Monday, March 31, 2008

I need an "R" rating on here

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
Created by OnePlusYou - Free Online Dating
Well, I knew I cussed a lot, didn't know it was that much! Does this mean I swear like a sailor (good thing I'm married to a retired Navy vet)?
Around 41.9% of the pages on your website contain cussing.This is 366% MORE than other websites who took this test.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

NOLOSE '08: 9/26 thru 9/28/08

I was asked to post the following:

The date has been set! Mark your calendars for NOLOSE '08: September 26th through the 28th (Friday-Sunday). Meet us by the pool at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Northampton, Massachusetts for a weekend packed with fattastic fun, food, friends and other good stuff!

We're all hard at work, planning to make this year's conference the best ever! There are a lot of exciting things in the works. The Clarion has charm, a great location and a staff that is already excited to hang out with all of us. As always, choosing a venue was no easy feat. We have a very diverse population and we have lots of factors to take into consideration. All in all, we are pretty psyched about the Clarion, and we are sure most of you will be too.

Keep your eyes open for more detailed information about the conference as it becomes available and, as always, if you have some ideas about what you'd like to see at NOLOSE this year, let us know! Expect to see a call for workshops in the very near future, because that's how we roll.

For more information about NOLOSE and to keep up with the calendar and new information about the upcoming conference, please visit

NOLOSE is a volunteer- run organization dedicated to ending the oppression of fat people and creating vibrant fat queer culture. NOLOSE started out as the National Organizations for Lesbians of SizE. As the years passed and the organization grew, we changed our mission to include not only a broader community of queer women—dykes, lesbians and bisexual women—but also transgendered people.

NOLOSE and the annual NOLOSE Conference are explicitly trans-inclusive. We want to make it clear that NOLOSE invites all fat queer women, all fat trans and gender-variant folks and our allies to participate.

I wish that I could afford to attend, but alas, house repairs, tree removal, and bug-spraying have a higher priority in the budget :(
Yay for anyone who can go, though, and I hope y'all have fun and learn a lot.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Help lines not so helpful

I know this isn't really fat-related, but I am so fucking frustrated right now, I could scream.
I bought a new electric fry pan in December. A family-size one (12" X 18") so I could cook enough meat at one time for dinner that night and DH's lunch for work the next day. It worked like a dream, for the first month. The problem with it? It's teflon, inside and out, and in the first month of use, in spite of the fact that I seasoned it just like the manual said, didn't use metal utensils in it, and didn't use abrasives to clean it, the damned teflon started flaking and peeling off the cooking area. Now I don't know about anyone else, but I am fed up with this kind of shit happening. I can't afford to spend $25 every month on a new electric fry pan because the damned teflon doesn't stay where it fucking belongs (which is not in my food, dammit). If it was just this one skillet, I could understand that it might be a quality control issue, but it's happened on every teflon electric skillet I've ever owned.
So I emailed GE to complain, and I emailed Wal-Mart (where I bought the POS) to complain. I got an email from GE telling me to contact Wal-Mart's appliance help line. So I called them. Their advice: Take it back to Wal-Mart and get another one. Yeah, I so want to do that, so that I can take it back for another one in another 3 months, and again in another 3 months, ad infinitum. I think Wal-Mart would eventually get tired of me taking skillets back to them and refuse to replace them anymore.
Now, I'm no stranger to the internet, and I've searched, and searched, and searched for a totally steel electric fry pan. I found one, it's round and 12" in diameter, which isn't nearly big enough for what I want it to do. I may have to settle for that one though, because it's the only one I've been able to find.
Are people so lazy that all their cookware has to be teflon-coated? The only cookware we have that's teflon-coated is the damned electric fry pan, and it's the one I have the hardest time keeping food from sticking to (doesn't matter if I use Pam or oil, food still sticks to it). I have less trouble with food sticking to my stainless steel pots and pans and the cast iron skillets. Those aren't all that hard to get clean afterward either (hot water, dish soap, a good scrubber, and some elbow grease work wonders on them).
I think, once the weather breaks (read *quits snowing*), I'm going to head for the outlet mall over by Mpls and see if there's a cookware outlet that has what I want. There's another outlet mall in Medford, I may check that out too. Nothing like a good long drive to look for unusual cookware to put me in a good mood, yessirree.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Expert on exercise and wellness says fat and fit is possible

This is a must-read for doctors and health care professionals. (ETA: I got the link from one of my google alerts and didn't have to register the first time to read the article, but you'll have to register to read it. Registration is free.)
If I started quoting the parts of this that I think are great, I'd be quoting the whole damn thing. But the part I like the best is this:
Q. What are you going to tell the doctors and staff at the UND medical school about fitness?

