Thursday, February 28, 2008

Portion control and food companies

I am getting so sick and tired of food companies deciding what an acceptable portion size is for so many different foods. A well-known chip maker has decided that 2 ounces of chip dip is a suitable amount for dipping chips (they're going with the portability of it, ya know). And for this supposed on-the-go convenience, you get to pay $3.49 for a package of 6 of these little portions. I'm sorry, if I want portability in my chip dips, I'll buy a large container of the flavor of my choice and divide it up into smaller portions of my choosing (I have all kinds of those 1/4 and 1/2 cup plastic containers floating around). I'll pay a lot less for that larger container, and I get to decide what a suitable portion is.
Why does this piss me off so much? Mainly because these companies are jumping on the obesity epidemic bandwagon with their portion-control/calorie limitations and charging the consumer more for it. Just like all the foods that are reduced fat/reduced sugar/reduced whatever-is-bad-for-you-today foods, they are taking out natural ingredients and substituting others that may or may not be good for you and charging you more for the privilege. The really sad thing about all of this? People are buying into the idea that portion control (90 - 100 calories for a snack) is going to help them lose weight/keep it off. These food companies don't always come right out and say "If you buy our insert whatever portion-controlled item here you'll lose weight and keep it off forever", but they sure as hell imply it. And people who still believe in The Fantasy of Being Thin will buy it, and then wonder why it didn't help them. Will they blame the marketing? Probably not, they'll blame themselves, just like they do when their Weight Watcher's, Jenny Craig, NutraSystem ad nauseum diets fail to make them permanently thin. Cynic that I am, I can see the day coming when you won't be able to buy anything unless it's in those damned portion-controlled packs. Like I don't already have a hard enough time budgeting money for food so DH and I can eat a wide variety of foods while controlling his blood sugar (and make sure he gets a good lunch and snacks for work without sending his blood sugar bouncing all over the place). I finally found a cereal that he can eat (and actually likes) that isn't so high in sugar and carbs/low in fiber, but it costs about 50% more than a similar regular cereal (because it's for diabetics, natch).
I think all the hype about food and health is not about health at all, it's about making us think it's about health so they make more money off our fears. Sorry, I'm not buying it (pun fully intended).

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Change our bodies/change their minds: which is easier?

Change our bodies or change their minds
Lindsay at babble has this thought posted: They want us to change our bodies because they think it’s easier than changing their minds.
My thoughts on this (because of course I have an opinion, I have an opinion on everything, ya know?) are that the "they" that want us to change our bodies are all the fat-phobes who have bought into the conventional (and unproved) wisdom that says fat is always unhealthy, no matter if it's 20 lbs or 400 lbs. Those fat-phobes aren't just the common man out there, they're also the researchers that begin a study looking for reasons to vilify fat and willingly ignore everything that doesn't back up that theory. They're also the doctors that ignore research showing that being fat isn't any worse for a person's health than being thin (all factors being equal).
Why don't they want to change their minds? Could it be that then they would have to admit that they've been wrong all along? That they weren't smart enough to see through the lies they've been fed? That they started out with an erroneous assumption and ignored the results that showed they were wrong and they just can't admit that they would do something like that? That it's never been about health? That it's always been about aesthetics and selling a product we don't need, that we never needed? That it's been about greed? The more they can make us unhappy with our bodies, the more money they make off us, selling us diet plans, the perfect hair color, the tanning salons so we can have that perfect tan, the designer clothes, the wrinkle cream, the plastic surgery, the gym memberships to tone that body, all so we can meet that unattainable ideal (which keeps getting smaller and smaller). Never be satisfied with who you are or how you look, because if you ever do decide to love yourself as you are, they will cease to have a reason for existence, and you will be royally pissed about all the time, effort, emotion, and money you wasted trying to be something that you aren't and can never be, at least not permanently.
How easy is it to change our bodies to meet their ideal? Well, from my personal experience, it's more time and effort than I want to expend. I don't want to have to obsess about every bite of food I can't eat for the rest of my life. I don't want to have to live with starvation for the rest of my life. I don't want to have to spend half of my waking hours exercising like a hamster on speed trying to get thin while I'm starving myself. I have a life to live, a husband to love, books to read, movies to see, grandchildren to play with, crafts and sewing to do, shopping to do, housework and meals and laundry to do, friends to enjoy. If I'm exercising half my waking hours and starving myself, I'm not living, I'm existing. Sorry, I would rather live happy and fat, than miserable, starving, and thin. I think I'll live longer if I'm happy than I would if I was miserable, no matter what my weight happens to be. If the world of fat-phobes can't accept that, too bad, sucks to be you.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Life Insurance? Plan on paying through the nose if you're fat

