Sunday, March 30, 2008

I can make you thin...episode 3

Obviously since I just watched #2 a 2 days ago, I haven't done much with it. But here is episode 3 of "I can make you thin" by Paul McKenna.
He talks about binge eating...if you can't eat "just one" of anything without going out of control, then the food is in charge and not you.
He interviews a woman who lost 60 lbs in 6 months and she talks about how his method made so much sense, which is exactly how I felt after reading Thin Within so long ago...if anything works, this should, because it is so logical and makes so much sense. I'm not crazy about his "reprogramming" techniques of show 2; let's see what he offers to keep you from bingeing and having cravings.
Willpower is useless, Paul McKenna says, and cravings can't be overcome by will because our imagination is more powerful. So he says instead of wanting chocolate cake melting into your mouth, imagine it covered with worms. (Seems juvenile, like imagining your audience naked if you're a nervous speaker.)
Starving yourself will make you binge, he assures his audience, reminding them that you should eat when hungry, not starve yourself.
He shows a woman who ate 6 lbs a chocolate PER DAY--she "had" to have one every 15 minutes. I love chocolate and I can eat lots of it, but not a five pound bag per day, plus.
Paul McKenna has the woman imagine the food she most hates...anchovies...sprinkled with hair and garbage...and then imagine eating it while squeezing thumb and middle finger of the left hand together, and then to imagine chocolate mixed with it.
I'm grossed out. I hate fish. Hate, hate hate fish. It is repulsive and disgusting and it stinks and although there are foods I dislike that I can imagine others can enjoy and should be allowed to enjoy (but not me) I think that no one should eat fish, especially near me.
The chocoholic lost 20 lbs in 3 weeks by giving up chocolate using the fish technique.
Videos of cake covered with worms up the gross-out factor.
Repulsion knocks out compulsion.
So I imagine a plate of tuna slathered with mayo because nothing grosses me out more. There is no way I can imagine eating it like he suggests, I don't want to know what it tastes like, much less add the contents of a spittoon and barber shop sweepings. Since I am already gagging at this point, when I throw in chocolate, I don't feel at all hungry for it (even though there is some nearby.) While doing this gross-out imagining, you press your LEFT thumb to your LEFT middle finger. Do this until you're really grossed out and repulsed.
Now remember a really great time, felt really happy, felt in love, etc. , while you squeeze your RIGHT thumb to RIGHT middle finger. Now know that you can bring those feelings where ever you need to, wherever you used to eat your craving food.
You can use the technique to bring happiness into any situation, not just food.
If you want the craving food, or any food, you can program it being disgusting with tuna fish or whatever with your left hand and then use the right hand technique to feel good.
The show ends with another rip-off experiment from Mindless Eating--the bottomless bowl of soup--which Paul McKenna uses to explain that we have to use stomach cues (feelings of fullness) instead of eye cues (is the plate empty) to eat less.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I can make you thin...episode 2

Well, I have to admit that I haven't been doing much of the 4 rules from part 1. I started my new job (yay) the next day. I have half an hour only for lunch and no where close (have to drive a couple of miles each way) and I can't pick the time I go either. So I can't eat only when I'm hungry or take a long time. I have been leaving food on my plate; that's about it.
This episode is supposed to be about tapping. I have a couple of books on tapping techniques, where you tap certain points on your face or hands or arms, a certain number of times in a certain pattern, to stop cravings. Personally I could never remember them all and it seems to me just to be a form of distraction. Tapping my face distracts me from eating; doesn't teach me not to eat.
This episode is about emotional eating. Emotional hunger is fast and out of nowhere; real hunger is a slow build-up. Food is treated like a drug, not like nourishment. The vicious cycle--feel bad, eat, then feel bad because you ate, and eat again.
Paul McKenna wastes a lot of time reviewing the 4 steps from last week and getting audience reactions to what they've been doing for the last week. "I split my usual meal into 3 meals" "I love carrots!"
He does stress that models are unnaturally thin and their photos are airbrushed/photoshopped and even they don't look like that, and not to use any of those pictures/people as your goal.
He shows a case study of an overweight man (386 lbs) who enduring people screaming at him out of car windows "walk, fattie, walk!" when he went out to exercise. His wife lost 40 lbs in 13 months watching him follow the program. He lost 185 lbs, and it seems to have taken only about a year, which simply doesn't seem realistic. He says he "walked 10-15 minutes a couple of times a week" as his exercise. He had his size 62 pants (62 inches) and they'd fit at least 2 of him now.
(During the first commercial break, I signed up for his newsletter. I'll report on how it is, or if it's just a big commercial.)
He says people respond to all sorts of physical distress as if they are hunger, and therefore we eat.
Question to ask: "Am I really hungry or do I just want to change the way I feel right now?"
This is pretty horrible, he's showing this poor guy crying because he weighs the same as the guy who lost 185 lbs did in his before pictures, and I'm thinking, is he really going to help this guy or just exploit him by showing him crying on TV?
Another case study, of an emotional eating. He says food is a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself.
The tapping technique seems much too complicated, like the ones in the book I referenced above.
It just seems like a derailment, a distraction. Like if you can hold off eating long enough the craving will leave, and the tapping distracts you for that length of time. They are acupressure points (which are the same as acupuncture points).
Dr Roger Callahan is the name of the inventor (discoverer?) of the tapping technique Paul McKenna uses. (In other words, episode 1 stole from Thin Within, and this one from Dr Callahan. Nothing orginal.)
Tapping technique:
Scale of 1-10, how strong is your emotion?
Here's the technique. Tap 5-10 times in each spot, except when you are tapping back of hand while looking, humming, and counting.

