Friday, November 30, 2007

Exercise, obese kids, and insulin resistance/body size

Ok, this is a good article, as far as it goes. I would like to know exactly what kind of structured exercise they used for these kids, did the kids enjoy it, and is it something that could be used in schools for physical education classes? After all, school would be the safest place for kids to be able to get exercise, particularly kids who have a lower socioeconomic level. If this is something that kids would enjoy doing, and would be willing to keep on doing, it might be a worthwhile effort to make it available to all children, no matter what their size or economic status.
The conclusion of the study, that insulin resistance improved and cardiorespiratory fitness improved even though the kids didn't lose any weight, is something that should be shouted from the rooftops, IMHO.
I don't think this will stop all the healthnannies from saying "portion control, low-fat, no sugar, and exercise, exercise, exercise" for kids (or anyone else) will make you thin or keep you thin, but it is a start, to at least say improvement can be made without weight loss.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Well, I am just a little miss posty pants today, making up for the time I missed last week and the beginning of this week, I guess.
Belle of the Blog has a wonderful post today (link) about loving the unlovable. I think this also applies to people who don't appeal to you aesthetically, personality-wise, or any other -wise.
Jumping to conclusions about the love-ability or like-ability of a person based exclusively on how they look means you just might be missing out on knowing a really neat person. I've met a few people that I didn't like at first meeting. Sometimes that was based on looks, sometimes on attitude, sometimes on personality. But, if I took the time to get past that first impression and really pay attention to what the person was like (and get to know them), most of the time, I ended up liking them. I also realized that if I hadn't taken the time to get to know them, I would have missed knowing someone who could add insights I might not otherwise have had, and I would have missed knowing someone who could add, even vicariously, to my world of experiences.
That has taught me to look past the exterior of a person, and value what they really are, deep inside, over looks. I've known people who were considered ugly (not conventionally good-looking), but I thought they were just gorgeous/handsome people and they really appealed to me because they were good, kind, humorous people with a unique way of looking at the world.
And really, how many people do you personally know that have absolutely nothing worthwhile in them at all? Even my mother, who I dislike intensely and wants nothing to do with me, has her good points (I think, I wouldn't know for sure since I haven't talked to her in 9 or 10 years). I guess one of them would be that she loves my Dad (she must, they've been married for 55 years). I love her (after all, she is my mother), but that doesn't mean I have to like her as a person or that I have to deal with her on a daily basis (the fact that I'm in Minnesota and she's in Illinois helps a great deal with that). And I'll tell you what, anyone who can deal with my mother and walk away whole, can deal with anything. Dealing with her for most of my life has helped me realize that people are far from perfect, and we are all products of everything that has happened to us in our lives. Those things are not excuses for us to be asshats ( mother was a bitch to me so I can be a bitch to everyone else, I was abused as a kid so I can go out and abuse others or kill and maim, etc, etc, etc). Those things are opportunities to learn and grow as people, and know that, since it happened to me, it could have happened to others, and maybe I should cut them some slack. It's funny, but people who know me and my mother have told me quite often that they don't know how I turned out as well as I did with the kind of mother I had. I just tell them that I did it to spite her (best revenge is living well when someone expects you to be miserable all your life).
So, go kiss a frog today, you never know what you'll find.

gmail added group chat

Now this is pretty cool, I think. Gmail has added group chat to its line-up (I love my gmail account). I'm thinking that if any of us in the phat-o-sphere would like to get together and chat, this might be the way to go (if you need an invite to gmail, I have quite a few I can send out, ummm, like 50 invites I haven't used). This would allow for chatting without having to download anything, and all chatters would be in one window (like on mIRC, I used to chat there a LOT).
Anyway, this is not something I think we have to do, but if anyone is interested..............

US Obesity Epidemic may have topped out

I don't know if this is good news or not, since the epidemiologist who did the study can't explain why the numbers of obese/overweight people aren't increasing (at least not in statistically significant numbers). Could it be that enough people have seen that dieting doesn't work for friends/family and have decided not to jump on the bandwagon? Could it be that maybe, just maybe, people have finally started to figure out that dieting is a not a permanent cure and have quit? After all, if they quit doing the yo-yo diet thing, they aren't getting any fatter. Could it possibly be that more people are discovering HAES and applying it? Could it be that people have gotten tired of eating over-processed foods and have gone to eating more fruits/veggies/whole foods?
If you read the article, you notice nothing is said about all the interventions to prevent the OMGOBESITYEPIDEMIC being the reason. Could it be that they have finally realized that all their so-called good intention interventions aren't working, and never will work? Hey, maybe people actually know what is best for them and don't need a nanny government telling them what, how, and when to eat/exercise.
Dr. Ogden said that not only has obesity prevalence increased in the past 30 years, but so has the number of extremely obese people. According to NHANES data, people with a BMI greater than 40 were almost nonexistent in 1980. Several percent of the population had passed that threshold in 2005-2006.

Well, I'm glad to know that I didn't exist (or was almost non-existent) in 1980, since my BMI back then was over 40 (and I was 27 years old at the time). People with a BMI over 40 existed, but the OMGOBESITYEPIDEMIC wasn't getting all the hysterical press coverage that it is today, so I don't think anyone actually looked for people with really high BMIs. Because we existed, really, we did.
edited to add:
Sandy Szwarc at JFS has a good analysis of this study at the above link.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Finally, I got my pictures from childhood and on...

