Thursday, November 30, 2006

OCD

Dan--It absolutely is a form of OCD that I have. It is totally a control issue. The thought of eating random food is terrifying to me. It sounds so stupid, I know, and believe me I've tried to work through it with 2 therapists from 2 different directions and there it is, still in my face.
But at the same time, I still don't eat A LOT of food. It's very frustrating. I'm intelligent and I can see that it's stupid to have a panic attack over eating strange food, it's completely illogical and irrational. I have even thought about trying some anti-anxiety drugs (not that I feel particularly anxious except about food) but those have the lovely side effect of weight gain.
I have occasionally gone in the other direction of not eating. Yes, I lose weight, but I get really sick from lack of nutrients. And I can't do it "on purpose" (I wish I could)--every once in a while I just go a day or so with little/no food, without planning to do so. In fact, as I've said before, food and eating are such a pain in the ass for me I wish I could give up eating entirely. (Just as unhealthy a thought, I guess).
And there absolutely is a difference between me (or anyone with any kind of OCD/eating disorder) and someone who starves themselves just to keep their job--because someone told them to be skinnier or they'd get no work. I guess I can admire their will power, but not the message they send to society. If that makes me a hypocrite, oh well. Nobody's perfect, I'm not perfect, and I know I take on different roles for different people.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My eating disorder

This post has been in my head for a while. It's just coincidence that it's knocking against these posts about skinny models.
A few weeks ago someone told me about a 10 day metaphysical learning retreat. I really wanted to go...except for the food issue. I would be required to stay at the retreat center and not allowed to go off-site for food or anything. I wrote to the coordinator and said "I have an eating disorder and I require total control of my food." I wanted to know what was going to be served for the meals. What options there were for eating.
She wrote back and asked me what my eating disorder was, and as I was struggling to describe it (I'm not anorexic or bulimic or a binge eater), I realized I had hit the nail on the head with my first email. "I require total control of my food."
I started paying attention and I found that I eat very few things unaltered. Peanut butter is one, crackers are another, as is some kinds of fruit. Everything else I have to customize. I can't order off a menu without substituting or changing something. I change EVERYTHING.
It is a big step for me to admit that it's gone beyond picky and into something that's really a problem.
I'm not going on the retreat. I can't bring my own food and I can't leave.
This isn't the first time this has happened to me. I've gone on other 2 or 3 or 4 day retreats and classes and been sick, literally sick from not eating, or eating only what I could hide in my car. And I hate hiding food. Hiding food is a disease in itself (which I usually don't manifest).
Unfortunately I am just about to lose my medical insurance for six months so I can't even start therapy again.

eating habits of fashion models

Someone posted a comment saying I was being unfair to fashion models by saying they starve themselves and take drugs, that they are naturally thin and can't gain weight.
Of course, that person provided no back-up for this.
So I looked it up.
The first article, on a designer's site, says (in part, it's very long):
In the twenties, the typical ‘Miss America’ contestant was 1.60 metres tall and weighed 63 kilos. By 1990, she was 16 cm taller – but had lost 10 kilos. A glance at the home page of a model agency reveals that today she is not much taller – but her weight keeps going down. A typical fashion model is just under 1.80 metres, wears size 7 shoes and weighs just over 50 kilos....
Both in the USA and in Europe, some models have gone much too far to meet the tough demands and have resorted to illegal diet products, emetics, diuretic pills and amphetamines to achieve the ‘ideal’ look of a pubescent boy. Their eating habits – or the lack of them – make them look like lollipops....
n the eighties, magazines were filled with shapely models such as Cindy Crawford. The ideal woman was healthy and strong, models glittered and glowed, and jogging, salad and mineral water was the dish of the day. But the nineties saw the fashion world do a U-turn. The ‘Luxury of Dirt’ became fashionable, and designers looked to crude drug environments for inspiration. The girls on the catwalk were no longer healthy and self-confident women, but skeleton-like figures with expressionless eyes and sloppy hair....
(A friend of mine calls it "heroin chic")

