Friday, December 29, 2006

Americans want the goverment to make them thin

I don't know how much I agree with all this. For one thing, it's a VERY small sample, and how good are these samples?
A large majority of Americans say they support changes in public policy to stem the rising tide of obesity among adults....The new telephone survey of 1,139 adults found that 85 percent supported tax breaks for employers who made exercise space available to employees.
In addition, 73 percent said they'd support government incentives for companies that reduced the cost of health insurance for employees who had healthy lifestyles and shed extra pounds. Seventy-two percent said they would support government policies requiring insurance companies to cover obesity treatment and prevention programs.
In other words, charge fat people more. What about smokers? I guess they get a free ride. Notice the survey size: 1139 adults. Out of how many million? And what about someone like me who works out, eats little and doesn't "shed extra pounds"--I get penalized as a fatty? Who decides? Now I've got some jerk in HR who knows & tracks my weight? How is that any of his/her business?
As far as insurance goes, I'm willing to pay extra for a rider that will cover obesity treatment and surgery BY MY CHOICE. Will it cover prescription diet pills? Will it defray the cost of my gym membership? Pay for the "required" visits to dietitians and nutritionists? Or would the obesity insurance just COST more without providing more?
As long as smokers have to pay extra for cancer treatment. Fair's fair, right?

comment on a comment

Someone commented about how horrible it makes them feel to see that other people have lost weight without surgery, by old-fashioned diet and exercise.
I'm sorry that you feel that way. I find them inspirational. That makes me think, yes, it can be done, you don't have to resort to having your insides rearranged. I know many have taken the surgery route (and I've ventured down that path) but it's not for me.
No, I can't afford a personal trainer for a 4 hour per day workout. If I could, yeah, sure I'd be thin. I work with my trainer maybe once or twice a month and the rest of the time I'm on my own.
And it's very clear to me that for me, at least, it's all about exercise. I can starve myself and I don't lose a thing. I add in 5 minutes of exercise and I tone up and lose weight and inches very quickly. Problem is that I can't keep it up. It's not a question of motivation or being too tired physically, it's a question of being bored out of my skull with the workout.
I stopped the pool a few months ago. Next week, or the week after (still haven't heard from my trainer) I'm going back. The bowflex will be easier to manage in the summer in its proper room (it just doesn't FIT in the menagerie room)--I'll take a month or so off again then.
Nothing I post is supposed to make anyone feel discouraged or sad or upset (unless I'm sharing something personal and I'm looking for sympathy). It's fact, or it's funny, or I think it will inspire people.

obese preschoolers

I have a news alert which tells me when there's new articles that might interest me. This one came in late last night and I happened to be online at the time. Now I'm pretty fat and I take some responsibility for it (I still think there's greater things going on), but this is not these kids' fault. It's the parents.

Far too many kids are fat by preschool, and Hispanic youngsters are most at risk...
The study couldn't explain the disparity: White, black and Hispanic youngsters alike watched a lot of TV....But one important predictor of a pudgy preschooler was whether the child was still using a bottle at the stunning age of age 3 they are on track for a lifetime of health problems related to obesity....
AGE 3. At age 3, your mother is feeding you. You can't cook for yourself. You can't get into the car and drive to McDonald's. You can ask for food, yes, but it's up to your parents to put it in front of you. And a bottle at 3? Sheesh. Are they still in diapers too?
Thirty-two percent of the white and black tots were either overweight or obese, vs. 44 percent of the Hispanics.....Children were particularly at risk if their mothers were obese. So were those who still took a bottle to bed at age 3, as did 14 percent of the Hispanic youngsters, 6 percent of the whites and 4 percent of the blacks. That finding supports other research that one of the most common causes of overweight in children is overfeeding.
That's one for the "duh" file.
Pediatricians say even babies should never take a bottle to bed, and that children should start drinking from a cup around age 1.
So these kids are on a bottle for 2 years past when they are supposed to? That also ruins the shape of their mouths. Then again, I see toddlers sucking on their sippy cups like bottles so what's the difference?
I went grocery shopping with my mother as a child. I didn't eat in the cart. I didn't eat in the car. The only time we brought food in the car for snacking was when we were making a long trip (like for vacation). My friends have kids. These kids constantly have food. A half hour trip requires bags of cheddar goldfish, the sippy cup, pieces of cheese, grapes (which get thrown, not eaten), an assortment of toys AND a stop for lunch on the way home. When I'm grocery shopping, I see every kid is stuffing its face while sitting in the cart (and/or screaming for more food or some stupid junky toy). I want to go up to these parents and scream "look at me, do you want your kid to look like me in 35 years? Then stop fucking feeding him!"