Vesta's pics from childhood through 2006
Ok, here are the pics I asked my mother to send me. She didn't send all of the pics she has of me, and most of them don't have dates on them, so I'm guessing at ages on the ones when I was really young. I don't remember a lot about most of them when I was really little.
I do know that looking back at them now, I wasn't fat at all. In fact, I was pretty damned hot until after I got pregnant with my son and gained a lot of weight (and even then, I was still a damned good-looking fat woman). Hell, I don't think I've changed much, looks-wise, in the last 25 years, maybe that's why people have such a hard time believing that I'm 54.
The pictures aren't in any particular order, but they are all dated as well as I can remember. The ones of me in Spokane in 1973-1974 were when I weighed about 175 and wore a size 14 (I don't know what that would be in today's sizes). I got hit by a car in 1972 and went from 235 to 175 in about 3 months (2 weeks in a hospital and 6 weeks in a nursing home with a broken leg and fractured pelvis will do that to ya). The ones of me in 1970-1972 from high school, I weighed 175 and wore a size 18 (can we say I was in better shape in Spokane? Probably from all the walking, bike-riding, and roller skating I did, not to mention the drinking and not eating).
I think I liked having my picture taken when I was really young, but got out of that after I started hearing how fat I was about the time I hit the age of 9 or 10 (I matured early and was wearing a training bra in 3rd grade, oh fun fun fun).
I know this isn't a lot of pictures for 54 years of life, but when you hate the way you look because it's been pounded into your head that you're fat and unlovable, you tend to shy away from the camera any time it's pointed your way. I'm trying to get over that, but I can tell you, it sure as hell ain't easy. This block of photos is helping though. I can look at them and tell myself that I was a cute kid, a good-looking teen, and good-looking as a fat adult, no matter what anyone else thinks. So now, if pictures are going to be taken, I'm not going to run and hide anymore. I want a record of my awesomeness to leave for my grandkids (and so they can see how much like me they look......LOL).

Scary Stats Employers Should Know...Yeah, Right.

Well, we know who's paying this asshat to spout nonsense about fat and health, don't we? Dr James Rippe thinks obesity is a disease, and doctors aren't trained to tell people that their fat is a disease (but they sure as hell can tell us that every problem we have is caused by our fat).
In fact, obesity is listed only on 0.3% of claims submitted by physicians, but it causes 40% to 70% of hypertension cases, over 50% of blood lipid problems, over 80% of Type 2 diabetes and almost 100% of metabolic syndrome cases. Over the past decade, the prevalence of obesity has grown by more than 40%, according to Rippe.

He really doesn't understand the difference between co-relation and causation, does he?
Rippe, who partnered with Weight Watchers to write the book "Weight Loss that Lasts," suggests that implementing a weight management program in the workplace, whether outsourced or done internally, can have a significant and nearly immediate impact on productivity, health care costs and absenteeism.

Now why did I know that a diet company was involved with this? And it stands to reason that they would want employers to get in on forcing employees to follow their diet plan, even though permanent weight loss probably won't happen for the majority. But that's a really good way to get more people buying your product once your former customers get pissed and quit when they realize you're selling them a dream that won't come true.
For this to be recommended by an insurance company is even scarier, because what happens when they pay for this weight loss, and then learn it can't be sustained by the majority, and may have caused more problems than if the people hadn't lost weight to begin with? How many people are going to lose their insurance for non-compliance, when that isn't the problem at all? The problem is that diets don't work for naturally fat people, and making them diet is just setting them up for failure and further discrimination.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I've been tagged

Well, Deniselle at Fatly Yours has tagged me for a "Seven things about me" meme (link). So here goes:

1: I'm an avid bookworm (I have been known to read the back of the cereal box at breakfast, just to have something to read). I have collected books for the last 38 years and ended up giving 10 large boxes of them to my son (he had been after me for years to get them, he's been reading them ever since he learned to read 25 years ago). So he now has 4 bookshelves full of hardback and paperback books, some printed in the 40's.

2: I like all kinds of music, everything from Aerosmith to Rob Zombie, old country to heavy metal to Native American and Celtic.

3: When I was a kid and we went to see my mother's parents, I always knew when we were close because of the way it smelled (hard to describe, but it was my grandmother's cooking, the swamp cooler in the kitchen window, the apple orchards and river across the road, and the sagebrush on the hill behind their house).

4: My aunt (my dad's brother's wife) taught me how to do the twist when I was 7 years old (she was 27 at the time). She's still the coolest person I know (how many women, at the age of 75, would be willing to take 5 eighteen-year-old girls shopping at the mall?).

5: I've been told I'm anal, mostly because I like to keep things in order. All of my cds are in alphabetical order by artist, my books are the same way on the shelf, and even my old vinyl records are filed alphabetically by artist (and all are sub-divided by genre, alphabetical within the genre). What can I say, I like to be able to find something right away without having to look through everything I own.

6: I didn't get married until I was 53. My brother told me 30 years ago that I was going to die a lonely old maid because I was such a bitch that no man would ever have me.....LOL I think it was just because I wasn't willing to settle for the first man who proposed to me. I wanted a man who was going to be my friend, my lover, my confidante, and who would love me in spite of/because of all my faults. I found him, and he was well worth the wait.

7: I spent the summer I was pregnant with my son traveling with a carnival. Didn't make a lot of money, but had a lot of fun. Got to see Vancouver, and went to Victoria Island, BC. Was quite an experience, sleeping in the possum bellies of the rides, or on the merry-go-round, eating carnival food, and pooling money for a motel room so we could bathe and sleep in a bed once in a while. Not something I would want to repeat, but at the age of 21, it was fun.

