Monday, December 28, 2009

hoarding (part 2)

I just started that book about being fat and being a hoarder that was recommended by a reader in my previous hoarding post. It is, so far, an awesome book--Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?: An Easy Plan for Losing Weight and Living More is the full title--and I'm going to quote it (just once):
All of us deal constantly with the urge to consume more.  They're just not every different--clutter and fat:  I see it.  I want it.  I'll have it.  Consumption is king.
Oh my god.  How true is that.  I've only read a measly 10 pages and already I see he's put into words what I was trying to say in my earlier post.
Over the holiday I had the pleasure of seeing one of the hoarders in my life.  She smelled horrid.  It made me feel bad.  Because she is a really nice, lovely person, smart, educated, and probably more cultured than I am. She is a professional who has to dress up for work and I wonder that no one has ever said anything to her about her smell. It's not body odor (except for her breath) it's the smell of her filthy house embedded into her clothing.  She actually mentioned that she watches Hoarders!  And wondered aloud about people who had dead animals in their houses.   I think my mouth fell open.  Does she forget me crying over the dead kittens in her dining room and telling me to just chuck them in the garbage?   Could anyone be so blind to their own living situation? 
Which freaks me out.  Am I smelly?  Is my house disgusting?  Do my clothes stink?   And I am oblivious and no one will tell me? 

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lack of doctors? (off topic a bit)

The other day, I went to put in my contact lenses and one of them had a huge rip in it. (Which could explain the headache I had the day before.) I went into the medicine cabinet for my boxes of lenses...and I only had 1 left lens left. Of course it was the left one which was ripped.
I have no eye doctor anymore.   I had been, most of my life, going to this little locally-owned place that was a hive of eye care professionals.  There was the eye doctor, the guy who dispensed contact lenses, and the lady who sold glasses.  The person who owned the hive sold it and now it's just a place that sells glasses.  I don't know where the eye doctor went or where my records are.  
But the weird thing is, in the last year, I have lost ALL my doctors.  My regular doctor retired abruptly a year ago.  My gyno office decided they didn't want to treat me anymore (after 15 years) because I don't want to have children (which I told them since day 1 of going there)--they want to specialize in fertility treatments.  Now my eye doctor is gone.
I'm trying to think, spiritually, of what kind of meaning this can have for me.  I guess it's that everyone who is examining me, whatever part of me, is new, looking at me with new eyes and no preconceived notions.  I started going to the PCOS clinic at Yale.  I found a new primary care doctor.  I'm working on a new gyno.  I guess now I have to find a new eye doctor, or next time I rip a left lens I'm SOL.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

hoarding and overeating and being crazy

I like to watch the show "Hoarders" on A&E. I DVR it every week and watch it a few days later, and if it's really horrifying, I make my friends come over and watch. While they are over, we also watch some of the saved-forever, most disgusting, episodes of "How Clean is Your House" (the crazy British women on BBC).
I have experience with hoarding. Unfortunately, because this blog is starting to be read by people in my real life (thanks, Facebook), I can't "out" the hoarders or describe my relationship to the household.
I've watched enough episodes of "Hoarders" to start to see a pattern in hoarding, and seeing also that much of it is present in the house I have experience with.  I have helped clean out 2 rooms of this house, and I will never help again because it needs a bulldozer at this point, not a broom and a trash bag.
Some of the reccurring themes that match this house:

