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Cross posted from La Vida Locavore

I've struggled for years with my weight and body image but it wasn't until College where I really struggled with the pounds and my relationship with food has always been an uneasy one.  I eat because I have to but there are many times where I don't even want to deal with food, it brings more pain than pleasure and it represents more than just calories to me but a whole host of issues.

My shame regarding my weight has been hard to bear, it sometimes is unbearable in its own way.  I just have days where I struggle with being in my body.

It's complicated of course...

I've struggled with weight from strange family pressures to abusive behavior from my step father but I carried all these things into adulthood.  I've also had times where I sunk into deep pits of depression that would mean weight gain.

The last time I was at a reasonable weight was when I got married in 1998, I was at a healthy 140, even considered overweight then but I was okay with that.  The only time I weighed 115 pounds is when I ate one meal a day.  Just not how I want to live my life (even though it's considered a health weight for me at 5'2").

I was fairly active early in my marriage, we went to the gym often, biking, we spent our honeymoon in Costa Rica doing some kind of physical activity every single day.  I thought I'd made peace with my weight.

But all the health issues I struggled with really hit me hard in 2000 and I gained more and more weight.  Then in 2003 I got pregnant and the real struggle began.

I didn't gain too much weight during my pregnancy, although it was too much because of where I started with my weight, but 40lbs wasn't out there or extreme as far as pregnancy weight goes.

After a rough last couple of months of pregnancy, a very difficult birth (C-section) and a hard time with breastfeeding, it was overwhelming and too much at times.  I didn't feel the warm fuzzies of having a baby, I didn't feel the way I thought I was supposed.  That was difficult as well.

The issues after my daughter's birth went from post-partum depression to unexplained health problems (migraines, pain and fatigue) and the weight just continued to pile on.

I know, so what about the food?  You see, I love food and hate it because of all the things it stands for and all the things it means to me.  I've never been one to binge but I do indulge from time to time.  I like whole wheat bread and fresh fruits and veggies but I will also eat In-N-Out when the urge hits.  Moderation is my goal and I know what I should be doing but find it almost impossible to follow through with.

I go out to eat and feel self-conscious about what I put in my mouth.  I can't bear to shop on my own or get take out.  I worry what others may think.  I see people stare sometimes or glare even and I wish to be the size of a pea.  Not possible when you're tipping the scales over 200 pounds.

It's still frowned upon in our society to be obese and there is a good reason for it.  It can kill you.  It represents laziness and glutton.  It can mean so many things but those things point to me, to being my own shortfall, and so, well, food is just more complicated than it should be.

I've done diets but hate them.  I hate thinking about food that much.  Measuring, etc. makes me crazy.  Counting calories makes my head hurt and thinking too much makes me obsess about everything I eat.  It actually becomes unnatural.

So my struggle has to do with attempting to talk about food sustainability issues and health issues if myself am an obese and ill woman.  It just seems wrong.  And my relationship with food is so awkward and yet a must.  I mean, we all have to eat, right?

So I wanted to confess this shame and to open a discussion about how food has become more than just something that sustains us.  It's cultural and personal, it's a treat and a punishment and it's killing us and keeping us alive at the same time.

I've attempted to get myself on a better path by first dealing with my ailments, from the rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia that made exercise difficult (and took 4 years to diagnose which means I had plenty of time to feel all kinds of different feelings about being a hypochondriac and a lazy fat lady, not good either) , hell it made everyday life unbearable most of the time.  

This is an issue for our society not just me.  If it weren't then we wouldn't have to talk about obese 4 year olds.  We wouldn't have to mass produce crap to keep up with demand or have a diet industry that generates billions in revenue every year.  BILLIONS.  

We must have a National conversation about what is still a stigma and still hard to talk about but it can't be about tricks and gimmicks, it has to include sustainability and changing our relationship with food.  Unfortunately with many other social battles we face, corporate America has a stranglehold on the conversation and our Government in their pocket (It's true, look at health care, AG and food safety).

I hope to make my battle part of a larger war against obesity.  And it's not just about weight, you can be overweight and healthy and underweight and unhealthy.  It comes down to exercise, exercise and exercise and understanding how our environment, our health and our ability to thrive is interconnected.  