OK, so here are the rules of the game:
1. Link to the person’s blog who tagged you.
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. List seven random and/or weird facts about yourself.
4. Tag seven random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog.

The blogs I'm tagging are: Good With Cheese, Fat-O-Matic, Ottermatic, All About Beauty, She Dances On The Sand, Mshell Lives Here, Fat Lot of Good

And a fun time was had by all, I hope :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What kind of cookie are you?

I have to admit it, I got this idea from Photophobic (and an excellent idea it is). I'm not sure I agree with the outside, but I do like the inside description. :)

You Are a Jam Cookie

On the outside, you project a straight-laced, innocent vibe.
But on the inside, you're complex, exotic, and full of flavor.

Want to see what kind of cookie you are?

Old Sesame Street not appropriate for today's toddlers

I have to admit, I'm an old fart who didn't watch Sesame Street when I was a toddler (since I was almost 16 in 1969 when this show first aired). But my son watched it when he was a toddler in the late 70's. It certainly didn't do him any harm (Cookie Monster did not turn my son into a fat cookie addict, who'd a thunk it?). In fact, I would certainly credit SS with having given my son a jump on his letters and numbers before he started school, and doing it in an entertaining way. Granted, we lived in a small town, and he saw farm animals anytime we drove from our town to another one for shopping, etc. But SS also showed him that there were people of colors other than white in the world (the town we lived in was pretty much white, nothing else) and that they were just like him. He didn't need to see Oscar the Grouch to know about grouchy people, he knew about them from real life, but Oscar did teach him how to deal with them.
I will admit that by the time my son was watching SS, he already knew the dangers of being approached by strangers and that going off with them could be dangerous (talk about innocence lost *sigh*). He was a happy, healthy, active, inquisitive child, and watching the old SS certainly didn't do him any harm.
My grandchildren, on the other hand, watched Barney (never could understand why they liked him) and Bananas in Pajamas (now that one was cool, even I could see why they liked it). They also watched Teletubbies, which was sorta kinda maybe kewl, from an adult viewpoint, anyway. The point is, they watched those programs, and while they have out-grown them now (the youngest of my son's kids is 9), they don't seem to have done any harm, despite what the oh-so-politically-correct know-it-alls would have me believe.
Yes, what your children see on tv can affect them, but only to the extent that parents let it affect their children. Trying to make children's television "healthy" by making it about "good" food over "bad" food and exercise over reading, all that is accomplished is creating generations of neurotic people who don't know how to trust their own bodies to tell them what is good for them. This does not let parents take responsibility for teaching their children, it dumps the responsibility for so-called "good" habits on the child. If the child doesn't eat this "healthy" food or do this amount of exercise, s/he is not a good kid. That message does much more harm than good, IMHO.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Heart disease kills more women under 45

Good grief! First they're saying obesity is the biggest killer, now it's heart disease (and of course, that is caused by obesity and diabetes). They don't quote actual numbers from the study so we can see if the results they're trumpeting are in fact significant (and you notice, it's only women that have an increased risk of dying from it, not men).
It can take many years for arteries to get dangerously blocked. About 93 percent of deaths occur in people 55 and older.
But a combination of factors — including genetics, obesity and high cholesterol — are sometimes fatal for younger adults. In 2002, about 25,000 men and 8,000 women ages 35 to 54 died of coronary heart disease.

Now, they are saying that nearly 500,000 people died of coronary heart disease every year. 93% are people older than 55. So 7%, or 35,000 people, are under 55. How many of those are under 45? They don't say, just that 33,000 (25,000 men + 8,000 women) are aged 35 to 54, no idea how many of the 8,000 women are 34 to 45. The percentage of women aged 34 to 55 who die of CHD is almost 23%, according to their figures, but:
When they compared age groups, they detected the worrisome difference. The study found the death rate for women ages 35 to 44 rose from 1997 to 2002, when the rate was 8.2 per 100,000 women, the highest it's been since 1987.
I want to know how 8.2 deaths per 100,000 equals 23% (even if you say half of the 8,000 women are 35 -44, that's still 11.5%). Am I missing something here, or are their statistics being manipulated to scare the hell out of women, again?
The rates for men age 35 to 44 were relatively stable in the last few years of the study period. The rate was 26 deaths per 100,000 men in that age group in 2002.
The fact the male rate didn't worsen may indicate doctors are more likely to suspect heart disease in men that age than in women, said the CDC's Dr. Earl Ford, a study co-author.

Could it be that they suspect heart disease in men and not women because the signs of heart disease in women are chalked up to the fact that we're fat and if we would just lose some fucking weight, all our ills would magically be cured?
And this is the kicker for me:
For all ages, the female death rate fell to 261 from 514 per 100,000; the male rate fell to 430 from 898 per 100,000.