  • Unbearable stench.  In the summer, you can smell it from the street.
  • People sleeping on the couch because the bedrooms are inaccessible from trash.
  • Room(s) closed off completely due to damage.  The house had a leaky roof that wasn't repaired. The ceiling came down in the master bedroom.  Solution? Shut the door and put a bookcase in front of it, walling off the bedroom AND a bathroom and all the crap in it.  For over 20 years.
  • Dead animals entombed in the trash heaps.
  • Feces and urine everywhere (animal, not human).
  • Lack of electricity for an extended period of time.
  • Lack of hot water for an extended period of time.
  • Homeowners frantic and hysterical when house is cleaned and filthy disgusting trash objects are thrown away.
  • Not allowing anyone to come over--meeting people at other places or coming outside to wait to be picked up
  • Not thinking it's a problem--at least one person in the household watches "Hoarders" and discusses it with a straight face, as if the show has no validity toward their lives!
  • Excessive number of pets, not properly cared for.
  • Overweight inhabitants.
It is the last that got me thinking the other day.  I see the people on TV having what seems to me to be excessive reactions to trash being flung out.  Some of it, well maybe I can understand.  I did keep a shirt and a piece of jewelry from my dad (and his really nice nail grooming kit) and I'd be sad if they got thrown away, but that doesn't negate that I loved my dad and I miss him.  I have a few childhood toys, a couple of other small mementos of dead relatives.  I have all my dead pets on a shelf (ashes).   All these things are clean and cared for and there would be no reason for someone cleaning my house to think they were trash and throw them out.
But then I see crazy stuff on TV, just crazy. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being she'd die without it, an old lady ranks a filthy doormat as a 9 and won't let the cleaners throw it out because her last name is on it.  When pressed by the specialist, she reduces the need for the mat to an 8.  And I think, it's a freaking doormat, lady, go to Wal-Mart and buy a new one for less than $5 if you need a doormat that badly! 
And I feel superior.  
Which is bad thing, of course.  
Because I might not understand why a woman needs to keep everything her dead parents ever owned, or keep the stuffed animals she bought for a child who never played with them, or keep a ballet outfit that is crusted with cat poop, but in my own way I am just as crazy.  I will get to that in a moment.
There is not a perfect correlation between people on cleaning TV shows and obesity, but it seems like the majority of people who have these nasty houses are fat.  It could just be, of course, that 75%+ of the populations of the US and GB are overweight and that is true for those on reality TV as well.
That leads me to wonder if the same kind of brain triggers work on eating and keeping stuff.
I know there is more than one type of overeater.  People who eat when bored, when stressed, from environmental triggers (a certain TV show, time of day, routine), those who eat all day long, those who binge, and the one that interests me most in this case, what one article I read forever ago called "tourist eating" (and these are all from memory, so I may have forgotten some type).  I am a tourist eater.   That means that you eat things as if you'll never be in that place again to have more.  If you're on vacation in Greece, you are wolfing down all the great fresh Greek foods you can, because you know you'll never come back--that's logical tourist eating.  But if you're at Red Lobster and you eat 3 baskets of biscuits as if Red Lobster is going out of business, that's illogical tourist eating (and I do it--although I've never eaten 3 basket of biscuits).   Everyplace you go, you eat like you're never coming back and can never have it again.
I can see, tenuously, some kind of connection between being afraid (and it's all about fear, hoarding stuff and hoarding food in your body) that you'll never eat feta cheese with fresh olives again, and fear that you'll never find the perfect doormat again.  Or you fear the afterlife doesn't exist, and all you have left of your loved ones are memories, ashes, and old teddy bears--and you will never see them again.   Fear of not having enough, of whatever it is you have.  Or that it will be taken from you.
And now that I've depressed myself and my faithful readers, onto my psychosis and another reason why I see a connection.  I know what I have isn't exactly common, but it's me and it's what I know.  I am completely irrational about food, even more so than these people on TV with their dirty junk.  If you fed me a piece of cake and I said it was good and you told me it was made with mayonnaise, I would go into the next room and vomit and cry that I was tricked into eating mayo.   (And if you think that's nuts, my mom did it to me to prove that mayo wasn't evil.  All she did was make me not trust her cooking anymore.)  I could no more eat a piece of fish than that lady could throw away the teddy bear she bought for her dead baby.  I would eat, oh, a piece of cloth.  A piece of cardboard.  Before I'd eat any foods not on my approved list.  And if I was on TV, crying because someone wanted me to eat mayo or mustard or fish, or any food that I didn't know its ingredient list, you would say "this woman is a whack-job.  Eat it and shut up, you fatty."  And you'd be right.  Because when it comes to food, I am crazy and I can't help it.   So I have to accept that when it comes to cleaning, hoarding, and keeping all sorts of trash, those people have their own brand of crazy too, and most likely they can't help themselves either.
So I don't feel so superior anymore.  I feel rather small, but not in a good way.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Drinking Fat follow-up

A few months ago I posted some print ads from NY that equated drinking high-calorie beverages with drinking fat. My friend over at the Melting Mama blog found a commercial showing the same thing. Even grosser. Yes the video blows the margin; when will YouTube figure out they need a smaller format available for blogs?

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Two ways to die that both suck

Way #1: Obese man dropped by ambulance crew, dies of injuries.
Way #2: Falling into a vat of melted chocolate.

#1 Kenny Williams, of Suffolk (England, not where I live), weighed 420 lbs. If I understand the poorly written article correctly, he was on his way for weight loss surgery when the ambulance crew dropped him outside his house and he died.
Nice.  I'm sure that people all over the internet will be laughing and making "You killed Kenny!" references (you bastards).  I guess so, but mostly I feel sad.  He was trying to get better.  And now he's dead and all the world knows about him was what he weighed and that he died in a stupid way.
(image source for Kenny)(screenprint of original article)

Way #2: Don't buy any Hershey bars for a while. According to this article,  29 year old temp worker in NJ somehow fell into a giant mixing vat filled with liquid chocolate and was beaten to death by the agitators in the 120 degree liquid before he could be pulled out. I love chocolate, but I wouldn't want to die this way.  Burnt, pummeled, drowned--no.  I also would not want to be dropped by an ambulance crew, but given the choice, drop me on my head and get it over with.  I'm not Rasputin and I won't need to be killed a dozen ways before I die.  (screenprint of original article)

obese man killed by ambulance crew
death by chocolate

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Censorship (veers off topic)

