Wednesday, October 31, 2007

happy halloween

Happy Halloween!
NaNoWriMo 2007 starts in 10 minutes. Don't expect to hear from me much for 30 days. Check my progress at my other blog.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

it's official. Dasani sucks.

I hate Dasani water. It's made by Coke, and I hate Coke, plus Dasani tastes awful. It's got "added minerals" which means salt. It's salt water. It tastes like crap. I would rather drink tap water. And guess what? That's what Dasani is. Tap water. With salt. (gags)
And now it's official. It's won a bad product award.
According to this article, Consumers International has given Dasani one of its top 4 slots: Another award went to drinks giant Coca-Cola for pushing marketing "into the realms of the ridiculous" in the United States and South America with its Dasani bottled water which is sourced from the same reservoirs as local tap water.
Consumers International, a global federation of consumer advocate organisations, said the awards aimed to highlight the abuse of consumer trust.
Here is another article on the debacle that is Dasani:
In early 2004, Coca-Cola launched its Dasani brand of bottled water in Britain. Dasani had already established itself as one of the most popular bottled waters in the United States.
Within weeks, however, Coke had a disaster in the making. The British press discovered that Dasani was nothing more than processed tap water and ran a series of indignant stories suggesting that consumers were being hoodwinked by the U.S. beverage giant....

Be that as it may, most Americans are probably unaware that Dasani...doesn't originate from pristine mountain springs; it starts in the same pipes that run into people's kitchens.Dasani undergoes a filtering process and, according to Coke, is "enhanced with minerals for a pure, fresh taste." But, in the end, it's still tap water.

With salt in it. Ew.

screenprint of second article (first is already gone from web, sorry)

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It's not my fault I'm fat. It's society.

I love to play the blame game for my fat. It's my fat, and I put it there somehow. Even if someone else made me do it.
Here's a new thing to blame: society. According to an English study, Obesity does not result simply from over-eating and a lack of exercise but is a consequence of modern life, a government think-tank said....(T)he technological revolution of the 20th century has led to weight gain becoming unavoidable for most people because our bodies and biological make-up are out of step with our surroundings....Until now, the government has concentrated on encouraging people, particularly children, to lead a healthier lifestyle, eating less fattening foods and taking more exercise. But ... a wholesale change in attitudes was needed.....there was no single "magic bullet" solution; even a new appetite-suppressing drug would not be the answer, because the problem is systemic. Tackling obesity, like tackling climate change, requires a range of changes in society, from increasing everyday activity through urban design and transport systems to shifting the drivers of the food chain and consumer purchasing patterns to favour healthier options.
I'm not sure if this is depressing or encouraging. So should I even bother to work out and eat less and try to be healthier if things all around me are geared up to sabotage my every effort, and short of going to live on a desert island with no one else around I'll never be thin again?
It really ties in well with the Mindless Eating book I recently reviewed. Cues to make us eat more and not know it are all around us and even when we KNOW that, the cues still work on us and we still eat more.
Why even bother to try?

biggest dummy

No, it's not an insult. It's a training product, believe it or not. A company in England has created a life-like 400 lb dummy to help train rescue personnel in how to lift and transport obese people.
I'm sure some people find it funny, but I wouldn't want to be dropped by a couple of paramedics who aren't able to handle my weight or size. The dummy's proportions, supposedly, are realistic--it's not just a dummy with a big belly.
The heavyweight dummy, which takes six people to lift, is believed to be the heaviest and largest in the world. The company, which manufactures fire and rescue and resuscitation dummies, said the demand for its new product reflected the growing obesity problem. ... (They)created a dummy that replicates, as closely as possible, the body mass of a large person, creating a realistic training tool.
It looks kinda sad laying there, doesn't it?