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

body dysphoria

I've written about this before. But really, is anyone reading the 2 years of archives? Of course not.
I have no sense of my body. It's called dysphoria. Usually you hear about it in relation to those who feel male but have female bodies, or vice versa (gender dysphoria). I have body dysphoria.
One night a week or so ago, I was lying in the bed reading and for some reason I started to think about my body. I shut my eyes and tried to use the kinesthetic sense to feel where it was. (That's how you know, for instance, where your hand is when your eyes are closed. It's not related to the sense of touch.)
I concentrated really hard and came to the realization that I was floating an inch or so off the bed. Not that I was levitating--that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that the parts of me I could FEEL and SENSE were not touching the bed. In other words, I can't feel my fat. I know it sounds stupid and it makes no sense. I know I'm fat. I can look down and SEE my fat. But if I close my eyes, I can't feel it as part of me. This is why I bump into things. I have no real idea about how much space I take up. How weird is that? I feel my muscles and my bones.
I've been trying to find an article about it, but all the article says that it's a sign of anorexia. Uh, can't be, if I have it and I'm the size of a small country.
Here's an abstract which seems to connect body dysphoria and depression, but I can't access the whole article:
Body Image Disturbance, Memory Bias, and Body Dysphoria: Effects of Negative Mood Induction
This study examined the effects of negative mood induction on body image and recall bias for fatness stimuli in women of normal weight with high body dysphoria. The experimental design contrasted subjects scoring high and low on a measure of body dysphoria. One half of the subjects in each group were administered a negative mood induction procedure. Dependent variables were a) body size estimation measures, b) body dysphoria, and c) recall for fatness, thinness, and depressive words. The negative mood induction resulted in increased current body size estimation and body dysphoria. A free recall bias for fatness stimuli was found in subjects high in body dysphoria. Thus, current body size estimation and body dysphoria were found to be reactive to negative mood states, whereas, ideal body size and recall for fatness stimuli were not affected by the negative mood state.
I'd like to read it. Oh well.
All the papers seem to be very scholarly, pdfs, not easily accessible.


I'm going back on phentermine. It's been 7 months, hopefully it will work again.
My great idea was to get 1 month which was 60x15 mg capsules which I could use in the beginning so I wouldn't be so overwhelmed (they really are strong) and at the end for weaning, and then 2 months of 30x30 for in the middle.
Well, the pharmacy said the 15's have pretty much gone bye-bye and that they are phasing out the 30's and in fact, the 30's and the 37.5's are the same price. So I'm going to have to get a stronger prescription. Which I didn't want. But the 37.5's are tablets, not capsules, so I can break them in half. I have a pill splitter which I bought when one of my pets was sick and taking 1/2 a pill 2x a day for life. (What happened to him? He died. One of my many babies who went to heaven this year.) :(
My husband is switching jobs in 2 weeks and we're losing our insurance. Not that I care for the phentermine, since insurance doesn't pay (and it's not on Walmart's $4 plan, damn it), but I hope I don't break another bone or something until he can pick up insurance at the new place.
Next week I'm going back to the pool too, as soon as my personal trainer gets back from vacation. In fact, she called me last week and I couldn't talk. I called her right back and she didn't answer and I haven't heard from her since, so I guess she left the state in the meantime.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

"Skinny is the new Fat"