For all ages of women, the rate was almost cut in half, but more women are dying at younger ages. All ages of women dying from CHD is 261 in 100,000; women 34 - 45 is 8.2 in 100,000. So 3% of all women who die from CHD are in the younger age group. 3% doesn't seem like a large number, especially when they aren't giving us the number of women who died of CHD in earlier years for a comparison.
I really, really hate when they do shit like this. Give us part of the information, the part that will scare us into compliance with their lose weight/get thin/get healthy or die mantra, even though they know it's not an attainable, sustainable goal for the majority of us. Is it any wonder that people don't know what to believe anymore? I don't take articles like this with a grain of salt, it's the whole damned salt shaker I need here.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Conclusion to "The Lie" series

All I can do is agree with Kat, she is right on about so much. I've been following her series, and crying every time I see another installment. Crying for all the girls/women who have bought the lies and lost their lives before they had a chance to realize that they had beauty all along, that they were worthwhile human beings who didn't need to change anything.
To quote her:
Sadly, I believe the anorexia pushers will continue to do almost anything to perpetuate this myth of perfect beauty. Why? Because if our girls ever find out just how stunningly perfectly beautiful a simple smile, a passionate interest, a sense of humor, kindness, intelligence, enthusiasm, joy, laughter and confidence makes her, regardless of her size & facial features, the anorexia pushers will go broke!

Exactly!!!! There is just too much money to be made by making women unhappy with the way they look. It doesn't matter how thin/beautiful/rich/famous/whatever a woman is, she will always be told there is something else that needs to be fixed, there is always some little flaw that is keeping her from being perfect. By focusing on those supposed imperfections, women are kept from reaching their full potential in whatever endeavor they attempt.


Fillyjonk's post at Shapely Prose made me stop and think about conversations women have, and what my conversations with other women were/are like.
Ya know, I don't talk to many people outside of family any more (not since I got married and quit working), but even when I'm talking to my daughter-in-law, or my DH's step-son's wife, we don't talk about weight, or diets, or how we hate our bodies. We talk about their kids, the books we've read, how their jobs are going, what kewl movie we've seen, and any neat recipes we may have tried. For me, that's a first, since I've never gotten along with most women well enough to even want to talk about those kinds of things. I was always the girl who was out in the garage with the guys, talking about cars, guns, hunting, fishing, farming, and politics.
I guess I was lucky, when I was working, that most of the women I talked to at work weren't into dieting/weight loss. We talked about work, our kids, our parents, shows we'd seen on tv, movies we'd seen, repairs we'd had to do/have done around our houses (a lot of the ones I hung out with were divorced/widowed/never married), places we'd been, and places we wanted to travel to when we were lucky enough to retire.
But I've had some women friends that diets, exercise, and how much weight they've lost/still have to lose is all they can think about/talk about. I just kinda nodded and yeah, uh huh, really? until they were ready to talk about more important things. Even when I was dieting, it wasn't something I wanted to talk about, because talking about it was one sure way to make me want to binge (I hated talking about food I couldn't eat, and ways to make it less calorie-filled so I could eat some of it). It got to the point where, when I finally quit dieting for good, when anyone even mentioned dieting, I was going through the cupboards looking for something/anything to eat. It didn't have to be a friend who mentioned it, it could have been a commercial about diets or diet pills on tv that set me off. I don't do any of that any more, but it's a conscious effort on my part not to binge when people start talking diets/weight loss.
Now, when I talk to the two female friends I have that aren't related to me, it's understood that we don't talk about dieting or weight loss, but everything else is pretty much fair game. Those are the kinds of conversations I like, where we can crack jokes about fashions we've seen and think are atrocious, what their kids/nieces/nephews/grandkids are doing, books/movies/tv, debate politics (and we're good at agreeing to disagree, a lot of the time), and how men can be such a pain in the ass, but we love them anyway (and yeah, we agree that we can be pains in the ass too). We can talk about global warming, the environment and what we can do to help preserve it, and not have to bring weight into it. I just hope that more and more women find out that they not only don't have to talk about dieting all the time, they don't have to diet at all anymore in order to be considered a worthwhile person with something constructive or interesting to say.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Fat acceptance in France

This is a very interesting article, and there didn't seem to be any OMGOBESITYEPIDEMIC slant to the majority of it. Granted, the first woman Cox interviewed was French and thin (a former fattie) who does not believe you can be fat and happy and that it has bad repercussions on your health. She also doesn't think you can dress well if you're fat (of course not, designers haven't yet come to the conclusion that some fat women have money to spend on their clothes, so they aren't designing for larger bodies). She says when you are fat, your self-confidence and esteem go down (well duh, when you hear/see on a daily basis how disgusting and worthless you are because of your size, it's damned hard to be self-confident and have any self-esteem at all). I think she is maybe projecting how she felt when she was fat onto all fat women, and not all fat women think they are lumps and ugly (hooray for them, and for those of us who are working on loving ourselves at whatever size we happen to be).
But the rest of the article explains why the French find fat distasteful, what a small group of women have done to change the way fat people are treated, and then an interview with Velvet D'Amour. There is also an audio clip of what Velvet said to a woman at a swimming pool who called her a whale. That clip alone was worth going to read the article.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Skilled worker fails the fat test for immigration

A submarine cable specialist headhunted for a job in New Zealand was forced to slim down before this country's immigration service would let him in.

Welshman Richie Trezise was denied an employer-backed talent visa when he failed the Body Mass Index test (BMI), a fat measurement using a person's weight and height.

His BMI was 42, making him morbidly obese and a potential burden on the health service under New Zealand immigration policy.

A New Zealand company asked this man to come to NZ to work for them, so obviously, he had the skills they needed, and I would think that they knew his size when they interviewed him. Didn't they know that New Zealand's immigration policy would turn him away?

"My doctor laughed at me. He said he'd never seen anything more ridiculous in his whole life. He said not every overweight person is unhealthy or unfit," said Mr Trezise, who plays rugby and used to be in the army.

The 35 year-old went on a crash diet to lose many kilos and two inches from his waist.