So, I'm curious if others here have struggled with food and weight.  It's my confession that I can't really hide, my photo says it all, which is really something I can't hide but I can reveal how this weight has affected me, both heart and mind.  It's weighed me down more than just physically and colored so much of what I do in my life.

Update - Thank you everyone who has shared their stories, give encouragement and sounded off.  This is why I write and even though I may not comment back, I am reading every single comment.

UPDATE - This diary now has tons of comments with really great advice, much of which I know about.  I appreciate them all though and the most important thing for anyone reading this is to know that there is no one solution for everyone and it's about finding what works for you, sticking to it and not making yourself miserable in the process.  That's my goal, finding what I can live with and find some happiness in that process.  Thank you for all the advice, if I don't respond it's not that I don't appreciate it and I wanted to make that point.  It's amazing that YOU found what works for you and you can now share that wisdom, thank you for doing so.

Originally posted to Ellinorianne on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 08:55 AM PDT.

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    for raising awareness about food, health and our connection to the environment.  We've been numb for too long.

    •  Thanks for sharing, Ellinorianne. (96+ / 0-)

      Weight is such a sensitive issue, especially for women, IMHO, all wrapped up in that "body image" thing.

      You are brave for doing so.

      Hang in there.

      You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else. -- Sir Winston Churchill

      by bleeding heart on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:01:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  Dr. David Kessler (7+ / 0-)

          Dr. David Kessler, was head of the FDA in Clinton administration and TOOK ON Tobacco - if you remember the Waxman hearings.  Dr. Kessler plans to use his new book: The End of Overeating as the start of the national conversation you're talking about.  It's already #6 on the NYTimes Nonfiction list.  
          Also, a nutritionist at Tufts in Boston MA has a book
          The Instinct Diet (August 2008) which discusses many of the issues Dr. Kessler takes into greater detail.

          •  I just got the book (5+ / 0-)
            and I'm really looking forward to reading it.  I think it's so important and I'm glad that the conversation seems to be going in the right direction.  I hope to be part of it, thank you so much.

            Please help me get to Netroots Nation! Please.

            by Ellinorianne on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 02:49:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I am a stress eater (8+ / 0-)

              who managed to get up to 335# over the course of a few years. I am a master of self deception, and always said that I won the battle against anorexia.

              I was on several different blood pressure meds, which weren't working, when my Doc..Doogie Houser..30 years old, looked 18 but a brilliant Mayo grad, whom I dearly loved, said that I should seriously consider gastric bypass surgery. I said no....He really got my attention when he looked me in the eye and said " Well if you aren't going to try to help yourself there's nothing I can do for you"

              I went on Atkins and over the course of two years lost 135#. I was never hungry and at first the weight came off at ten pounds a month, just like clock work. There were several months when nothing came off after about 9 months, but that never lasted. I went from a 52" waist to a 38..It can be done.

              I've gained 15 # and am up to a 40" waist but it's been 6 years since I finished the diet so I dont consider that too bad.

              Now when my pants get tight I just go back on Atkins until they're loose again..usually about two weeks.

              Good luck


              Republicans only care about republicans. Democrats care about the Republic.

              by beaukitty on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 04:04:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Wow! I just looked the book up ... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ellinorianne, Curiosity

            at the Wake County library in the Raleigh area. They have 12 books in the system and still have over 100 on the wait list. I just added another but it will probably be 2010 before I get to read it.

          •  Please No (7+ / 0-)

            I don't want a "national conversation" that gives thin people more reasons to dismiss fat people. I don't want to be hated the way smokers are hated. I see signs of it right here in this thread. One more book about how to eat in a more healthy way is not going to fix millenia of genetic predisposition to storing fat. Study after study shows how tough it is to lose weight. Can't we just stop attacking people for being what they are? What is the horror of not living quite as long, but being happy? And before you start talking about the cost - if you want to pay for motorcycle accidents and people who choose to save premature babies which have no real chance of survival and brain dead people and people who tear their knees running (there ARE, after all, other forms of exercise that are lower impact!)... when you can damn well pay for my bad choices, too.

            •  Obesity has increased much faster (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              than could be explained by evolution alone. I hope you don't actually believe that the Standard American Diet is not a problem we need to work on. You don't have to participate if you don't feel like it. But we do need to have a national conversation.

