Monday, April 28, 2008

on being fat

At my new job, they only know me as a fat hobbling cripple. I don’t like that. I hung up pictures on the wall of me young and thin, but I wonder if they realize it’s even me? It’s funny because I am twice the size of a regular person, if not three times, but I feel like less than a human.

I got lost on the way to work today; not because I’m a moron but because the rain had bogged up traffic on the highway and I decided to take a shortcut, only I took the wrong road. So my 20 mile commute took an hour and I had plenty of time to think.

When I was thin, I ate a lot of food. I would get a medium pizza with extra cheese, extra sauce, double dough and eat it all up by myself. (Why not just get 2 pizzas? I don’t know.) No one ever looked at me funny for eating like that. I worked at a donut shop and ate donuts every day. Not one donut a day. Donuts, plural. Like 3 or 4 or even more. Every day. I wore a size 5.

But I also used to walk to work (couple of miles). Does that burn off all those donuts?

When I was getting my MRI, I brought my mom along, because after I got my last one, I was in such pain I couldn’t walk, much less drive. I was okay this time, and she decided to go pick up my grandma and take us all to dinner. The restaurant we had coupons for is at the bottom of the hill where the MRI trailer was. It would have been logical, once upon a time, for me to say “I’ll walk to the restaurant and get a table while you go get Grandma.” But I wouldn’t have made it half way there. I probably wouldn’t have made it to the bottom of the hill, much less across the (spacious) parking lot.

And that pisses me off.

I am an anomaly in the population at large, in that I don’t dislike exercise and even enjoy it. However, much of the exercise I’d LIKE to do—like walking from the MRI trailer to the restaurant—is beyond me.

When I was thin I didn’t think much of walking anywhere. Going for a five mile stroll with my Walkman on (that’s what we had before I-pods, for you younguns) was something I did for fun. I’d walk 3 or 4 miles to a friend’s house without even calling, just to find her not home, and turn around and walk back home without ever sitting down once.

Gaining weight gets you in so many ways. Your metabolism slows so it’s easier to gain weight. You eat less, gain more. The more you weigh, the harder it is to move around, so you move less, and then you gain more. Until you can’t move at all, and you live in your bed, and they have to take down the wall of your house and take you out on a forklift, and you’re on the news, and everyone laughs at you, and on your dresser, now exposed to the elements, is your high school graduation picture, where you weighed 120 and were absolutely gorgeous, and if anyone even looks, they probably think it’s your sister. Because you were never thin and beautiful, because no one who looked like that would every let themselves get to be so fat they can’t move.

Right?

leg update

I had my MRI on Friday. It was an open MRI. Very interesting, as the machine wasn’t in a facility, but in a large trailer. I assume they move it from place to place, as the “MRI รจ” signs seemed very…portable? Insubstantial? Then again, when I went to that place for my leg x-ray, the same signs were there in approximately the same places, and the trailer was there too.

It wasn’t an enjoyable experience, but it wasn’t painful like the last MRI I had on that knee, 6 years ago when I fell at work and got the injury that caused my lymph edema. That MRI machine was closed and claustrophobic and made my back hurt.

Although I was nicely on time, I had to wait. Eventually, some 15 minutes after my appointment, a transport ambulance pulled up and they went into the trailer and took an old lady out via the lift. I wonder if she wasn’t done yet or if they simply let her wait inside. If the latter, that’s pretty rude. She could have waited inside the building with her aide (who was waiting in the same waiting room as me) for the transport. As soon as her wheels were on the ground, they came to get me.

I didn’t have to undress, which was nice, only remove my shoes. The metal in my bra, which set off metal detectors at the airport, they deemed insignificant. I had no earrings in. The woman checked off no tattoos without asking me. I corrected it to yes, I do have a few, and I showed her my most recent one which I got on vacation in January (you know, when I hurt my leg this time). Since I got it out of the country, the technician was a little concerned that it would have metallic ink (it’s black). But if it did, it never heated up or anything while I was in the machine, so good enough.

The edema in my calf was so bad she couldn’t fit the clamp around my leg. To give her credit, she didn’t complain or get angry, she just looked at my swollen calf for a moment and then came up with some kind of compromise.

I had a book with me. I laid there on my back with the book over my head and read. However, my feet kept cramping up and I wiggled my toes and I guess it showed up on the machine (oops)—it must be really sensitive. Eventually my legs just went numb, but I still wanted to move them. I just didn’t. I couldn’t get up when I was done because they were numb, but the tech helped me get upright and once I walked a few steps the feeling came back.

On Monday, I got a letter from my insurance company saying that my doctor wanted me to go for an MRI and after consideration they deemed my MRI medically necessary and were allowing it. That was very generous of them considering that I’d already had it!

