Wednesday, April 18, 2007

saving my pennies part 2

I can't help but notice that the price of the MP3 player went up $5 since yesterday's post AND the picture on Amazon vanished. Did I cause a run on underwater MP3 players? I better hurry up and buy it before it's back up to $89.00!

fat dream

I had a dream last night about being fat. Usually in my dreams, I'm just me, without weight being important.
I was on some kind of field trip, like for school, but it wasn't school-based. I was with some friends. We were all on a bus. When the bus got to its destination I got separated from my friends because I went back to the bus to leave my coat (which is strange because I rarely wear a coat in real life). When I went back inside everyone was in this big room, like a conference room or college class room, with a two long tables across one side. My friends already had seats. I was waiting in a line, I didn't understand what for.
And then I did.
They were weighing everyone. Not sure why, but whatever exhibit or talk we were going to see was somehow weight-sensitive.
Even if I was thin, I'd hate this. Remember being in elementary school and going to the gym for your yearly "physical" which consisted of being checked for lice, and someone recording your height and weight? That someone was always the teacher's pet, who then had access to everyone's weight, so in about 5 minutes everyone knew what all the fat kids (like me) weighed. Anything with public weigh-ins (like Weight Watchers) I will NEVER do. Never.
Anyway, I tried to get out of line again, but I wasn't allowed to. I was glad I'd left my jacket (which probably weighed 2 lbs at the most) behind. The person recording the weights wasn't part of our group but also wasn't making any attempt to shield the results or the scale's digital read-out from anyone else who wanted to see.
Although the scale was digital, it was a tall one with the read-out at chest level. It flashed a lot of numbers, not just weight, so it took a minute for the person to record them, and gave any passersby (or loiterers) a minute to find that big number in the middle and file it away mentally.
Finally it was my turn. I tried to shield the readout with my left arm. The scale came up 313, which surprised me--I'd lost weight. At home, in private, a number of 313 would be cause for celebration. In public, it's humiliation. A woman I didn't know saw the number by blatantly leaning over my bent arm, and before I was even off the scale I could hear whispers from where she sat "313, 313, 313" and feel eyes directed at me.
I was very upset at the whole thing. Why did I have to be weighed to enter this place? And now my weight was common knowledge? I might have even been crying. I went over to the woman and demanded that she stop telling people what I weighed but of course the damage was done, she'd already told who knows how many people and the whispers and stares continued.
I somehow, with force, got the woman to the now-abandoned scale and forced her to get on it. She weighed 169. She said that's what her boyfriend wanted her to weigh. Somehow it's not so appealing to go around telling people "she weighs 169" (Except when you're all ten years old and 169 means extreme porkiness.)
Then I couldn't find my friends right away, I lost the back to my earrings which I got from my grandpa right before he died, and all in all it was a bad time.
But maybe I will go play 313 in the daily lottery today.

Monday, April 16, 2007

saving my pennies

Last year, in this post, I bemoaned the lack of underwater Ipods.
Someone did comment and say they existed, but I never followed up. Then over the weekend I got a catalog from a swim company which had, for only $89.99, this lovely little souped-up USB thumb-drive which functions as a MP3 player complete with underwater housing and ear buds.
I immediately started figuring out how I could save my pennies and get this for myself for my workouts. It would solve the screaming kid problem, that's for sure.
And then in my wisdom I check this morning....and it's only $42.50. HALF PRICE. That means I don't have to save as many pennies.
I'm going to go raid the floor near the dryer. Should be a couple of dollars in loose change there, thanks to my husband's habit of never emptying his pockets. Probably some more lurking on the kitchen table, and at the bottom of my purse. I bet I'll have $5 accumulated painlessly by the end of the day! That's 10% of the way there!

made-up news about fat people

This pisses me off. The headline to this article is 300-pound man crushes fan at Shea.That's pretty definitive and contains a number of facts:

  • The person in question was male.
  • The person in question weighed 300 lbs.
  • The person in question somehow crushed someone else.
  • The someone else was a "fan" of something.
  • It happened at Shea Stadium.
  • Implied is that a ballgame was going on at the time.
That's a lot of info to pack into half a dozen or so words.
But then you begin to READ the article, and question where the "300 lb" label came from.
Here's the REAL description of the assailant, from the body of the article itself:
  • a man dressed in a green Army-type jacket tumbled from higher seats and onto her back, knocking the wind out of her
  • the first sign that something was amiss was a splash of beer flying onto her at about 4 p.m., then a bump from the man, who is unidentified.
But they apparently had a scale handy, and know exactly what he weighed. Amazing.
  • In a split-second a rather large person, a man, came sort of tumbling down upon us and basically landed on my aunt's head.
A man who is 6'4 and weighs 180 could be described as "rather large" and would still probably cause damage if he landed on someone's head.
  • he couldn't make out distinguishing features of the man, who got up quickly and left.
BUT HE COULD TELL THAT HE WEIGHED 300 lbs?! What bullshit.
I posted a comment about the unfairness of it, and I wasn't the first one. The comments are actually a lot more amusing than the article.

fat gene found! causes massive weight gain of....

7 pounds.
7 whole pounds. A bag and a half of flour. A small cat. An average newborn baby. Such a heavy, heavy weight. My shoulders bow just thinking about it.
Such hyperbole (emphasis mine):
Researchers have produced the first clear evidence for a gene common in the population that dictates why some people gain weight while others do not....People with two copies had about a 70 percent higher risk of being obese than people with none and were an average of nearly 7 pounds (3 kg) heavier than a similar person with no copies.
How exactly does BEING OBESE and weighing 7 LBS more have ANYTHING to do with each other?! Since when is a weight gain of 7 lbs considered obesity?
I'm going to go bang my head repeatedly into a wall now.