I missed this story when it happened, but here's another comment:
When the 22-year-old Uruguayan model Luisel Ramos died of a heart failure last month as she stepped off the catwalk at the Montevideo Fashion Week, she set off a raging debate in the fashion world about how far one could go. Apparently, the young woman had been subsisting on diet soda and leafy vegetables to conform to ramp standards..... Many Indian models survive on their chain-smoking habits to keep off hunger and kilos, often setting an example for young women across the country on how they should look. ... Model and actor Madhu Shalini spoke of the situation in the fashion industry saying: "Many models are made to believe that the skinnier you are, better and bigger offers will come your way. So there is a lot of pressure to be thin. I have seen many fellow models going to extremes to lose weight because they have been told to."

Here's a third, and after that I stop this subject for now:
Petra Nemcova has spent a large majority of her life struggling with her weight. From eating nothing but carrots and tomatoes to using laxatives, the well-known model says she has done anything and everything to stay a size zero. She recently discussed the trials of staying thin for her career with People, saying "I went through so many diets in my life. I've been very, very skinny. I've been a size zero but I'm naturally more curvy."....Actress Thandie Newton thinks "Some women are just naturally very slim. I don't think that fashion necessarily promotes a very skinny look anymore."

I'm not exactly sure what Thandie means by naturally slim. To me, taking laxatives and eating only vegetables like Petra is not "natural." It means starving oneself.


Please understand that I have only sympathy for people who have eating disorders of ANY kind. Eating disorders are a control issue, not a food issue. (I should know because I have one.) But someone who is starving themselves to look a certain way....this isn't coming out right, is it? Blagh.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Killer hamburger

The United States is schizophrenic. I just posted that article about way-too-thin models and here we have the polar opposite.
A restaurant in ... Arizona that proudly admits to trying to finish off its customers has introduced a new item on its menu -- the "quadruple bypass burger".
The burger at the "Heart Attack Grill" restaurant is stacked with four beef patties, cheese, onions, tomatoes and fried bacon, and weighs in at only 8,000 calories, more than three times what the human body needs in one day.
And that's the BURGER only...before the fries and the soda!
Patrons who have no appetite for the "quadruple bypass burger" can opt for the "triple" or "double-bypass".
Customers who have room for more can also order French fries "fried in pure lard" and can purchase cigarettes off the menu. As a courtesy, the restaurant offers its "best customers" a wheelchair service to their cars by waitresses dressed in slinky nurses' outfits.

What exactly is the point? The slinky nurse outfits make it sound like it's some kind of Hooters. The huge portions...well they just sound stupid (not unlike the new Burger King monstrosity with 2-4 patties. I've never seen anyone order even the 3 patty one. And it's slathered in crap too, adding more calories.) I just went to the Burger King website to find the name of it, but it's an all-flash site and I can't stand trying to navigate those.

way thin models (lots of pics)

I found this on Snopes. Yes, the pictures are digital, but they also provide the REAL photos, and really, they aren't much better. It goes right along with the starving model thing.
The amusing headline is "you think fat is ugly?"
I'm just going to use two of the pictures, ones that have before and after in the Snopes article.
The point is, even in the BEFORE pictures, the women are way too skinny. No one can look like that naturally. These women smoke and do drugs and starve themselves and they are held up as the ideal of beauty even though they are the MINORITY. It's ridiculous.
I am not advocating 300 lb models. But 200 lb models, with real curves, would be nice. I know lots of women who weigh 200 lbs and above who are gorgeous. But even "plus size" models are only around a size 14.
I hate how this blog handles multiple pictures, but you can see there really isn't much difference between the "before" and "after" (I won't insult your intelligence by labeling them.)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Model starves herself to death