Well, I got a damned rude awakening today. DH has been on me for the last few months to get life insurance, just in case. Do you know that out of all the insurance companies out there who offer life insurance, 99% of them use height/weight tables to decide if they'll insure you? I didn't know that until today, when I talked to an insurance agent. He handles 40 different companies, and only one of them has no request for height and weight on the application form. He talked to 4 other agents, who between them, handle another 60 to 80 different companies, and all of them want to know height and weight. Most of them, if you're "overweight" or "obese", forget it, no life insurance for you (and if they will insure you, you're going to pay double or triple what a thin person would). This is just fucking outrageous!
If you're fat, it doesn't matter if you don't smoke/drink and follow HAES, you're still more of a risk than a thin person who smokes and/or drinks (and doesn't exercise or follow HAES).
I was lucky, the agent I talked to had one company who doesn't ask height/weight, they just ask questions about heart/lungs/AIDS/smoking. I know this is a good company, my grandparents got insurance on each of us kids when we were born, annuity policies, I think they were, so they've been in business for more than 50 years. Anyway, they paid premiums on them until we were each 18 and then we could either keep the policy or cash it in (mine was $500, I used it for part of the down payment for a house I bought when I was 23, shithole that it was).
So health insurance isn't the only thing we're being screwed on, people, it's life insurance too. If you don't have any now, you really should look into getting some before the insurance companies decide they won't insure fatties at all at any price. I can see it coming (my insurance agent told me that he had 5 companies last year who didn't ask for height/weight, but they started asking for that information this year).

ETA: If you live in the UK, it's even worse, Obese face 50% tax on life insurance. That's just if you're fat. If you have other risk factors, such as smoking or previous health conditions, you can pay up to 400% more for your life insurance. Those increased premiums don't get you any extra coverage either. You're paying that 400% more for the same coverage you would get if your BMI was below 30 (or 33 or 35, or whatever cut-off the insurance company decides is too risky for them).
Talk about making money off hysteria, the insurance companies are doing that, all right, hand over fucking fist. Just because they think fat people die sooner than thin ones.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

The National Eating Disorders Association is celebrating National Eating Disorders Awareness Week from today, February 24, through March 1st. One of the ways they are celebrating:
The key message for National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2008 – “Be comfortable in your genes. Wear jeans that fit the TRUE you.” – ties into NEDA's signature event, the Great Jeans Giveaway.

This is something that is great for women with or without eating disorders. If you are waiting to live your life until you fit into those too-small jeans, DON'T! Give them away, get jeans that fit and enjoy the life you have now.
There's all kinds of information there, so click around and check it out. I don't know anything about any of the sponsors listed, since I've not had an eating disorder (other than dieting and that's as disordered as I ever want to have been), so YMMV about what is said and recommended. I'm hoping Rachel and Harriet will chime in here with their opinions, since they know so much more about EDs than I do and I value their input.
But I have another favorite saying now: Wear jeans that fit your genes!

Friday, February 22, 2008

I found my bra style (and some neat undies)

I had nothing to do the other day, so I was surfing the net, looking for sites with bras for the rack of doom. I lucked out (after looking at probably 15 sites) at FreshPair. They carry bras in sizes from 30A-G to 56B-FF. Some band sizes have a wider range of cup sizes (52 happens to go up to H, YAY!) so this might be a good place to look for those hard to find sizes (and the prices aren't too bad, my Goddess ones are $29 each). I didn't have to pay any shipping either, which is a plus. OMG, I may actually be able to afford to replace my bras every 6 months instead of every 3 years now. What a concept!
I also found some stretchy satin panties at Wal-Mart by Just My Size (2 pair for $7.96) that have great colors, fit me like a dream, and actually look good and feel good on. I get the high-cut briefs (they're 95% nylon/5% spandex with a cotton-lined crotch). I bought one package to try (I got really tired of the cotton granny panties I'd been wearing) and since they fit so well and feel so good, I'm going to get some more of them (I know a lot of people don't like shopping WallyWorld, but they have panties that fit me at a price I'm willing to pay and I don't have to pay shipping and handling, what can I say, I'm cheap). They had black, red, blue, pink, brown, brown print, blue/pink print, burgundy, white on white, black on black, and a couple of other colors I don't remember right offhand. I got the red and black package (DH likes the red

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Kirstie Alley to create her own diet plan

I saw a rumor the other day that, since Jenny Craig had Queen Latifah on board to tout their diet, they had fired Kirstie Alley. Looks like that might be true, she's coming out with her own diet plan in 2009. Just what we need, another diet that doesn't work for long-term weight loss (ah, but I don't know that, do I, since it isn't out yet).
"The weight-loss field is wide open and not immune to new ideas and improved solutions for the fat problems that plague many of us Americans every day," Alley said in a statement.

