learned in my life, that makes the most sensible way of eating (and it's how my mother cooked, and her mother, and her mother). I got A's in home ec when I planned meals like that. Now, I would probably flunk because the meals I planned sure wouldn't follow the current food pyramid (and I've been healthy all my life, fat and thin).
The alternative hypothesis also comes with an implication that is worth considering for a moment, because it's a whopper, and it may indeed be an obstacle to its acceptance. If the alternative hypothesis is right -- still a big ''if'' -- then it strongly suggests that the ongoing epidemic of obesity in America and elsewhere is not, as we are constantly told, due simply to a collective lack of will power and a failure to exercise. Rather it occurred, as Atkins has been saying (along with Barry Sears, author of ''The Zone''), because the public health authorities told us unwittingly, but with the best of intentions, to eat precisely those foods that would make us fat, and we did. We ate more fat-free carbohydrates, which, in turn, made us hungrier and then heavier. Put simply, if the alternative hypothesis is right, then a low-fat diet is not by definition a healthy diet. In practice, such a diet cannot help being high in carbohydrates, and that can lead to obesity, and perhaps even heart disease. ''For a large percentage of the population, perhaps 30 to 40 percent, low-fat diets are counterproductive,'' says Eleftheria Maratos-Flier, director of obesity research at Harvard's prestigious Joslin Diabetes Center. ''They have the paradoxical effect of making people gain weight.''

And what have fat people who exercise and eat a healthy diet been saying? Granted, it's not scientific, it's anecdotal, but I would think if you get enough anecdotal evidence, it would be worth looking at scientifically and not manipulating the results to say what the food industry, diet industry, and big pharma want it to say (yeah, I know, I'm living in a dream world here, they pay for the studies, so of course the studies are going to say what they want them to).
What's more, the number of misconceptions propagated about the most basic research can be staggering. Researchers will be suitably scientific describing the limitations of their own experiments, and then will cite something as gospel truth because they read it in a magazine. The classic example is the statement heard repeatedly that 95 percent of all dieters never lose weight, and 95 percent of those who do will not keep it off. This will be correctly attributed to the University of Pennsylvania psychiatrist Albert Stunkard, but it will go unmentioned that this statement is based on 100 patients who passed through Stunkard's obesity clinic during the Eisenhower administration.

Ok, now we know where the 95% number came from, and that is a very small original number on which to base dieting statistics. But, if it is false, and people can diet to lose weight and keep it off, why don't Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, NutriSystem, and others tell us what their stats are for people who have lost weight and kept it off more than 5 years? Could it be that those 100 people are more representative of the population as a whole than the 5% who lost weight and kept it off?
Some of the best scientists disagreed with this low-fat logic, suggesting that good science was incompatible with such leaps of faith, but they were effectively ignored. Pete Ahrens, whose Rockefeller University laboratory had done the seminal research on cholesterol metabolism, testified to McGovern's committee that everyone responds differently to low-fat diets. It was not a scientific matter who might benefit and who might be harmed, he said, but ''a betting matter.'' Phil Handler, then president of the National Academy of Sciences, testified in Congress to the same effect in 1980. ''What right,'' Handler asked, ''has the federal government to propose that the American people conduct a vast nutritional experiment, with themselves as subjects, on the strength of so very little evidence that it will do them any good?''

UMMM? Because the government thinks it knows best?
Nonetheless, once the N.I.H. signed off on the low-fat doctrine, societal forces took over. The food industry quickly began producing thousands of reduced-fat food products to meet the new recommendations. Fat was removed from foods like cookies, chips and yogurt. The problem was, it had to be replaced with something as tasty and pleasurable to the palate, which meant some form of sugar, often high-fructose corn syrup. Meanwhile, an entire industry emerged to create fat substitutes, of which Procter & Gamble's olestra was first. And because these reduced-fat meats, cheeses, snacks and cookies had to compete with a few hundred thousand other food products marketed in America, the industry dedicated considerable advertising effort to reinforcing the less-fat-is-good-health message. Helping the cause was what Walter Willett calls the ''huge forces'' of dietitians, health organizations, consumer groups, health reporters and even cookbook writers, all well-intended missionaries of healthful eating.