My pain pills ran out on Friday and I’ve been having odd bouts of very sharp, quick pains which I don’t like at all. I’m going back to my doctor on Wednesday; I guess he’ll have the report by then of what’s going on in my knee and I’ll post more on that.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Voodoo Cure

Last night I saw a friend of mine I haven’t seen for a couple of years. Although she only lives about 15 minutes away, she went through some hard times and she just couldn’t be available for friends for a while. And then I got caught up in the drama of my father and his dying. Now, finally, we’re both free of drama (for the most part) and able to visit.

She is a Reiki master, knowing and teaching several kinds, and she also does other kinds of healing, plus she’s a nurse. Handy friend to have!

She was horrified to see my gimpiness—most of my in person friends are used to it by now and I don’t talk about it much otherwise, except here on this blog. So of course she had me right on her Reiki table, listening to her talk about the healing light of Christ. (As an aside, new age Christians really annoy me. They don’t go to church or do anything like real Christians. They aren’t real Christians in any sense of the word, except that they like to throw the name of Jesus Christ around, and into every situation, no matter how inappropriate. Even worse, they use his new age name, Sananda—something like that—and worship Sananda and Mother Mary the exact same way that pagans worship the God and Goddess, only they insist it’s completely different, because it’s JESUS.)

I tried to tune out the Jesus stuff. She did the usual hand-waving and praying and invocations over me, etc., as I laid there on my back, feeling stiff and uncomfortable, a small pillow elevating my knees so that my left leg could remain flexed (as it no longer straightens out). She held my knee and did her thing to it. It did feel pleasantly warm, not like hand warmth, and I did “see” all sorts of colors and energy waves so that was cool.

When I sat up, though, my knee still hurt. We were both disappointed. She decided to try something else—tapping.

I told her about the tapping that’s part of the I Can Make You Thin program but she said it was different. (It wasn’t, really, hers was more complex but still had the singing, counting, looking up down and around, etc.) She said there are lots of methods of tapping out there and most don’t work.

Then she led me through this amazing tapping sequence. Fast, quick, no counting taps. She said things and I repeated them. It was definitely a bit like hypnosis. Things like “although my knee hurts, I love and accept myself My knee hurts—it feels like it’s broken—I feel frustrated—but I love and accept myself.” I couldn’t tell you how long it went on or how many variations of the above concepts we used. Five minutes? Ten?

At the beginning she had me give her a pain number. I gave her a 6 out of 10. I explained that if I just sit there and don’t move it, there is no pain. If I press on it or palpate it, no pain. Move it even an inch—pain. She said I’ve torn a ligament, most likely. My MRI is Friday so we’ll find out soon.

I was sitting there saying what she told me to say, tapping where she told me to tap, thinking that it was probably BS.

But I got off her table and walked to my car without pain.

I’m still limping, I still can’t straighten my knee, and my gait is totally screwed up from 4 months of walking funny. PT will fix that.

But no pain. How do you like them apples? That’s why I called it a voodoo cure. She’s not a voodoo lady (not with Jesus as her copilot), but sure seemed magical.

I did have some pain when I woke up this morning, but not much and it dissipated quickly. I did take my pills as usual—I only have a couple of days left of them anyway—but I don’t need them.

I know an atheist or a skeptic would say that after 6 weeks the pills are finally working. That may be the case. But why would they start working EXACTLY when she was doing the tapping exercise with me, right after the Reiki?

(You can also use this tapping to lose weight—maybe I’ll profile that next. Link)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

"stop the insanity" author has a new book


Susan Powter, the scary hairless chick who wrote the "stop the insanity" book (which had its moments), has come out with a new book: The Politics of Stupid: The Cure for Obesity. It's not available yet--May 6. I'll try to get a copy from the library and see if it's any good.
Apparently she has hair now.
(image source: Amazon)

belly fat creates more fat


Here's a lovely encouraging study. If you have belly fat....and what overweight person doesn't?....that belly fat will generate, will spawn, even more fat, and so on.
(A)bdominal fat tissue produces a hormone called NPY - which also prompts the development of cells that turn into fat.It is already known that high levels of the hormone in the brain produce constant feelings of hunger.
That's just not even fair, a double whammy like that.
(image source =story source; screenprint)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

engrish--you must control your weight!