Kirstie, I hate to tell you this, but most of the problems that plague fat Americans won't be solved by getting thin. They're caused by people being brainwashed into thinking that they have to be thin in order to be worthwhile human beings. They're caused by all the fat hatred out there that tells fat Americans they're every demeaning word you can apply to a human being. They're caused by telling fat Americans that they will never have a good life or be able to enjoy life until they get thin. Your diet plan isn't going to be any different than any other diet plan out there, it's going to perpetuate the same mythconceptions that they all do, and you're going to be laughing all the way to the bank.
"I want to create something new that will help millions of people end the seemingly never ending fatty-roller coaster ride," she added.

So, you think you've found, or can create, a diet that will help people lose weight and keep it off permanently? Yeah, right, when the sun rises in the west it'll happen.
She did not give specific details about what she intends to create, only that she expects it to be "the healthiest, yummiest, easiest and most effective weight-loss program on the market."

That's what JC and NutriSystem offer, yummy food and effective weight loss (if you think food that's over-processed and tastes like carboard is yummy, that is). It ain't effective weight loss if you can't keep the weight off forever once you've lost it, and I can pretty much guarantee you that any plan you come up with isn't one that can be sustained forever. After all, it took you 3 years of JC to lose 75 lbs (that's an average of 2 lbs a week, if you don't plateau) and how many hours of exercise a day did you have to put in to accomplish that (not to mention: how much calorie restriction did you have to do in order to hit that weight loss)?
Sorry Kirstie, I'm not jumping on your bandwagon. I prefer to stay fat and healthy at the size I am now. I'm not risking another crackpot diet that will make me lose weight for a while, then quit working and have me gaining it all back, and possibly more. Been there done that, and I sure as hell don't need any more t-shirts, hats, or keychains proving it (not to mention making my health worse in the long run by adding another yo-yo diet to my past string of them).
Come back in 5 years and tell us just how well JC worked for you (or is it not working and that's why you're coming up with your own plan, and you want to get in on the money-machine, hmmmmm?).

Saturday, February 16, 2008

THIS is why we need FA blogs and community

Sandy rules!!
After reading this, I am so fucking glad that the fatosphere exists and that we are so supportive of each other. It makes me grateful for a husband who loves me, every fucking fat inch of me, faults and all (and I have plenty of them, let me tell you).
All I can say is: Go, go read this and thank whatever powers that be that some of us fatty fat fat McFatties are waking up to the hype and hysteria surrounding fat and saying not just no, but "HELL FUCKING NO!".

Friday, February 15, 2008

AlliConnect wants to use FA blogs!!!!

It's not bad enough that WW is co-opting FA language to push their diets, now Alli wants to use us to promote self acceptance and a healthier you? Excuse me, assholes, we're doing that just fine right now. We don't need the help of a take-this-shit-your-pants-and-get-magically-thinner POS drug to do that.
If low-fat diets worked for permanent weight loss, every person who has tried one would be permanently thin. And I'm sorry, asshats, you couldn't pay me enough money to take your POS Alli. I have enough problems with oily hair and skin without taking a drug that's going to make me shit my pants, have oil exuding through my pores, give me hideously reeking gas, and make me smell like shit no matter how many times a day I bathe. It would be nice to be thin, I'll admit it. Fewer problems finding clothes to fit, no more being mooed at when walking, no more name-calling and fat-bashing and fat discrimination. But the side effects of your drug just aren't the price I'm willing to pay (and have to pay money to you for the "privilege" of having them? I don't think so).
I'm not willing to pay the price of any side effects of any diet in order to take advantage of thin privilege, thank you very much. I'll continue to love and accept myself as I am. I happen to think I'm a pretty fucking awesome person just the way I am (and so does my husband, and my friends, and family).
So, Alli - fuck you very much, FA doesn't need/want your help promoting self-acceptance/health (with allis like you, who needs enemas?). Kthnxbai.