No shit! Create an obesity epidemic and of course businesses are going to jump on the money-making machine of trying to end it (and end up making it worse, of course, contributing to the obesity epidemic while touting all they are doing to supposedly end it).
Few experts now deny that the low-fat message is radically oversimplified. If nothing else, it effectively ignores the fact that unsaturated fats, like olive oil, are relatively good for you: they tend to elevate your good cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (H.D.L.), and lower your bad cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (L.D.L.), at least in comparison to the effect of carbohydrates. While higher L.D.L. raises your heart-disease risk, higher H.D.L. reduces it.What this means is that even saturated fats -- a k a, the bad fats -- are not nearly as deleterious as you would think. True, they will elevate your bad cholesterol, but they will also elevate your good cholesterol. In other words, it's a virtual wash. As Willett explained to me, you will gain little to no health benefit by giving up milk, butter and cheese and eating bagels instead.

Gee willikers! Who woulda thunk it?

The crucial example of how the low-fat recommendations were oversimplified is shown by the impact -- potentially lethal, in fact -- of low-fat diets on triglycerides, which are the component molecules of fat. By the late 60's, researchers had shown that high triglyceride levels were at least as common in heart-disease patients as high L.D.L. cholesterol, and that eating a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet would, for many people, raise their triglyceride levels, lower their H.D.L. levels and accentuate what Gerry Reaven, an endocrinologist at Stanford University, called Syndrome X. This is a cluster of conditions that can lead to heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
It took Reaven a decade to convince his peers that Syndrome X was a legitimate health concern, in part because to accept its reality is to accept that low-fat diets will increase the risk of heart disease in a third of the population. ''Sometimes we wish it would go away because nobody knows how to deal with it,'' said Robert Silverman, an N.I.H. researcher, at a 1987 N.I.H. conference. ''High protein levels can be bad for the kidneys. High fat is bad for your heart. Now Reaven is saying not to eat high carbohydrates. We have to eat something.''

Yeah, we do have to eat something. How about a balanced diet of meats, fats, grains, fruits, veggies, and dairy? One that doesn't rely on a food pyramid that doesn't have a clue (or care) how it really affects people's health.
There is a lot more information in the article, but you can read it yourself (title of this post is the link to the article).

Shopping carts to tell when you've gone over your calorie limit

WTF! It's not bad enough that we get this shit from strangers in the grocery store, our families, our doctors, advertisements, commercials, etc, now our shopping carts are going to tell us we don't need that much junk food? According to a poll, 1/3 of shoppers want this. Did anyone ask you? No one asked me.
The carts will be fitted with a computer screen and barcode scanner and will be able to give you all of the nutrition information on the package. DUH! I can read, people, I know where the label is located, I can read it myself. I can also do math, so if I was interested in calorie counts, I could keep track of that myself. If I'm not interested in keeping track of how many calories I have purchased and how many of them came from junk food, I sure as hell don't want my shopping cart nagging me.
Just another way to dumb-down people and tell them they don't know what is best for themselves.
Not to mention that I don't want my purchases tracked. It's no one's business what I buy, when I buy it, or how much of it I bought (and you know if it's done by computer, it's just a matter of time before that happens). Sorry I'm so cynical, but experience has done that to me.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Blood pressure and weight predict heart failure

Ramachandran S. Vasan, of Boston University School of Medicine and colleagues studied 3,362 subjects (57 percent women) who attended routine examinations between 1969 and 1994.
The team examined the participants' blood pressure and pulse pressure and BMI measurements. BMI is the ratio of height to weight that is commonly used to determine if someone is over- or under-weight. (Like no one knows what BMI means in this day and age)
These measurements were classified as current; recent (average of all available measurements during the decade); or remote (average of all available measurements obtained 11 to 20 years before the examination).
A total of 518 subjects developed heart failure. The researchers found that recent systolic blood pressure (the higher number in a blood pressure reading), pulse pressure and BMI were all associated with the risk of heart failure. An association was also observed between heart failure and remote systolic blood pressure, pulse pressure and BMI.

518 people out of 3,362 is 15%, over 25 years (and some of the measurements weren't current, some were anywhere from 11 to 20 years old). So, if the measurements in some cases were that old, could they have changed between the time the measurements were taken and those people developed heart failure (if indeed any of them did)? And if the measurements had changed, in what direction had they changed? Did the blood pressure, pulse pressure, and BMI increase, or did they decrease? Did all 3 measurements increase/decrease, or just one or two? What affect did that have on the results? What were the family histories of the people involved in the study? Did hypertension run in their families? Had other family members developed heart failure? Nowhere in this article is any of that covered, and I would say those are all relevant factors that should be taken into consideration.

