Thursday, December 29, 2005

more on IBS

Okay, I'm researching irritable bowel syndrome since that kind lady who wrote to me suggested that I might have it.
According to aboutibs.org , These are the symptoms:

At least 12 weeks or more, which need not be consecutive, in the preceding 12 months of abdominal discomfort or pain that is accompanied by at least two of the following features:
1) It is relieved with defecation, and/or
2) Onset is associated with a change in frequency of stool, and/or
3) Onset is associated with a change in form (appearance) of stool.

Other symptoms that are not essential but support the diagnosis of IBS:

  • Abnormal stool frequency (greater than 3 bowel movements/day or less than 3 bowel movements/week);
  • Abnormal stool form (lumpy/hard or loose/watery stool);
  • Abnormal stool passage (straining, urgency, or feeling of incomplete evacuation);
  • Passage of mucus;
  • Bloating or feeling of abdominal distension.
Okay. I RARELY have pain. When I do, it's this terrible gas pain that comes at night, and it's so bad I think I'm going to die. I feel like if I just gave a GIANT FART it would be gone, but I can't fart or poop, it's like I'm blocked (or simply don't really need to go!). When I do finally manage to go a little, the pain starts to go away. And it's very infrequent--I think maybe 3x in the last year.
Form/consistancy of stool. God, this is gross to talk about. Mine is usually very soft and sometimes looks like brownie mix, sometimes like chocolate soft-serve ice cream. The brownie-mix kind is very stinky and tends be so volumious that it is out of the water of the toilet. Those take 2-3 flushes and usually require a toilet cleaning afterward. The other kind is lots of small floaty pieces drenched in a lovely sauce of bright yellow bile. That is the more urgent kind, and the kind that I describe as "sick" when I am keeping a poop log. It definately happens after I eat fried food.
Frequency: more often than I eat. I usually go around 4x a day, sometimes more. Once or even twice before I go to work. After lunch. When I get home. And sometimes again before bed. In a given day, it seems like a lot more comes out my butt then went into my mouth. Plus I pee whenver I poop, plus about four times extra which is just pee.
I never feel like all the poop didn't come out, and the only time I strain is when I'm trying to force a poop and don't need to when I have the gas.

Okay, they go on to say:
Upper GI symptoms are commonly reported by IBS patients with 25% to 50% of patients reporting heartburn, early feeling of fullness (satiety), nausea, abdominal fullness, and bloating. Many patients also report intermittent upper abdominal discomfort or pain (dyspepsia). Feelings of urgency, and a feeling of "incomplete" emptying may also be experienced.

I do have heartburn, but I thought that was from my haital hernia. I am sometimes nauseaous; constant readers may remember my vomiting problems Fall 2004. I have no clue what "dyspepsia" means--sounds like a word for a made-up pain. My bile-y poops tend to be urgent, but the chocolate-like ones are just normal "I gotta go" feelings.

So after all that, what do you think? It's iffy, huh. Do I want to have it? Would surgery cure it or make it worse? I'd think slicing and dicing an already-unhappy bunch of intestines wouldn't improve the situation. More research needed on that...okay, after a few minutes of searching I can't really find anything. We'll leave that up in the air for now.

new therapist

I haven't been to see my old therapist since September. I started working out on Mondays and it didn't fit for me to see her and then work out later because I'd get kicked out of the pool due to a class starting at 2:45. And once I've worked out, I want to go home and shower, not drive back to another town for therapy. And she wasn't able to see me on the other afternoon I had free. Which I no longer have free anyway since my work scheduled changed a few weeks ago.
So she reccommended someone to me. I called her, and she couldn't see me according to my schedule either, so that woman foisted me off on yet another therapist, who can see me at the ungodly time of 6:00 on Thursdays.
She's a very nice woman. However, my husband's company is changing insurance on the 1st so I might not be able to see her again. So I don't want to go into our first visit too much. We talked about my fat, basically, because that's what I wanted to talk about. I told her about this blog (not the URL) and she said it was a good thing. She asked if I'd ever done a radio show (I did used to work at a radio station but I wasn't a DJ) or thought about it.

another booth I fit in

I went to another restaurant tonight where I'd previously not fitted into a booth, was escorted to a booth...and fit. It wasn't COMFORTABLE (I like to lean forward to keep food from my boobs, and I couldn't lean forward) but I wasn't SCRUNCHED. At all. If my stomach was touching the table, my back wasn't touching the bench.
Wow.
I know it's a stupid fucking thing to be proud of.
But when I had last sat in a booth at this very place, I couldn't even breathe I was so crammed in there. It was uncomfortable to the point of being painful.
Yet I've only lost 10# on the scale.
Scale is fucked up.
Or I've gained a shitload of muscle.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

people saying nice things about me

I went to the gym tonight after a week off (I was busy on Friday and Monday they were closed). Always so hard to get back into it after an absence. Plus I was really busy at work and left a half hour after I meant to. I thought I was going to get stuck working out during swimming lessons but apparently they're over for a while. YAY.
When I got out of the pool I was the only one there. Three of the therapists were bodyguarding me. (Hey, I have a GREAT body.) I stopped on my way out to talk to them, and lament how in spite of my insane workout 3x a week I've only lost ten pounds since September.
I was astonished to find out that they have been watching me and gauging my progress. One of the therapists swears I am much more than 10 lbs thinner. She said my arms are different, and my bathing suits all fit me totally differently. I know I have built muscle along the outside of my hip & thigh because I feel sleeker there. I feel good about it as long as I don't LOOK at myself. Looking ruins everything. I feel strong and slim, all the things I do affirmations about (I am sleek and strong). But the looking tells me I am pudding on the outside.
My husband's company is changing insurance companies next week. I don't know if that bodes good or bad for my surgery. I am also going to a new therapist tomorrow. My old therapist can't see me anymore since my work schedule changed & I started working out so much, so she reccomended me to someone else, who also can't see me, and who passed me down the line. This person didn't even ask what I wanted therapy for. It's just one appointment for now. I don't know why I need therapy. I guess I'm in denial about something.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I guess Iost some weight

I decided to just weigh myself this morning. My scale sucks. It only goes up to 300, and there's no way to re-center it to 0. So it shows about 5 lbs even when no one's on it. So near as I can tell, I weigh about 350. I was hoping for less. Seems like no matter I do I hover around 360. :( But I AM THINNER. I must have done that muscle thing. You all know that muscle weighs more than fat, and also burns more calories. I can feel the difference in my legs, especially the outside of my thighs and the outside of my hips.
Here I am, telling the world what I weigh anonymously-how funny is that? My own husband doesn't even know what I weigh. He thinks I weigh 300. He wants me to tell him but I saw his face when he "figured out" from something I said that I weighed 300#--he wasn't happy. He weighs around 230 and he knows I'm fatter than him.

here's the picture of Cathi Lee

more on the 330 lb weight loss

source
Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Here's the skinny

WATERVILLE -- Three years ago, at 500 pounds, Cathi Lee could not wash dishes standing up. She couldn't vacuum the floor without sitting down.

She couldn't go the movie theater because she could not fit in the seats.

Flying in an airplane? Out of the question.

"I couldn't walk across the room without being in pain," she said. "I was dying a slow death. I knew that in the back of my mind, I was in a very unhappy place."

Three years later and 330 pounds lighter, Lee, 47, is a new person. She went from a size 38 to 12 petite and, for the first time, can walk into a store and buy clothes rather than having to special-order them.

Lee literally lost three-quarters of her weight, not by gastric bypass surgery, pills or crash-dieting. She didn't even do it under the direction of a doctor or nutritionist.

"I went online; I went to libraries. I contacted organizations and told them to send everything they had about weight loss," she said. "I started seven months of research. I called trainers. I got tons of material on weight-loss programs and on working out and then spent five months going over this stuff, creating a plan I could live with."

For the first year, she weaned herself off foods such as pastries, potato chips, cheese and crackers. She did not exercise for the first year because she physically was unable to do so, she said.

"I lost 90 pounds the first year and no one noticed," she said.

Last year, she started walking a quarter of a mile a day and using hand weights. It was an uphill battle, but she persevered.

"When I was walking early in the morning, some kids in a car threw a bottle at me. People were not very kind. I felt frightened."

One day, as she was placing flowers at her grandfather's grave, she suddenly realized how quiet the cemetery was.

"I just stood up and it popped into my head that I could walk there," she said.

She walked -- a lot. Then she joined Gilly's Gym in October, 2004. She goes there every day at 4:30 a.m. and stays until 7 a.m. The people there are very supportive, she said.

She also walks regularly with her friend and staunchest supporter, Stacy Jochem, who happens to work on the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness, Sports, Health and Wellness.

"Her whole life is different," Jochem said Monday. "She can do things she could never do before. She is a clothes shopping fanatic! She was hiding for 20 years. Her brother was her employer. She didn't have to worry about anyone judging her."

Lee worked 20 years in her brother's insurance business until it downsized.

Four months ago, she started working at Colby College as an administrative secretary in the office of alumni relations.

Jochem said that since her weight loss, Lee is much more confident.

"She likes herself and I think she has increased her self-worth. She values herself."

In October, Jochem and Lee walked 26.2 miles in a marathon on Mount Desert Island. People magazine interviewed Lee in October -- and last week, a photographer shot pictures of her for the article, to appear in the Dec. 30 edition.

She has gone from a lonely woman whose best friend was her television to an outgoing person who laughs easily and has an infectious smile. People who knew her before the weight loss walk right past her on the street because they don't recognize her, she said.

When they do -- and usually it is only after they hear her speak -- they are stunned.