Obesity linked to more cancers: British researchers

It looks like they may have cherry-picked results from other studies to get the correlations between obesity and cancer.
The analysis of 144 published studies incorporating some 282,000 men and women also showed that gender can make a difference in the relationship between obesity and some cancers, the researchers reported in the Lancet medical journal.

I'll bet you could look at those 144 studies and come up with an entirely different result, just by using different endpoints (in other words, what do you want the results to be? Look for the data that gives you that result).
For men, the risk of thyroid cancer rose by a third and went up 24 percent for colon and kidney cancers, the researchers said. In women who went from normal to overweight, the risk of gall bladder cancer rose 59 percent and kidney cancer went up 34 percent.
"Increased BMI is associated with increased risk of common and less common malignancies," the researchers wrote. "For some cancer types, associations differed between sexes and populations of different ethnic origins."

And what fucking good does it do us to know this? Like we can change our weight with a wave of that magic wand there?
There were also strong differences between men and women for cancers like bowel and kidney cancers. Knowing this kind of information could help scientists focus research on what is exactly causing some of these cancers, Renehan said.

So correlation is not causation, right? And you don't know what exactly is causing these cancers? But I thought you said it's linked to being fat? Which is it, asstards? You know, or you think you know? Did you go into this with the idea that being fat increases risks/incidences of cancer and then looked for the data that would show that? Did you look at all those studies and control for all the things that can cause cancer besides fat? Admit it, researchers, you can do all the studies you want, and you still aren't going to know for sure what causes cancer in any particular person.
The only thing you can be sure of is that we're all going to die and you can't do a fucking thing about it. Get off the obesity-causes-everything bandwagon and look for the real causes so you can look for cures. Because you aren't going to find a cure for obesity (it's not nice to fool with Mother Nature).

ETA: Sandy at Junkfood Science has a good take on this whole mess here. Check it out.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Some really old ads: Health was not a concern?

Oh yeah, Lysol for douching and tapeworms for weight loss. I don't think I want to go back to the 'good old days', how about you?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Creativity - I wantz it back

I made these dolls between 8 and 12 years ago, when I was thinking of opening a craft shop. I sold some of the dolls I made to people I worked with, and at a couple of craft shows, but I couldn't make any money at it (there's a lot of hand sewing in them, which takes time). I have several more that are really elaborate, soft-sculptured and anatomically correct. I have one that isn't finished yet, it's a Pan (human torso, goat back legs) that I created the bottom half of the pattern myself (I still need to carve the hooves, and give him his hair and beard). I still have all of my supplies to make dolls, but my creativity and "mood to sew" seem to have flown the coop. So, do y'all think there is a market on the internet for these? Maybe if I could sell them, that would bring back my enthusiasm and spark that sewing mood again.
Rastaman (the dark doll in the red outfit) was one of my first attempts, and his "dreadlocks" are a simple crochet chain stitch cut to length and knotted, then hand-sewn to his head (his moustache is made the same way). I also made his clothing.
The doll with the long light auburn hair is wearing jeans and a t-shirt that I made, with a picture I transferred onto it.
The little doll in the blue and white outfit was made before Rastaman, and her outfit is made from recycled kitchen curtains (my own design). I also made the little hair ornament at the back of her hairdo.
The doll in the pink/white pajamas (I made those too) was made mostly as an experiment, trying for a different hairstyle.
I have other pictures of dolls I've made, but they aren't on my computer. I'm going to have to see if I can find them and scan them. I'll post them as soon as I do, one of them is of an anatomically correct toddler that stands about 20" tall (about 80 hours of work went into that one).
I have an idea for a mermaid, a pattern for a frog, and one for a stuffed rocking horse (I made a couple of those, will have to take a picture of the one I still have). Hmmm, looks like writing about them is bringing back the ideas and the enthusiasm. I'm going to have to go upstairs and start organizing my sewing room and finding all my supplies and patterns.
I have to thank Mickie at fatgrrl for the inspiration, her crocheted animals got me thinking. So, Mickie, here's to creativity :)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fashion and Plus-size Clothing Rant