"The prevention of heart failure should begin early in life, and should include screening for elevated blood pressure and BMI," Vasan told Reuters Health. "Failure to identify or treat such modifiable risk factors in early and mid-adulthood may result in the loss of opportunities to reduce the incidence of heart failure in later life."

Failure to identify or treat such modifiable risk factors? Since when is BMI modifiable? Permanently, I mean? I would think that losing weight, only to gain it back and possibly more, would be worse than not losing it at all, even for those at risk of developing heart failure. Especially since repeated loss and gain of weight usually means muscle mass is lost first (and your heart is a very important muscle), and when weight is regained, it usually isn't muscle that is regained, it's fat. So any muscle you've lost from your heart is not going to be replaced (and wouldn't that lead to heart failure if you have hypertension to begin with?). If I'm wrong, let me know, I want to know if my conclusions are erroneous.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Consumer Safety Alert on Fat Dissolving Injections

I read not too long ago on a blog that someone thought these injections to dissolve fat were safe, but I had read elsewhere that they were not. This article says none of the substances in these injections have been tested, nor have they gone through any FDA clinical trials to determine if the claims made for them are true.

"There is presently not valid research on fat-melting injections that demonstrate reproducible, safe
outcomes. Consumers should not ignore the proliferation of blogs and media that are reporting the
ineffectiveness and the complications experienced by fat-melting injections," added Dr. Dailey.
"There is much more unknown and unproven about these injections than there is proven. This is
not a beauty treatment. This is a medical treatment that involves hundreds of injections into the
body of a compounded mixture of drugs. This mixture is not FDA approved nor has it been formally
tested for predictable results or safety. That alone should steer consumers away from the marketing

"There are many safe, and very effective cosmetic injectable treatments available to consumers
with aging concerns, but fat melting or dissolving injections are presently not among them," added
Dr. Few. "At present liposuction is the only approved, safe and proven method of reducing localized
I would say that any doctor who is telling patients that this is a safe, effective way to get rid of fat is lying out his ass so that he can make a quick buck off the obesity epidemic hysteria. As my mother used to tell me, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
The fact that people are willing to believe that something like this is safe and effective despite the lack of research or FDA approval just shows how pervasive fat-hate is and how far we have to go in advancing fat acceptance. It seems that when it comes to one's fat, critical thinking skills go right out the window. The brainwashing has been going on for so long and is so invidious that people don't think to question each new 'magic bullet' for the eradication of fat.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

A thought for the day (and for a lifetime)

Well, the trip to Minneapolis was good. DH's cataract surgery was a breeze (they thought his would be one of the more difficult ones, probably because of his diabetes and previous eye problems), turned out his was the easiest one done that day.
We had a great time talking and reminiscing with Bob and Robin (he met them when he was in the Navy and then married Robin's sister later on). We talked about all kinds of things, fat acceptance among them.
One of the things that came up was doctor appointments and how we felt when we left. Made me remember my physical in February and how I came home and cried because I thought I weighed 350 (what I weighed at my last physical 9 years ago) and found out I actually weighed 392 lbs. That is so close to 400 and I was devastated. 350 was bad enough, but almost 400? Totally unacceptable (and I didn't know I had gained that 40 lbs, my clothes didn't fit any differently, I was still wearing clothes I had bought when I was 350). DH asked me why I was crying, and when I told him, he said "I don't care if you weigh 600 lbs, I will still love you and want you." One of the many reasons I love this man.
I knew that diets and WLS surgery didn't work, been there done that, but I still found certain weights unacceptable for me (and I was guilty of looking at other fat people, comparing myself to them and saying, well, I'm fatter than that one, but at least I'm not as fat as that one, blah blah blah). I don't see myself as all that fat. I look at pictures of me, and they don't reflect what I see in the mirror (they make me look fatter than I think I am). And after looking at the pictures of fat people (and normal and thin people), it was brought home to me that you can't judge someone's size/weight just by looking at them, so those people I was looking at and saying 'at least I'm not that big', I could have been very wrong. I could have been heavier and just carry my weight differently and the ones who I thought were lighter than me, could have been lighter, could also have been heavier.
Then I found fat acceptance blogs. Man, y'all woke me up to the fact that, even though I am fat, I was buying into the at least I'm not as fat as..... mentality that ranks people's worth according to their size. When I realized that, and recalled how pissed I got when people decided my worth on my size and that I had been doing the same thing to people I thought were bigger than me, I was pissed at me. I took a long, hard look at my attitudes and decided I needed to work on them. Then I decided, ok, I'm learning and hopefully, growing and evolving and improving my attitudes about fat and acceptance, it's time to pass that on to other people. Maybe, just maybe, there is someone out there who has my past attitude, will read this, be moved to read other FA blogs, and come to realize that no one's worth, no matter what their size, should be based on their size, that we all, no matter our size or lack of it, are human beings worthy of respect. But, if I don't put it out there that I had those attitudes, and realized I was wrong, then I don't think it's going to convince anyone else with those attitudes (no matter their size) that they are wrong and can change too.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Going out of town for a few days