My earlier post on Back Boobs was censored on Spark People--I had posted a link from my SP blog to this one. Because 1 person found it offensive.
It reminds me of when I tried to join Overeaters Anonymous and at my first meeting I tried to say something about food, I can't remember what, and I was yelled at because apparently at a meeting about eating and food, food is an absolutely taboo subject. I didn't last long at OA as you can imagine.  I'm not very good at censoring my thoughts!'s me.
I'm not big on censorship in general. All but 1 comment on the link were positive, people laughing and saying I made their day. Reminds me of the Christian outrage pie for some reason.

There is a kind of local situation about censorship going on.  You might remember, no matter where you live, that a couple of years ago 2 guys broke into a doctor's house in Connecticut and burned the house down with the family in it--the father barely escaped with his life (although he lost everything that had meaning to him).  It was tragic and horrible and made headlines everywhere in state as well as national headlines.  For reasons I can't comprehend, it has not gone to trial yet so there is no resolution.  But someone wrote a book about it.  The library in the town where it happened purchased a copy and citizens are outraged.   Okay, I can understand that you aren't happy that your tax dollars bought the book. But you don't need to read it just because it's in the library.  The same library probably has copies of books like Mein Kampf by Hitler.  People have gone so far as to say they won't patronize Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Borders, etc if they carry the book on the home invasion.  Huh?  Yes, it might have been in poor taste to publish it before the trial and yes it might pollute the jury pool (not like having it on the cover of national magazines and in every local paper and local TV news show didn't do a good job of that already), but you can't punish retailers--or the library--for the book's existence. 
We live in a free country.  If something offends you, don't read it.  Don't watch it. Don't look at it.
And yeah, I didn't link to Spark People.  Right now, my spark is out.

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OMG I would totally eat this...

....and this is why I'm fat. This is from the website "This is Why You're Fat" and it showcases different high calorie foods. 99.9% of them are absolutely disgusting. And then there is this:

The Smorturary
One layer of marshmallows, a layer of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, another layer of marshmallows sandwiched between two S’more Pop-Tarts topped in chocolate sauce.

Okay, and this:
Swisswich A La Mode
Nestle tollhouse cookie ice cream sandwhiches stuffed with Swiss Rolls and Nutella, smothered in hot fudge.

I recently discovered Nutella.  It's kind of like chocolate frosting mixed with fudge and has hundreds of calories per spoonful.  Which is why I've only eaten it 3x ever, and once I didn't know that's what it was (I thought it was frosting). 

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Back boobs

Is this a fashion or fitness trend of some sort that I missed?
Both of these are from People of Walmart. You should look very carefully at this site if you ever go to Walmart, cuz you might be on it.

I have a lot to say about this.
First of all, WTF.
Second of all, if you are overweight you should NOT be wearing a backless barely there top.  Under no circumstances.  Not even at home alone.  Especially not in public.
Third, do these girls not own mirrors
Fourth, HOW THE HELL DOES THAT HAPPEN?  I was up to a 60 BMI in super super morbidly obese DAMN category and I did not have giant boobs on my back.
Fifth, neither of these people are shopping alone.  Doe the people with them hate them that much?  How can you not say, "Hey friend/lover/sister, you can't go out looking like that.  You have back boobs."
Sixth, could they be dressed like this on purpose, showing off their back boobs?  Could it be that their back boobs are bigger than their front boobs?  And why should I even have to say front boobs, why do these two girls have double sets anyway!  The second one, especially, seems to be showcasing her giant back boobs. I have giant front boobs (argh!  I said it again!) and I think her back boobs are bigger than my actual boobs.  (Actual boobs is better than front boobs, although it implies I might have fake boobs also.  Perhaps on my back.  NO!)
I am deeply disturbed by this.  If someone could please explain, I would be grateful.
Clarification:  I am not making fun of people for being fat. I am making fun of them for not knowing how to dress in public.  If part of your body is shaped in an extremely peculiar way, cover it up.  As Jeff Foxworthy says, "the only people who should wear belly shirts are people who don't have a belly".

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Thursday, December 03, 2009

my food and exercise data for 6 months

Why is Spark People such a great tool, you ask? Because in less than 30 seconds each, it generated these reports for me, showing my progress since I started there in May.  Screen printing them and then cropping them in Photoshop took longer!
The orange is my metabolism, green is exercise and the line is food intake. The others I think you can figure out.

 I know you can't read the actual numbers, but the downward trends should be obvious.  The only upward trend is my fiber, but I've only been tracking that a short time so I didn't show it here.

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