I've never been one to be into fashion and what's hot this season, what colors are "in", what styles are the latest, etc. My biggest problem with clothing was either finding something I liked that fit, or finding a pattern I liked in a size that fit. I don't care if you label it plus-sized or Omar-the-Tentmaker sized or Jane's-Tent-and-Awning sized or Fat Fatty McFatFat, as long as it fits me and I like it. It's one of the reasons I hate shopping for clothes. I can find plenty of tops that I like the design, or I like the fabric, or I like the color/print of the fabric. I can even find tops that fit now (and for someone with 60" of boobage, that's amazing). But trying to find a top with all of the above in one item, not so easy.
Then trying to figure out what size I am in each designer label, forget it. I don't have that much time. The size I wear in Liz & Me is not the same size I wear in Just My Size is not the same size I wear in Bobbie Brooks is not the same size I wear in Northcrest or any other label. That's just for tops. Dresses are totally out of the question. If it has a waist, I can't wear it, period (waists on dresses hit me 3 inches above my natural waistline, 2 inches below my boobs). If it's an empire waist, I can't wear it because those aren't designed for my particular sized rack of doom (not to mention trying to find a bra that fits that will go with the deep vee necks they seem to think we all want). Sorry, I don't want the rack of doom falling out of the top of my dress, thank you very much, and I don't want to show a lot of cleavage either. Slacks are a whole 'nother story. I have to buy talls because I have a 32" inseam (yeah, I'm average height, but have long legs). I haven't figured out if I have more ass than belly or if my waist in front is just lower than designers think it should be. Pants that fit my waist and hips and have legs long enough also have a waistband that hits me right under my bra band in front (they're fine in back). Even LB's Right Fit jeans have a waistband in front that's about an inch too high, so it rolls over when I wear them. When I used to make all my own slacks, I cut the waist lower in front and moved pockets down, lengthened the legs, and left a large hem in them, just in case the length shrank in washing and drying.
Those are just some of the reasons I resorted to making most of my clothes for years. I just happen to be lucky to have inherited a talent for sewing from my mother and two grandmothers. I also was lucky (if you can call it that) to have worked in a garment factory when I was younger and picked up a lot of shortcuts so it doesn't take me a long time to make tops and slacks. But again, finding patterns that fit without making major alterations is an impossibility. I can find patterns I like, but none of them come anywhere near close to hitting my measurements (that's why I have a box full of patterns that I can't/won't use, because adding anywhere from 2 to 4 inches to the bust/waist/hip without altering the shoulders/neckline is more work than I want to do). I've resorted to taking tops I've bought that I really like the design (but didn't care for the fabric/print/color so much) and once they're worn out, I take them apart, make any minor alterations (like narrowing the shoulders, why do designers think that if you have serious boobage you also have the shoulders of a linebacker to go with them?), and use them for patterns to make more tops. I can then go out looking for fabric and get the type/color/print I want and have a top I'll wear, look good in, and feel fabulous in (I also get a lot of compliments on what I make).
The outfit I made for my son's wedding is a case in point about purchased patterns. The envelope said it was a size 30/32. Now, when I buy a top, it's usually that size, but guess what? The pattern runs smaller than ready-made. I cut out the pattern, compared the pieces to a top I'd taken apart for a pattern, and the purchased pattern was 4" smaller. Now I paid $15 for a pattern I couldn't use (alterations were not an option, no way to do them without changing the way it was supposed to look). And I really, really liked the design. I ended up using that top I had taken apart and adding the slanted hem to it and going with the neckline on it instead of the neckline on the purchased pattern. I did use the sleeves from the purchased pattern, they were a short flutter sleeve and I wanted that, not a fitted short sleeve.
When I wore it to my son's wedding, everyone wanted to know where I got such a cute outfit. When I told them I made it, they were like "no way, it's just so cute, where did you get the pattern?" When I told them I copied, sorta, one I had bought, that didn't fit, they were saying "you have mad skillz when it comes to sewing then." Maybe I do, but it isn't because it's something I really love to do, it's because if I want something I like, that fits, and is in the colors/fabric/print I want, I have to be able to create it myself because there just isn't a lot out there for a woman my size.
I quit doing a lot of sewing when I worked, I just didn't have the time or the energy for it. Now that I don't have to work anymore (thank you, DH), I have the time for sewing, but I haven't managed to wear out any of my really cute tops yet so I can make patterns out of them. I've done some looking at fabric here in the last few months, and the price is killing me (can you tell I'm cheap?). Geez Louize, I can remember when I paid $1 a yard for t-shirt knits and single-knit blouse weight fabrics. And the color/print selections were just fabulous, I could usually always find something I liked that I could afford. Now, I'm lucky if I can find it on sale for less than $10 a yard, and the color/print selection isn't the greatest. Are they trying to keep us from making our own clothes? Do they want to make sure we have to buy ready-made? Is that why I can't find patterns in my size? I know I represent a very small percentage of fat women (my size is probably 1 or 2% of all fat women), but that doesn't mean I want to sit home naked or wrapped in a sheet all day long (or wearing those gawd-awful muu-muus or caftans).
I think I'm going to go back to making most of my clothes again, and buying clearance at LB and Catherine's if and when they have something I like. It seems like that's the only way I'm going to have the clothes I like, that fit, and are comfortable. I really feel for women who don't have the time, patience, or talent for clothes-making.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Weekend fluff - The Game Plan