              "If we don't fight hard enough for the things we stand for, at some point we have to recognize that we don't really stand for them." ~Senator Paul Wellstone

              by Campfire30 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 04:44:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't think I was clear (0+ / 0-)

                I don't want people messing with my body. Period. I don't care if you think that obesity is a national problem. I don't want you trying to control my diet, my waistline, or my weight. I don't want ANYBODY trying to control my body. If you want to discuss how to better teach children about nutrition, then I'm with you. If you want to talk about encouraging EVERYBODY to eat in a healthier fasion, then I will be right there at the table. But when you make the focus "obesity", then you aren't talking about nutrition, you are talking about making choices about my body that you have no right to make.

                •  But do you know how much (0+ / 0-)

                  food (grains, grasses, water) we waste growing meat and dairy and fatty foods that Americans like? And do you know how many people actually die every year because of that wastefulness? Maybe you don't know, and that's not a crime. But the information is available. And those people who die of starvation don't want anyone messing with their bodies, either. Believe me, I do not want to impose my will on anyone. But we only have the right to take so much. It is not just a health issue but a fairness issues and a sustainability issue. We, the human race, simply cannot sustain our diet. Literally. The numbers don't add up. I do understand your frustration, though.

                  "If we don't fight hard enough for the things we stand for, at some point we have to recognize that we don't really stand for them." ~Senator Paul Wellstone

                  by Campfire30 on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 03:42:06 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  A day late and a dollar short (0+ / 0-)

              We are already headed towards that eventuality  with a national conversation and  there already exists as some of these posts hint at the "low tolerance" for those who are overweight/obese.

              no one is bound to pay for ANYONE's bad choices no matter what they are...and generosity has a tendency to run out sooner as opposed to later....

              We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitrolic words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people-MLK

              by digitalmuse on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 04:48:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Then don't pay (0+ / 0-)

                You have that choice. You don't get to choose what I do with my life and what I don't. Once we start going down the "you can't take chances because it might cost me something, somehow", then it's a very, very slippery slope toward eventually controlling everything people do.

                •  That horse left the barn days ago... (0+ / 0-)

                  Uh we are already on that road heading along at breakneck speed. Or do you not realize that cigarettes in NY cost about $10. a pack. Or have you not heard that there have been "fat" taxes implemented on softdrinks (anything that is not water or 100% juice).

                  Soylent Green anyone..??

                  We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitrolic words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people-MLK

                  by digitalmuse on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 12:31:20 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  I feel ya (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dianem, ilex, Ellinorianne, GollyMissMolly

              And I have the same reservations you do regarding a   "conversation" focused on weight loss and obesity.

              I would, however, welcome a national conversation specifically focusing on increasing the availability and affordability of fresh and organic foods. For example, how to make fresh, healthy foods more available to poor neighborhoods who are by and large stuck with convenience stores only. Also, would love to discuss keeping junk food snacks and soda pop out of our public schools, that sort of thing. I know it's a money maker for the school, but there's got to be a better way, especially if we're going to be so concerned with childhood obesity.

              Homer: "Marge - I'm going to a hardcore gay club and I won't be back 'til three in the morning". Marge: "Have fun!"

              by Oaktown Girl on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 04:58:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Great idea (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ilex, Ellinorianne

                I'm all for including more information on food, for example. I hate going to a restaurant and having to guess how many calories are in a meal. They could estimate it, just like I estimate calories when I cook. And not feeding kids junk foods in schools just makes good sense. Teach them to like fruits and veges. I find that sugar peas are quite a treat, actually.

          •  I just requested this from my library (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I'm 78th in line !

        •  Some insight... (11+ / 0-)

          I've done diets but hate them.  I hate thinking about food that much.  Measuring, etc. makes me crazy.  Counting calories makes my head hurt and thinking too much makes me obsess about everything I eat.  It actually becomes unnatural.

          Losing weight isn't easy. If it was, there would be no obesity.  There's no easy way of putting it:  if you want to be successful in your weight loss, you're going to have to discipline yourself into doing things you don't like.

          In a nutshell, weight management can be broken down into first grade addition:  If you consume more calories than you burn, you gain weight.  If you burn more calories than you consume, you lose weight.  