  • tap under either eye
  • tap either collarbone
  • tap under either eye again
  • tap outside of hand (beneath pinky)
  • tape back of hand (keep tapping during next few steps)
  • close eyes
  • open eyes
  • Look down right
  • look down left
  • roll eyes 360 degrees (look in a circle)
  • roll eyes 360 degrees in other direction
  • hum a tune
  • count out loud 1-5
  • hum a tune
  • tap under eye
  • tap collarbone
  • tap under eye
  • take another reading
I find it interesting that he stresses "this is not just a distraction" but for me, that's what it feels like. I thought about chocolate, did the technique several times, and still wanted some. It's supposed to de-stress you, get rid of any overwhelming negative emotions (like fear, anger, etc.). I could say my skin is too thick with fat for this to work, but I don't think that's so.
Paul McKenna talks about replicating an experiment that was done in the book "Mindless Eating) (without giving credit, of course). I blogged about it a few months ago, giving it a favorable review....anyway, it proves that during a movie people will eat lots of really bad popcorn because they are distracted.
And that's it.
Follow the 4 rules, tap yourself.
Go for it.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

size 16 Miss England 2008?

Chloe Marshall, a size-16 girl from Surrey, England, is vying for the Miss England 2008 crown, probably with the usual bunch of anorexics.
She has already been signed on to ModelPlus agency.
We can root for her, but will she win?
(screenprint; photo source=article source)

obese woman crushes toddler

This is sad and at the same time engenders a huge WTF?
A 2-year-old boy who died with a fractured skull may have been accidentally crushed by a morbidly obese relative....The child was believed to have been dropped off by his mother to spend the day with the bedridden relative....Investigators believe the woman fell on the child.
Who leaves a 2 year old with someone who is bedridden? That's just inappropriate. Whether the person is bedridden from obesity or any other illness, a person confined to bed CANNOT take care of a 2 year old.
And why do authorities have to speculate on what happened? Can the woman who fell on the child not speak up and say what happened? And if she can't, then there is double the reason why she shouldn't have been left in charge of a small child.
Know who I feel bad for? The woman who crushed the kid, who was put into a position she shouldn't have been in. The kid's mother was wrong to leave the child basically unsupervised. Because everyone who has ever been near a 2 year old knows one is not going to sit quietly and behave just because someone told her to behave.
All of the comments I've been seeing online focus on the woman's obesity, of course, her being a big fat monster, etc. I feel like there is much more to this story. There aren't any names so finding a follow-up will be difficult. If anyone sees anything, let me know through a comment on this post.