Friday, April 06, 2007

want WLS? Go to the race track.

This is a lovely piece of news.
Rio de Janeiro hospitals have been sending obese people to share medical test equipment with horses at the local race track, drawing complaints from activists who say the practice is humiliating.
Yes. So is the practice of sending overweight people to UPS, FedEx, etc, to get an accurate weight, which is done right here in my town--in America where 2 out of every 3 people is fat.
Patients needing stomach reduction surgery require a tomography, or multiple X-raying of body sections, which is normally carried out inside a chamber.
Rio hospitals only have standard tomography equipment for people weighing up to 265-287 pounds (120-130 kg).
So they offer weight loss surgery but haven't got the equipment to back it up? Stupid, stupid, stupid.
It gets better. These hospitals also lack stronger equipment, including stretchers and wheelchairs for the obese.
Nice. They court the business of the obese by offering surgery but not anything that goes along with it. I know the hospital that I was looking at for my surgery (back when it was still a possibility) had special beds, scales, wheelchairs, everything. They set up a section just for WLS with trained nurses (many of whom have had the surgery themselves). That's where you want to go, not to a hospital so ill-prepared they have to send you to get weighed and x-rayed next to horses.

news flash: Americans don't eat right OR excercise!

Hold onto your hats, because you didn't know any of this! Americans don't eat enough fruits and veggies or exercise enough! Who woulda thunk it?
Cnn says:
Only one in seven Americans exercises enough and eats enough fruits and vegetables, and men are worse than women.
I am all agog. I can't imagine.
The CDC tracked the percentage of Americans who eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily and engage in moderately intense exercise for at least 30 minutes five days per week or vigorous exercise for at least 20 minutes three days per week as recommended by the government.
Overall, 14.6 percent of Americans met both the dietary and exercise benchmarks, including 12.4 percent of men and 16.6 percent of women.
How many met one OR the other? I exercise enough but I admit my main veggies are potatoes and tomatoes, both of which many people think should NEVER be eaten because of the whole deadly nightshade thing. (Peppers, my other favorite, are in that group too. I think maybe eggplant as well, but I detest eggplant.)
The final silly statement?
"People know that they need to be eating more fruits and vegetables and they know they need to be doing more physical activity. But we're not doing it," (said by Mary Kay Solera, head of the CDC's National Fruit and Vegetable Program.)
And the solution is what? Telling people over and over isn't doing the trick, is it? I have a near-genius IQ, I KNOW I should eat more veggies. But I don't, do I? Because when I go out to eat, they rarely offer what I like, or how I like it cooked. I hate cooked carrots, for instance, but love them raw. I adore green beans, but not the way most places serve them with some kind of nasty sticky goop--I want them steamed, plain, with just a sprinkle of salt. I should eat at home more but I am a terrible cook.


For what it's worth, I have a myspace page now. It probably won't have any NEW info that's not in this blog, but if you've got a myspace page and want to link to me, go right ahead.

Body Reshaping

I have terrible balance. It's not a judgment or a whine; it's a fact. I fall, I trip, I can't see my feet because of my giant boobs.
Long ago I figured out that my center of gravity isn't centered. But like everything else, the solution given to me was "lose weight."
I'm so tired of that all purpose non-solution. Doctor, my leg is swollen. "Lose weight." Doctor, I sprained my ankle. "You wouldn't have fallen if you weren't so fat. Lose weight." Doctor, my period stopped and I'm not pregnant. "Lose weight" -- it goes on and on.
My personal trainer/physical therapist is going to massage school now (like me, she's not happy until she's doing 12 things at once). She knows more things now about the body, and she uses them on me. She had me floating on my back in the pool (while I tried not to think about what the chlorine was doing to my dyed hair) and moved me all around like a rag doll and decided my pelvis is out of whack. Next session, she had me hang on the wall in the deep end while she positioned me precisely where she wanted me to be and told me to learn that position. I felt like I was bent backwards like a banana. It was most uncomfortable. And then she bent me a little at the side, still in banana shape. I'm hanging there like a defective piece of fruit while she used her feet and her legs and her hands to hold me there. "I can't do this," I complained. "Why do you want me all crooked like this?" Because she wanted me to maintain this double-crooked posture while working out. Still holding in my abs and all that too.
Then she stunned me. "You aren't crooked now. You're straight. When you think you're straight, you're leaning slightly left and forward." She went into lecture mode, about proprioception (and no, I can't spell it, but that's how it sounds when she says it. Pro-Pre-O-Cep-Shun) and hip flexor muscles and weak abdomen muscles compounded by the massive damage I did to the muscles in my sacrum region when I broke my tail bone a year and a half ago.
So I have been maintaining this crooked-body (or so it feels) while working out and whenever possible while walking. And guess what? My lower back is subtly reshaping. My knees also hurt, but I think that's because my body weight is being carried differently.
A simple solution. Someone LOOKED at me (and not just at my FAT, but at how my fat is CARRIED), saw the problem, and came up with a real workable solution, not one that's in the future.
I have no doubt that many problems dealt with on a daily basis by overweight people could be fixed in a similar way. Do I have to work for it? Of course, I have to walk around feeling like a banana, and continue my pool and floor/ball workouts. It's not a magic pill. But unlike magic pills, it works.