Monday, October 15, 2007

food neophobia

Well, my eating disorder has a name: food neophobia. Sounds so much better than OCD, doesn't it?
According to Psychology Today, We all have finicky friends who wrinkle their noses at sushi and consider pizza an exotic eat. Now there's a name for their cuisine-challenged condition: food neophobia, or anxiety over trying new foods.....(in a study) (n)eophobics, or those deeming themselves hesitant to try new things, found the smell of strange foods less pleasant and tended to sniff with less vigor than their neophilic, or more culinarily [sic] adventurous, counterparts.
The study author claims that neophobics do not have stronger noses than neophilic eaters. But I have always been really sensitive to strong odors. And it's true that I will not eat anything that smells bad (except ketchup--I hate the vinegar smell of it--as soon as I am done eating I have to wash the dish or throw away the trash because I can't stand the smell), some things that I don't like and won't eat have no smell at all. I love the smell of pickles, for instance, but hate how they taste.
Another example comes from Edge magazine: (A) resolute adult who refuses to try spicy dishes (is an) examples of food neophobia, or an unwillingness to try new foods. Patricia Pliner, professor of psychology at the University of Toronto at Mississauga, is looking at the factors which determine food selection. "Food neophobia is a personality trait that some people have more than others. It's the expectation that new foods are going to taste bad."
It's not even that it's going to taste bad. That's an over- simplification by someone who probably always ate everything put on her plate. I could no more eat a new food than eat ...I don't know...the outgoing mail in the office where I work. Yes, every once in a while I do try something new, but I don't say, "I'm going to try something new" and then go eat it. It happens by accident, not on purpose. I've often sat and watched someone else enjoy something I won't eat. I can see that it's well prepared, sometimes it even smells okay, and obviously my friend is enjoying it. There is nothing in the world stopping me from extending my fork and saying "Can I have a bite?" (assuming I'm with a person who would say "yes" in return)....except my own head. I can look at the food and think "I bet that tastes really good." But I can't eat it. I can look at a menu and choose strange food for other people--yes, that looks good, he'll like that--but not for myself.
But even though I despair over it, I've found that it might not be my fault: UK researchers have provided an explanation for why some children hate to try new foods — it’s in the genes. In a large study ... (researchers) found that nearly 80 percent of children’s tendency to avoid unfamiliar foods was inherited. (source)
Whew. Isn't it great to hand off responsibility to someone else? Well, no, it's not. So I inherited a defective eating gene. Isn't there a way to overcome it?
The 3 D's of neophobia (from here): (T)here are three key responses behind food neophobia - the rejection of new foods - in both adults and children. "There is distaste, a dislike of the food's taste or smell; there is danger, the idea that eating the food will physically endanger you; and then there is disgust."
I'm not sure how my reactions go with these 3 concepts. I just can't. It's fear. I guess that's danger, huh?
I found this very concise explanation here:
Food neophobia is an unwillingness to eat novel foods, whereas pickiness is an unwillingness to eat many familiar foods.
So I am not "just" a picky eater.
Here is the Food neophobia test scale:

(I have put it in a different order because the original was very confusing.)
Part one:
Score each one 1-7 according to this scale:
1 is disagree extremely, 4 is neither agree nor disagree and 7 is agree extremely
  • I don't trust new foods. __
  • If I don't know what's in a food, I won't try it. __
  • Ethnic food looks too weird to eat. __
  • I am afraid to eat things I have never had before. __
  • I am very particular about the foods I will eat. __
Total score: __

Part two:
Score each one 1-7 according to this scale:
1 is agree extremely, 4 is neither agree nor disagree and 7 is disagree extremely
  • I am constantly sampling new and different foods. __
  • I like foods from different countries. __
  • At dinner parties, I will try a new food. __
  • I will eat almost anything. __
  • I like to try new ethnic restaurants. __
Total score:__
Total of part one + part two:___

A score of above 35 indicates you have a problem.
I scored 63.

my dad

Update: My dad didn't die. He had two bleeds in his brain, not one, and neither was as severe as first supposed. He has not regained his ability to speak but the doctors think it might come back. Of course his original (fatal) illness remains unchanged.

Friday, October 12, 2007

bad news for Rosie

It looks like my dad is finally dying. He's been ill for a long time, as some of you who've read this from the beginning know, and recently he went into a nursing home. He has two head injuries from bad falls--from last month and a new one from the other day. He's now having seizures. He's got bleeding deep in his brain that can't be repaired and is most likely fatal. If it is not fatal, he could be a vegetable, and you know we fat people don't like vegetables. haha.
Anyway, we can only hope it will be fast and painless for him. I've had migraines and I can only imagine how bad the pain must be in his head. He's lost the ability to speak so we don't know. :(

Thursday, October 11, 2007

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) looms on the horizon.

It's almost NaNoWriMo time again! November 1 starts the insanity again. So during that time I may be even more silent than usual as I attempt the impossible: writing an entire novel (or at least 50,000 words of one) in 30 days, between Nov 1 and Nov 30.
The original icon was yellow. Hideous. (shudders). So I changed it to a lovely shade of ROSIE pink. (heehee)
If you join NaNo, link to my profile and be my writing buddy.

getting to know you, getting to know all about you

These things make me crack up. Usually you email these to your friends, but here you go:

Two names you go by:
1. Rosie
2 . Look at how fat she is!

Two things you are wearing right now:
1. Sandals
2. Adipose tissue

Two of your favorite things to do:
1. Eat at buffets
2. Lay on the beach w/o getting thrown back in

Two things you want very badly at the moment:
1. $$$
2. A whopper with lots of ketchup and pile of hot crispy fries

Two animals you have or have had
1. Cats
2. The ones I've eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner--pigs, cows, chickens.

Two things you ate yesterday:
1. Everything
2. Second helping of above

Two people you last talked to:
1. Boss
2. Diet pill commercial on the TV

Two things you're doing tomorrow:
1. Eating
2. Being fat

Two favorite holidays:
1. Lunch
2. Supper

Two favorite beverages
1. Diet Pepsi
2. Hershey's syrup

Two People that seem to know you the best?
1. Random people I meet online
2. The voice in my head

Notice I said SARCASM....sigh. People still won't get it. I'm sending this, with minor changes, to my real friends. They will all write back and say comforting things about my fatness.