"I have stopped people dead in their tracks," she said. "They just don't believe it. The best response I've gotten is, 'What the hell happened to you?' or 'I heard you have cancer and that's why you lost all this weight.' "

Before the weight loss, she said, she never ate breakfast. Lunch typically consisted of a bag of chips and two Italian sandwiches, or she might go to the drive-up window at a fast-food restaurant and order two or three sandwiches, french fries and an apple pie.

A typical supper was a couple of dozen doughnuts, two bags of cookies or pastries or four peanut butter-and-marshmallow sandwiches.

"It wasn't pretty," she said.

Now, her diet is much different. She said she eats lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and chicken or fish.

For a 7 a.m. breakfast, she might have fat-free yogurt with walnuts, a cup of berries and a bagel; a 10 a.m. snack is a piece of fruit; and lunch might be a salad with all vegetables or including chicken, or a chicken wrap. Supper might consist of stir-fry vegetables and a baked potato.

"I drink three-quarters of a gallon of water a day," she said.

Lee said she thinks the catalyst for losing weight and becoming a healthier person was her realization that she wanted to live longer for her nieces and nephews, whom she adores. She has always attended all their soccer, hockey and basketball games.

But she could sit only on the bottom step of the bleachers. Now, she climbs to the top.

She never dated while she was overweight, and is not sure she is ready yet for that.

But she does notice that men look at her now, where they never did before. At 5-feet, 4-inches tall and 170 pounds, she feels lighter, happier, more comfortable with herself.

"It's nice having a life," she said. "It's still a work in progress. I think it always will be."

Amy Calder -- 861-9247

acalder@centralmaine.com

Photo caption:
Staff photo by David Leaming AT A LOSS: Cathi Lee of Waterville holds of photograph of herself taken in 2001, when she weighed 481 pounds. On Monday, she weighed 170 pounds, in part because of regular exercise and a change in eating patterns.

(okay, I'm having a problem posting the photo. The Hello thing doesn't work anymore and apparently neither does the "add photo" button. Sigh. I'll put it up later, if I remember.)

Ah, I had to unblock pop-ups. But I still don't see the damn picture. Grr.


news (?) Woman gives up junk food & looses 330 lbs

Source (how long it will be active, who knows?)

Story:
Woman gives up junk food, loses 330 pounds

Associated Press Dec. 14, 2005 08:30 AM
WATERVILLE, Maine - Cathi Lee is less than half the woman she used to be. In three years she's lost 330 pounds.
The Maine woman wore a size 38 when she weighed 500. Now, she's down to a 12 petite.
Lee says she lost all that weight without pills, crash-dieting or surgery.
She gave up junk food and started exercising. Lee says she used to eat a couple of dozen doughnuts a day, and bags of cookies and potato chips.
Now, she eats yogurt, salads and stir-fry veggies. Despite her tremendous weight loss, Lee says she's not done yet. She adds she'll always have to watch what she eats.

Not to be mean or belittle her accomplishment (I mean, she lost about what I weigh!) but look at what she was eating: 2 DOZEN donuts? BAGS of cookies? BAGS of chips? EACH DAY?! I bet her wallet is a lot happier too! I might eat a donut (once in a while 2) every few WEEKS, and a couple times of year splurge on a small box of donut holes if I'm going to be somewhere where I can share them. I haven't had potato chips in months. I eat cookies, but not bags of them on a daily basis. It takes me a few days to go through a whole package.
This lady is the kind of fat person who makes fat people look bad, as far as her eating habits go. Does everyone who sees me figure I eat like that? I know when I tell people I am going to the gym, or just came from the gym, they don't really believe me. Or they think I might get on a stationary bike for 3 minutes, get all sweaty and go home. Not that I do serious water aerobics for over 60 minutes. Last night, for instance, 75 minutes straight including over 300 jumping jacks. 300. Can any of YOU do 300 jumping jacks while carrying over 200 extra pounds strapped to your body?
It seems to me that this lady's weight probably was totally food-based and overeating. I know it took a lot for her to get out and move at over 500 lbs, and she does prove it can be done. And a big YAY for her to get down to a size 12 (petite, which makes it sound like she's skinnier than she is, but that just means she's under 5'2"--imagine over 500 lbs on such a little frame. Ouch.)
I don't know what my problem is. I don't eat like that and I work out like a fiend, and I still look like a fucking exploded blimp of flesh.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

irritable bowel syndrome

A lady emailed me yesterday after reading my blog, and suggested that I might have IBS. I believe somewhere along the line I asked one of the many doctors who I've seen about it, and was told no. And I don't react to all the foods she listed. But in case someone else might, I am going to reproduce parts of her emails with her permission.


At first I was just compelled to read it (the blog) because of the good writing but then I began to relate to so many things you shared because I myself had a significant weight gain last year (I gained 50 pounds in like six months) and I have been facing the same problems and battles you talk about in the blog.

AND!!

I think I have some really beneficial personal experience to share with you that MIGHT be the solution to your digestive problems...because I had the same problems and after researching digestive disorders I know I FOUND the correct diagnose and treatment for my own. To elaborate on that....

All my life I have had digestive problems. When I was young (around 13) my parents took me to a gastroenterologist who tested me for ulcers and then basically told them I had a spastic colon. BUT at that time they had no set treatment for me. I dont even remember my diet being changed or anything....

THEN

As I got older and on my own and away from my mom's cooking and refridgerator...started cooking for myself or eating out I learned quickly that while most things would make me have what I call an attack (where I would have a sometimes diarrhea like sudden bowel movement not long after eating) BREAD was not one of those things. SO what I found is that when I ate things that were mostly bread-like Say...a sandwich with cold cuts or pasta with marinara sauce or alot of times just a slice of pizza....I would NOT get sick.

THEN

(insert scary music here)

The DREADED ATKINS DIET...REARED it's UGLY head....

And I of course like the rest of the world joined ALLLLLL CARBS are EEEEEvilllll camp... and I ate mostly protien and vegetables and not ONLY did I GAIN weight doing this...BUT...I was miserably sick....ALL the time. Like 4 times a day. And I also felt dizzy and weak (because the diet was making me ill) AND whenever I would let myself have bread...it amazed me how quickly I felt re-energized and healthy and GOOD again. BUT of course the NO CARBS CAMP would win over and I'd be convinced bread was eeeevil again....

ANYWAY...

About three years ago I was working near a Subway like shop called Schlotskis and I caved in and ate there one day....and to my amazement!! I did not get sick. What I ate was a medium sourdough bun and on it I had chedder cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes. As a matter of fact the next morning I had what I considered to be what NORMAL people have as a bowel movement with hardly any pain and definately not any diarrhea and I felt so wonderful (my head was clear and I felt like I had more energy then I had in years) that I ate there that day and the next day and in no less then three months I lost 30 pounds.

At that time my diet was: Cereal: (Usually Cherios) and then the sandwich for lunch and then I was eating 1 Balance bar which are power bars or two slices of canadian bacon pizza..for dinner.

Long story short...OR at least Im trying to get to the point!! :)
I left that job and moved away from that diet slowly but surely because of just a simple location thing. I started eating other things and slowly but surely the digestive problem started to come back.



I find all this very interesting and up to this point I am in agreement with her. I do indeed get very sick on Atkins, feeling very weak and stupid like my brain is starving. And I feel GREAT when I eat the carbs again. I had understood that was because of a simple chemical sugar addiction related to glucose levels and having some kind of tolerance (or intolerance, I forget which it is) to sugars. (Sugars=carbs. Bread is sugar, candy is sugar, rice is sugar, potatoes are sugar, basically because they break down into glucose.)
I do lose weight on a lo/no carb diet, but it doesn't stay off.
I also have "attacks" where it feels like my body rejects the food. There is no other way I can describe it. At least I don't throw up anymore (but that's a winter thing so it might start again). I also, once in a great while, have terrible pains in my stomach. I feel like I'm dying. They always come in the middle of the night and no position is comfortable. They feel like they could be gas, but I don't fart, and I can't poop when I'm having them. Once I do summon a poop (these are as close to constipated as I ever come) I feel better. They usually last for several hours and then vanish all at once. They started in the last couple of years. I guess they are gas? Maybe related to my defective gall bladder?

I will post more of her letter and my comments later.

exercise thoughts

So I've been working out a lot-most weeks 3x a week, and for an hour or more each time. And not an hour meaning 15 minutes of warm up and 15 minutes of cool down and 30 minutes of real workout in the middle. I mean 60+ solid minutes where I don't stop moving. I am exhausted when I'm finished. My schedule at work is changing and I'm losing one of my afternoons off so I've got to figure out how to keep going Monday-Wednesday-Friday.
And everyone at the gym is like, "Are you doing this to lose weight, or---?" and then they pause delicately. Because here I am in front of them, a super-super obese woman in a bathing suit. And yeah, it's about as good as you can imagine. And why else would I be subjecting myself to that except to lose weight? I don't feel GOOD afterward, I feel like I've been beaten with a board.
But I've noticed that when I have to skip a workout due to bad weather, or the gym being closed, my leg gets swollen right away. And that's not good. It makes no sense to me that working out almost to the point of abuse is the only thing that is keeping the swelling down. Thank you, lymphedema. (That's the technical name for it.)
I try not to think about how disgusting and awful I must look while I'm bouncing around in the water. I feel better. I feel firmer. Not that I'm thin or anything. Hahaha. When I lay on my stomach it feels like there's less mass there between "me" (I don't think of my fat as being part of me--that might be the problem) and the mattress. The line from my waist (waist? What's that? well, where it WOULD be) down my thigh is definately smoother with muscle. My legs feel strong. I haven't weighed myself for a while though. I am terrified that I've gained weight even though I work out all the time and I'm eating a lot less. My husband says he thinks my stomach looks a little smaller. But he never really looks at me. It's hard to tell with my clothes because they are all elastic waist and/or baggy to begin with. I guess if they fall off, I've lost weight. Again, hahaha.
It's a terrible thing to work out and eat less and try so fucking hard and still be a big fat disgusting slob. Where's the payoff?
Clothes always look terrible on me no matter what. The lines are ruined by my bulges. And where don't I have bulges? My upper arms are bigger around than my head.
And I play that sick fucking game with myself at the gym. A friend of mine told me about it and I realized that I do it too. (And SHE is thin--woman are so fucked up in America.) It's called "is she fatter than me?" You look at everyone and try to decide if you're fatter or they are. You have no one you can trust to say "who here is the same size as me" because then you'd know for sure how bad you look in that bathing suit. I know who I FEEL that I look like, and I know I'm probably at least 2x their size. I have a shelf butt and my thighs touch all the way down to the FLOOR and my stomach sags over my pubes and I've already mentioned the size of my upper arms. And my breasts--well I buy bras that are for cup size F-G-H and I overflow them. I am as big around as I am tall.
I am disgusting.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