This is so sad. I saw another story recently too, which I believe was also in Brazil, where a really pretty girl had died having illegal (not by a doctor) plastic surgery to make herself prettier.
Model dies of anorexia complications
The mother of a Brazilian fashion model who died from complications of anorexia has made an emotional appeal for parents to take better care of aspiring young models.
The death of Ana Carolina Reston, 21, follows growing criticism of the use of underweight models in the fashion world, an issue given new significance after the death in August of Uruguayan model Luisel Ramos of heart failure during a fashion show in Montevideo.
....Reston died...from a generalized infection caused by anorexia, an eating disorder in which sufferers obsessively deprive themselves of food in pursuit of an ultra-slim look. (I'm not sure that designation is entirely accurate, but I'll let it go.)
Reston weighed only 88 pounds and was about 5 feet 8 inches tall.
..."Dictatorship of skinny look kills a model," said the front-page headline...(near) a picture of the dark-haired, big-eyed girl in lingerie.
....In September, Spain caused a storm in the fashion world when Madrid barred models below a certain weight from its top fashion show. Models with a body-mass-index (BMI), which takes into account height and weight, of less than 18 were banned.
Reston's BMI was just 13.5 while the World Health Organization considers anyone with a BMI below 18.5 underweight. A BMI below 17.5 being one of the criteria for the diagnosis of anorexia nervosa and a BMI nearing 15 is usually used as an indicator for starvation.
Other famous fashion venues like London were considering following suit.
(photo source same as story)

Support for a friend

One of my "faithful" readers has started her own weight loss blog--Way to go JB!--and she's lined up to get her bariatric surgery in 2007. You can compare and contrast our stories.
She's parked herself at: My Big Fat Weight Loss Journey
Also see the link in the sidebar of my blog.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Spain pulls the plug on Burger King ad


I'm not sure exactly how this burger matches up with what they sell in the U.S. I know they have that new line of burgers, with 2, 3 and 4 patties (I found a coupon in a coupon book for buy one get one free on the one with 4 patties. I can barely eat a double whopper once I sop up the grease and throw away half the bun; what would I do with a 4 patty monstrosity? Much less TWO of them!).
Here's the story:
Spain Nixes Burger King Ad
Burger King should yank an ad campaign for its monster XXL burger - the caloric equivalent of eating 10 fried eggs - because it violates a Spanish initiative against obesity....(T)he commercials go against an agreement signed by the Spanish Federation of Hoteliers and Restaurateurs, of which Burger King is a member. Under the agreement, members of the federation said they would refrain from promoting huge servings of food....
An advertisement on Burger King's Spanish Web site features a photograph of the towering Double-Cheese Bacon XXL with the slogan: "It's awful being a vegetarian, right?"
That vegetarian line is pretty funny. And yes, that's the real ad, I got it from the Burger King website.

more on grandma

I see that I do indeed have to give some of the background material on my grandma, which was eaten by the blog yesterday.
When I was a fat teenager, her and my grandpa used to take me out to eat every couple of weeks, to their favorite restaurant, a little independent place whose name they horribly mis-pronounced no matter how many times I told them how to say it. Every time we went out, when the waitress came over, my grandmother would announce (and she ONLY speaks at full volume) that I had a "weight problem" and was only allowed "a child's portion" of food. The said child's portion was brought to me and then my grandmother hovered over me and watched me eat every bite and then would make me take half of it home. My grandfather would sit there and frown at her and say "leave the kid alone, willya?" (God, I miss my grandpa, and not just for that.)
Then there was the crying over cake incident recounted in the last entry, which had nothing to do with confusion. My grandma gets confused over dates (she forgot my wedding anniversary this year, insisting that "nothing happened that month ever" even though my grandpa's birthday is also in that month) and she won't leave her apartment, but other than that, she is VERY sharp.
There is the fact that she allows my overweight husband (who is on the edge between overweight and obese) to eat as much as he wants, offering him seconds and thirds and pressing leftovers on him while glaring at every bite I take. He tried to give me part of his dessert one night because it was something he didn't like, and I do, and she took it and threw it away. But when I give him the rest of my dinner (it's become increasingly difficult for me to eat in front of her over the years) that's okay.
So it is NOT her being confused or senile. She can be very spiteful (so can I--I inherited a lot from her whether I like it or not, and not just her hands, which she, my mother and I share) and mean, not just about food, but I won't go into those things here.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