I was just playing around at engrish.com, a site with photos of all sorts of badly translated English and I came across this gem.
Don't ask what it means. Half the stuff on this site is incomprehensible. But obviously it's "romantic" to say this!
(source)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I can make you thin...episode 5/last

Last week's episode was really disappointing. This is the last week--the grand finale, as it were. Let's see who he copies tonight.
The whole repetition of "I can make you thin....through your television" is just so hokey. It makes me want it NOT to work. Does that make any sense?
He says that becoming thin doesn't necessary equal being happy, and this show is about how to be happy at all times.
The guest was a woman who lost 112 lbs, who said Customs didn't want to let her into the U.S. because she didn't match her passport photo because of her weight loss.
He talks about the cycles--be fat, feel bad about being fat, eat, get fat/be fat, etc.
His extra-thin PhD says that people who are unhappy about being fat are obsessed with their weight. You think "I am fat so..." (I can't do this, I must do that) and being fat seems permanent. Think instead "I am not at my ideal weight but I can still..."
Paul McKenna says to try to pinpoint where the voice in your head that says you are fat and unworthy lives--front, back, side, where ever. Mine is right in the center of my skull. He says to imagine that voice that says bad things outside of your head and talking in a stupid goofy voice. Same thing with memories of people who have said negative things to you about your appearance, weight, eating habits, etc. Turn them into muppets or something, I don't know. He's so goofy about it that it's over the top and hard to concentrate.
Now he's getting kind of new age. Imagine taking all your bad feelings and putting them into into a ball in your hand, imagine what color those feelings are, and then smash that ball. Then imagine feeling good, happy and loved, build a happy fun ball of love, and spread that feeling over any of your body you feel unhappy with (or all of it) and you should feel better.
For his next example he has a lawyer with body dysphoria, who weighs herself obsessively and lines her bathroom with mirrors and then hates herself for how she looks. (But she IS overweight so I'm not sure where the dysphoria comes in.) He has her stand before a mirror and beat herself up verbally--saying she has a big ass, thunder thighs, etc. Then she repeats it in a stupid voice. Then she has to say "I accept my thighs, I accept my ass, I accept myself" in a real voice. Then he has her pretend to be Angelina Jolie and feel AJ's confidence, and then open her eyes and look in the mirror.
Here are the instructions:
get comfortable, close your eyes, and think about someone who loves and respects you, standing before you. Float out of yourself and into that person, and look at yourself through that person's eyes, with love and respect. When you feel really good looking at yourself, take that picture and float all the way back into yourself and keep THAT as your self-image.
Make a ball in your right hand. Take all the negative feelings you have about yourself, flow them all into that ball. Then open your eyes and look at the ball. Smash it and wipe your hands. (And, I add from experience with energy work, imagine Mother Earth transmuting that into positive energy so someone else doesn't step in it!)
Make a checklist of the ugly things you say about yourself. Then say them to yourself in a stupid voice until you can't take it seriously.
Now imagine a famous, beautiful person standing before you. Step into that person's body and feel that person's beauty and confidence. Then, feeling that confidence and beauty, go back into your body and say in your real mind voice, "I accept myself, I love myself" still feeling the confidence and beauty.
Remember a time when someone complimented you and you felt really good. Bring yourself back to that memory, using all 5 senses. Then send those feelings back to yourself in the mirror.
You need to do all these things every time you look in a mirror (not the negative ball, only do that if you start to feel negative about yourself again).
And that's all folks.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

dirty knife

(image source)
Subway is advertising this $5 foot long promo. The commercials are annoying. But I've been looking for someplace closer to work that I can eat lunch at for around $5. And if I bring my own can of soda ($.33 when bought by the 12 pack on sale), that works just fine.
So I located a Subway--ended up being in sight of the building where I work--and headed there for a $5 foot long meatball sub. Turns out the real price of a 12" meatball is $5.69 so not much of a savings there.
I got it toasted, no cheese. And then I got grossed out. Using the same filthy food encrusted knife as they had obviously been using all day to cut every sandwich, without even WIPING the residue from the last sandwich, they cut mine in half.
I almost gagged looking at that disgusting knife, thinking that it touched my food.
I had to cut the cut edges off my bread and discard that center meatball. There was no way I was eating anything that touched that putrid knife. I'm not sure if that's my food OCD kicking in or if it's justified. Thoughts, anyone?
Other than that, the sandwich was okay. In my OCD way, I ate the meatballs separately with a fork, and then ate part of the bread. (Way too much bread. Can anyone eat that much bread at once?) Obviously part of the "I can make you thin" stuff is sinking in because as I was eating the first half of the bread I realized I was full. I was going to take 1 more bite to finish that half, but I didn't. I threw away the last bite of that half and all of the other half. No guilt.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Diet jokes

Diet Questions Answered

Q: I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life; is this true? A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine; that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is made out of grain. Bottoms up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain...Good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?
A: Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy? Cocoa beans--another vegetable! It's the best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.
Q: Is getting in shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! 'Round' is a shape!