800 lb man goes on a date

Manual Uribe, who I have blogged about before, attempted last week to take his honey out on a date.
I am not saying that the guy should stay fat, or stay home, o r not have a girlfriend. But it seems like he is a media whore. Everything he does has to have a camera on it.
He and his bed were lifted by forklift onto a flatbed truck. (Where does this guy get money for all this? Or is this more stuff he gets for free, like the many offers of free surgery and the free consultations from the diet he's on?) In front of cameras, of course...."documented by about two dozen photographers and reporters from around the world." I'm sure TLC was there, as they've already had him on at least 2 shows that I know of.
That's not a date. I don't say, "Honey, let's celebrate. Call the press!"
So the truck hit an overpass and they had to cancel the outing.
Really, the only news here is related to him being freakishly fat. Outings get canceled all the time. Bad things happen to overweight people. It doesn't all need the media drooling over it.
(photo source=article source; screenprint)

new job

I have a new job. Already. Amazing, isn't it? I've gone from working 25 hours a week to 40 and my hourly salary nearly doubled. I haven't had a full time job in 5 years and it's been a big shock to my system. I go to the gym straight from work, then have something to eat and by the time I get home it's often 7 or 8 p.m. And I'm tired, because I'm getting up at 6:30 to get there by 8 and it's a 25 mile drive.
Also, at this job I haven't got Photoshop, so I can't make any screenprints of articles, so I won't be posting much from there (unless it's just personal stuff, like this, which I am posting from home). I'm not really busy there yet, but I've only worked a week. I see how busy some of the other people are doing similar jobs and I know I'll catch up. I'm still being trained.
I've been on Celebrex and Nexium for 2 weeks now. I went to see the doctor and that's what he gave me. He was concerned that the Advil I was taking made me nauseous so that's why I have the Nexium, so the Celebrex doesn't make me sick.
My knee doesn't hurt all the time anymore. It hurts maybe 15-20% of the time (when I get up in the morning and whenever I first stand up from sitting for a while). The worse thing is that I can no longer straighten that leg. It stays partially bent. So I limp horribly, like that leg is shorter. And my calf and quad on that side are in a constant clench from holding the leg bent so they feel kind of crampy all the time.
I have to call my doctor back this week. He's probably going to send me for an MRI and then physical therapy (that was his plan 2 weeks ago, anyway) since the Celebrex didn't fully heal whatever's going on in there. Although I am leery that it did anything at all. I take it every day. Is it just masking the pain or did it really get rid of some of the inflammation?
Also, I blogged a long time ago about my really annoying mole-with-hair on my chin. About 6 months ago the hair was back. I couldn't find tweezers to pluck it so I tried with my nails to grab it and all I did was rip the skin. The mole itself is gone now, buried in scar tissue, but the damn black hair keeps sprouting through it. The scar has turned into a non-healing granuloma (something like that) and now I have to have it cut off. I'm happy! It will get rid of that damn hair too. In a week or so I go for a consult for that. I scheduled it when I didn't have a job. I have never in my life found a new job within 10 days of losing the old and honestly didn't believe I'd get one for a few months.
I'm a little worried about the people at my new job thinking I'm unhealthy, what with the limping and now the MRI and PT and facial surgery. Ugh. But they hired me anyway. And I know that the limp and inability to straighten the leg can be fixed with PT.
Tonight is the next "I can make you thin" show but it's competing with the new Futurama "Bender's Big Score" AND the new Walking with Dinosaurs. So I am not going to blog the "make you thin" show until Friday night at 11:00.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I can make you thin...episode 1