grandma and the chocolate cake

Well I just spent about 20 minutes writing a long post about my grandmother and some chocolate cake. Then I needed to pause and do something else, so I saved it as a draft, and it vanished. This isn't the first time that's happened to me. It really pisses me off. I will re-write it but it loses something, you know? The humor, mostly.
Yup, I just tested it again-- I can't save things as drafts. That really sucks. I'll go back to writing in Word or WordPerfect, although it's a bitch to strip out the codes they add.
Anyway, back to my grandma. She's 90 and going blind. She lives in a little senior citizen huddle--a bunch of apartments with a central meeting place for them to hang out. She rarely leaves it--once a week to shop and go to church, that's it. (She used to go to church every day until she was diagnosed with the macular degeneration.) She will only visit others for major holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter). At all other times, everyone must come to her. She is like a queen bee.
So periodically everyone must go to Grandma's house and have dinner. Grandma doesn't cook. Grandma doesn't do dishes. Everything has to be pre-cooked and brought to her place. She supplies the paper plates and the dessert. For most of the year, the dessert is éclairs. I like éclairs, don't get me wrong, but it's nice to have something else too sometimes.
The day before our dinner, I was grocery shopping. I always check the dented can section, which is next to the yesterday's baked goods section. I was buying some dented cans of veggies and busted boxes of pasta when a lovely chocolate mousse cake caught my eye. It was marked down to $5 from $13.99 (usually baked goods are 50% off). I bought it.
I called my grandmother and told her not to buy éclairs because I had a lovely chocolate cake to bring. I made some kind of joke about not being able to eat it all myself. She got all upset and said "No, you mustn't." She actually said "mustn't."
At the end of the meal, I cut the cake into very small pieces. There ended up being 3 1/2 (small) pieces left over. I packed them up to take them home. My grandmother had her turned-down face on. "You're going to eat that cake." Well of course I am. It's yummy. And very, very rich. It really needed a side of ice cream or a big glass of milk with it. (You have to understand, leftover food all gets taken home by SOMEONE after one of these meals. But NEVER dessert. Leftover desserts go in grandma's tummy, always.) "Promise me you won't eat the cake all at once." I promised that I would only eat one piece a day. Evidently that was still too much because the turned-down face didn't go away. (It ended up taking me SIX days to finish--it was way too rich for breakfast.)
A few months ago, when I wasn't there, she told my mother that the last time she'd seen me, she had just "cried and cried" after I left...because I ate a piece of cake. This was cake that she purchased herself and served to me. I was so angry when my mother told me that. What kind of screwed-up family do I come from? You feed me and then cry because I eat? When I was thin all they did was harp on how I was going to get fat again, until I did, and then they were smug and satisfied at being right.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Chocolate. Yummy AND healthy.


Finally, a happy study, not a fear-filled one.
(C)hocolate lovers who flunked out of a Johns Hopkins University study on aspirin and heart disease helped researchers stumble on an explanation of why a little chocolate a day can cut the risk of heart attack. ...The blood of the chocolate eaters was slower to clot than the blood of the volunteers who resisted chocolate, Becker told a meeting of heart experts in Chicago. In a urine test, the chocolate lovers had lower levels of a platelet waste product called thromboxane. Does it help a little bit? Yes,...But it does not have anywhere near the magnitude of the effects of a single baby aspirin a day.....Other studies have suggested that dark chocolate contains more of the beneficial compounds linked with heart health.
Photo source: Wikipedia

should fat people pay more for insurance?

I think this is a slippery slope. LINK What about people with chronic disease like diabetes? Shouldn't they pay more too? And if the insurance company is going to charge me more for being fat, are they going to start paying for prescription diet pills, gym memberships and bariatric surgery?
Most Americans believe smokers and obese people should pay more for health insurance, but they have mixed views on how to help the millions without any health insurance, according to a survey published on Tuesday.
The poll of about 1,500 people found that that about 80 percent believe the U.S. health insurance system, with 46.6 million uninsured, needs fixing.
Sixty percent of those polled favored higher premiums for smokers while 30 percent felt the obese should pay more.