A friend of mine gives me magazines once in a while, but they are always pretty old. Still sometimes it's interesting to look at predictions for things that already happened. I read them anyway.
She gave me recently the October 30, 2006 Newsweek which contained a short article on page 55 called "Skinny is the new Fat" (see scan).
I was astonished to find the galleries are still online at the Newsweek site.
First, the paper article."Banana Republic began offering its "00" duds on its Web site in the spring....The less-than-zeros arrived as Americans are getting bigger. The average woman is 155 lbs and 5'4". That's 20 lbs heavier than the average woman of 40 years ago. But don't assume today's woman is wearing a bigger size than her mother. ..according to standard size measurements (there are STANDARDS? Who knew?) that average 155 lb woman should be wearing a size 16 but thanks to vanity sizing she's probably buying a 10 or 12"
Sizing is so screwed up. I have pants that fit me, at over 300 lbs, that are size 14/16. I know that's total bullshit.
Now for the online stuff. I't's two photo slideshows, with some pretty catty comments. One is on thin celebrities, who look wonderful (for the most part) next to the other slide show on models. A couple of the slides mention that the "corpse look" is in. Like heroin-chic wasn't bad enough.
One slide did mention that one designer's very small clothes were for Asian women. Okay, that I can see. They are little, shorter, smaller boned than Westerners, and it makes sense they'd wear a smaller size. But a woman who's 5'9? No.
One of the slides showed Vivian Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara, with her 17" waist. I'm not sure where my (tattered and old) copy of Gone with the Wind is, but I know that Scarlett's 17" waist came from her corset. After she had a baby she couldn't get laced to below 19" and she bemoaned being a "cow".

man loses 125 lbs to get a job/wife & biggest loser

This is so great. I love these kinds of stories.
Michael Warren had a lot (to) lose. The 20-year-old Wintersville resident who once tipped the scales at more than 300 pounds lost 125 pounds in 18 months to pursue a career in law enforcement. He was sworn in as a deputy sheriff in Ohio County on Monday, two days after he married his high-school sweetheart of six and a half years.....Before embarking on his journey to better fitness, Warren said, he couldn't do one push up and didn't have the endurance to run very far. Now he can do 30 push-ups and runs nearly every day, managing to clock 1.5 miles in under 16 minutes.....Warren said he is in a job surrounded by people who are committed to fitness. There's no way he would ever slip back to the days when he ate just "to pass time," he said.
The photo of him comes from

You all were probably wondering why I never mention the reality TV show "the biggest loser" before. That's simple; I don't watch network TV (except once in a while The Simpsons, Mad TV and SNL) and I don't watch reality shows.
My mom said she saw an interview with the winner. Now realize this is about 4th hand info, as I haven't seen this interview or ever watched the show or devoted more than a minute's thought to it (a friend of an acquaintance was on it a few years ago, that's the extent of my knowledge). She said this guy lost over 100 lbs in about the same amount of time you'd lose it with surgery, and had no sagging skin. I screen-captured these photos of him from the NBC site, and he does look pretty damn good.
If you notice, deputy WeightLoss above also didn't appear to have a huge sagging belly thing (panniculus) going on.
Why does WLS produce this, and regular dieting/exercising doesn't? I mean, you're supposed to exercise after you have the surgery, and it's basically like a diet. Has anyone ever heard or read why this is? Any help?

Happy Holidays & good news on chocolate!