binge n purge, & what fat guys eat

Not all people who binge & purge are thin. Depending on how you do it, it might not even get rid of all the calories. And it's so horrible for your body! I couldn't do it--I couldn't puke. I could probably do laxatives, but my body already naturally flushes everything I eat within an hour or so, so what the hell do I need laxatives for?
I believe Dr D. based her diagnosis on the fact that I told her I don't keep certain foods in the house because I would eat too many/much. To me, that's just wisdom, not a disease. I know lots of people who eat too much of a food and therefore avoid it--and lots of them are skinny. A lot of it is programming. Finish your food. Clean your plate. I know that however much food you put in front of me, I will usually eat (I am trying hard not to--but there's kids starving in China!). So I have all kinds of tricks to start out with less food.
But you know what? It's about Dr D and her prejudices. She's thin. She should not be consueling overweight people. What does she know?
And I'm really coming to understand that it's NOT about willpower and it's NOT about what I eat--which means, will the surgery even HELP me if it's not about what I eat?
I saw a very obese man this weekend--probably over 500 lbs; his panniculus almost touched the ground between his knees when he sat--in a restaurant, and he ate a regular sized portion of food. I don't know what he eats when he's alone, of course. I have to admire him for eating out--I have problems sometimes going to restuarants and I'm smaller than him.

welcome fellow NaNoWriMos--& Hi Abby

Thanks for stopping by! If you post a comment anonymously and you want me to answer you, please put your NaNo name in the post so I can reply through the NaNo site. I am also listed as an expert on Obesity in the forum (which is probably how you found me).


TO Abby
The 1,000 pound man was literally on the verge of death so they did it as emergency surgery. It is not emergency surgery for me. I am not dying--I don't even have very many "good" co-morbidites (I haven't got diabetes or high blood pressure or high cholesterol--just mild sleep apnea & varicose veins). I am just extremely fat. For me, it's elective surgery (which is why it's so hard to get the insurance to pay).

As far as my therapist manipulating me to get more money (two people have made comments about that) perhaps you're all misunderstanding. I have my regular weekly therapist, who is working with me pro-bono (no charge) forfeiting her $125 a session because she believes she can help me. Then I have the psychologist I was sent to by the bariatric doctor--she is the one holding me back, saying I have an eating disorder that I don't have. I only have to see her once more, and I haven't called her, because I haven't figured out how to prove a negative (that I don't binge & purge). SHE pisses me off. My regular therapist doesn't piss me off. It's probably confusing cuz they are both female and I try not to name any names on this site.

I also like your idea about the fat girl in the perfect world. Would she be seen as ugly and a freak, or would her different-ness make her exotic and attractive?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I'm a cliche

Okay, I'm fat. I'm blonde. And now I have a hairy mole on my face. I'm like the substitute teachers we all made fun of in middle school.

I was putting lotion on my face the other night while sprawled on my stomach, ice pack on my tailbone, reading a romance novel (another cliche). I have cats (yet another cliche) and they leave hair everywhere for me, as a gift I suppose, or so I don't forget them. (Wow, look at all this hair on the bed. Where'd it come from? Oh yeah, I have cats. I better feed them & empty their litter box.) So I was not surprised to find a hair stuck to my face as I lotioned up.

Except it wasn't stuck. It was growing. From a little dark beauty mark/mole/freckle (all the same IMHO).

Frantically I looked for the mirror I keep beside the bed, but I couldn't find it. So I hauled myself painfully out of the bed (it's very high, and my tailbone hurts very much) and went downstairs (ouch-step-ouch-step-ouch-step) to the bathroom.

And there was a 2 inch hair growing out of the freckle on my jaw.

How long does it take a hair to reach 2 inches? Why didn't anyone TELL me?

I immediately got the eyebrow tweezers and pulled it. It was thick and dark and had a bit of curl.

SO GROSS!

Now I keep touching it to see if the hair is growing back. It will, right? I didn't make it bleed when I pulled it so I didn't get the root.

Why do the gods hate me?

Monday, October 24, 2005

irony on TLC "It's not my fault I'm fat" ... brought to you by McDonalds

Last night I watched a show on TLC called "it's not my fault I'm fat" about a disease called Prader-Willi which causes those afflicted to be ravenously hungry at all times and literally eat themselves to death. To make matters worse, they have terrible metabolisms and it's even easier for them to gain weight than regular people AND very hard for them to lose (esp with their insane eating). The show featured two 13-year-old kids weighing over 200 lbs each and one adult at 450 lbs. Heartbreaking. Plus they all seem very mildly retarded, which doesn't help much. (Tt doesn't look like it's scheduled to be on again any time soon, but the link is above for however long it lasts.)

I could insert a comment here on why TLC suddenly has so many shows on about fat people. Maybe they always have and I never paid attention before.

However, the real reason I bring it up...is that the show was SPONSORED BY MCDONALDS.
What the fuck was TLC thinking? What was MCDONALDS thinking? Not that I like Mcdonalds (although they gave me my 1st job)--but please, with all the lawsuits brought against them by fat people, how could they?

NaNoWriMo time again

It's exactly 7 days and 4 hours away and I haven't decided yet if I'm going to do it this year. Such craziness. I don't feel like I have the time.
www.nanowrimo.org write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days.

Friday, October 21, 2005

exercise duration vs intensity

I have complained before about the water aerobics class at the pool I go to, how it's all about "go faster, go faster" with no explanations on form or WHY you are doing whatever it is you're blindly "Simon Sez..." following. And no modifications offered either.

Well, a report chronicaled in CNN says that it's the amount of time you exercise, no how hard you exercise during that time. BUT...they also said...no weight loss noted from exercise during this study. (Which is also what I've been seeing.)

I'm not going to repost the whole thing here (parts of it are quite boring), just the most interesting facts.

How much you exercise may be more important than how hard you exercise in terms of heart health, according to a study of sedentary overweight men and women. .... In journal CHEST, researchers from North Carolina report that people who walk briskly for 12 miles per week or for about 125 to 200 minutes per week will significantly improve their aerobic fitness and lower their risk of developing heart disease. .... (T)he 12-miles-per-week walkers in the study improved their fitness without losing any weight. ....

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

fell AGAIN

Last night I had some friends over, and I had wet feet (long story) and I was walking into kitchen. When my wet left foot hit the slick kitchen floor, it went out from under me. My right foot was still in the living room. It got crumpled behind me, my knee wrenched, and of course I landed square on my tailbone again, in front of 10 people.

Monday night my tailbone started itching which means it had been broken and is now healing. Stupid doctors.

I have no idea what kind of further damage I did last night. It hurts like there's a pole up my butt.