A. Let me start with the doctors. What I tell them is that when you see a patient and measure that patient’s height and weight, cholesterol, blood pressure and sugar, you’re not finished with your assessment to determine whether they’re healthy. You also need to know about their activity and fitness.
Physicians need to pay more attention. Patients come in, they measure their blood pressure and say that’s good, cholesterol is good, your normal weight is fine, so good for you. Well, they’re unfit; they’re at risk of dying in the next several years is double those who are fit. It’s all of the things that need to be measured, monitored and taken into account.
Physicians need to pay more attention to activity and fitness. Of course, the same advice applies to the general public. It is important not to smoke, and as your grandmother told you, it’s important to eat your vegetables and fruit. It is also important to be physically active.
I’ll tell the public to get moderate-intensity exercise 30 minutes a day for five days a week. You can do that in three 10-minute walks a day. Three 10-minute walks provides substantial benefits.

The only part of this I have a problem with is the 30 minutes of walking 5 days a week. Now, if he had said 30 minutes a day of whatever kind of movement you enjoy doing (like dancing, riding a bike, swimming, yoga, whatever), that would have been better, and probably more do-able for a lot of people. Personally, I like riding my recumbent bike, and it's something I can do (and will do), unlike walking (sorry, I'm not into pain, and I have severe back pain if I try to walk for more than a couple of minutes at a time, unless I have something to lean on while I'm walking, like a shopping cart).
All in all, a very good article about being fit and fat and the benefits thereof. Now, if only doctors would listen, and the government, and insurance companies, and all the asshats who think they know it all when it comes to weight and health (they don't, obviously).

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Computer addiction: I haz it

This is just another excuse to have people see doctors, get diagnosed, and take pills for a disease that doesn't exist. It's too funny that Sandy should post this today, after I just finished a survey for where I am in my life and how happy I am with it now and how happy I think I'll be with it in the future. One set of questions was about internet usage, and if a doctor read what I answered, I'd be diagnosed with IAD. After all, I spend about 50 hours a week on the computer, between blogging, reading the news, checking email, reading FA blogs, playing games, keeping up with what's going on in my family, etc etc. Now, in that 50 hours, I'm also cleaning house, cooking meals, watching tv, reading a book, doing laundry, making out grocery lists, paying bills, balancing the checkbook, etc, etc.
How can I do all that at the same time I'm on the computer? I learned to multi-task when I was in high school. I didn't want to use my study halls for homework, I wanted to read books (I'm addicted to reading too), so, since my teachers usually wrote the next day's assignment on the board before class, I would be working on that in class while we were discussing the current day's work. I never had homework because I learned early how to do 2 things at once, and I got to spend all of my study halls reading.
To this day, I'm usually doing at least 2 things at the same time, mostly something on the computer and tv or housework. Hell, I don't even just exercise anymore, I exercise and watch tv (watch tv while I ride my recumbent bike).
When I'm on the computer, I have at least 2 tabs open with different things going on in each of them, sometimes 3 or 4 tabs (Firefox users know what I'm talking about, for IE users, it would be windows open). I may be playing a game, and checking email, or checking a blog (or the feed at fatfu to see if anything new has come up since I last looked).
Now, if they took my computer away from me, would I be any different than I am now? Hmmmm, I'm not sure on that one. I've been at friends' houses for a couple of days and didn't miss my computer all that much, but when I get home, it takes me forever to get caught up on everything that has happened in my online world while I was gone (and this is in spite of the fact that I read anywhere from 500 to 750 words a minute). If I was told that I could never have my computer ever again, whoever told me that would probably get to meet Helga the Bitch Goddess or PsychoBitch from Hell.
If I didn't have my computer, would I do more exercising, get out of the house more, spend more time with people? Nope. How do I know this? Because before I ever got a computer, I hardly ever left my apartment (when I was on SSI and not working, before I went back to work, and long before I met DH). I had no need to, and it drove my best friend absolutely batshit nuts. I went grocery shopping, and shopping for craft supplies and books, but that was about it. I had plenty to keep me occupied in my apartment. I sewed, I did counted cross stitch, I worked crossword puzzles, I watched tv, I read books, and I did ironing and mending for people (and I was usually doing two of those things at the same time).
I don't think I have any of the behaviors they attribute to computer addiction:
1) excessive use, often associated with a loss of sense of time or a neglect of basic drives,