Friday, October 05, 2007

book review: mindless eating

I mentioned the book "Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think" last week and now I've read it.
Understand that I am a very fat woman who has read many diet books and hated most of them. I have been given many diet books by well-meaning friends and bought others for myself thinking they would be good.
The only other diet book I've ever liked in my whole life was Thin Within, which Amazon is marketing now, unfortunately, as a Christian diet book. (The link goes to an older version; I'm guessing it was re-written to add the god stuff because the author's name is changed too.)
Mindless Eating isn't a diet book...but it is. The lose weight hints and tips are interspersed with all sorts of examples from real experiments done by the author and his team. Basically the premise of the book is that even when we think we are paying attention to what we eat, we aren't.
Each chapter includes a "Reengineering strategy" based on that chapter's information. You aren't expected to try all of them. To the contrary, at the end, the author suggests picking just 3. Three. And no where does the book say you can't ever eat fast food, or junk food, or cookies/cakes/candy/chips (4 Cs) again. Basically what you try to do is find the 100 calorie margin. You can painlessly, mindlessly, cut 100 calories a day. You won't even notice. Cut too many calories and you'll feel deprived.
Here are some of the rules, paraphrased:

  • 20% more or less. Eat 20% less of whatever is you usually eat. Eat 20% more vegetables and fruits.
  • Make comfort foods more comforting. Don't cut out your comfort foods--cut down on how much you eat. Have fruit on your sundae instead of candy, for instance. Maybe someday you can make the fruit your comfort food and forgo the ice cream...but for now, just pair them.
  • Portion-size me has 2 parts. The first is what he calls the "health halo". This is what makes us think it is okay to eat a whole box of low-fat Snackwell cookies--they are low fat! Or to pig out at Subway--Jared lost weight doing this, right? The book actually lists the calorie differences between regular and low-fat food and it's not very much. A low-fat fig newton has 5 calories less. Low fat yogurt; 4 calories less. Low fat chicken noodle soup has 20 calories MORE. The other half is to think small or share. Don't supersize. Don't refill your drink. Buy a value meal and an extra drink and split the sandwich and fries with a friend.
There are six more; you'll have to read the book to find out what they are!
The only think he harps on too much, I think, is how many calories Americans drink. I rarely drink alcohol and I rarely drink non-diet soda. He introduces the 10/20 drink rule--thin liquids like soda have about 10 calories per ounce, and thick ones like shakes have about 20. That is handy if I'm drinking a Frosty from Wendy's, but if I get a Frosty, that's my whole meal.
This book, unlike others I've given or thrown away, is worth reading.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

former thin people

When I was a fat teenage girl, as you might expect, a lot of boys treated me badly. A few were my friend in private, calling me on the phone but never talking to me in public (and somehow, that was worse than just being they were ashamed they liked to talk to me, but they couldn't bear to LOOK at me), and others were just mean all the time. I asked 22 guys to my junior prom and all of them said no, some nicer than others. One of them told me right out he didn't go out with fat girls. (But a few months before when he was drunk at a party he had no problem accepting a ride home in my car...and puking in it. Asshole.)
A few years later, and many mental problems and not very much food later, I was thin--down to 114 pounds and a lovely little size 4 butt. I had a boyfriend who started going out with me when I was fat and had never been ashamed to be seen talking to me in public before that. The boyfriend and the puking asshole had some friends in common and somehow all of us ended up together at a horror movie. And guess what? The asshole had gotten fat. And he didn't recognize me at first. I loved the look in his eyes when he went from checking me out to horror when he realized who I was. Did I say anything to him? Nope. Not even when he talked to me. I just pretended he wasn't there, like the episode of South Park where everyone ignores Cartman and he thinks he's dead. Eventually he got frustrated and then I said, sweetly, "I don't talk to fat boys" and walked away. Was it right? No. Did it feel good? Hell yeah.
Of course now I'm fatter than ever again and that was way way in the past. Almost as far in the past as graduating from high school. Yup, reunion coming up. Do I go, in all my fatness, and look at the senior class picnic pictures of me in a bikini? Or do I stay home, again, like I have for every other reunion?

crazy fat lady

This morning I had to drive my husband to Hartford and when I stopped for gas, there was a swan causing a traffic jam. If I had been on the way back home, I would have gone over and tried to corral the thing. But traffic was terrible and both of us were going to be late for work. A crowd of workers from the gas station came out and were laughing at the giant bird as it tried to dodge traffic on a very busy road, no doubt taking bets on how soon it would get hit. (And I believe they are protected species so whoever hit it would have been in trouble.) I got so incensed I got out of the car and yelled at them, to call for help or go help the bird themselves instead of laughing at it. In return, I got laughed it, because clearly I am the crazy fat lady. If I was thin and gorgeous and 22, do you think they would have run over and helped the swan because I told them to?
I hate that my opinions and needs are discounted because I am overweight, like every pound over a certain number decreases from my innate humanity.