new death rates for bariatric surgery

On CNN yesterday. As usual, I post the whole thing because eventually the link will vanish. (Emphasis throughout article mine.)
Study: Obesity surgery riskier than expected
Tuesday, October 18, 2005; Posted: 7:19 p.m. EDT (23:19 GMT)
CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- Obesity surgery, which is fast becoming a popular way to battle the nation's weight crisis, may be a lot riskier than most patients realize.
New research found a higher-than-expected risk of death in the year after surgery, even among young patients.
"It's a reality check for those patients who are considering these operations," said University of Washington surgeon Dr. David Flum, lead author of a Medicare study that analyzed the risks.
The findings appear in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association.
Some previous studies of people in their 30s to their 50s -- the most common ages for obesity surgery -- found death rates well under 1 percent.
But in a study of 16,155 Medicare patients who underwent obesity surgery, more than 5 percent of men and nearly 3 percent of women aged 35 to 44 were dead within a year. And slightly higher rates were found in patients 45 to 54.
Among patients 65 to 74, nearly 13 percent of men and about 6 percent of women died. In patients 75 and older, half of the men and 40 percent of the women died.
There are several types of operations to lose weight, most generally involving surgically shrinking the stomach and usually restricted to "morbidly" obese people more than 100 pounds overweight.
Those patients often have medical problems brought on by their girth, including heart trouble, diabetes and breathing difficulties -- problems which obesity surgery can sometimes resolve but which can also contribute to making the surgery risky.
Patients studied underwent surgery between 1997 and 2002.
"This is a major operation in a high-risk population. "When you do a complicated operation in a complicated population, we should expect to see adverse outcomes" occasionally, Flume said.
Dr. Neil Hutcher, president of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery, said that Medicare patients are probably sicker than the general U.S. population and that complication rates have declined as surgeons' expertise has increased.
But Flum argued that some previous research showing lower risks came from "reports from the best surgeons reporting their best results," while the new study is more of a real-world look.
A JAMA editorial said even if Medicare patients do face higher risks, they should not be denied obesity surgery.
"These patients may also represent the potential greatest benefit associated with major lasting weight loss given their associated disease burden," the editorial said.
The surgery may be lifesaving when done on the right patients, by experienced surgeons, the editorial said.
The study offered no breakdown on causes of death, but obesity surgery's potentially deadly complications can include malnutrition, infection and bowel and gallbladder problems. Also, surgery in general can be a deadly shock to the system, especially in older patients.
The American Society for Bariatric Surgery predicts obesity surgery will be performed more than 150,000 times this year in the United States. That is more than 10 times the number in 1998, according to a second JAMA study. The increase parallels a surge in the portion of U.S. adults who are at least 100 pounds overweight, from about 1 in 200 in 1986 to 1 in 50 in 2000, that study said.
Flum said the new study suggests that in many cases, obesity surgery may not be right for an older person "who already has the burden of 60 years of obesity on their heart" and other organs.
Medicare covers obesity surgery if it is recommended to treat related conditions such as diabetes and heart problems. The government is considering whether to cover surgery to treat obesity alone.
Medicare is for younger Americans with disabilities and for patients 65 and older. Flum said most of the patients he studied were under 65 and probably qualified for Medicare because of obesity-related ills, including heart and joint problems.
Flum's study lumped together data on different operations, but the most common U.S. obesity surgery, gastric bypass, involves creating an egg-size pouch in the upper stomach and attaching it to a section of intestine.
Researchers said one reason men may have higher post-surgery death rates is that they tend to wait longer than women to seek medical help and may be sicker at surgery.
Hutcher said patients should seek experienced surgeons, should be thoroughly evaluated before and after surgery, and should receive long-term follow-up care.
Most patients "will receive a good outcome," Hutcher said. "A good outcome does not mean there's no risk for complications or mortality."
Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Monday, October 17, 2005

600 lb houseband man dies in fire

Original link

Story:
Obese Man Dies in Mobile Home Fire in Mo.
Oct 16, 4:10 PM (ET)

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) - A fire destroyed a mobile home, killing a 600-pound, homebound man who could not be moved out in time despite the efforts of neighbors and firefighters.

Timothy Lee Morris, 45, called 911 from his home when it caught fire Saturday afternoon but couldn't get out by himself, fire officials said. His daughters, ages 8 and 13, summoned neighbors, but they were unable to move him.


"He was in the front room. We tried and tried to yank him out," said neighbor Clinton Turner. "He kept saying, 'Help,' but we couldn't get him out."

Authorities said police and firefighters eventually were able to put Morris on a backboard and slide him out the front door. Morris had several health problems, including breathing complications.

"Timmy probably didn't get burned at all," Battalion Chief John Nelson said. "He probably died from smoke inhalation."

Two firefighters were treated at a hospital for heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation. They were "very emotionally distraught they couldn't get him out," Nelson said.

The fire was blamed on an electrical short. The girls' mother wasn't home at the time.



I found this story on rotten.com and of course you can imagine the comments posted about it. Here's a lovely sample:
"Sounds like he was hungry and chewed on an extension cord while waiting for a dinner of Ho-Hos."
"The follow-up story indicates that he couldn't be moved from the house because he wouldn't let go of the fridge."
"if this guy was 600lbs and couldnt get up, who the hell was feeding him and why. i bet he claimed it was a glandular condition. yeah right, his mouth."
"Fatfuck deserved it. And don't give me that "he didn't choose to be that way" bullshit. You can always stop eating, especially when you're so fucking obese you can't stand your fatass up on your own two feet. Retards are born retarded. No one is born morbidly obese. Another story that could only happen in America."


Do I even have to go into how sad this all makes me feel?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

circus fat lady fat



A kind person posted inquiring if I am "really" circus lady fat. I weigh more than 3x what I should. I can use the royal "we" since there are 3 of us in here (and one of them is fat, besides!)
Here are some circus fat lady pictures. The dual picture is from an expired Ebay auction. I don't know where I found the other one (it was late, I was tired)
My point wasn't exactly that I could be a circus fat lady. It was that I have reached the pinnacle of fatness by being classified as super-super obese. There's not a higher category which lumps me in with all those who are too fat to get out of their beds/off their couches/need to be taken out with a forklift people.

This took me 3 days to post because I couldn't get the pictures to upload from Netscape. Had to resort to IE (yuck).

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

step one toward being a blob

The other day when my mom came over to drop off my (useless) painkiller presciption, I was upstairs in bed. Lying on my face is the only time I'm pain free. (Until the cat jumps on my butt--now the cat is banned from the bed until I get better.) She called up to see if I wanted her to bring me anything. I didn't.
But I could see it so clearly... "Yeah, mom, bring me something to drink, and some crackers." And then my husband comes home, and I have him bring me something too, because it hurts too much to get out of bed and climb down the stairs. There's no bathroom upstairs so soon I'd have a potty. And eventually I'd be too weak to get out of the bed once the pain was gone. And there I'd stay, ballooning bigger and bigger until they have to take me out with a crane and I'm on national TV and on a first name basis with Richard Simmons (he's an annoying little queer man but he does motivate people).
My husband says he'd let me starve if I wouldn't get out of the bed. But there's a phone, and I could call someone. My mom would feed me. My friends would feed me. I have enablers who would let me die there in that bed out of love and pity.

vicodin sucks

The doctor gave me Vicodin. It's useless. I took a pill yesterday at 7:00, figuring by the time I had to get into my car it would have kicked in. Well, by the time I went to LUNCH it still hadn't kicked in. I took a 2nd one at 1:30 and it never kicked in either. Today it's been 2 1/2 hours since I had a pill, and no reduction in pain.
I got a U-shaped pillow filled with styrofoam beads but it's a neck pillow, not for butts, and I keep sliding off it.
Can't win.
At least a snake won't eat me.

some days it's good to be fat


One thing I don't have to worry about: Being eaten by a giant snake.

Have you heard this story? A 13 foot python (loose in Florida) tried to eat a 6' alligator and the snake either burst or the alligator wasn't dead and clawed its way loose. Although I am not 6 feet tall, I am not worried about being eaten by a snake. Full story with undoctored picture.

Snakes are not my favorite creatures, but I don't hate and fear them as many women do (my mom, for instance) and I can only sympathize with BOTH animals, who had to be afraid and in pain during this horrendous struggle.

BUT...the real fault lies with the jerk who released that snake into the wild. Snakes grow..the older they are, the bigger they get, and zoos don't want them. Pet trade in large snakes is wrong. If you can't commit to someday housing & feeding an enormous reptile properly, you shouldn't have one. That applies to having an alligator/cayman/crocodile as a pet too, or an iguana. I love iguanas, but I don't want a giant one. So I will never buy a little one. I will enjoy them at zoos and on TV.

Monday, October 10, 2005

too fat to be x-rayed

Just when I think my life can't get any more humilating, I find out I am too fat to be x-rayed about my broken tailbone. They must have x-rayed me over a dozen times at all different settings. Meanwhile I am flat on my back on a metal table in agony. I was there over an hour (about a hour and fifteen minutes). Finally they thought some films would be okay to be read...and then I'm told 3-5 days before the results will be in! Meanwhile I am in terrible pain all the time, the type of pain that makes me sick to my stomach, I can barely drive the pain is so bad and my doctor won't prescribe a painkiller without seeing the x-rays. It takes so long for me to get into my car that the alarm goes off (there's a set time between unlocking the door & starting the car which I am exceeding with every entry).
It hurts so bad I just keep crying. There's nothing else I can do.

it's already started

"how could you have broken your tailbone when your ass is so well-padded?"

fuck you all--I'm in so much pain I can barely function.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

fell down went boom

Yesterday I managed to fall down the steps in the rain, and land on my back on the concrete sidewalk. I am fairly certain I broke my tailbone. The pain is excruiating. I can't sit unless I sit on a donut pillow. I can barely walk. Climbing or descending stairs is agony. Bending over is almost impossible. Picking something up off the floor is impossible. I just spent 15 minutes in the basement sobbing because I can't even bend over far enough to get the clean laundry out of the dryer. And then I hooked some, and dropped it on the floor, where it might as well be in Antarticia.
I have an inflatable travel pillow which is U-shaped (it's for wrapping around your neck on a long ride) and I've been using it to sit on. It actually helps quite a bit because my tailbone isn't be sat on, just my (bruised & purple) butt cheeks.
I am mostly angry with myself. I was doing so well with my workouts and this week was planning on adding a 4th day with another dual workout, which would have taken me from 4-5 hours a week to 6-7 hours a week. Now I can barely walk, much less work out in the water for over an hour.
3 years ago when I fell it was the same thing. I was doing chi-gung and doing great, and haven't been able to do any since because my leg is still fucked up. My ass better not be fucked up for 3 years.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

I'm gonna die

I feel like I'm just going to die. I'm working out like a fiend, eating hardly anything, and only lost 5# in over a month.
As a super-super obese woman, I am equal to the 627# woman and the half ton man category-wise. I am circus fat-lady material. Medical literature says people in catgeories of morbid and above can only lose weight through liquid diets, jaw wiring, or stomach surgery. My weight has probably taken at least 7 years off my life-span and I am much more likely to get Alzheimers and cancer, not to mention things like high blood pressure & diabetes, both of which it's astonishing I haven't gotten yet. I live in a cloud of exhaustion & depression that a thin person could never understand.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Malignant Obesity: a new label

This is cheerful. From Annecollins.com

Malignant Obesity

Definition

Extreme morbid obesity is sometimes called "malignant" or super-obesity. Patients who suffer from malignant obesity have a BMI of 50+ and are typically about 200 pounds or more over ideal body weight. Patients suffering from malignant obesity incur much greater health dangers, including an increased risk of dying estimated at 5-10 times greater than that of people of normal weight.