2) withdrawal, including feelings of anger, tension, and/or depression when the computer is inaccessible,

3) tolerance, including the need for better computer equipment, more software, or more hours of use, and

4) negative repercussions, including arguments, lying, poor achievement, social isolation, and fatigue

#1 - well, I have excessive use I guess (is 8 hours a day excessive?), but I don't lose track of time, and I don't neglect basic drives (I think they mean things like eating, sleeping, bathing, going to the bathroom, having sex, right?).
#2 - nope, no withdrawal, no anger, tension, or depression when I can't get to the computer.
#3 - tolerance - nah, my computer is 4 years old, I have all the software I need, and I have enough hours on it, I don't need any more.
#4 - negative repercusssions - well, let's see now, I don't lie about how much time I spend on the computer, I don't have any problems achieving any goal I set away from the computer, I'm not socially isolated (I can shut the puter off when we have guests), and fatigue, well, I know how to go to bed when I get tired. Yeah, I didn't say anything yet about arguments, did I? The only arguments that ever happen over the computer are when DH says something to me and I don't hear him because I'm concentrating on what I'm doing (and that would happen if I was just watching tv, or if I was just reading a book, or if I was just doing a craft). I tend to block out anything that isn't directly related to what I'm doing at the time. Conversation can fall into that category for me. And we don't really argue about it, he just has to find a way to get my attention when I'm absorbed in whatever I'm doing (it's all those years of living alone and not having to worry about someone else, I'm still adjusting to having someone in the same house with me all the time).
I joke about being addicted to my computer, but I could live without it if I had to. I just don't have to, and I don't want to. It enriches my life in so many ways, and makes research a hell of a lot easier on so many fronts. This is an addiction that isn't doing me any harm, and I don't see the need for any kind of treatment for it. After all, it's not keeping me from doing anything else I want to do.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Satire? Yes, but I can see this happening

This is a masterful satire on the obesity epidemic and experts who say the government is the only entity able to end it. What scares me is that I can see this happening if the government gets its way with BMI monitoring for children in school, the newborn screening that wants the government to own our DNA and test our babies for all kinds of genetic anomalies that may or may not develop into disease, the way the government keeps revising downward the standards for health (consider the lowering of standards for overweight and obesity in the BMI, the lowered numbers for 'healthy' blood pressure, the lowered HbA1c for diabetes diagnosis, just to name a few), not to mention how the diet industry, pharmaceutical companies, and medical interests lobby the government to advance their agenda of selling ineffective treatments/pills/surgeries for the treatment of obesity, which isn't a disease, it's a natural condition of certain genes that is not within anyone's power to change or control.
We're already seeing parts of this with schools that suspend kids for buying/selling candy, going through kids' lunches and removing anything they consider 'unhealthy', and not allowing cakes or cupcakes or cookies for birthdays (have to have those 'healthy' snacks for your birthday, you know, the carrot sticks, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, but no dip, no that's not 'healthy', you have to eat them plain). Does it matter to them that none of this (including following government calorie guidelines on school meals) is getting fat kids thin? No, because they think they're doing something to end obesity, and doing something, whether it works or not, is better than leaving well enough alone (if it ain't broke, don't fix it, and being fat is not being broken so doesn't need 'fixing').

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A couple of interesting articles

This article is pretty good, too bad only a few students attended. What Prof. Kirkland had to say is mostly true. The only thing I think that was worded wrong is where it says America is disillusioned about the obesity epidemic:
Kirkland suggested that society's longstanding aversion toward overweight people contributes to America's disillusion about the obesity epidemic.

It's not disillusionment (failure, dissatisfaction, or dismay) with the obesity epidemic. It's that we've been brainwashed into believing that fat is going to lead to deadly diseases that will shorten our lives. America isn't disillusioned, if we were disillusioned, the diet industry would be going broke and big pharma wouldn't have a market for all those do-nothing pills they're trying to hype for weight loss and doctors wouldn't have any fat patients waiting in line for weight loss surgery. I wish America was disillusioned with the obesity epidemic.