          Controlling intake is actually the easy part - the part that is focused on calorie counting and portion management.  Where it gets difficult is managing the burning of these calories.  This involves keeping your metabolism up (starving yourself actually slows your metabolic rate down, and hinders your progress), exercise, which not only burns calories itself, but builds the muscle mass that burns more calories while your body is at rest, and making sure that your foods are balanced to facilitate both metabolism and building of muscle mass.

          You simply will not reach your goals without a proper (and properly managed) diet.

          Trust me, I know how hard this is.  My wife was a knockout at 5'5", 140 lbs.  She never really concerned herself with her diet.  She ate "healthy enough" and exercised "regularly enough" to keep her weight where she wanted it.  If it came time to drop off those 5-10 vanity pounds after the holidays, she'd get a little more serious about it, but not so much that it was a big effort.  Even all her "baby weight" she put on after our daughter was born melted away within six months with not much difficulty.

          But then, about three years ago, she herniated a disc in her back.  Her energy level plummeted. Even the most rudimentary exercise was too excruciating to complete.  And the pharmaceutical cocktail of Oxycontin, muscle relaxers, sleeping pills, and antidepressants did nothing to help her activity level.  And to confess, with all the doctor appointments, failed procedures, continuous pain, mounting medical bills, and deferred goals, the last thing either of us were concerned about was diet.  Within a year of her injury, her weight gain was getting so she could no longer "hide it".  Within 18 months, she was over 210 lbs - looking sickly, and ten years older than she really was.

          She found herself caught in a vicious cycle:  Her back pain caused weight gain and muscle loss that put more stress on her spine that caused more back pain...

          Fortunately, last June, she had a spinal fusion that alleviated her pain.  It's taken a full year to get her post operative pain under control and to wean off of all of her medications.  But it's also taken the advice of a dietitian to put her on a regimen to help her weight loss.  I won't pull punches, it is a brutal diet.  It involves lots of counting, partitioning, restricting, and even timing when she eats.  And this doesn't even include her exercising.  This is taking an unnatural amount of discipline from both of us.

          And it's working.

          Since starting this regimen, she has consistently lost 2-3 lbs a week.  The progress is slow, but it is progress.  It is also the exact rate her dietitian wants to see her at.  By this fall, she should be right back where she was before her injury: a 145 lb knockout.  Healthier, and for both of us, a bit wiser.

          Best of luck to you.  You're not alone.

          •  that's the ideal pace, actually (4+ / 0-)

            and fwiw, a friend of mine discovered she was diabetic and so started eating the recommended diet.  said the pounds just melted off.

            New Rule: You may not simultaneously celebrate the Civil War *and* diss the South.

            by Cedwyn on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 03:43:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  It's not that simple (5+ / 0-)

            I'm bipolar. I go on weightwatchers and lose weight, then in I hit a "down" and gain it back. Then I get back on the treadmill and start fighting again. I don't know if I'll ever succeed, but we made a med change a few months ago that seems to be working quite well, so I'm optimistic. People have all kinds of reasons for having trouble losing weight. In theory, it's simple, and what I'm doing is working right now... in practice, it's a lot more complicated.

            And don't expect her to look exactly the same as before she had the baby. Things change as we get older. Look for "healthy", not "knockout".

            •  I lost my thyroid to cancer in 2003 (8+ / 0-)

              And over the next six years, gained 40 lbs despite eating a healthy, closely-watched diet and exercising vigorously 5-6 days a week. Tried Meridia, which made me terribly depressed. I'm stuck being a fit fat person.

              Don't judge a book, people.

              Success is the child of audacity. --Disraeli

              by ChuyHChrist on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 04:04:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Just a suggestion. (4+ / 0-)

              Next time you're on an "up," don't go on Weight Watchers and lose weight. (You already know what's going to happen - you'll hit a "down" and gain it back.) Instead, use that time to summon up your patience, read up, and make a list of foods that you want to eat. Only put good, healthy things on the list. Only eat those foods. You hit the "down" you'll already be in the habit of eating what's on the list.