Health Risks

Malignant obesity is a very serious risk factor for hypertension, cardiovascular disease, some cancers, diabetes, respiratory problems and musculoskeletal disorders.

I have also seen it called "super super obese" at above 60 BMI.

if everyone is fat, why am I singled out?

I know I have all kinds of filters and stories about being fat. But I do feel singled out.

Last week after my 2 1/2 hour workout I went out and got a PERSONAL pizza. Now, to me, a PERSONAL pizza is designed for ONE PERSON. Or am I wrong? A man walked up to me and said "Are you going to eat that whole thing?" WHOLE THING? It's smaller than a plate! WTF?

Yesterday this story came out. (Condensed/edited)

TUESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Over the three decades between 1971 and 2001, nine out of 10 American men and seven out of 10 women were overweight or became overweight, and more than a third were obese or became obese, according to a new study.

90% of men and 70% of women. That averages out to 80%. Overweight. 30+ BMI, if you read my earlier posts on what obesity, morbid obesity and super obesity are. So while I am a rare person in the SUPER OBESE category, I am certainly not alone in not being THIN. So only 20% of the population is thin? Is this news? I guess so.

viagra for sex offenders at no charge, but no bariatric surgery for me

I think I've ranted on this topic before. But here's an article which came out on the 'net today.
(condensed/cut)

California taxpayers will no longer help pay the cost of impotency drugs for registered sex offenders under legislation signed Tuesday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The bill amends current law that requires the state's health insurance program for the poor to help cover the cost of drugs used for treating erectile dysfunction.

Federal support for subsidized Viagra was curtailed earlier this year when a New York state audit found nearly 200 sex offenders benefiting from the program.

Is that bullshit, or is that bullshit? Some RAPIST or CHILD MOLESTER is getting Viagra and I can't get my surgery? What the fuck?

one last thing

I don't want my pants to wear out at the inner thigh anymore from the pressure of my thighs rubbing together when I walk.
Is that so much to ask? Really?

sick of being sick

I need a colonic but my money situtation is so terrible right now I can't afford one. I haven't had one since my unsuccessful liver flush back in July.

Everything I eat makes me sick, except plain water. Within an hour, my stomach is cramping to expel its contents. It's to the point where my butt actually hurts a little, I'm going so often. It's not 11 a.m. yet and I've gone twice. I can tell you that before I leave work at 5 p.m. today I will go twice more, and probably again at the gym, and again before I go to bed tonight. That's six times in a day, and I'm only going to have 3 meals.

Yesterday I had four meals--breakfast, lunch, popcorn snack, and dinner. The popcorn snack didn't set me off that bad--I held it until after dinner (I was at a party). So it can't be fat/oil/grease setting me off because the popcorn had butter on it. But my cup of tea and a few tiny fresh-baked cookies at breakfast set me off yesterday, and again today. The tea has organic milk in it (I can drink a whole glass without getting sick so it's not that). The cookies have butter, but it's the same butter that's on the popcorn. I don't know what the hell it is. I am trying to remember how many times I went yesterday. I think around 5 or 6.

I thought maybe it was a gallbladder thing. Not every one, but some of them, are all bile when they come out. Nasty pure yellow bile, like last year when I couldn't stop throwing up and bile was coming out my nose. But then sometime's there's no bile. I am so frustrated.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

more things I want

I want to

  • fit in a airplane seat.
  • fit in a booth at a restaurant.
  • be able to wear a seatbelt in ANY car.
  • sit on folding chairs without fear.
  • sit on those silly canvas camp chairs.
  • sit on the ground or floor with ease & get back up with ease.
  • not be afraid of falling

I am too @#&^$^ healthy

We already had the discussion about me being SUPER obese, as opposed to merely "morbidly" obese.
I see people on TV and online who weigh LESS than me who have diabetes, who are in wheelchairs (or those hideous little electric carts), who can't walk without a cane, who have high blood pressure and high cholesterol and are literally on the verge of death.
People who see me but don't know me assume #1 that I eat like a pig #2 that I am immobile #3 that I am sick.
All of those things are wrong.
My cholesterol is 170. My BP is fine. My blood sugar is fine. I can climb stairs. I can walk (short distances). I can hop in a pool for 2 hours straight.
Basically, I'm not sick enough to have the surgery.

clean closet, & what I want to look like

This weekend I cleaned out my closest. I only kept a few pairs of Levi's (cuz they're classic, and I have them in sizes from 4-12), the shorts I was wearing when my (now) husband decided he had to have a piece of me, and the mini-skirt I wore to Lollapolloza '91 (~185 lbs). And all my old AC/DC & Nine Inch Nails shirts, and my two signed shirts from Jim Rose's Side Show. Everything else that doesn't fit went bye-bye.

I had a moment of regret as I looked at these tiny clothes. Was I really that thin? Will I ever be that thin again? I had size 5/6 denium skirts whose waists wouldn't fit around my thigh now.

I now have two garbage bags of clothes in my trunk now for goodwill or the salvation army (whichever one I see first). My closet is empty and clean and I found some sweaters I was missing (which still fit).

Is my goal to fit again into those tiny levis 501 button fly jeans? Well, it would be nice. And I wouldn't complain a bit if that happened.

But this is what I really want.

  • I want my legs' profile to be a smooth line from ankle to waist-not a big bulge forward at the top of the knee where my thighs begin. It's like a reverse step.
  • I want my lower belly to not sag over my pubes.
  • I would like my upper belly to have no "tire" effect.
  • I want my upper arms not to be the size of my head, and not to flap when I raise my hands.
  • I want my back to turn into my butt without a bulge before my butt crack starts.
Notice I did not say "I want to weight (xx ) lbs". I have no idea what I would have to weigh for those things to happen. Would it happen at 250? 150? 200? Who knows?

I understand that I have a lot more skin now then I did when I was 114 lbs (and 20 years old) in 1988. The only way I could be 114 lbs with a 24" waist again would be plastic surgery.

I also think that with exercise, skin doesn't have to sag and be ugly. I see overweight people at the gym with nasty sagging skin. I don't know if they've had bariatric surgery or been ill or what. But in some ways, having loose skin hanging over your knees and down your thighs is even uglier than being fat. And all that loose skin just begs to be filled back up.

Makes me think of Jackie the 627lb woman. After her surgery when her enormous panniculus started to deflate, they tucked it into one pants leg. She looked like, well, a freak. I've seen photos of people with their deflated bellies shoved into their pants on either side. Looks very strange. (I'd wear a skirt.)

vagina legs

The other day I was at the pool, as I am 3x a week. As I was walking up the ramp to exit the pool, another overweight woman was walking down the ramp. She was wearing one of those stupid bathing suits with a skirt, like a yard of ruffles can disguise the couple of hundred extra pounds the wearer is lugging around. For a moment I was at eye level with her crotch--or so I thought.
My first thought was that she had no bottom on her suit. Because there, square in my line of sight, was a triangle of puffy flesh between her legs. It had no hair, but a lot of people shave, or her pubic hair could have been sparse/hidden by her fat. As she took another step, I saw that what I thought were her, um, female parts, I realized that they were very low on her body. At mid-thigh, in fact.
It was the fat on her thighs. The way it draped mimicked exactly an overweight woman's crotch.
Now I have seen really fat people who have a "butt" in the front (there's a crease, like a butt crack) but never have I see a vagina at mid-thigh.
I went into the locker room and immediately looked at my own thighs. No vagina in sight, thank god.
I am not trying to be mean, although it was kind of gross. I just worry constantly. What do people see when they look at ME?

Thursday, September 29, 2005

why is super obesity worse than morbid obesity?

I am in a wonderful category called super obese. Now anyone would think that morbid obesity would be WORSE than super obesity, but it's not. Here's the breakdown by BMI:

  • Underweight under 20 (some sites say below 18.5)
  • Healthy weight 20 – 24.9 (some say 18.5-24.9)
  • Overweight 25 – 29.9
  • Obese 30 – 39.9
  • Morbidly obese 40 – 49.9
  • Super obese 50 and over

If you don't know your BMI, the CDC has an online BMI Calculator.

Here's some example of weights and what BMI they are. I have weighed all these in the last 15 years.
  • 5'4" 114 lbs 19.6 BMI underweight (I was still chubby--Met weight tables say 107 for me)
  • 5'4" 125 lbs 21.5 BMI healthy (My stomach stuck out, my arms were fat and saggy)
  • 5'4" 180 lbs 30.9 BMI Obese
  • 5'4" 255 lbs 43.8 BMI Morbidly Obese
  • 5'4" 316 lbs 54.2 BMI Super Obese
BTW, the 627 lb woman had a BMI of 105. The doctor who will do my surgery, if I ever get it, said he did a person who had a 90 BMI. At my height, that's 525 lbs. (Which I am no where near, BTW).

Now any logical person would think that being in the category above MORBID (meaning WILL KILL YOU) would instantly qualify you for surgery without all this bullshit about losing 14 lbs and seeing a skinny-for-her-whole-life shrink who calls you a liar. But no, I still need the fucking co-morbidities, and I just haven't got them.