Hope everyone had a merry-happy-joyful whatever they celebrate and no one gained any weight. Because holiday food has no calories, right? Like birthday cake.
Just in case you ate too much chocolate (I ate fudge, and chocolate cake, and chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting, and 2 Twix bars--over several days, not all at once!)'s now GOOD FOR YOU.
Listen to the way people malign chocolate: Sinful! Decadent! To die for! There's even that popular restaurant dessert known as "Death by Chocolate." But is this any way to talk about a loved one -- especially during the season of comfort and joy?
Bite your tongue! Evidence is mounting that some kinds of chocolate are actually good for you. Here's the latest about the healthy side of your chocolate habit and taste-tested advice on what to try. Merry munching.
Scientists at the Harvard University School of Public Health recently examined 136 studies on coco -- the foundation for chocolate -- and found it does seem to boost heart health...heart benefits from increased blood flow, less platelet stickiness and clotting, and improved bad cholesterol...These benefits are the result of cocoa's antioxidant chemicals known as flavonoids, which seem to prevent both cell damage and inflammation.
Maybe that's why my cholesterol level is so good! I eat chocolate all the time in the form of Slim-fast!
(H)ypertensive people who ate 3.5 ounces of dark chocolate per day for two weeks saw their blood pressure drop significantly...People who ate the same amount of white chocolate? Nothing. (It doesn't have any cocoa -- or flavonoids.) ....Just a bite may do you good.
And my blood pressure is absolutely fine in spite of my largeness. My heart rate--eww, high, not so good. Pressure? Just fine.
Chocolate milk may help you recover after a hard workout....cyclists who drank chocolate milk between workouts scored better on fatigue and endurance tests than those who had some sports drinks.
I like chocolate milk, but after a workout I want water. Sorry.
(R)esearchers gave 24 women a half-cup of special extra-flavonoid-enriched cocoa every day. After three months, the women's skin was moister, smoother, and less scaly and red when exposed to ultraviolet light. The researchers think the flavonoids, which absorb UV light, help protect and increase blood flow to the skin, improving its appearance.
And I have beautiful skin. I am walking proof of this article.
(P)reliminary research...suggests chocolate may boost your memory, attention span, reaction time, and problem-solving skills by increasing blood flow to the brain.
I am very smart, but I'm not sure chocolate has anything to do with it. Then again, I ate it as a child too.
(I)n a survey of 143 women...those who ate chocolate every day seemed to have more sex drive, better lubrication, and an easier time reaching orgasm. (However)the women who ate chocolate were all younger than the ones who didn't; it was age and not chocolate that made the difference.
Who needs sex when you have chocolate?
BTW, I'm not sure how many pagans read this...have any of you ever done the Chocolate Ritual? It's pretty funny even to read.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

gut bacteria makes you fat

I wonder if this is related to the "a virus makes you fat" theory?
Scientists link weight to gut bacteria
Maybe it's germs that are making you fat.
Researchers found a strong connection between obesity and the levels of certain types of bacteria in the gut. That could mean that someday there will be novel new ways of treating obesity that go beyond the standard advice of diet and exercise.
Beyond diet and exercise. Imagine that. You mean all fat people aren't lazy gluttons? Not possible.
Obese humans and mice had a lower percentage of a family of bacteria called Bacteroidetes and more of a type of bacteria called Firmicutes, Gordon and his colleagues found. The researchers aren't sure if more Firmicutes makes you fat or if people who are obese grow more of that type of bacteria....
"We are getting more and more evidence to show that obesity isn't what we thought it used to be," said Nikhil Dhurandhar, a professor of infection and obesity at Louisiana State University's Pennington Biomedical Research Center. "It isn't just (that) you're eating too much and you're lazy."
Ah, didn't I just say that?
(T)he field of "infectobesity" looks at obesity with multiple causes, including viruses and microbes. In another decade or so, the different causes of obesity could have different treatments. The current regimen of diet and exercise "is like treating all fevers with one aspirin."
We don't even treat all headaches with one type of aspirin.
And this is where it gets really amazing:
(T)he stud(y) looked at what happened in mice with changes in bacteria level. When lean mice with no germs in their guts had larger ratios of Firmicutes transplanted, they got "twice as fat" and took in more calories from the same amount of food than mice with the more normal bacteria ratio....It was as if one group got far more calories from the same bowl of Cheerios than the other.
Amazing. And how can food's calorie content CHANGE?! This upsets every calorie-based applecart.
In a study of dozen dieting people, the results also were dramatic. Before dieting, about 3 percent of the gut bacteria in the obese participants was Bacteroidetes. But after dieting, the now normal-sized people had much higher levels of Bacteroidetes — close to 15 percent.
And does it every go away? Does it go back down? Or is everyone doomed to yo-you diet forever because of some freaking bacteria? Can't I take a broad-spectrum antibiotic and then eat some yogurt to restore the good bacteria?
Link to streaming video of the project.
Does this make me feel vindicated? Does this prove I don't eat lot and remain fat anyway?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