He passed the BMI to begin work for Telecom here in September.

At least he has a decent doctor. But for immigration to tell someone they must lose weight in order to get into the country to work a job for which they had been recruited is irresponsible, to say the least. He would not be a drain on their health care system, he has private healthcare.
When a country is lacking sufficient numbers of skilled workers, they certainly cannot afford to turn away qualified immigrants just because those workers don't meet a certain BMI. If they insist on doing that, then a lot of athletes wouldn't qualify to enter New Zealand, since most of them are obese by BMI standards.
I wonder if they would have refused entry to Luciano Pavarotti to perform in an opera there? After all, that was his line of work, and he would have been paid for that performance. Would they tell Queen Latifah that she can't make a movie there? She would be working there and earning money. What about John Goodman or any other actor that has a BMI over 24.9?
The Immigration Service says it doesn't know how many people have been turned away because of BMI. I find that hard to believe. They don't keep any records of who has applied for entry, and why they were refused entry? Shoddy record-keeping practices if that is the case.
So it doesn't matter how well-qualified you are to do a job that is sorely lacking in skilled applicants, if you are fat, you can forget about it. It won't matter how healthy you are, because they can tell just by looking at your fat that you are going to be a drain on their health care resources.
Sorry I'm such a vindictive bitch, but all I could say to New Zealand is "Don't come crying to the skilled fatties of the world when you can't find enough thin people to fill your jobs. You didn't want us when we were willing and able to work for you, now that you need us, tough shit. You can sleep in the bed you made."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Google Image search via Shapely Prose

Age at next birthday

A place I'd like to visit

My favorite place

My favorite objects

My favorite food

My favorite animals

My favorite color

The town where I was born

The town where I live

The name of a past pet

First name of a past love

Best friend's nickname

My screen/nickname

My first name

No middle name

My last name

A bad habit

My first job

My grandmother's first name

My college major

Okay, these are the images I found for the answers to the questions from Shapely Prose. It was interesting, to say the least.

The lies - 1 thru 9 and what can happen when we believe them

I've been following this progression of lies for the last several days, and it is a powerful presentation. I don't know if there will be more "What can happen when we believe the lie" and I don't know if I can take it if there are. I watched the last two videos and wanted to cry for every one of those girls and women. I don't know if they are looking for control, or perfection, or approval or all of those. All I know is that starving oneself is not an answer I want to see anyone using.
For me, this is the other side of the fat acceptance movement. If fat acceptance can eradicate the shame of body differences, maybe, just maybe, more girls and women will be able to see that they are all beautiful, each in her own special way. Maybe girls and women will be able to know that they don't have to meet some impossible, perfect ideal, that it's our imperfections that make us who we are, and that we are lovable in spite of and because of those imperfections.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

BlueCross/BlueShield to shift funds from smoking to obesity

On the second page of this article is a small note from BC/BS of Minnesota saying that since the state-wide ban on smoking has gone into effect, they will be switching the use of some of their funds from smoking cessation to battling obesity.
Thank you, BC/BS, I hope that money you're going to spend on the battle against obesity will be for the education of doctors. and by education of doctors, I mean teaching them the facts. Like the fact that obesity doesn't kill the majority of fat people, that obesity isn't the cause of most diseases, that the fat people who are shown on the news are a very, very small percentage of all obese people (most obese people, according to BMI, would only look a little chubby to most of us). How about the fact that carrying a few extra pounds can help you survive infections, cancers, and heart problems? How about the fact that heavier people live longer? The studies are out there that show all of these facts, so why are doctors and insurance companies ignoring them?
How about educating doctors to look at fat people as PEOPLE, not just as fat, lazy, gluttonous, and stupid (some of us are one or more of those, some of us are none of those, but we ALL deserve respect, no matter what). How about educating doctors to look beyond fat for actual causes of illness/disease? Why not educate doctors to give good care, regardless of a person's size, and remember the caveat FIRST: DO NO HARM? Is that too much ask?