I AM TOO HEALTHY TO GET BETTER. hahaha. Our society, our medical structure, is SO FUCKED UP it's not even funny.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

lost some weight, can't sleep

It's so hard to tell when my scale doesn't go up to what I weigh, and also because there's no button to adjust it back to zero when there's no one one it. It weighs 2-3 lbs heavy (needle is at that when no one's on it) and over its max weight I know it's not accurate. But it looks like I might have lost 5 pounds. With all the working out I've been doing, it's not impossible.
Last night I couldn't fall asleep. I stayed up to watch The Daily Show and then listened to Futurama. Usually I'm asleep halfway through the Daily Show's interview (but last night it was Viggo Mortensen--Aragorn from LOTR-- so you know I stayed awake for that). I just laid there. At 1:00 a.m. I got up, went to the bathroom and finished a novel I was reading, went back to bed at 2:00 a.m., took some Nyquil and still laid there. So I got less than 5 hours sleep, I have to work a full day 9-5 today and then workout for 2 hours. I am tired just thinking about it. It's not the first night lately this has happened.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

if you missed the 627lb woman or half-ton man shows.... (and South Park)

Finally found the Jackie's Story, 627 lb woman's listing in Discovery channel's site. They spelled it "627lb" with no space, which is incorrect, which is why I couldn't find it. Found it by searching for "Jackie" on the whole site.

  • Monday 10/03/05 10 p.m. on TLC
  • Tuesday 10/04/05 1 a.m. on TLC
Her story is worth watching. Not sure why they say she gets a hernia operation because the surgeon very clearly looks for a hernia and says she doesn't have one.

If you want to watch the half-ton man show, it's on again:
  • Sunday 10/02/2005 5 p.m. on TLC
  • Wednesday 10/12/2005 10:00 p.m. on TLC
  • Thursday 10/13/2005 1:00 a.m. on TLC
He is a nasty mean man, but his size and bulk are amazing.

This is NOT an aside: Do you watch South Park? The very first eposide I ever saw was the one where Cartman wins the environmental essay contest (by cheating) (Wendy: "Cartman doesn't know the difference between a rainforest and a Poptart!" Cartman:"Yes, I do--Poptarts are frosted!") and he bulks himself up with Weight Gain 4000 so he'll be beefcake on TV when he wins the prize. At the end, he's this pile of jelly on the bed saying something like "You too can achieve your dreams. Beefcake! Beefcake!" and he looks JUST like the 1027 lb guy. It is still one of my favorite eposides.

I am honestly not sure of the timezone so check your local cable tv guide. South Park is on every night at 9:30 on Comedy Central plus 10:00 on Wednesday.

kate moss is too skinny



She is too thin. She is not pretty. Why does everyone revere her? She was put up on a pedestal (literally) because of her too-thin (ugly IMHO) body. How does she keep it that way? DRUGS. Why is everyone surprised at this? Hmm.
I would NOT want to look like her. (For one thing, who wants to have a nipple hard-on all the time, the way she does in every picture? It's cuz she's so damn thin she's probably got no body fat & is always cold.)
And she's got nasty ratty hair. And she smokes, so she must smell bad.
Nice, real nice. This is NOT what I want to be when I grow up.

thinking about food & not living in the now

I think about food a lot. I spend more time thinking about food then I do eating.
Last night when I went home I had french bread pizza at 4:00, and then some popcorn, and finally several hours later (around 8:30), two s'mores (real ones) and some water.
I had my usual poptarts for breakfast (no tea, I don't feel that great today). I'm at work, bored, thinking, "in an hour and 15 minutes I get to go to lunch." I'm eating a mint because I have heartburn (thanks, hernia). And when I get out of lunch I'll think that it's 4 hours until go home and start thinking about what I'll do for dinner. In fact I am already doing that, can't you see?
It seems like lately everything I do I just want to get through it and to the next thing, like there's some goal I need to get to, but then at the end of the day what do I do? Read a novel, or sleep, or screw around online reading about stupid shit. I don't ever enjoy what I am doing. I am always thinking about what I will do next or how long until this thing I'm doing is done. Things I need to do, like sort bills and take care of my pets, I sometimes let slide, but I have nothing else PRESSING to do. I don't understand myself. It's like I want to fail at everything.

water & panic attacks

I love water. I love to be submerged up to my neck. I love to snorkel.
But I hate being wet. I hate coming out of the shower or the pool and dripping with my hair all heavy and sodden, and gravity kicking in and making me weigh 10x what I do while floating.
And I hate getting my face wet. No lie. I don't ever wash my face with water. Sometimes I use Seabreeze astringent on it, but never water.
I was thinking about this the other day as I was hopping in the pool, working out. In the laps lane they had swimming lessons going for little kids (can you feel my excitement?).
I took swimming lessons for many years as a child and failed every year until I refused to go back. Even as a tiny tot I did not want my face in that water. Because of that, the teachers would fail me. They would literally hold me under the water until I threw up, or throw me into the deep end, or push me off the high dive. And when I screamed and cried and freaked out, I was failed every year.
My mom says no one ever did any of that to me. Then how come I remember crying and being pushed off the diving board, not just at the YMCA, but also at the outdoor community pool? I remember coming up from the outdoor pool, having fell so hard I hit the bottom (which is pretty far down; the high dive is high up) and just puking everywhere, and the puke just floating there on the water (not cleaned up or anything) and everyone laughing at me.
The lady teaching swimming lessons doesn't do anything mean to the kids. In fact their parents are right there. In fact, most of them are screaming brats and STILL they are not tossed into the deep end or held underwater. Amazing.
But now, 30+ years later, if I even get splashed in the face, I feel ill. I hate the feeling of water up my nose or over my eyes. It was a trial to learn to snorkel because originally I had a cheap mask and it leaked, and when the water ran down my cheeks inside the mask I would have something very like a panic attack. I have had panic attacks snorkeling IN A POOL in waist deep water. It's not about the depth of the water at all--with a good leak-proof mask I am fine in the ocean at 20 feet deep. It's not about not being able to breathe (I find it very comfortable to breath through the snorkel). It's not even about not being able to see (which I can just fine with a mask on). It's about water on my face.
How can I overcome this inane fear?

Monday, September 26, 2005

what I ate since Saturday

Hmm. Yesterday I had some homemade chocolate chip cookies for breakfast. I like to make them tiny so I feel like I've eaten a lot more than I did. (The things we do to fool ourselves--I also put them on a tiny plate.) I would say I ate 8-10 1" cookies. And a large cup of tea with organic milk and splenda.
For lunch I had a big fat juicy hamburger (maybe 1/3 lb); threw away most of the bun. And some nice crispy fries. Heinz ketchup. And 2 1/2 glasses of ginger ale (not diet; I hate diet ginger ale). I was at a party at a bar. And then I split a small slice of peanut butter cup pie with my husband, and also had a glass of water.
For dinner I had popcorn, 2/3 cup unpopped so however much that it popped. Or maybe it's 2/4, not sure what size that measuring cup is, but it was 2 scoops. Popped in soy oil and topped with less than a TB butter, salt and pepper. 1 small glass diet soda ("diet soda" always means: caffeine free diet pepsi, and "tea" always includes organic lowfat milk and splenda, lipton brand black tea).


Saturday night I had homemade pizza. I made 1 1/2 doughs and made 2 pizzas out of them, so each pizza has 75% of the dough it should, and I ate 3/4 of my pizza, so 75% of 75% is about 1/2 a pizza, with green peppers, an assortment of cheese, and a tiny amount of sausage (1/4 cup--on the whole pizza).
For lunch Saturday I had a sausage grinder, parmesan cheese, only ate 1/2 the bread, with water. Then I had some popcorn at the movies, with 1/2 a bottle of diet caffeine-free Pepsi. I did not have breakfast Saturday.

For breakfast today I had pop tarts (s'mores, 2 tarts which is one foil packet) and 1/2 cup of tea.
I know I won't have lunch; I have therapy and then working out and by then it will be almost dinner time.

I eat like a child; I know that. What I am trying to point out is that I also don't eat much more than a child.
I'm not going to get slavish about posting my food here, but I will for a few days.

627 pound woman, half ton man

Last night was evidently fat people night on TV. Not sure now which channel it was on: TLC or Discovery Health, but they had 2 shows in a row on obese people.
The first one was very sad, Jackie's Story, the 627 pound woman. Her panniculus (the stomach fat that hangs down) was past her knees, and it was truly enormous. It was like another person in her bed with her. She couldn't even roll over it was so big. She said it was a hernia. When they were taking her to the hospital to get her bariatric surgery, she couldn't even get into a van without help. I forget how many years it had been since she left her bedroom.
When the doctor was doing her surgery they showed him sticking his WHOLE ARM into the panniculus looking for the hernia, and there was none. It was just all fat. When she woke up she thought that it would be gone and she was upset. She ended up getting really sick, getting malnourished, having to be in the hospital for 100 days. I think when it ended she was down to around 400 lbs.
She had been chubby her whole life and then something happened to her, some medicine or medical procedure, and she gained 125 or 150 pounds in a just a few months. WHY DIDN'T SOMEONE HELP HER THEN? She was living alone, unable to leave her BED much less her room, with some kind of nurse's aid coming in to help her every day.
Then they had on the half ton man. He weighed 1079 pounds. His wife married him when he weighed 700 lbs. They've never had sex. She said she gave him whatever he wanted because she felt bad that he couldn't leave the house. At one point she was saying that she gave him soda (not diet) because he couldn't keep down water. That's bullshit. He seemed like a real asshole. I had zero sympathy for him. After the surgery, a local news show was interviewing him, asking how much he ate before surgery (the doctors estimated 12,000 calories a day--most people eat around 1,000-3,000) with the camera panning the trash can full of pizza boxes, and before his wife could answer he went off on the interviewer screaming that it was genetic and he hardly ate anything. His wife wouldn't look at the camera. The doctors honestly thought that once he got home he'd graze his way back up to 1,000 lbs and die. He was literally days from death via congestive heart failure when they brought him in. They had to take the wall down to get him out of the bedroom, and move him in a sling made to transport orcas--and it wasn't large enough.
He was complaining after the surgery that he could only eat 1 oz of food every 20 minutes and sometimes he'd throw it up. Well if he ate so sparingly before, why should he be counting morsels of food and minutes elapsed?? At the end of the show he was down to 499 pounds and he still barely fit through a doorway.
They also briefly showed another guy, who had lost over 700 pounds and was famous for it, and how he's fat again, went to a special fat-farm for morbidly obese people, and left it, and refused to go back. They showed a woman who'd lost hundreds of pounds with help from Richard Simmons, and the doctors said she would backslide.
A section of the show was on addiction, and the doctors said that all addicts lie about their drug. They showed a study done on brains of addicts (coke, crack, food) and the same areas of the brain were affected. Addicts have less dopamine receptors so it takes more and more of the drug of choice (which releases dopamine) to get that same high, and somehow the dopamine receptors keep going away, so it's a losing battle. BUT they also said exercise builds NEW dopamine receptors so maybe there's hope for me yet.
Unfortunately I can't find any links on Discovery.com to information on these shows. I will keep looking. I want to know what happened to Jackie.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