This episode of "I can make you thin" is called "the secrets of naturally thin people"
I'm watching it and taking notes live.
I'm not crazy about the glitzy audience/stage presentation style of the show. I don't usually watch shows in that type of format. In fact, the show starts out by saying "this is not an infomercial" but of course it IS, he's got several books and I'm sure sales of the books will go through the roof based on this show. I'm ready to buy it just because I don't want to watch for FIVE hours when I could probably read the book in 90 minutes or so...commercial free.
He offers 4 golden rules and some homework.
1. When you're hungry, eat.
Based on your metabolism slowing if you starve yourself. He says eat only for physical hunger, which comes on slowly, versus emotional hunger which comes up quickly. He uses a similar 10 point scale of hunger as the old Thin Within book --now rewritten as a Christian weight loss book unfortunately--saying don't be faint with hunger and do not eat until you're stuffed.
There's a lot of background information which we all know, about metabolism and dieting and starvation.
Of course he starts out by saying it's not your fault because diets make you fat, and then segues into saying that people who are overweight are in denial saying they have big bones and slow metabolisms but that's a lie, they just eat too much.
2. Eat what you WANT and not what you think you SHOULD.
Again, very like the Thin Within book. Eat whatever you want, but don't eat them to excess. And that eating diet food you don't like makes you binge on those who love. He says throw out whatever food that you don't really LOVE.
Assignment one: throw away all foods in your house that don't "inspire" you. Then make a list of 5 foods that you truly love, and then go stock your kitchen with them.
3. Eat consciously
This program is seeming more and more like a rip-off of Thin Within. Makes me wonder where my copy of that book is! Eat slowly, not putting down the knife and fork, not tasting or paying attention to the food. And when you eat consciously, no distractions, you will feel the full signal more easily.
This is the one I have the most trouble with. I ALWAYS read or do something when I eat because I am a multi-tasker...witness me watching TV and blogging about it!
He says that when you eat consciously, foods like fast food, etc, will suddenly taste bad and you'll no longer want them. It's a backdoor to a diet, IMHO. Don't say "fast food is bad" but say "you won't want it anymore!" which is still a way to say "fast food is bad" or whatever the "bad" food of the day is.
No, tv, reading, etc....put down knife/fork/sandwich between bites...chew 20 times.
4. When you think you're full, stop eating
Slowing down makes it easier for you to tell you're full.
He shows an experiment with how much less people eat if they eat blindfolded, because they lose the visual cue of how empty the plate is. Leave food on your plate.
He has several examples of people he's worked with; a blond woman who isn't really overweight, and a couple about to get married. The husband-to-be said he wanted to lose 200 lbs and be under 300. He eats more for breakfast than I do in a day, I think--5 egg omelet, 3 donuts, french toast, etc.
I believe part of the homework is to eat 1 meal a day blindfolded or with closed eyes.
More homework is to drink more water (especially if you aren't sure if you're hungry) and not to weigh yourself every day--he says every couple of weeks.

For the schedule of all episodes, visit the TLC site; you can also visit the shows site at )

Friday, March 07, 2008

Lose weight the royal way?

Evidently weight fixers aren't a new fad. 17th century monarch King Charles II fed his royal mistresses herbs to keep them slim. Now these herbs are being investigated to see if they really work:
Heath pea, which is also known as bitter vetch, was used in medieval times as a hunger suppressant when the crops failed.
It was also passed around the court of King Charles, who gave it to his lovers who had a propensity for plumpness.
Dr Brian Moffat, an expert on medieval remedies, said the idea to promote heath pea as a slimming aid had been developed after he came across the remedy during the dig at the Soutra site.
Dr Moffat, who is director of the dig, said it appeared the monks cut up the tubers of the plant to make a potion.
He said the tubers - which have a "leathery liquorice" taste - had the effect of making people forget to eat. ""If you ate one of these pea sized tubers you are meant to 'not eat, not want to eat and not miss eating for weeks and even in to months'.
They were actually used as a measure to ward off hunger once crops had failed in the fields. "
That's pretty impressive. Giving the masses some sort of herbal dope to make them not be hungry as they starved to death.
Heath Pea (Lathyrus linifolius) is normally found in poor grazing and heath land. It sometimes grows alone, but it can also grow in clumps on banks and verges of roads and tracks.The plants take two or three years to mature but require very little looking after.
I wonder if it grows, or can grow, in the U.S.? And how one prepares the "tubers" (whatever they are) for eating? I have some herbalist friends, time to pick their brains.
(screenprint; image source)

is obesity an epidemic? is it even bad for you?

This article says being fat isn't a bad thing.
According to some experts whose views are public health heresy, the jury is still out on how dangerous it is to be fat. ... Dr. Vincent Marks, emeritus professor of clinical biochemistry at the University of Surrey, is among a minority of skeptics who doubt the severity of the obesity problem. They claim that the data about the dangers of obesity are mixed and there is little proof that being fat causes problems including high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer. ...
In addition to questioning the dangers of being fat, researchers like Marks also criticize oft-repeated alarmist projections about the rise in obesity -like the British government's warning that nearly half of Britain will be obese by 2050. ...
With millions of dollars for obesity researchers, an industry of anti-fat drugs, and a boom in the number of doctors offering surgeries like stomach-stapling, the more fat people there are, the more profits there will be in selling them solutions. ...
"There's not a lot of money in trying to debunk obesity, but a huge amount in making sure it stays a big problem," said Patrick Basham, a professor of health care policy at Johns Hopkins University.
It's the same thing with cancer. Drug companies, doctors and hospitals make tons of money treating cancer. And yes, they are better at it--I know half a dozen people who are cancer survivors--but there is no outright "cure" (meaning, to me, that EVERYONE gets better, not just some, and not just for a few years). An obesity "cure" would mean that all the money spent on spurious weight-loss aids would be lost. I wonder what it would get spent on? Who would benefit from an always-skinny population?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