doctors say ads cause anoxeria and drinking in children

File this under "duh." In fact, I have labels now and I will file it under that.
Inappropriate advertising contributes to many kids' ills, from obesity to anorexia, to drinking booze and having sex too soon, and Congress should crack down on it, the American Academy of Pediatrics says.
Okay, I agree about too many ads, but why can't parents just shut off the TV?
"Young people view more than 40,000 ads per year on television alone and increasingly are being exposed to advertising on the Internet, in magazines, and in schools," the policy says.
I don't remember ever seeing an ad in school. Then again, we didn't have brand-name vending machines and food either (much less soda)--way back in the olden days.
The statement also is critical of alcohol ads that feature cartoonish animal characters; fast-food ads on educational TV shown in schools; magazine ads with stick-thin models and toy and other product "tie-ins" between popular movie characters and fast-food restaurants.
These pervasive ads influence kids to demand poor food choices, and to think drinking is cool, sex is a recreational activity and anorexia is fashionable, the academy says.

It's very true. I have a very health conscious friend who brings his kids to McDonald's and Burger King for the stupid toys. I explained to him that he can just buy the toy without the food, and I think he would have kissed me if we weren't talking on the phone. He does limit his kids' TV time, but they see it when they go to other kids' houses to play. I guess there is no escaping it.
• ban junk-food ads during shows geared toward young children
Like that's every going to happen. What will be advertised on those shows? Oh, that's right, toys that don't do what the commercials show.
• limit commercial advertising to no more than 6 minutes per hour, a decrease of 50 percent
Not going to happen. They'd have to double the price of advertising to make up the money. I've worked in media advertising and I know this will NEVER happen. They've been pushing for MORE commercials. A 30 minute show in reality is 20-22 minutes long. A two-hour movie is really only an hour and a half at most.
• restrict alcohol ads to showing only the product, not cartoon characters or attractive young women;
Then how will they get MEN to buy it?
• prohibit interactive advertising to children on digital TV.
That could work, since it hasn't happened yet. I had digital TV and it wasn't hooked into my internet connection.
The academy also says TV ads for erectile dysfunction drugs should be shown only after 10 p.m.
I agree. I hate those ads. Can they make them stop coming to my email box too?
Oh, that's something they DIDN'T address. The contents of spam coming to a child's inbox. I get the most putrid disgusting porn spam at work, at unpublished addresses which are blocked by Javascript when they appear on our web site (which most of them do not do!). I know kids must get this same stuff. Who regulates that?