I won't be posting for a few days. DH has an appointment at the VA in Minneapolis to have a cataract removed, and has to be there for 3 days (first day to measure for the replacement lens, 2nd day is actual removal of cataract, and 3rd day is check-up). Then we're headed to Faribault to my son's house for his birthday (and my step-grandson's, son will be 32 [damn, that makes me feel old, and I'm not], step-gs will be 14). So I'm going to be without computer access (I'll be having major withdrawal symptoms by the time we get home Saturday evening). Y'all have a good rest of the week and weekend.

Obesity driving rising US health costs

"The United States spends twice as much as European countries on health care," noted lead researcher Kenneth Thorpe, chairman of the department of health policy and management at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta. "Seventy-five percent of what we spend in this country is associated with patients that have one or more chronic conditions and most of the growth is due to obesity." More hysteria about fat causing disease.

"We have got to find more effective means to reduce, and at the worst, stabilize this persistent rise in obesity among adults and kids in this country," he said. Good luck, they haven't found a way to do that yet.

They report that about 17 percent of European adults are obese, compared with around a third of American adults. In addition, 53 percent of adult Americans are either former or current smokers, compared with 43 percent of those in Europe. American adults were also more likely than Europeans to have heart disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease -- all associated with obesity and/or smoking. Smoking, maybe (never heard of smoking causing diabetes, but maybe they mean all the others are caused by smoking and fat, and diabetes alone is caused by fat). Yeah, right, I don't think so people.

If the prevalence of obesity could be reduced (and along with it, chronic disease), Thorpe's team estimates that health spending could be cut by $100 billion to $150 billion per year, trimming up to 18.7 percent off the nation's total health-care budget.
Thorpe believes the only way to get health-care costs under control is to find ways to reduce obesity. "There is a lack of an effective primary-care system in this country," he said. "We have to manage patients with chronic conditions more effectively, and we have got to find a way to prevent this rise in obesity." As I said before, Good Luck finding a way to get rid of fat. How many WLDs have been tried, how many pills have been created, and how many of them have worked permanently? Hmmmmm?

"I'm not sure obesity is a medical condition that lends itself to medical treatment," said Greg Scandlen, the founder of Consumers for Health Care Choices, a health-care lobbying group. "Certainly, it does suggest the need for more exercise and better diets, but that is a grandmother's advice. Do we need highly trained and expensive professionals telling people what grandmothers have told them for free for generations?" He's not sure it's a medical condition that lends itself to medical treatment? Then why do doctors push pills, and diets, and WLS? Those are all medical treatments, and we've seen how well they work to permanently get rid of TEH FAT.

I have a message for doctors: You are not GOD! Yes, you have a responsibility to relieve pain and suffering, but that does NOT give you the right to decide who is healthy and who is not. It does NOT give you the right to push medical treatments that have proved to be ineffective for 90% of the fat people you treat and in some cases, make those people sicker than they were before you treated them. Remember your oath: First, do NO harm. You had better realize that standards were never meant to be applied to human beings. Standards are fine for quality control in manufacturing, but people are too complex and diverse for anyone to demand that all people can meet one standard of health. Health is NOT one-size-fits-all, health is specific to each individual, and that individual has the right to decide his/her own level of health. It is not a moral imperative to be reached.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Learning about diabetes