This makes me sorta kinda glad I live in MN. The MN House has rejected a proposal to monitor BMI in school kids. The bill is still alive in the Senate, so I'm going to be writing some emails to my representatives to let them know I think it's a crock of shit and isn't going to do a damned thing to make kids thin or healthy, all it's going to do, if it passes, is make sure kids are made to feel bad about their bodies and maybe send them over the dieting edge into a full-blown eating disorder.
A common objection was that the measurements could embarrass overweight children, and facilitate eating disorders, emotional eating or other body image issues.
Kathy Kater is a psychotherapist specializing in children and weight. "Unhappiness about weight is a catalyst for disordered eating, weight gain and poorer overall health. Worry about weight, it turns out, is a self-fulfilling prophecy."

Now, if only the bill's sponsor, Rep. Diane Loeffler of Minneapolis, could get that through her head, instead of this:
the obesity epidemic is really threatening the life of Minnesota youth. The body-mass measurements would have been collected and used to fight childhood obesity, not to monitor individuals or make the numbers public in the school.

How in the hell are you going to collect those numbers without making the kids feel bad about themselves? Kids aren't stupid, they know what those numbers mean. And WTF, how do you propose fighting childhood obesity without monitoring those fat kids? How fucking stupid do you think we are, anyway? You get that information, you're not going to use it to help anyone, you're going to use it to force diets and exercise down our kids' throats, whether we want you to or not. Well guess what, Rep. Loeffler, you're damned lucky you're not in my district, because I sure as hell wouldn't vote for you the next time you're up for re-election.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New clothes from Woman Within

I took a chance a couple of weeks ago, and ordered a button-front, short-sleeved big shirt from Woman Within. I don't usually order shirts like that because the buttons gape across the rack-o-doom, the shoulders usually come halfway down my upper arm, and the sleeves are either too tight or way too loose.
Well, lo and behold, when it arrived today, I tried it on and it fits just as well as one I would have made! The kicker for me, it was on sale for $9.88. I fully intend on going back and ordering a couple more in different colors (this one is purple-y mauve, gray, & black vertical stripes of varying widths and I love it). I plan on wearing it with my jeans or my black knit slacks (may have to see if I can find some purple slacks too). I might even get a couple of tanks to wear under it with it unbuttoned (wow, I'm not into fashion, but this has really opened my eyes to my options on dressing and looking good).
I also got a pair of hunter green knit slacks (those were on sale for $9) with pockets to replace a pair FatCat clawed the hell out of (he has a problem retracting his claws, and is too old to have de-clawed). I have several green shirts I can wear with them, but I want to get a couple more pairs in colors other than black and navy blue and brown (I have enough of those
I had my reservations about Woman Within when I first got a catalog from them, but with the success I had with this order, I think I may try ordering other items from them (if it doesn't fit the way I want, return shipping is free, so that's another point in their favor).

Monday, March 10, 2008

Askville at Amazon: questions for 4 diet authors

I signed up for Askville at, but I rarely participate, especially on their health topics (you can use up a couple of years' worth of Sanity Watchers points reading the advice given there).
Anyway, I got an email today about asking a question/voting on questions for 4 authors of diet books (askville members post questions, then we get to vote on the questions, the questions with the most votes will be presented to the authors). The authors and their books are Matt Goulding, Eat This, Not That: Thousands of Simple Food Swaps That Can Save You 10, 20, 30 Pounds-or More!, T. Colin Campbell, PhD, The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health, Jim Karas, The Cardio-Free Diet, and last but not least Kim Barnouin & Rory Freedman, Skinny Bitch (oh yeah, these two bitches know just tons about how to lose weight and keep it off forever, don't they?).
So I thought, what the fuck, I'll ask a question and see how many people vote for that question to be asked of these so-called experts on weight loss. I am really interested in seeing how they would answer it (bet it doesn't get enough votes to get asked, though). The reason I don't think it will get enough votes? Well, here's my question and the details I gave to go with it: "Can you guarantee permanent weight loss if a person follows your advice/diet?"
I ask this because from everything I've read, 95 - 98% of people who go on a diet regain everything they lost within 5 years. I haven't seen a safe, effective way to lose more than 10 - 30 pounds permanently yet. If 10 - 30 pounds was all I needed to lose, I wouldn't worry about it. For people who need to lose more than 50 pounds, there is no safe way for them to lose it and keep it off permanently, and yo-yo dieting is worse for a person's health than being at a stable, though higher, weight. That's why diets have to state "results not typical" when showing someone who has lost massive amounts of weight (and we never hear if they've been able to safely maintain that loss for more than 5 years). I would think that if people eat a variety of foods and get a moderate amount of exercise, they would be healthier than if they repeatedly lose/gain weight through dieting.
From what I've seen of the questions being asked so far, most of them are of the "what do I eat", "why don't my diets work", "how do I prevent belly fat even though I'm at my ideal weight", "what is the optimum amount of exercise per day/week" variety.
I want to keep my sanity, so I'm not even reading the comments other askville participants have left on those questions, I would probably end up screaming at my computer about the stupidity of it all (yeah, I'm learning that there are things I shouldn't read, even if I am a voracious reader).
I have to say that I haven't read any of the books by those authors (they don't have vampires/werewolves/dragons/faeries/etc and romance with humans in, and probably won't read them since I'm not interested in dieting (I am interested in health and fitness, but weight loss isn't a necessary part of that). I'm rather skeptical of any book that says follow this diet plan and you'll be healthy and skinny for life. I've read enough of them, and followed the advice in some of them, and it hasn't worked in the past, and probably never will work, so why keep reading the same old recycled shit?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