Friday, December 08, 2006

fat people are destroying America

I had some fun last night on Yahoo answers and came across an answer by a woman who said she wrote a rebuttal to a story about fat people ruining America.
You KNOW I had to go and look.
Here is the original story she rebutted. The poetic title is "Obesity in America: The Awful Truth: Fat People Are Destroying America By Jill Elaine Hughes"
There's a convenient email link to Ms Hughes there. Let's use it, shall we?
With massive hyperbole, she exclaims:
Fat people are destroying America. Look, I know that statement is not exactly politically correct. But it's the truth. The obesity epidemic is the single most important political, socioeconomic, and human welfare issue facing this country today. I'll even go so far to say it's a threat to our national security.
Yeah, because all of us fatties are really terrorists with bombs strapped to our bodies under fat suits. Or is it because we are too fat to chase the skinny Mexicans coming across the border? You know all those damn Mexicans are really Arabs in disguise.
And just as the fat, self-absorbed, orgy-loving Roman emperors brought about the fall of Rome via their sheer, gristle-coated incompetence, America's inability to crush the growing obesity epidemic may very well strike the lethal blow to a century of American world dominance.
Huh? It's got nothing to do with outsourcing to countries who pay their workers less, to countries that give huge tax breaks to outsourcing American corporations, nothing to do with the fact that Asia makes better and cheaper electronics than America (and better cars too, and more environmentally safe ones). No, it's all about our waist size.
Compared with the Brits, Americans showed significantly higher rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer - -all conditions that are directly traceable to obesity.
My father, who is terminally ill with several diseases, has something wrong with his heart, and he's 5'9" and weighs 143. That obesity, man, it's a heart killer. And one of my life-long friends is dying of ovarian cancer. She's always been skinny as a rail. My boss at a previous job died of cancer. He was thin. My best friend's dad died of cancer. Thin. My aunt died of cancer. Thin to the point of being bony.
The article talks about health care costs and illness rates in Canada and Great Britain vs the US. There's a huge problem with comparing them to us. They have socialized medicine. We don't. Their rates are set in stone by the government. Ours aren't. Everyone can get treated for a disease before it gets chronic. Many people in the US don't have health insurance or their health insurance doesn't cover everything. So there is really not a true comparison there.
Any competent physician can tell you that being overweight - - let alone clinically obese - - is bad, bad bad. Overweight and obesity are directly linked to any number of costly chronic conditions..... And caring for these chronic medical conditions - -all mostly preventable through proper diet and exercise - -is costly.
I just know this smug bitch has a naturally high metabolism and just doesn't GET it. Losing 200 lbs is NOTHING like losing 20.
Here's her national security threat:
Type II diabetes is getting to be such a public health problem in major cities that many American hospitals won't be able to handle a major medical disaster - -such as a bioterror attack or a bird-flu pandemic - -because their beds are full and their resources stretched to the limit by the treatment needs of obese Type II diabetics.
Funny, the hospitals around here aren't full. Wonder what cities she's talking about?
And skyrocketing health care costs are making it more and more difficult for American companies to compete in a global marketplace in which almost every other major industrialized nation has a universal, government-supported healthcare system.
Didn't I just say that? How is it fat people's fault that the US doesn't have socialized medicine?
She goes on in the same vein, not realizing she is actually stumping for public health care, not for reduction of obesity.
If healthcare costs continue to rise at current rates, Medicare will be bankrupt in 10 years, Corporate America will be put out of business by foreign competition, and nobody but the richest of the rich will be able to afford health insurance.
Who, or what, is to blame for all this? Obesity, obesity, obesity.
HUH!? We have no healthcare system and that's the fault of those who are ill. If she was writing about cancer, do you think it would have this same attack stance? (Of course, because cancer is caused by being overweight. Sheesh, how dumb of me to have forgotten. Next time my skinny dying friend calls me I'll be sure to point that out to her.)
And here come the stereotypes.
If you are still reading this and like 66% of Americans, have a weight problem, I'm sure you've started throwing rotten tomatoes at me by now. But it's time to wake up and smell it, people. Sure, we've all heard the doctors' advice - - "eat less, move more" - - but as the grim statistics show, nobody is paying attention. Stuff your face full of McDonald's for breakfast and lunch, drive for two hours to and from work, then veg out in front of the TV at night while stuffing your face full of Pizza Hut or Chili's To Go - - does this sound familiar to you? Probably. After all, it's our pathetic American lifestyle.
I don't eat fast food for breakfast, and only once a week for lunch. I eat slim-fast. I drive 15 minutes to work. If the TV is on, it's in the background because I am doing a job from home. I work out. But of course I must be lying, right? Because if I was REALLY eating less and moving more, I'd be thin. Just like that. (imagine a finger snap)
Indeed, it's now politically correct to call obesity a "disability", instead of a self-inflicted state that is completely preventable. Once upon a time, obese children and adults were shunned by society, called gluttons, sent to "fat camps" and subjected to Richard Simmons videos until they, at long last, either lost the weight or died of their self-inflicted, obesity-related complications.
I wonder if she attacks smokers? I wonder if she's ever met an overweight person who CHOSE to become overweight and LIKES it? I like myself...I don't like my body. There's a difference. And this woman obviously doesn't know what compassion is.
I think maybe she would have made a good Nazi. Put the fat people into camps until they die! They are 2nd class citizens destroying America! Be thin or die! Into the camps with you, foul scum!
She claims that doctors are being sued for telling kids they are overweight. I know I've talked about not calling kids "fat" to save their feelings (and I don't agree, no one ever shied from calling me a fatso) so this might be the only place I come a tiny bit close to agreeing with her.
Her rant continues:
Even more disturbing, buying into this hypersensitive "fat is OK" attitude...more than ever before. Hospitals are buying super-sized gurneys, wheelchairs, and beds. Movie theatres are adding extra-wide seats. Plus-sized now selling better than regular sizes.
Of course it is, there are more fat people now. Duh. How is this saying "fat is okay"? Would she rather have fat people running around wrapped in king-sized bed sheets because making clothing that fits is supporting the overweight life-style?
Television shows and movies feature more fat characters.
Because if they want to depict real life, they have to show the 2/3 of America that is overweight. I wonder how she feels about black people, Latinos and Asians being on TV? Probably pretty offended. They aren't Americans after all.
Restaurant chains and soft-drink companies are resisting any attempt to regulate or tax them for their poisonous food and beverages in the name of "consumer freedom."
And she's never eaten fast food or drunk soda? I doubt it.
Coffin companies are even creating special "super-sized" product lines to accommodate the super-obese when their bodies finally give out under the pressure.
Better to bury people in empty piano boxes, like they used to? Of course, way back when, every coffin was tailor made to the dead person's measurements, as a final act of respect. Not picked out of a catalog.
Who is responsible for changing obesity from a once-shunned social stigma (and rightly so) to a celebrated, glorified state of normalcy? Fat people, again. The very same ones who are destroying America.
I must have missed obesity being "celebrated and glorified". What channel was that on again?
Her grand finale?
(B)eing fat - -let alone morbidly obese - -should be as socially unacceptable in America as lighting up in public or allowing an infant to ride in a car without a car seat.
Go head, read the entire article for yourself. I dare you.