do not want, part 2

My life is really shitty right now.
Last week, with no warning, I lost my job. Not because of anything I did or didn't do--the company went out of business. Basically I asked my boss about some upcoming work that I needed to get from him, and he said "I'll let you know, I've got to go out for a while." He came back, went into his office for few minutes, came out and said the company is out of money and closing. I said "Effective when?" and he said "Now." So I packed up my stuff and left.
The whole knee thing gets worse and worse. I AM going to call the doctor today. The pain is immense most of the time. I am having trouble getting in and out of vehicles, getting up off couches, walking up and down stairs, etc. Honestly, I am going to ask for a handicapped parking placard. It's all I can do to stumble around the grocery store clutching my shopping cart for dear life without having to also park in Russia. It's so humiliating to have to do that. I know everyone who sees me will think I'm a lazy fat ass. And of course the assumption is that my knee hurts because I'm a big fat ass. I am not discounting my weight having a major impact on how much my knee hurts, but I hurt it by overuse, falling, and abuse (that last plane ride).
This image is from and I searched for such an image to figure out where the pain is coming from. It's in the center, under the kneecaps, which means the cruciate ligaments or the articular cartilage. The repair for cruciate ligaments is surgery if you're "very active in sports" (haha) or "deal with it". There doesn't appear to be a treatment for articular cartilage damage except for RICE therapy and physical therapy.
It could also be the miniscus, although it doesn't feel like it goes all the way across the knee. That, again, is mostly take aspirin and deal with it rather than surgery. I'll probably need an MRI. I know they have an "open" MRI machine (in my head, I call it the "elephant MRI") and I will go to that one, because last time I had an MRI on that leg it was in a traditional machine. I didn't quite fit and it was agonizing. I couldn't breathe because the machine compressed my chest/breasts so much and I was in there for an hour. I hurt my back so bad I had to get physical therapy for that as well as for my injured leg. And all was for nothing because over my protests they imaged the wrong area of my leg.
On top of that, I have a nasty granuloma scar on my jaw that used to be a hairy mole. I yanked the hair out so forcefully it made a scab. That healed into a bumpy rounded scar (through which the goddamn hair keeps growing!). The scar gets infected, I stick a needle in it to drain the pus and the granuloma grows. It looks awful. So I figure while I'm out of work anyway I might as well get surgery on that. I have a tendency to get these granuloma scars (I think it's my Mediterranean heritage) and they don't ever heal properly so they have to be cut off. This will be the 3d one I have cut off my face. I've had one done on the back of my neck and another huge one on my arm--that was the first one, about 20 years ago. Because it wasn't my face, it wasn't done with any delicacy--it was burnt, and smelled/looked like a pepperoni--actually a now-famous dermatologist did it. Now it's just a round shiny burn scar. The facial and neck ones were done by a plastic surgeon with a little more finesse.
And throw into the mix that I've had wicked insomnia since my dad died. Probably even before, but it's been worse since he died. I sometimes lie in bed, awake, until the sun goes up. I bought the Tylenol Simply Sleep (it's Tylenol PM without the pain killer) and even that doesn't always work. Having a really painful knee doesn't help. Cats jump on it, I roll over onto it, my husband hits it with his knee and if I'm asleep, I'm jolted awake and stay that way.
Some good news. My husband is working from home today and he just go t a call. He got a raise and a bonus. Together they equal my (pitiful) yearly salary from my now lost job. So I don't have to worry about creditors or losing the house. Any money I make in a new job is now bonus and can go toward debt management. That's a big load off my mind. Seriously. And we should get some money back from taxes too, plus the tax bonus in May, and my mom gave me some money to fix my car a few weeks ago, more than I needed, so we'll be okay. Not good, not until I get another job, but okay. Maybe we can even go out to eat once in a while again.