I don't want to know

Had more accupuncture yesterday. All the needles hurt. I hate it when that happens. Bad enough to recline there feeling/looking like a porcupine, not knowing if this is bullshit or ancient wisdom, but to add in PAIN? Ick.
Finally found the bottle of week 4 tonic. Will mix tonight, start tomorrow. To recap:

  • Week one: food and OCD
  • Week two: Money anxieties
  • Week three: Anger and abandonment issues

Just heard a song on the radio, a kind of sad one. "Even though I know/I don’t want to know/Yeah I guess I know/I just hate how it sounds" I think it's probably about someone being cheated on, but that's how I am about my health & my weight.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

smokers

I have bad habits. I'm not disputing that. But I can only hope my bad habits don't gross other people out.

Yesterday I was walking through a parking lot and someone had left all their car windows open. I would never do that, but that's just me. Anyway, when I walked by this car, it STUNK of cigarettes. (I'd like to think that's why they had the windows open, but anyone who smokes that much probably has no sense of smell left.) It was really a disgusting smell. And I know that smokers can't smell themselves.

I was recently talking to a woman who's quitting smoking, and she was appalled when she realized her clothes stink, her home stinks. She had on a beautiful amber necklace, and it smelled of cigarettes so badly that she had to take it off and put it in a bag. And amber can't be washed (as a resin, it will melt eventually). I suggested that she hang it in her bathroom and burn a lot of good-smelling incense and re-smoke it with a better smell. (Sometimes I do that with my clothes, which don't smell of cigarettes but sometimes are stale from being in the basement where the laundry area is.)

I've probably said this before, in the winter, but if I had to stand up, outside in the rain and snow and heat and cold, to eat, I'd be skinny. If it became illegal for me to eat at work and in bars and restaurants, I'd be skinny. I cannot imagine the addiction. I don't want to imagine it.

Terrible thunder/lightning, signing off now.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

2+ hour workout

I started at the new gym yesterday. I did my 1 hour pliometrics workout, then 9 minutes of stretching and by then it was almost time for the water aerobics class to start, so I took that too; that was 50 more minutes of hopping. Got into the pool at 5:05, got out at 7:25.

My style of working out is to go slowly and do each movement perfectly. This goes back to when I was thin and did Nautilus every day. 10 perfect, slow reps are better than 100 fast, sloppy ones. And you're less likely to get hurt. When I do the pliometrics I'm the same way. I concentrate on my form. Are my elbows going behind my mid-line? Are my shoulders down and back? Is my abdomen clenched around the "ball" in my tan tien? Are my feet landing gently as if on a sponge? Am I breathing through my mouth? Am I drifting or staying in place?

And my PT is all about form also. In our last (freezing) outdoor workout she stayed on the pool deck and just studied and corrected my form.

So then I take this water aerobics class. A long time ago, when I was thinner (but not thin), I took water aerobics at a different gym. So I'm not a beginner, plus it's been 2 months that I've been doing the pliometrics.

What a shock. No instruction. Just a brief description-do this with your hands, do this with your legs--and everyone was off. Go faster, go faster. No one cared about form. I wanted to ask questions because some of the exercises didn't even make sense, but it wasn't that kind of class. Everyone just splashed and hopped furiously. I tried to attempt one exercise and did something to the back of my leg- a cramp so bad it still hurts today, as if I'd sprained it. I know it was because of bad form, but I wasn't given good instructions. I watched others but everyone seemed to do it differently.

So my Wednesday night workouts are going to be this dual thing with pliometrics & aerobics, and my Monday/Friday afternoons will just be the pliometrics. So I'll be doing about 4-5 hours a week in the pool.

What sucks is that it's a chlorine pool.
I got spoiled by the Pristine Blue pool I've been using. All I can smell on my skin is bleach. And that's AFTER a shower. ICK. Someone said salt will pull out the chlorine so I'll have to go back to using my salt scrub at night. And I have to coat my hair with leave-in conditioner so I don't get green hair. Sigh.

BUT IT'S A POOL. How can I complain? Only $30 a month too.

What I will miss about being fat

Being able to float vertically with my arms down and legs together and still have my shoulders and head totally out of the water.

Having an excuse to be lazy.

Never being hit on in person.

and there was another thing...it'll come back to me...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

4 phases of life

My ND put me on these remedies that are supposed to bring me through the 4 stages of life/developement. Each one is 1 week.
The first week, I was very aware of food and food issues, especially my father's OCD around food and how it influences my own eating habits and please god, don't say I'm as bad as he is.
The 2nd week, I was very aware of debt and lack of money and abundance issues--it seemed that every other commercial on the radio or online was debt reduction (which I need! )
This is week 3. I thought it would be anxiety, but I've progressed into anger and also abandonment issues. Maybe it's just things beginning with A. Why can't I feel adored then? Adored and alive?
Let's see what week 4 brings.
And then I repeat the stages, over and over, until all the remedy is finished.

Do you hear me? Do you care?

I'm so fed up. I'm so tired. Tired of fighting, tired of trying, tired of being ignored, of having my heart broken over and over by people who claim to care about me, but they don't even listen to me when I talk.

I can make a request in a quiet, polite tone of voice, or I can issue an order like a bitch. I can cry. I can beg. I can email. I can phone.

The silence is deafening.

But when I do sit home alone and cry, like I'm doing now, I'm being self-indulgent. Damn straight. Is someone else going to indulge me? Surely not. Not those who can't respond to an email or return a phone call or even give voice after hearing (no, not hearing) a request.

I had plans with my best friend next Wednesday. These are long-standing monthly plans, the 2nd Wednesday of every month. She mentioned in passing today that she's getting a spa treatment instead because she "forgot all about" our plans. And she can't reschedule because she's got a whole line of plans with other people for the next few weeks on any day I'm available.

Do you hear me? Do you care?

My husband agreed that, to save money, he won't order alcohol anymore when we go out to eat. Our last bill had $12 for 2 tiny beers on it. Bullshit. I told him to buy a 12 pack and drink at home. Where is he tonight? He said he was having "a quick beer" after school....2 hours ago...which turned into "dinner and drinks" and when I reminded him of our agreement about no alcohol on the credit card, he got sullen and pissed off.

We had an end-of-summer party; I invited 50 people. Six came. Most didn't even bother to respond to the invitation. It was a no-alcohol party and someone showed up drunk after being told NO DRINKING.

Do you hear me? Do you care?

I'm trying to find a better job. I send out resumes every week. I don't even get a politely worded no thanks, no matter how utterly qualified I am and how much of a work of art my cover letter was. It can't be cuz of my weight; they haven't seen me or interviewed me.

Do you hear me? Do you care?

Sunday, September 04, 2005

articles on "Starved"

both from CNN.Com on August 4, 2005

Is there appetite for eating disorders sitcom?
By Neil Osterweil
Medpage Today Senior Associate Editor
Friday, August 5, 2005; Posted: 8:03 a.m. EDT (12:03 GMT)

NEW YORK (MedPage Today) -- Take 1: the FX network's new comedy series "Starved" is an audacious but ultimately fond and respectful look at Americans' obsessions with eating, dieting, and body image.

Take 2: "Starved" is a tasteless, exploitive travesty that mocks people with serious, life-threatening eating disorders.

Even before the show's debut (tonight at 10 pm ET), critical opinions on Starved have been all over the map.

" 'Starved' just might be the most repulsive show to hit the airwaves this year," wrote the Boston Herald's TV critic, while his crosstown rival at the Boston Globe called the program both "offensive" and "sick," but also "funny, poignant, and culturally relevant."

The New York Times' opinion came down squarely in the middle, saying that "it's not quite funny enough."

FX, a network that is building a reputation on edgy programs, has this to say about tonight's pilot episode:

"Four New Yorkers -- Sam, Billie, Adam and Dan -- struggle with various eating disorders and lean on each other for support. The friends attend Belttighteners, a radical support group that takes an unconventional, harsh approach to recovery. To Billie's horror, Sam secretly tries to mold his date into a woman from a sultry TV commercial. Adam continues to shake down deliverymen for their food and Dan struggles with his decision for gastric bypass surgery."

Lynn Grefe, CEO of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) has previewed the pilot, and gives it two thumbs way, way down. Grefe said that watching a program that spoofs people with eating disorders is like watching a comedy set on a cancer ward.