World of Curves magazine

I had forgotten that I had signed up for this magazine until I got 2 issues in the mail on Friday. It's taken me 2 days to read them both, and I've still not decided how much I like it.
These 2 issues have good articles on fashion, hair, and make-up (if you're into that kind of thing). There are a lot of really good photos of fat women rocking their clothes, but I don't much care for the centerfold pic in each magazine.
I'm ambivalent about women (of any size) posing naked. On the one hand, it just makes me think of the meat-market approach, that women's worth is tied to the attractiveness of their bodies and that's all they're good for. On the other hand, I guess it's good that they're showing that fat women can be attractive when photographed naked, and it does actually put faces on fat bodies, unlike those headless fatties used to illustrate the obesity epidemic hysteria.
The premier issue had articles on music (hip hop, which I'm not into, I'm more a metal-head, even at my, finance, sports, stay-at-home dads, body shapes, and internet dating.
The second issue has articles on Valentine's dates (10 great ones under $25), the little black dress, Kendra Johnson from Phat Girlz, poetry, make-up, jewelry, clothes, are schools making the grade, the centerfold, etc.
Some of it I can use, the clothes are cute and links to find them are included. But I think this is targeted to a younger audience than the one to which I belong (even though I'm 54, and act younger than that most of the time, this seems to be trying to reach women in their 20's, maybe 30's at most).
It's nice to see a magazine for fat women, and I really hope they make a grand go of it, so check it out and let me know what y'all think (check it out online here).

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Finally, I have my recumbent bike!

Finally, the finances cooperated enough that I was able to go out and get my recumbent exercise bike today ($98 at Wal-Mart). We brought it home and set it up first thing (yay, I know how to read and follow I figured sitting on the floor and moving around to set it up was warm-up enough for a short try-out, so after getting it all set to go, I gave her a whirl. Turned on the tv and got to watch Kill Bill 2 while I was exercising (well, 12 minutes of it, anyway, not a biggie since I've seen the movie at least 4 or 5 times). Now, in that 12 minutes, I managed to ride a couple of miles (it tracks how far you ride, up to 99.99 miles), I got my heart rate to go from 72 to 123, and didn't have any problems with my knee killing me until the last couple of minutes. So, I figure that's pretty good for an old, fat, sedentary person who hasn't done any major exercise in the last, oh, probably 20 years. I think I'm going to start out with 15 minutes twice a day for a week and see how I do with it, then gradually increase the length of time. Once I can do a half hour twice a day, I want to see if I can increase how fast I'm pedaling and get my heart rate up.
I was hoping this was going to work for my knee, and it looks like it will (my knee was hurting when I started riding, from the walking I did at Wal-Mart, where we got the bike, but even after 12 minutes of pedaling, the pain wasn't unbearable). I'm looking forward to getting into better shape so that when warm weather finally gets here, I can buy a wheeled recumbent bike to ride on the bike trail that runs past our house. I like the recumbent bike because it has a seat like a chair and doesn't kill my ass, which is why I quit riding a regular bike years ago (so now I have to see how much one of those costs and start saving money for it).