Friday, November 9, 2007

I'm at a loss here

Well, the nutritionist called today (DH saw her last week about his type 2 diabetes). His A1c was 9.9, and his doctor has been threatening him with insulin for the last 2 or 3 years. I don't know if his ex-wife was helping him control it or not (probably not, since his BGs have been high for quite a while). We've only been married 11 months, and I knew absolutely nothing about diabetes when we got married. I've had to learn a lot in a hurry, and I finally convinced him that he needed to watch his carbs, which he's been doing for the last month or so. Not long enough to affect his A1c this last time, but it should affect it and show up by the time he's due for another one. The nutritionist told his doctor that we were starting on low carb, and DH has lost 6 lbs since he last saw his doctor 3 months ago. But she's not going to give us time to see if this works to get his A1c down and control his BGs. She's bound and determined that he will go on insulin, whether he wants to or not. Since we're dealing with the VA, I don't have a clue what they will do if he refuses. I don't know if she'll keep refilling his metformin and glyburide, or if she'll cut him off, or what. He works 25 miles away from home, and he says he can't inject himself. He can handle someone else doing it, but he can't handle doing it himself (and it's like pulling teeth to get him to test, too, he hates sticking his finger, and his doctor told him testing a couple of times a week was fine, WTF! I heard her say that when we saw her last, and I couldn't believe she said that).
So far, he doesn't have any neuropathy, his heart, lungs, and liver are fine, and he's working a job where he's lifting 28 to 42 lb boxes off a conveyor and putting them on pallets. If he gets hired on full time (he's working thru a temp agency now, that way he can work when he wants to), he'll be working 12 hour shifts at night (6 pm to 6 am), which is going to make it a stone cold bitch to figure out when he should test and when he should take his meds. Especially since he'll be working 2 days on, off 2, work 3, off 2, work 2, off 3, repeat sequence. If he's supposed to take his meds at the same time every day, and eat his meals at the same time every day, this second shift schedule is going to screw his diabetes all to hell (and the company really wants to hire him, they asked him today, and he has never put in an application). So I'm thinking we need to make an appointment to see her and get this shit straightened out. I'm not sure she's going to listen to anything we have to say, but I sure as hell don't know what else to do.
If his A1c being this high hasn't had much of an effect on him in the last couple of years, I don't know why the hell she can't wait another couple of months to see if the changes in the way he eats is helping. The only problem he has, and I don't know if it's related to his diabetes or not, is with his eyes. He's had laser surgery on each eye 3 times for excessive watering (something about extra blood vessels that had to be zapped, is what he said, this was before I ever met him), and just about a month ago, he had a cataract removed. He has an eye drop that has to be put in once a day (both eyes) for the pressure (and he's been using it ever since we've been together). It seems like when his BGs are high, so is the pressure in his eyes. But the last time he saw the eye dr., his pressure was down to 15 in both eyes, so I'm thinking the change in the way he eats is lowering his BGs, and therefore lowering the pressure in his eyes. But what the hell do I know, I'm not a doctor. All I know is what I've read from the books that have been recommended and what I've learned from the diabetic lists I signed up for.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pain and setback in progress

It figures that life is not going to let things go smoothly for me. I was making progress with my yoga and other exercises, improving my mobility and my pain, and now it's all out of whack. I think I need to make an appointment with my doctor, see what she thinks about fibromyalgia. I don't know that that's what wrong, but I was doing dishes the other night and DH came in and was rubbing my back and I had to tell him to quit because it hurt. Just a light touch hurt, and later on, when the cat jumped on my lap and put his paws on my chest, I about came unglued (granted, the cat weighs 16 lbs, but his front paws weren't holding his whole weight, so it shouldn't have hurt, and normally doesn't).
I've had this happen before, but it usually went away after a couple of days of dosing with ibuprofen or naproxen. This time, it's hung on for over a week, and it's not just my back that hurts, it's most of my joints (my hands and wrists don't hurt, but I don't have the strength in my hands that I normally do). Off and on, it even feels like my skin hurts, well, maybe hurts isn't the right way to describe it. It's more like my skin is very sensitive, and touching it is irritating. Not all of my skin, just in certain areas on my legs and back. Needless to say, it's disconcerting to have this happen just when I thought I had a handle on making improvements in my health.
I expected there would be days when my muscles hurt because maybe I tried doing too much too soon, but I really did not expect my body to go "You bitch, I'm gonna make your life miserable." It's not like I'm working out all that hard, I know enough to take it easy at first, and gradually increase what I'm doing. I wasn't increasing the number of reps I was doing, but I was doing them twice a day now (after having done them once a day for a couple of weeks, I figured twice a day was a good way to go). So now I have to work a doctor's visit into the budget, and hope to hell it's something that isn't expensive to diagnose or treat (yeah, like that's gonna happen). And it makes me wonder if the change in the way I'm eating has anything to do with it, since I've been cutting down on carbs, and adding more veggies in going with the diabetic WOE for DH. Fuck, I hope that's not it, we can't afford to have two different meal plans.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Halle Berry no longer type 1 diabetic?


Holy cow! I just read that Halle Berry has said she has weaned herself off insulin and no longer considers herself a type 1 diabetic (she says she's now type 2). Since when is there a cure for type 1 diabetes? I thought type 1 meant your pancreas was no longer producing insulin, which means you had better be injecting insulin if you want to continue living.
If this is a case where she was misdiagnosed years ago as type 1 when she was actually type 2, she is doing a vast disservice to all type 1's when she says she was type 1 and no longer needs insulin. And of course the media just have to jump all over this and shout the news to everyone without doing one little bit of research (and how hard is it to look up the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?). I mean really, I managed to research it online in a couple of minutes and it took another 5 minutes to read the difference between the 2 types.
The comments at the article are really taking her to task for saying this, and I can see their point. Totally irresponsible on her part.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Australian researchers find hunger switch in mice

I can see the use of this knowledge for helping people with cancer keep their appetites, but using it to turn off appetite in fat people for weight loss? How is that any different than WLS, which restricts the amount you can eat/absorb?
If restricting calories by WLD/WLS quits working after a period of time (that plateau thing), and you start to regain, why would this MIC-1 be any different? Just because you shut off appetite doesn't mean you have sped up metabolism (and restricting calories slows down metabolism). So are they also looking for another switch that will speed up one's metabolism in conjunction with the one that kills appetite? I would think that if you don't have both of those, weight loss still isn't going to be a permanent solution to TEH FAT. And why does there have to be an eradication of fat? Why does everyone have to be thin? I can tell you, that as far as I am concerned, I want my fat, just in case. I may need those reserves if I ever have a serious illness (or if the world goes to hell in a hand basket, I'll be able to survive off my fat for a while longer than a thin person who has no body fat).
Just because you can do something doesn't mean it should be done. I would want to know what the long-term effects of turning off appetite are before I would ever even consider it, but I have a feeling that if they can figure out how to do this in humans, they won't give a rat's ass about side effects (just like they don't give a rat's ass about all the people who die from WLS or have horrible outcomes). They will say it's the risk you should be willing to take to become healthy (meaning thin, nothing more nothing less). Sorry, I risked death once, I won't be stupid or gullible or brainwashed enough to risk it a second time for a transitory "health" (thinness). I already have pretty good health at my current weight.
I also want to know how much research they are going to do to find out what is an optimal number of calories for each individual to take in in order to maintain this weight loss and still live a meaningful life. Because we all know that the number of calories it takes for me to be able to do what I want to do is not the same as what it would take for my husband, or my son, or my daughter-in-law, or any other person to be able to do what they want, since none of us will be doing exactly the same things with the exact same amount of effort or the exact same metabolism. There is just too much variation from person to person for this to be the magic bullet the medical community is looking for to eradicate TEH FATZ.