The US population, as trumpeted a few weeks ago, is 300 MILLION people. 300 MILLION. They polled 1500 and determined what MOST Americans think? That's .0005% of the population as the total sampling size. That's a bullshit statistic right there. There's no majority in that. So 30% of .0005% is nothing. Not "the majority". God I hate the spin the media puts on everything. FEAR FEAR FEAR.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

fat man's post-mortum revenge

This is fascinating in a sick way: fire at crematorium
Fire officials said the six-hundred pound man was in being cremated when his body fluids were too much for the oven. The body fluids seeped out onto the floor and ignited, causing a fire at the ...Funeral Home...."Those fluids can be very flammable," said (a firefighter). "Sort of like a grease fire."
SORT of? It IS a grease fire.
The crematorium is back in business and the funeral director said they'll notify the family to assure them their loved one wasn't harmed.
NOT HARMED? He was burned to a crisp. That's the point of cremation.
Sometimes I do hate the political correctness of our society, when it feels it's necessary to say/do stupid shit like saying someone wasn't harmed while being cremated.
I've had all my pets cremated because if I move and they are buried in the yard, I'd have to leave them behind. I try not to think about it during those few days between when the vet has their body sent out and I get back the tin. It's so awful. But so is rotting.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

"fat actress" in a bikini



I have mixed feelings about this. Kirstie Alley lost 75 pounds and wore a bikini in front of Oprah.
I mean, it's great that she lost weight and quit smoking and feels good about herself. But she had been an advocate for the overweight, and now she's a spokesperson for Jenny Craig and pimping "thin."
I think she looked beautiful, like a voluptuous goddess, in the gown. She looks good in the bikini too, of course (BMI 22). But she wasn't ugly/unattractive when she weighed 220 (BMI 33, which is barely obese and doesn't qualify for bariatric surgery, which starts at 35-40 BMI)
If I woke up tomorrow thin, I wouldn't start hating and reviling fat people. (Not that she's done that.) If I woke up thin tomorrow because of a miracle diet pill, I might hawk it (if they paid me), but not to LOOK good. To feel good.

Image Source/Bikini
Image Source/Fat (but this pic's everywhere)

Monday, November 06, 2006

NaNo

I added a cool icon to my bar on the right (in the NaNo section) for my progress in NaNo. I'm doing great-almost half way there in 5 days. It looks like this:


I haven't seen any interesting fat news to blog, and since basically I only go to work and stay home and write, my life's not too interesting these days. Best bet is for you to subscribe to my RSS feed and then you'll know pretty much instantly (within about 30 minutes) when I post. Click the orange thingie.



You can also subscribe to my NaNo blog. My novel is about a fat woman (what else) so the excerpts might be of interest to you.

(This writing blog will go away in December and return next October.)


But please don't abandon me just because I'm quieter for a few weeks! I'll be back, sassier than ever, in a few weeks if not sooner.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

drink wine, be fat, stay healthy

I don't like wine, so this isn't going to help me.
Fat, boozing mice stay healthy
Huge amounts of a red wine extract seemed to help obese mice eat a high-fat diet and still live a long and healthy life, suggests a new study that some experts are calling "landmark" research.
The big question is, can it work the same magic in humans?
Scientists say it's far too early to start swilling barrels of red wine. But they are calling the latest research promising and even "spectacular."
The study ...shows that heavy doses of red wine extract lowers the rate of diabetes, liver problems and other fat-related ill effects in obese mice.
Fat-related deaths dropped 31 percent for obese mice on the supplement, compared to untreated obese mice, and the treated mice also lived long after they should have.
(T)he organs of the fat mice that got the wine extract looked normal when they shouldn't have.... Other preliminary work still being done in the lab shows the wine ingredient has promise in lengthening the life span of normal-sized mice, too.
I really, really hate the taste of wine. It's like dead rotten grapes. Maybe, if it's just an extract, they can make it in pill form. Yeah. I could deal with red wine pills. I don't much like being drunk either.