DH and I bought The Game Plan with The Rock. I have to say he's a much better actor than he ever was a wrestler. This movie is definitely a must-see. I laughed most of the way through it, and the actress who played his daughter just totally stole the movie. She was perfect for the part. Kyra Sedgewick was pretty damned good as his agent/manager. The actors who played the football team were also excellent, and the scene at the ballet was a charmer.
If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. Five star rating from me and DH (he laughed all the way through it too, and said he was really glad we got it).

Friday, February 8, 2008

One Flaw In Women: Just a reminder for us all

One Flaw In Women

By the time the Lord made woman,
He was into his sixth day of working overtime.
An angel appeared and said,
"Why are you spending so much time on this one?"
And the Lord answered, "Have you seen my spec sheet on her?
She has to be completely washable, but not plastic,
Have over 200 movable parts, all replaceable
And able to run on diet coke and leftovers,
Have a lap that can hold four children at one time,
Have a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart
-and she will do everything
With only two hands."
The angel was astounded at the requirements.
"Only two hands!? No way!
And that's just on the standard model?
That's too much work for one day.
Wait until tomorrow to finish."
But I won't," the Lord protested.
"I am so close to finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart.
She already heals herself when she is sick
AND can work 18 hour days."
The angel moved closer and touched the woman.
"But you have made her so soft, Lord."
"She is soft," the Lord agreed,
"but I have also made her tough.
You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish."
"Will she be able to think?", asked the angel.
The Lord replied,
"Not only will she be able to think,
She will be able to reason and negotiate.."
The angel then noticed something,
And reaching out, touched the woman's cheek.
"Oops, it looks like you have a leak in this model.
I told you that you were trying to put too much into this one."
"That's not a leak,"
The Lord corrected,
"that's a tear!"
"What's the tear for?" the angel asked.!
The Lord said, "The tear is her way of expressing her joy,
Her sorrow, her pain, her disappointment, her love,
Her loneliness, her grief and her pride."
The angel was impressed.
"You are a genius, Lord.
You thought of everything!
Woman is truly amazing."
And she is!
Women have strengths that amaze men.
They bear hardships and they carry burdens,
But they hold happiness,
Love and joy.
They smile when they want to scream.
They sing when they want to cry.
They cry when they are happy
And laugh when they are nervous.
They fight for what they believe in.
They stand up to injustice.
They don't take "no" for an answer
When they believe there is a better solution.
They go without so their family can have..
They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.
They love unconditionally.
They cry when their children excel
And cheer when their friends get awards.
They are happy when they hear about
A birth or a wedding.
Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They grieve at the loss of a family member,
Yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left.
They know that a hug and a kiss
Can heal a broken heart.
Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you
To show how much they care about you.
The heart of a woman is what makes the world keep turning.
They bring joy, hope and love.
They have compassion and ideals.
They give moral support to their family and friends.
Women have vital things to say and everything to give.
PLEASE pass this along to all your women friends and relatives
To remind them just how amazing they are.

Ladies, we are amazing and we need to remember that every time someone tells us how we need to improve ourselves. I'm printing this out so I can create a cross stitched sampler of it to hang on my wall so I'll see it every day.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Brie Shall Overcome: Harvard student nails it!!!

Harvard Student Hits The Nail On The Head!!!!
I can't add anything to what she said. You have to go there and read it yourself, it just says it all. I found this link by way of TariRocks commenting at BFB. Smart woman, she is.