I'm in health warning fatigue: opinion

You should really go read this. I have to say that I agree with most everything said here.
Frankly, we've given up - the reason we are obese, don't exercise and have descended into slobdom is relatively simple. We are tired of being lectured by weedy nerds and chicks who have had liposuction, that we are eating our way into an early grave.

I don't necessarily agree with the above quote, but as hyperbole, it works.
Besides, we are not dumb. We look at the mortality statistics and they all indicate that this is the longest-lived generation in the history of humanity. That despite the carcinogenics pumped into our food sources, despite the insecticide and pesticide residues, despite the eschewing of exercise in favour of electronic entertainment and McFries, our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents all died younger.

Yes indeedy.
And therein lies the fatal flaw in the obesity epidemic argument. There is no proof that being fat reduces life expectancy. Even if it did, it would only trim years in the nether regions when the quality of life is crap anyway. So if I die at 89 instead of 93 - then wearing adult diapers and dribbling over nursie for another four years is not exactly fulfilment.

Amen! I will take quality of life over quantity any day (and I'm working on the quality now, and demanding better health care from doctors: Look past my weight and treat me the same as a thinner patient or you've lost my business).
As for the list of things I must give up: dear God, what's left? Steak, the booze, bacon and ham, and fizzy drinks are mandatory swerves. But I must match this with a daily regime of exercise, a refusal to gain any kilos over the age of 21, and the breastfeeding of my kids. Male breastfeeding - is the world really ready?
No mention of smoking, though. When a packet of pork becomes more dangerous than a packet of Rothmans, then I know I have reached public health warning fatigue. Besides, the last scientific study into cancer- causing compounds identified genetic heritage and stress as the twin stalkers.

Ah, genetics. But don't you know, if you have the genetics that predispose you to any kind of disease, you are supposed to work harder at avoiding that disease? After all, if you are at risk of becoming fat, you have to restrict calories and exercise to a fare-thee-well because everyone knows if you don't, you're unhealthy.
I don't know about anyone else, but until I can be guaranteed that 1) there are no risks in life, 2) all diseases are eradicated, 3) quality of life is not going to go down the shitter as we age, and 4) everyone is treated with respect, I don't want to live forever. You're born, you live the life you're handed as best you can, and then you die. The age at which you die is not something you can control, the risks you face can be controlled to a certain extent, but hell, just living is a risk. You spin the wheel and you take your chances and try to enjoy as much of the journey as you can.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Bariatric surgery to be offered for thin diabetics (type 2)

I belong to a couple of diabetes lists, and get updates daily by email. One of the emails today was from a lady (type 2 diabetic) who went to a health fair. One of the booths was a bariatric surgeon who says this type of surgery will be offered to thin type 2 diabetics as a cure for their diabetes.
She didn't say what type of bariatric surgery (I replied to see if the surgeon had said), but I don't think it really matters. Any time you mess with a working digestive system (even if the pancreas itself isn't working), you are asking for more problems than you're going to cure. Not to mention the risk of death, all the complications you can end up with, etc, etc.
The first thought that entered my head when I read that email was "What, they aren't making enough money off fat people, so now they have to go after thin type 2 diabetics?" Second thought was "Ok, they aren't happy killing off fat people with this (after all, our fat is killing us anyway, so what difference does it make if we die of TEH FAT or from WLS?), so now they're going after diabetics (because we all know that diabetes is going to kill ya too, right?)."
WTF is wrong with these doctors? Who died and made them GOD? I am just so totally pissed by this.
link After searching, this is the only article I can find that references it, and their information about how many people die of obesity each year does not agree with the new numbers from the CDC, so I wouldn't take this advice with a grain of salt, I'd take it with the whole damned salt shaker full.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

US bosses wrong to fire smokers, obese: survey

This is a start, albeit a very small start. The Americans polled still think that employers have the right to require employees to attend smoking cessation or weight loss programs (don't fire them for smoking or being fat, but make them quit smoking, make them lose weight). They also think people who smoke or "pack on the pounds" should pay higher premiums for health insurance since they are less healthy. (Okay, then I want to see all unhealthy people, no matter what their size, pay more for their health insurance. Makes about as much sense.)
Michigan-based Weyco instituted a policy in 2005 that allows employees to be laid off if they smoke, regardless of whether they engage in the habit at work or at home.

The company subsequently fired four employees who refused to be tested for nicotine, press reports said, with other reports saying Weyco staff members were fired after tests showed they had nicotine in their blood.