Merry Christmas!

I dressed my avatar up for Christmas. Here she is (or here I am):
If you see it live on a Yahoo site, the Christmas lights are blinking and Santa's sleigh (the black blob) is flying around the room.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

bigger portion sizes=bigger people sizes

I know portion size is a problem. I personally am confused by it. The "suggested" portions seem so small...even my skinniest friends eat way more than 1 "serving" of everything. At the same time, everyone's getting fatter...obviously there's a correlation.
But a lifetime of training that x is a portion size is hard to overcome. Restaurants, for instance, usually serve two or more portions for everything on the plate. But recently when Wendy's down-sized their portions, it pissed me off. Well, not that they were serving less food...but that they didn't change the price, and that's WRONG. The standard meal is now "small" and it used to be "medium" and it costs the same. I don't know if that's because of the price increases of EVERYTHING due to rising fuel costs, or a calculated move into the healthy food arena. (Wendy's does also offer a good selection of alternatives to value meals sides, and various drinks that aren't soda, but still no plain bottled water.)
This article talks about this issue:
Along with the American waistline, the American plate and portion size have grown too. A study at Rutgers University supports earlier research that people today eat bigger servings than they did 20 years ago.
...People aren't realizing how much they are eating....The larger portion size they're eating — even if it's a healthy food — is still more calories....
Both studies asked students to take food portions of various items. Diners were offered three sizes of plates, bowls and cups in a buffet-like setting. ...In a comparison of breakfast servings, the students in 2003 took 20 percent more cornflakes than students took in 1984.... Ditto for milk.
The glass of orange juice grew by more than 40 percent compared to 20 years ago. That translates into 50 additional calories, or a weight gain of five pounds over the course of a year, if consumed on a daily basis. Is this 5 lbs a year just from extra OJ!? What about all the other extra calories from the 20-40% increases? No wonder we are all so fat.
Dinner and lunch servings grew, too — 50 percent more fruit salad wound up on the plates.

People are eating with their eyes and not their stomachs....They're not listening to their bodies to tell them when to put the fork down.
It takes 20 minutes for that signal to get from the belly to the brain. In 20 minutes, a person can eat a lot of food.
(T)he original Penn State study (came about because researchers) couldn't get accurate self-reported data on how much food people ate because they wrongly estimated portions. (Could) diners ...visualize portion size?
Most people still lack that skill, but the portion size is getting larger...
The frame of reference for the serving size is increasing. They still don't have an ability to translate to amounts that are easily quantifiable if you ask people how much they've eaten.
Other studies have shown that people eat more when they are served more. (L)arger portions at restaurants and larger plate size and packaging all play a role.
...(P)ortion size is only one factor feeding the national problem of obesity.
However, people may not realize that they are eating more when they take larger plates and bowls.
Plate size, bowl size, cup size are very deceptive...(Diners) can't estimate the amount of food in a dish and it makes it even more difficult when the dish is deeper or bigger.
A 1994 informal survey found that the standard plate size in the restaurant industry grew in the early 1990s, from 10 inches to 12.
That holds 25 percent more food...That really makes a difference in how much our plates can hold and how much we eat from them.
(An) obesity expert...said the idea of "value pricing" in fast food restaurants, which sells much larger portions for a minor cost increase, has also changed perceptions at home.