I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
CONCLUSION: Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

(posted via email)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

I can make you thin...episode 4

This episode is about "supercharging your metabolism" and getting you to exercise and burn fat faster.
I just paid attention to the disclaimer at the beginning and end of the show...entertainment purposes only. CYA, all the way.
Supposedly he is going to teach a fat burner technique that doesn't require joining a gym or pumping iron (his words).
He starts out by explaining that metabolism slows when you starve yourself; you lose weight, but if you start eating again, you gain it back faster.
[As an aside, he was interviewing someone about their craving and she said "chai tea" which makes me insane. Chai MEANS tea in Chinese. "Chai tea" is redundant. ]
When you shift your metabolism into high gear, you will know because you'll have more energy and you'll be eating the same amount of food or even more and still losing weight.
Another woman he talks about being massively overweight weighed a whole 230 lbs at her heaviest. (If I woke up tomorrow and weighed 230 I'd probably buy a bikini.) She lost 85 lbs and and now runs marathons. Of course, running a marathon isn't the same thing as joining a gym or pumping iron!
Exercise is the best way to speed up metabolism. "Exercise is any movement of the body." He includes teeth brushing in this. To "supercharge" the metabolism you just need to move more every day.
He says a naturally minute person walks 6,000 steps a day and a fat person walks 4,000 steps, and that's only 15 minutes of walking, and you can add that 1-2 minutes at a time. He disputes the old "no pain no gain" mantra as well.
He says that overweight people have a negative association with exercise and therefore don't do it. I'm not like that. I go 2-3x a week to the pool for an average of 50 minutes each time, and although I am tired afterward, it's a good kind of tired that puts me to sleep at night.
Here's the technique:
Think about something you feel really happy or passionate about, something that brought you great joy. Bring yourself to that spot and squeeze right thumb and right middle finger together while thinking this. Then think about a time you felt motivated or compelled to do something and keep squeezing. While squeezing, think about walking a little more each day, everything you do each day with more passion and more energy and more joy. Safe, appropriate exercise--moving a little more. And tell your body to crank up its metabolism and to feel this way every day when you wake up.
Homework: find 3 places every day you can move more.
This week's experiment: he gave 2 groups of people cheeseburgers. One group thought they were getting quarter-pound single patty burgers, and they finished the burgers and said they felt as full as usual. The second group got half pound double patty burgers and most couldn't finish--but they were actually the same size as the quarter pound burgers, but with the patties half the size. Those people, he says, paid attention to how full they were, not how big their burger was.
This was the lamest episode of all. The squeezing finger technique is the same one he used last week with the negative association, and he really doesn't explain how to "feel motivated". If I knew how to feel motivated I wouldn't have to watch his show to lose weight.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

healthy water a myth?


"There is no clear-cut scientific rationale for the average healthy individual to drink eight glasses of water or more a day — and it may be downright harmful for some"--does this mean the cult of water will end?
I have tried to join it. I have carried bottles of water. I have sipped all day. I just don't really like to drink water (or anything) when I am not thirsty. And, frankly, water doesn't taste very good. Some water has no taste--that's the best stuff. It is the coolness and wetness that are good.
So here are the debunked water myths:

  • drinking a lot of water suppresses appetite
  • water flushes toxins from the body
  • it reduces headaches
  • water drinking improves your skin
image source. screenprint

horrible food


I decided, after a few weeks at the new job, that I should suck it up and try eating at McDonald's, which is almost next door, rather than drive across town to Burger King, since I've only got half an hour. Even though Burger King has mozzarella sticks again.
Yesterday I tried to go to McD's and there was a bus load of screaming girls, maybe 7-8 years old (whatever age they are at their shrillest). I left and went to Wendy's, which is farther away, but much closer than BK.
Today I tried McD's again. Okay, my meal was only $3.17 because their double cheeseburgers are $1 (not that I eat double cheeseburgers--double hamburger, plain, with half the bun is my style). It took what seemed to be a long amount of time to get my food, maybe because the person in front of me had two children who were running around, screaming and literally bouncing off the walls and counter.
The burger was smooshed and small and flat and utterly unappetizing-looking. No sesame seeds on the bun like BK. The ketchup was watery. The fries weren't very warm or very fresh and if I hadn't been sitting in a McDonald's I wouldn't have believed they were McD fries, they were that awful. The burger tasted not even as good as it looked, no matter how much ketchup I put on it.
Dreadful. Just dreadful. I won't be making the mistake of going there again. I'll come in early to get extra time to drive the 4 miles each way to BK.
Image source