              "If we don't fight hard enough for the things we stand for, at some point we have to recognize that we don't really stand for them." ~Senator Paul Wellstone

              by Campfire30 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 04:50:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Actually, weight watchers makes me do that (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ilex, sargoth, Ellinorianne

                I am forced to choose foods carefully and focus on what I want to eat, as opposed to what I am craving. I can live on nothing but cake, but I'm going to get very hungry at the end of the day when my points run out.

                I know it's hard to believe, but I just like eating. I don't eat that much junk food. I can gain weight very easily, even if I eat only healthy foods. WW has taught me about what a reasonable portion of food is. That alone is gold to me. My husband was eating lunch today and was worried that he didn't have enough food to satisfy him. I pointed out that he had 14 points of food and he realized that he had too much, not too little. It was what I call "calorie dense" food. I ate a reasonable portion and felt quite satisfied afterwards.

                When I get down, habits from childhood take over. I want to feel better, and sugar makes me feel better. I've lost as much as 60 lbs, and had an easy time eating only healthy foods. Then I hit that bleeping depression phase and the good habits disappeared. All I could think was "I want to feel better. Sugar". I know it's wrong, but when I'm down I'm not rational.

                Thanks for the input, though. Here's hoping that this med change will take care of the those downs and let me be normal for a while. I've been completely stable for the past 6 months. That's a long time to not have an episode of depression.

            •  asdf... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              It's not that simple

              One of the key points of my story is that it isn't simple.  Just the opposite.  The mathematics behind calorie counting is trivial, but the metabolic chemistry - to say nothing of emotional state, can be far, far more complex.  My wife's back felt fine as of last September.  But she didn't start on her diet until about February. Why?  Because she was an emotional wreck (as well as clinically depressed) from coming off of a two year dependency on oxycontin.  Mental state plays a huge role in meeting your weight goals - anything challenging does.  Best of luck in your new treatment plan!

              Things change as we get older. Look for "healthy", not "knockout".

              Hehe.  You don't know my wife.  ;-)

    •  We do need to educate our children better (50+ / 0-)

      To feed them better food, give them better nutrition and more exercise...

      But we also need to recognize that a lot of obesity is caused by medical issues.

      Not everyone who is overweight is lazy.  

      Our whole attitude needs to change, and become healthier, and I mean that on both fronts.

      "Spread happiness... share it with all those who seek it." - Keith Olbermann

      by Diogenes2008 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:01:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  weight is much more related to too much food (33+ / 0-)

        than to being "lazy."
        exercise doesn't really burn that many calories. But it does get a person away from food for a while.
        Television, however, invites eating. It is very difficult to watch TV and not eat.

        fouls, excesses and immoderate behavior are scored ZERO at Over the Line, Smokey!

        by seesdifferent on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:11:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Really? (14+ / 0-)

          Not trying to be snarky in any way, but I find this:

          It is very difficult to watch TV and not eat.

          To be an odd statement. Are you saying that this is something you, personally, struggle with? Or are you trying to say that it's a general difficulty that we all face?

        •  That's some generalization (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mayim, Ellinorianne, Maori

          I don't eat while watching TV. You do, so you think everyone does?

        •  Exercise doesn't burn that many calories? (18+ / 0-)

          Tell that to my friend who worked in construction and burned all of the 4,000 plus calories a day that he could shovel in.

          In one hour of strong aerobic exercise, I can burn an estimated 300+, which is a lot considering I only need an estimated 1,500 a day at my age to maintain weight if sedentary. Walking at a good pace I estimate is 50 calories a mile, or 200 per hour.

          If we don't exercise, we lose muscle mass and aerobic capacity, which reduces our metabolism further.

          It's not necessary to exercise to the point of discomfort on order to make a difference. And it's a bad idea to go to the point of pain, injury, or grouchiness. Just need to feel the aerobic effort distinctly, for maybe 30-45 minutes several days a week.

          When trying to lose weight, in the past I've done best with some calories restriction plus about 50 minutes of aerobic (walk, stationary bike, dance, tennis or swim) several days a week.

          •  In the case of your friend in construction (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            moosely2006, ilex, Ellinorianne

            burning the calories was more because of his muscle. Dr. Roizen says

            Here's a fact: muscle burns 50 times more calories than fat, so if you want to lose weight, you have to gain muscle.


            •  Great.. (4+ / 0-)

              Now just tell us how to build muscle without excercise.