This isn't a victim post. I'm not blaming the restaurant industry for my weight, or the people who decide what size a plate should be. Somewhere along the line, I got used to eating a certain amount of food. When too much food was put on my plate, I should have kept saying "no" and asking for a box to take the rest home (which I actually do most of the time I go out to eat, and I bet I'm STILL getting more than a serving of everything).
But just being AWARE of the issue helps.
And there is an old dieter's trick of using very small plates for everything so it looks like you're eating more food. I guess that's grounded in science, huh?
When I was a teenager in the 80's I worked at McDonald's. (Which is why I eat at Burger King now!). We sold OJ in small sealed containers. I'm thinking they were maybe 6-8 oz. Not very much, in today's eyes, and hardly anyone bought two. After I started working there, McDonald's got rid of the small sealed OJs and put in a machine, like a soda machine, which mixed concentrate with water and now McD's could offer several sizes of OJ. And people opted for the larger one. I don't eat breakfast at fast food places (unless I'm constipated--there's nothing like a hash brown to get your bowels moving immediately) so I don't know what they offer for OJ now. But once in a while I do eat breakfast at a Friendly's when I'm on vacation. And they offer huge glasses of OJ, like the size you'd get a soda (no free refills, though). At least 2 times those old fashioned sealed McD's cups of OJ.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

healthy and pudgy--it can happen

Although I am grossly morbidly overweight, I have normal blood pressure, normal cholesterol, normal blood sugar. I have a slightly elevated heart rate, that's all. I'm disgustingly healthy for my size. So obviously I must be lying about that, as well as about my eating habits, right?
Well, believe what you will, but here's a new article about being healthy AND fat:
Obese women can improve their health without dieting by changing their eating habits and exercising more, researchers said. ...
They showed that lifestyle changes including exercise programs such as tai chi, aqua aerobics and circuit training, coupled with behavior modification, can improve health risks in obese women even if they do not lose significant amounts of weight.
... Although the average weight loss was small, ... after a year on the program, the women showed improvements in their self image, were fitter and less stressed.
"Psychological and physical health improved independent of substantial weight loss," said Borkoles, adding that weight is a poor predictor of health.
There were also improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol levels and heart rates in the participants in the study.
The women... were encouraged not to diet but were taught about healthy eating, how to read food labels and prepare nutritious meals. They also had to do four hours of exercise a week and were given social support.
This isn't much different from what I've been doing on my own.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Trans fat banned

NYC has taken the controversial step of banning trans-fat in all restaurants. (see Yahoo! news article) Supposedly this is because trans fats are bad for your heart. (I'm not saying they are or they aren't, just that heart-health is supposedly the motive behind this ban.)
It seems strange to me that it was NYC who started this. Seems like some city in California would have. After all, how many products are known to cause cancer in California? I guess they don't cause cancer in Nebraska or Canada. (The wording of that has always bothered me--it doesn't say what they mean.)
Related news, many fast food restaurants have voluntarily stopped using trans fats. (Article)
Arby's, Taco Bell, KFC and Wendy's have all switched or are switching.
The fats are believed to be unhealthy because they do double damage by raising bad cholesterol and lowering good cholesterol. Research shows that eating 5 grams a day can raise the risk of heart disease by 25 percent. ... While many health and medical associations have applauded New York City's move to ban trans fats, the American Heart Association has warned that moving too fast might cause restaurants to revert to unhealthy replacements such as palm oil, which is high in saturated fat.
The point is, fat is fat. Are they going to ban all fatty foods next? This almost seems like a Big Brother move to me. Like having a camera aimed at me at all times "for my safety." Like having elderly white people practically disrobe at the airport because they might be terrorists. (I swear I'm on some list. Every time I fly, my luggage is searched. Every time. They leave you a little note telling you they did it. Aren't they nice?)