Deaths partially halt diabetes study

Ya know, I've had some problems with DH's doctor at the VA because of the way she kept changing his meds without seeing him (he's type 2 diabetic, she started him on insulin, and changed his dosages without having talked to us or seen us). But we made an appointment to see her, with a list of concerns he had, spent almost an hour showing her what we had done with dietary changes, and our adjustments to his insulin based on those changes, and got good explanations from her on why she had stopped one of his meds. She also explained why she didn't think it was necessary for him to get his A1c below 6.5 - 7. She said that the benefits of a normal (non-diabetic) A1c of 4.5 to 5 as relates to diabetic complications, are not that much better than at 6.5 to 7.
So when I saw the article about the ACCORD study, it made me appreciate the fact that she's not on the bandwagon of getting his blood sugar as low as it can possibly go (she said as long as he can keep it in the range of 80 - 140 the majority of the time, he'll be fine).
This study seems to be saying that diabetics have to struggle to get their A1c below 6, but from the diabetic lists I've been reading, that doesn't seem to be the case. Most of the posters have A1c's ranging between 4.5 and 6, and they work on having really tight control of it and getting their numbers as low as they can without having episodes of hypoglycemia.
The government abruptly halted aggressive treatment in a major study of diabetes and heart disease after a surprising number of deaths among patients who pushed their blood sugar to super-lows — findings that call into question a growing movement in diabetes care.
Wednesday's move doesn't affect health guidelines for most Type 2 diabetics, but it raises concern about a particularly vulnerable group: Patients at especially high risk of heart attack or stroke.
The 10,000-patient study, dubbed ACCORD, was supposed to answer a big question: Could pushing blood sugar to near-normal levels, below today's recommended target, help protect these high-risk patients' hearts?

There were fewer heart attacks than they expected to see, but more deaths from those heart attacks, and they don't understand why. The patients' weren't hypoglycemic, but their blood sugar was near the norm for a non-diabetic. There were also more unexplained deaths without clear evidence of heart attack.
So for now, the NIH's message: Diabetics with heart disease shouldn't strive for near-normal glucose, but to a level long described as optimal for all diabetics — around 7 on a measurement scale known as the A1C.

The goal for diabetics used to be 8 or 9, and was lowered to 7, each point drop means a 25 to 40 percent lessening of the risk for serious complications, such as blindness or kidney failure. It seems to me that they may have gotten carried away with the how low can you go in order to prevent complications. There seems to be a law of diminishing returns coming into effect here. The lower you go, after a certain point, the less good it's going to do you (gee, does that sound familiar to anyone?).
I'm all for treating diabetes, after all, I want my husband around for a good long time to come. With his family history of diabetes and heart complications, it's a really good thing that his doctor isn't one of those advocating he get his numbers to non-diabetic levels (and she didn't say anything about his weight this time, even though he'd gained back the 10 lbs he lost, and another 4 since starting the insulin). Weight gain can be one of the side effects of insulin, from what I understand (something about better utilization of sugar and storing it as fat instead of dumping it in the blood?).
This whole thing makes me wonder about the health establishment's habit of lowering the threshold for so many aspects of our health. For years, we were told that 120/80 was normal for blood pressure, now it's 110/70. We all know what they've done to the BMI, which is a bullshit measure for health anyway. Are they going to lower the standards so much that no one, thin or fat, is going to be able to meet any of them? I can see it coming...............

Monday, February 4, 2008

Health experts offer advice to curb obesity

This article shows just how far we have to go before so-called "health experts" get it.
*Did you know that we don't know what food is "healthy" or "unhealthy"?
*We don't need food-vending machines in offices and other buildings?
*We pay too much attention to food advertising?
*There are too many places to get food?
*There are way too many fast food places?
*We're not smart enough to go out to eat and be able to figure out if our choices are healthy?
*We need to be reminded not to over-eat and not to eat unhealthfully?
*Transfats are bad for you?
Talk about perpetuating the stereotype that fat people are stupid and the gubmint has to take care of us for own good. The advice that they give so we aren't triggered into pigging out and getting fat(ter)? Yeah, right, I need that like I need another hole in my head. Fuckwads.
Environment is a powerful influence to eat, but y'all, we can fight it just by following the suggestions they give:
*Keep a food diary so you know how much you're eating and when (like we don't have a clue, we're mindless eating machines).
*Use portion-control dishware (sounds like a diet to me).
*Make small changes, one at a time. Drop potato chips for air-popped popcorn, for example (but what if I don't like air-popped popcorn, or any kind of popcorn?).
*Avoid places where you are likely to overeat (shit, that could be almost anywhere, how do I avoid my home?), or the people you overeat with (Ok, now I have to avoid friends too?).
*Use life transitions (such as moving, starting a new job, having a baby) to establish healthier habits that aren't influenced by the old environmental triggers(sure, because I'm not strong enough to do it if I don't get away from triggers. What about all the fat-phobia, that's a trigger. How do I get away from that?).
*Change your routes so you don't walk by vending machines, or drive by fast food places (because we're just so weak that if we see it, we're gonna have to have it).
*Restrict calories during your diet, and rely on exercise to maintain afterward (oh yeah, this just works so well, doesn't it).
*Think of prevention. Keep soda and most snack foods out of the house, limit portions, and don't make your kids finish everything on their plates (and this has been proved to work how?).
Everything they suggest in this article, if followed religously (and you know that's what they want us to do), is damned near guaranteed to make people obsessed with food. It's not going to do anything for health (although I don't have a problem with nutrition information being posted in all restaurants, I just don't see that it's feasible, since it's damned difficult to figure it out at home when I'm cooking from scratch). And why does anyone think they have to dictate how healthy I should be? Every time you turn around, they've changed what's good for you, what's bad for you, how much of what you should eat (food pyramid, anyone?), and the definitions for certain diseases keep getting lowered all the time (blood pressure, blood sugar, to name 2). I'm not even going to get into BMI, we all know what bullshit that is (weight is so not a predictor of health).
I'm an adult, dammit, and I've been making these decisions all my life, and I haven't died of TEH FATZ yet, even though I've been the walking dead obese for over half of it. So guess what, all y'all supposed "health experts", you don't know jack shit about what constitutes health for the majority of people because every one of us is an individual and we all have different ways of being healthy, or not, and it's none of your damned business.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Mississippi bill can be salvaged: no kids without parent/guardian, etc