            •  Fat burns about 2 calories per lb per day. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ellinorianne, Edward Spurlock

                 Muscle burns no where close to 100 calories per lb. per day. Think about it for a minute. A 200 lb man with a fat % of 20% has 40 lbs of fat and 160 lbs of muscle. Except for athletes or serious exercise folks, we burn about 2/3-3/4 of our calories just to stay alive and move normally from place to place. Thus the 40 lbs of fat burns 80 calories per day. However muscle burns 8-12 calories per lb per day. Thus (using 10 calories), the 160 lbs of muscle burns 1600 calories per day. Add the two and you get 1680 calories which is about 2/3rds of the needed calories for a moderately active man of 200 lbs.

                 Keep in mind that the actual processing of the food we eat also consumes about 10% of what we eat. It takes more energy or calories to process protein than fat or carbs. Proteins provide much more satiety than carbs or fat although some fats are close. Highly processed carbs provide very little satiety and are thus flushed into your blood stream quickly and cause all kinds of problems with insulin levels.

                Please take the time to read this article from the  Mayo Clinic.

                In my opinion, the key to all weight loss or maintenance of your current weight is metabolism. One paragraph from this article deserves another diary. Here is the paragraph.

              Stated simply, metabolism is the process by which your body converts food into energy. During this complex biochemical process, calories — from carbohydrates, fats and proteins — are combined with oxygen to release the energy your body needs to function.

                 The key to metabolism is O2. Our bodies don't move enough O2 normally to correctly metabolize the food we eat. If it is not metabolized correctly, a larger portion of the food we eat turns to fat. Exercise is the best way to get O2 into your system and your blood system. High intensity interval training is the best method to use but unless you are already in good shape, it takes some time to build up your body to accept the challenge.

                 The key is that only aerobic exercise will also help you lose the lean muscle mass that you currently have. You must also do some weight training to keep your current lean muscles or to add more since we know that lean muscle burns more calories in BMR (basal metabolism rate) than fat.

          •  It's all about balance (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Naniboujou, Ellinorianne

            Every individual is different.  Some may have success on exercise alone, but if a person is eating 500 too many calories per day and burning 450 with exercise, s/he will still gain weight.

            But unquestionably the biggest factor to losing weight is caloric restriction.  Exercise is important to gain muscle mass to boost metabolism. It's important for well functioning cardio and digestive systems, and mental well being.  But in the end cutting the calories is first and foremost if you need to lose significant weight, followed by increasing activity levels.  

            Full disclosure, I am a certified fitness trainer.

          •  For My Own Information (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            How do you define aerobic exercise?  

          •  I heard recently (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            1 LB of muscle burns 30 or more cal/day; 1 lb of fat burns 3 cal/day.

            So an individual instance of exercise doesn't necessarily burn a whole ton of calories, keeping fit enables your body to burn a whole lot more all by itself.

            Get your DemocracyFest tickets, today!

            by mataliandy on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 04:01:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  No, exercise doesn't burn THAT MANY calories (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ilex, chloris creator

            Clio2, you're right that an hour of aerobic exercise can burn 300 or more calories. However, you'd have to do that for 12 hours to burn a pound of fat. On the other hand, eating a large candy bar takes a couple of minutes but will negate that entire hour of hard work. That's what people mean when they say exercise doesn't burn that many calories.

            Your construction worker friend burned 300 or 400 extra calories per hour for eight hours a day -- naturally he went through a lot of calories while staying fit.

            •  Keep in mind that exercise... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              one of 8, ilex, Ellinorianne

                whether cardio or strength training keeps tha system burning more calories beyond just the exercise period. You might burn 300 calories in a 1 hour tough workout but if you cause your body to consume large quanties of O2, the body will continue to burn for several more hours although at a decreasing rate.

        •  Weight is related to NOT ENOUGH of the RIGHT food (17+ / 0-)

          Seriously. What people gotta understand is that obesity in this country is a wasting disease.

          Just like if you eat a diet of all white rice with no B1 you get Beriberi, and if you eat a diet of all corn you get Pellagra...

          If you eat a diet of all cheap corn and soy byproducts fortified with heavy salt and cheap synthetic fats...