"I can't imagine doing this same thing with leukemia or any other serious, potentially life-threatening illness," Grefe said in an interview. "We know of the millions of people affected in this country by eating disorders. Families are losing their homes and depleting their life savings and their retirement accounts to pay for treatment because insurance rarely pays for treatment as it's necessary. So I don't see anything funny about this."

Grefe, whose organization has called for a boycott of "Starved," says that portraying people with anorexia and bulimia as buffoonish characters trivializes the diseases and makes serious disorders sound like lifestyle choices.

A psychiatrist who sees firsthand how eating disorders can disrupt lives agrees.

"I guess the question is how much does this program glamorize these very serious disorders, make them appear to be appealing disorders where in fact they're not at all. People with eating disorders are desperate and unhappy and often not functioning very well, and there's nothing glamorous about it." said Dr. Walter H. Kaye, professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh's Western Psychiatric Institute, in an interview.

"Starved" creator and star Eric Schaeffer, who says that he has been fighting food addictions for 22 years, told CNN that "laughter is the best medicine. I know from my recovery in all areas of addiction that humor is a tremendously, tremendously important antidote to recovery."

But Sandra Fischbein, a psychotherapist who counsels patients with eating disorders and is herself a recovered bulimic tells CNN that "Starved" is "trivializing behavior that ends up killing people in this country and all over the world."

Making light of the dark is an old tradition in entertainment. Even Shakespeare got into the act in "Romeo and Juliet," when he had the mortally wounded Mercutio uttering "ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man," as his life ebbs away.

But having a laugh at someone else's expense is an equally ancient if sometimes cruel custom.

"In the vulgar shows of our own times we find the lower instincts taking the upper hand," wrote psychiatrist Dr. Boris Sidis in his 1913 treatise The Psychology of Laughter. Noting that audiences of his day would laugh uproariously at slapstick violence on stage, he wrote that "the pain is regarded by the audience as slight and insignificant, although the abused person may regard the matter in a very different light. In fact, the more important the insignificant matter is considered by the person the more ridiculous the whole performance appears."

Today we laugh at the bluster and bombast of a Paulie Walnuts on "The Sopranos" while we cringe at his brutality and ruthlessness, and we chuckle at the mordant wit of the dysfunctional family of funeral directors on "Six Feet Under" as they pretty-up corpses for public display before burial. Both "The Sopranos" and "Six Feet Under" air on HBO, which like CNN are owned by Time Warner.

So are psychiatrists and advocates for people with eating disorders taking themselves too seriously? Maybe, but they're not the first to find the content of a TV series objectionable.

Italian-American groups, for example, have been vocal in their opposition to the unflattering portrayals of Tony and Carmela Soprano and other people of Italian heritage, "At least being Italian won't kill you," Grefe says.

According to the NEDA, nearly 10 million American women suffer from anorexia or bulimia as do one million men, and another 25 million people suffer from some type of binge-eating disorder.

Part of the pathology of eating disorders is driven by societal pressures. Television simultaneously satirizes the desire to be thin - as it does in "Starved," and Kirstie Alley's Showtime "mock-documentary" "Fat Actress" -- and serves up heapin' helpins' of rail-thin eye-candy in the forms of the sleek, flab-free bodies on Fox's "The OC" and ABC's "Desperate Housewives."

"The media definitely has an influence on people with eating disorders," says Dr. Thomas Weigel, a clinical instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, who also treats patients with eating disorders at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts.

"There was a study on Fiji; before TV it was actually valued to be somewhat overweight or obese, and after they got TV, a couple of years later people started to develop eating disorders," Weigel says

But Weigel also notes that there can be an upside to programs such as "Starved," or at least to the controversy surrounding it.

"With the recent Terry Schiavo case, we got a lot of good press about eating disorders," he says, "in that people started to pay attention to the idea that someone with an eating disorder could die from it, that it was an important illness, and I think something like that actually helped awareness of eating disorders."


A comedy about eating disorders?
'Starved' pushes the line with concept


Thursday, August 4, 2005; Posted: 11:54 p.m. EDT (03:54 GMT)

NEW YORK (AP) -- "Starved" feeds on the culture's jangled issues about food, in shockingly funny ways.

Invading an area we might have thought off-limits to TV comedy, this new scripted series uses actors with actual eating disorders to find uneasy humor in the plight of four fictional characters plagued by self-starvation, obesity and bulimia.

One of the characters is Billie, a young if hard-bitten aspiring singer who is also a recovering anorexic.

"I had this idea," she tells the support group she frequents with her three comrades, "that if I weighed my laxatives like I weigh my food, I might be able to keep them to a manageable amount."

Thus does "Starved" nail the mind games so many of us play with our health and body image. And not just those of us diagnosable as addicts. The series (which premieres 10 p.m. Thursday on FX) should ring true for anyone who ever spoke of eating as "a guilty pleasure," dabbled in fad diets or looked to the bathroom scales for self-approval.

"Food is the most basic forum for discussing things like love and the absence of love; how we hurt ourselves and how we heal ourselves," says Laura Benanti, who plays Billie.

As it happens, Benanti knows firsthand. Now 26, she's a veteran performer whose first Broadway show was "The Sound of Music" at 18, followed by another musical called "Swing!" where, surrounded by rail-thin dancers, she concluded: "I'm fat."

Eating almost nothing and working out ferociously, she took off 25 pounds during the show's run. At 5-feet-8, she hit 106 pounds. By then her hair was falling out.

Since getting help, Benanti has held her weight at 125, and stayed busy in theater and films. Now, as she sinks her teeth into this all-too-familiar role, she marvels how "our inability to live with food in a healthy way is so indicative of how we feel on the inside: how lonely or sad or scared."

'Most people ... have some kind of challenge'

Billie is the sole female among the four friends who are battling a condition commonly associated with young women. But that's not the only way "Starved" defies our expectations.

As another twist, just one of the friends is genuinely overweight: Dan, played by Del Pentecost. A writer by trade, he's a compulsive overeater who snacks on doughnuts by the dozen and, at the diner with his chums, swallows four breakfasts in the time it takes Billie to worry down her carrot.

But now meet Adam (played by Sterling K. Brown). Looking anything but sick, he's an NYPD cop with a chiseled, buff physique. He's also a closet bulimic.

Completing the foursome is Sam, a narcissistic commodities broker who is recovering from anorexia and compulsive overeating.

"It's so weird how I can look really quite devastatingly handsome and thin, and also extremely fat, all at the same time," Sam observes to Billie as he inspects himself in a mirror at his gym. To the outside world, of course, he looks like neither: He's rather ordinary in appearance.

Sam is played by Eric Schaeffer, who also created "Starved" and wrote and directed all seven half-hours.

Schaeffer, a New York-based filmmaker-actor whose credits include "My Life's in Turnaround" and "If Lucy Fell," explains that the series sprang from his desire "to do something in the area of addiction. Alcoholism and drug addiction was too specific but most people, I thought, have some kind of challenge in their relationship with food."

These people include him, as he readily concedes between scenes at the Brooklyn loft where most of the interiors were shot.

"Basically not an hour goes by in my life that I'm not preoccupied with food," says Schaeffer (5-feet-8 and 155 pounds) -- "with what I can eat, when I can eat it, have I eaten too much of something, bargaining with myself, rationalizing: If I work out a certain amount, am I allowed a reward of a certain kind of food."

His special reward: those yummy little Nemo's chocolate cakes, which he craves as much as the character he plays.

In the opening scene, Sam wrestles with himself over this fetish food. Already he had sprinkled household cleanser on his latest stash to keep himself from eating it, then tossed it in his building's garbage chute. But he can't resist. He races to the basement, where he retrieves his cake from a trash can and, whisking off the detergent as best he can, scarfs it down.

Gross. And hilarious.

"I have to write from my experience," says Schaeffer, 43, who has liberally drawn on his experience with eating disorders. "If I wasn't a member of the club, I don't think it would be as funny, or that I would feel as authorized to look at it with humor."

"It took a lot of courage for Eric to put it on paper," says Brown, who adds with a chuckle, "It's a pretty extreme kind of show."

'I'm very body-conscious'

Brown is a 29-year-old St. Louis native who had a recurring role on NBC's "Third Watch." Now he's playing another cop, one whose technique for on-the-job purging includes jabbing at his stomach with his police baton.

Brown says that, unlike Adam, "I don't purge. But I think there are a lot of points of entry for me to connect with the guy.

"I'm very body-conscious," he explains, then recounts that morning's particularly tough training session. He was preparing for a scene where he would take his shirt off. But fearing he would somehow pudge out if he ate anything, he decided to skip food until after his scene was shot.

"Different shapes and sizes, man," sighs Brown, summing up the range of people with food issues.

"I'm obsessed with food, and I didn't realize it until I started on this show," says Pentecost, who estimates his current weight at 300 pounds after maxing out at 400. "I've been married 17 years, so my fantasies aren't so much sexual in nature anymore. But my wife," he laughs suggestively, "makes a great apple pie."

The 41-year-old actor, who began bulking up as a 190-pound high school football lineman back in Haltom City, Texas, has appeared in the ABC miniseries "Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital" and the features "Coyote Ugly" and "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"

"I've been in more than one commercial as the fat screaming fan in the stands," he adds.

But doesn't playing Dan -- a character both defined by and at war with his obesity -- hit painfully close to home?

"At first I thought it might," Pentecost replies. "But the honesty of the show actually makes it kind of freeing." Besides, salvation could be on the way. He hopes that if there's a second season for "Starved," maybe his character will get to slim down.

"I would love for them to say, 'We're picked up for more episodes and Dan will be 50 pounds lighter -- let's do it!' That would be great."