This is not going to be a post about something I've read, it's about what I'm doing to help my husband learn to control his diabetes. First, a little background. We've only been married since December of 2006, I don't have a clue what his ex-wife did to help him, other than she used to set up his pills every other week in his pill-keeper/scheduler thingy. I do know that after she left him, he ate a lot of tv dinners and cereal, and I know that his BGs are not under control. Getting him to test on a consistent basis is like pulling teeth.
Now, since I'm not diabetic, most of what I know about it is what little I've read in passing. He was diagnosed with diabetes when he got his separation physical from the Navy 13 years ago (and who knows how long he had really been diabetic before that and just undiagnosed, he was in the Navy for 20 years and I don't have a clue how often they do complete physicals with blood work-ups, etc). His parents were both diabetic, and a couple of his brothers are too.
He sees a doctor at the VA hospital in St Cloud, and at his last physical check-up, she told him he needed to lose weight (he's 5' 10" and 252 lbs, has been that weight, within a pound or 2 for the last 5 years). He weighed 220 when he go out of the Navy (at 38), so he gained 30 lbs in the first 8 years after retiring (to age 46), and hasn't gained any in the last 5 years (now 51). She spouted the calories in/calories out thing (I had to bite my tongue on that one), told him she was setting him up with an appointment with a case manager (I'm assuming this is a nutritionist) to get his BGs under control (they range anywhere from 100 to 250, depending on what he's eaten and when he tests). She didn't say what his A1C was (I think that's what it is), just that it needed to reach at least 7, so it probably was higher than that.
So, I have been doing some research online (and that's where my reading fat acceptance blogs has been such a help, thanks guys, you've given me some ideas of where to look and how to decide if what I'm finding is credible). Basically, I've figured out that he doesn't need to lose weight to get his blood sugar under control, what he needs to do is change what he eats (less starch and simple carbohydrates and sugar) and test more often to see how that affects his blood sugar. If it was up to him, he would eat meat, rice, corn, green beans, and potatoes, with chips, snack cakes, cookies, popcorn and mixed nuts thrown in for snacking after supper and before bed. When he works, he takes sandwiches (bread, butter, lunch meat), chips, and cereal bars for his lunch (he did before we got married, now he takes left-overs from supper the night before, and I'm trying to make those meals better for him).
I got a book that was recommended, The First Year: Type 2 Diabetes and am reading that. I've been looking at diabetes websites, and researching carb counts, glycemic index, etc. So I am talking to him, finding out what's on the list of recommended foods that he likes, and adding those to our grocery list. I'm cutting back on the things that will spike his blood sugar (I won't cut them out altogether, but there are less of them in the house) and trying to add more low/no carb veggies, more fruits, more complex carbs. Trying to make sense of nutrition labels isn't easy, especially on things like breads and cereals. But from what I've read, and anyone reading this correct me if I'm wrong, the carb count can be average if the fiber content and whole grain content is higher because it takes longer to digest those and therefore they affect blood sugar more slowly (gradual rise and fall instead of spike and crash?).
Now, since we need to make healthier choices, and I've been researching HAES, I think this is a good plan for both of us to follow, but the baby steps are killing me (gradual changes seem to work better as far as he's concerned). When I decide to do something, I usually just do it, but that was when I was single and didn't have to take anyone else's thoughts/feelings into consideration. And having been single from 18 to 53 (as a single parent, I was in charge of what my son ate at home), adapting to being part of a couple is different, to say the least, especially when both of us have health issues (his diabetes, eye complications, and arthritis, my arthritis and mobility issues).
It's funny too, how a person's likes and dislikes change throughout their lifetime. I used to hate broccoli and cauliflower, now, they aren't too bad (I don't think they are delicious, but I can eat them without going ewwwwww). I don't know if I would like asparagus or not, Mike won't eat it, but I might get some, just to see if I like it now. I like spinach (used to eat the canned kind with vinegar all the time, not sure about fresh, might have to check on that too). I love pickled beets, and cucumbers in vinegar. I like vinegar, I think in part because we had it on spinach, beets, and cucumbers when I was a kid, mainly because my dad liked it. He liked it because when he was kid, he got into some lye, and the doctor back then told his mother he needed to drink vinegar to counter-act the lye (at least, that's what Grandma said). Funny how likes and dislikes come about (to this day, I hate breaded tomatoes the way my mom made them: canned tomatoes boiled in a pot, add sugar, tear up bread and add, stir and serve, blechhhh!, slimy, nasty and forced to eat them).