It's the first step in a wave, y'all. And here comes the fucking wave.
Change the bill to read that kids can't eat in a fast food place without a parent or guardian, and prohibit them from getting the most fattening, unhealthy items on the menu. Yep, start with the kids, and then you can hit the adults.
Public interest law professor John Banzhaf, who filed the first of ten now-successful fat law suits, and counseled on others as well as inspiring and appearing in "Super Size Me," has been called "the Ralph Nader of junk food," "the man who is taking fat to court," "a major crusader against big tobacco and now among those targeting the food industry," and "the man big tobacco and now fast food love to hate." He has written to the bill's sponsors asking them to refocus the bill.

Didn't take long at all, did it?
Banzhaf suggests that the bill be focused exclusively on children, arguing that "While most people have a very strong and almost visceral objection to any governmental restrictions imposed to protect their own health from their own bad judgments, we have a long tradition of protecting children from the own inability to make mature judgments."

Yep, the government needs to do this for TEH CHILDRENZ because, obviously, their parents aren't. And WTF do we know about raising kids anyway? We've only been doing it just fine, for the most part, for how many thousands of years now?
The rest of the article is just so much bullshit that I can't bring myself to quote it. All I want to do is rage and swear and throw things. I just used up a couple of years' worth of Sanity Watchers points reading that garbage.

Help for eating disorders is hard to come by

I don't have a problem with the article itself, since I don't know a lot about eating disorders, other than what I've read on some blogs. What I'm wondering about is that shaded area to the right of the article that is listing stats and information for the various types of eating disorders, this piece in particular:
Eating Disorder or Diet?

· Dieting is about losing a little bit of weight in a healthful way. Eating disorders are about trying to make your whole life better through food, or lack of, and eating.

· Dieting is about doing something healthy for yourself. Eating disorders are about seeking approval and acceptance from everyone through negative attention.

· Dieting is about losing a bit of weight and doing it healthfully. Eating disorders are about how life won't be good until a bit, or a lot, of weight is lost, and there's no concern for what kind of damage you do to yourself to get there.

· Dieting is about losing some weight in a healthy way so how you feel on the outside will match how good you already feel on the inside. Eating disorders are about being convinced that your whole self-esteem is hinged on what you weigh and how you look.

· Dieting is about attempting to control your weight a little better. Eating disorders are about attempting to control your life and emotions through food, or lack of food, and are a huge neon sign saying, "Look how out of control I really feel."

Dieting is not about losing weight in a healthy way for any of the reasons stated (at least not for the majority of fat people, I would think). Why do I say this? Simply because of the way diets are shoved at us. It's not about health, it's about some asshat's aesthetics. They don't like looking at fatties, so they better by gawd do anything and everything to get thin, no matter how harmful it is to your health. After all, thin is healthy, and fat is not healthy, so getting thin can't be harmful, right? Guess again asshats. Not even close, no prize for you.
I don't know if the descriptions of what eating disorders are about are accurate either, since the only disordered eating I've ever done has been to go home and eat a huge bag of chips (or box of cookies or whatever) after people have ragged on me about how much I need to lose weight (and I don't do that anymore, I just tell them to fuck off, my body is none of their fucking business).
Do any of you out there have any thoughts on this? I'm interested in hearing what y'all think.