I have a question, since I don't know a lot about second-hand smoke. If a non-smoker lives with someone who smokes like a chimney and is therefore exposed to a lot of second-hand smoke, would the non-smoker have nicotine in their blood? If the non-smoker did, what a can of worms that would open. Joe Schmoe: "But boss, I don't smoke, it's my wife that smokes." Boss: "Too bad, you have nicotine in your blood, it's company policy that you have to be fired if your blood test comes back positive for nicotine." Fine, boss, my lawyer and I will see you in court.

So now companies are instituting these invasions of privacy in the name of health, and if you tell them it's none of their business, they will fire you. Doesn't matter how healthy you are, you are still fired because you told them to MYOB.

I really don't think the people who were polled understand that by saying unhealthy people should pay more for health insurance, they are opening the door for your boss to tell you what you can eat, what you can drink, and what you should weigh (not to mention how you should live your life, because heaven forbid you take any kind of risk that will impact your health). After all, your boss is just trying to cut health care costs, so it's reasonable for him to tell you no sky-diving (parachutes do fail, ya know), no scuba-diving (you might get bit by a shark), and for heaven's sake, don't walk out your front door, you could get hit by a car/bus/truck/lightning. Oh, don't take a bath/shower either, falls in the bath are a killer. And don't eat, you might choke on your food.

Subsidizing fat

If you're feeling fat these days, blame Congress. That's just what the nation's doctors are doing, saying that federal lawmakers are responsible for the fact that a salad costs so much more than a Big Mac.

Hoping to produce thinner waistlines, many doctors --including the American Medical Association --- want Congress to stop subsidizing the production of foods that are high in fat and cholesterol and spend more to promote fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains that are not.

Farm Belt lawmakers are on the defensive.

"I agree that obesity and health are serious issues in America today," said Sen. Pat Roberts, R.-Kan., a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. "However, blaming the cause on the crops that we grow in Kansas and/or the U.S. farm program is overlooking the personal responsibility we all have in our daily lives and diets."

Thank you Senator Roberts. It sure is my fault that I can't always afford those fresh fruits and vegetables, and it's my fault all I can afford most of the time is the over-processed, additive-laden foods made from the crops you in Congress do deign to subsidize. Yep, blame the fatties of America for being under-paid, lazy, stupid, gluttonous pigs, because all the powers that exist know You all in congress sure as hell don't have anything to do with it, nope, nope, nope.

Fruit and vegetable growers, who have long felt ignored on Capitol Hill, are trying to cash in on the debate this year. They want to convince Congress to broaden subsidies beyond traditional farm crops such as corn, wheat, rice and cotton.

"Our markets are highly volatile, yet we have never relied on traditional farm programs to sustain our industry," said Doug Krahmer, co-owner of Blue Horizon Farms in St. Paul, Ore. Testifying at a recent congressional field hearing, he said that future farm policy will not only support American agriculture but that "it will support and encourage the encourage the health and well-being of all Americans."

Krahmer noted that on any given day 45 percent of children eat no fruit at all, while 20 percent eat less than one serving of vegetables. All U.S. children would benefit if Congress offered subsidies to lower the prices that consumers pay for fruits and vegetables, he said.

Ah, but it's so much easier to shout OBESITY EPIDEMIC and blame people for being fat, then the shouters can go along and do nothing other than pass bills and initiatives that punish fat people. After all, if fresh fruits and veggies were actually affordable for the majority of people, and those people actually bought them and ate them, and still didn't get magically thin, then obviously that won't work for curing TEH FATZ. Because, you know, it's not about eating a varied diet of all kinds of food in order to be as healthy as each individual can, it's all about the aesthetics and lookism of TEH FAT IZ UGLIEZ!!1! ZOMG!!!11!!

Between 1995 and 2004, nearly three-quarters of Farm Bill agricultural subsidies for food, or more than $51 billion, went to producers of sugar, oil, meat, dairy, alcohol and feed crops used to feed cows and other farm animals. The group said that in 2005 alone, Tyson Foods, the nation's largest meat producer, received $46.6 million in USDA commodity contracts.
Less than half of 1 percent subsidized fruit and vegetable production.

In September, Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, noted that since 1985, the actual price of fruits and vegetables has increased 40 percent, while the price of sugar and fats has declined by 14 percent. He said that "underserved communities cannot be denied access to the same healthy and affordable food that is available to more affluent Americans."

Exactly!!!!! You shouldn't have to be rich in order to eat a wide and varied range of foods, including fresh fruits and veggies.
"We decided that specialty crops needed to be a priority," Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, who resigned Sept. 19, said in a speech to the United Fresh Produce Association last month. He told the group that the recently passed House farm bill includes $365 million in aid to expand block grants to states for specialty crops, which are defined as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and nursery crops. To pay for it, Johanns suggested eliminating subsidies for farmers who earn more than $200,000 per year.

Overall, the House's farm bill, approved in late July, would offer an estimated $1.7 billion for specialty crop programs. House Democrats say their farm bill would spend another $400 million for a fresh fruit and vegetable program for the school lunch program. It would expand a program that gives vouchers to low-income elderly people who are eligible for food stamps to buy fresh produce at roadside stands. And it would create a demonstration project to evaluate ways to address obesity among low-income groups.

Most of what was said in the quote above seems reasonable, but why the hell do they keep on thinking that they have to address obesity? It's not like obesity is going to listen to them, it doesn't have a mind, or a moral value, it just is. And we all know how much good addressing obesity does for eradicating it (ain't gonna happen, people). Fat is a fact of life, some people are naturally fat, just as some people are naturally thin, and you can't safely and permanently change either one.