          You get fat. It almost doesn't matter how much you try to restrict caloric intake - because your body will still be literally starving from dozens of low-level nutritional deficiencies. You will eat more.

          Seriously. Try spending 2/3 or 1/2 what you spend on groceries every week. Bonus rule: you don't have enough time to cook from scratch.

          You will eat a lot and get fat.

          The Enemy ('08): McCain/Palin........The Enemy ('09): Geithner/Summers

          by slaney black on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:33:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank You (9+ / 0-)

            so much for clearing that up.

            I'm Vegan, and always having to explain to people who claim that I don't eat "real food", that they are, in fact, starving and dehydrated.  There's a reason it's called 'whole food', processed food is at best, partial food, and if someone is filling up on various, random liquids, they aren't getting the benefit of hydration that water and produce provide.

            Kindness is the most important thing.

            by Maori on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:16:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I need to ask a vegan this (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ilex, Ellinorianne, Maori

              Where do you eat most of your protein?  Soy products or something else?  Which leads me to, is it possible to be a vegan without soy?

              I am quite ignorant of vegan diets.

              •  I do (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AlanF, kilgore2345, ilex, Ellinorianne

                enjoy some soy products, but know Vegans who don't.

                My diet leans a bit more toward raw foodism, so I do lots of nuts, and I make seed pastes (ground seeds with olive oil and seasonings)for my pastas and rice dishes.

                Fortunately, food science has come a long way since I started, and going vegan can be quite yummy and nutritious.

                I get most of my b12 from nutritional yeast, it's awesome stuff, it can be made into cheese if cravings overwhelm.

                Kindness is the most important thing.

                by Maori on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:49:52 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  How about beans? n/t (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NC Dem, ilex, Ellinorianne, Maori

                (-9.88, -8.87) Namaste.

                by liberate on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 01:44:40 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  The question of soy in our diets... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kilgore2345, ilex, Ellinorianne

                   doesn't get enough attention. Look at most any processed food now and it has soy products in it. For many men, soy can be deadly. The current issue of Men's Health has a great article on the effects it can cause.

                   Even though I eat fish 2-3 times per week, I also take fish oil capsules to get more Omega-3's. When I looked at the Whole Foods 365 brand that I have normally taken, it shows that they also contain soy products. I have now found another source which has no soy and less than 40 mg of Omega 6's.

                   The balance between Omega 3's and 6's is critical to good health. Over the last two decades, we have gone from a ratio of 2-3 to 1 to almost 30-1 in the omega-6 direction.

            •  I'm not a vegan, but I completely agree (12+ / 0-)

              that we don't eat food in this country.

              We eat processed calories stuffed with preservatives and stuffed into expensive packaging.

              I remember walking around a grocery store and noticing all the fat people (including me) waddling around it. Then I looked at what was displayed for purchase.

              It was all junk, fatty, greasy, salty, empty calories.

              Many people who are fat actually are malnourished. When our bodies are malnourished from all that junk, we crave fast calories. Thus, we eat more junk and become even more malnourished.

              Moral: don't buy anything with a brand name on it. You're paying mostly for packaging anyway, and you're not going to get much nutrition out of it.

              Buy fresh veggies and fruit in season. They're cheaper that way than if they're put into expensive packaging with chemical preservatives. Get different colors so you've got a good vitamin balance. I just steam mine. It's as easy as using a microwave.

              If you're not a vegetarian, buy real meat. You cook it in the same way as the prepackaged crap. I get large quantities at Costco and freeze it in portions. I get huge bags of beans and rice at Costco (nothing but beans and rice, nothing else included) and store that in smaller portions.

              I get real steel-cut oatmeal from a bin. I scoop it up and pay 89% per pound. Eat that in the morning with real fruit and you won't be hungry until lunch.

              And you have to exercise. Mild exercise is as good as the tough stuff. Just walk around the neighborhood--that's all you need to do.

              If you eat real food, not fake processed food, you won't get suddenly hungry because you won't be malnourished.

              Stay out of the middle of the grocery store. Don't even walk down the aisles. Shop on the sides of the store for the real food.

              Not only will you be healthy, you'll save money too.

              May your entire existence be one sensuous, frolic-filled experience lived in defiance of care!

              by Fonsia on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 01:06:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Addendum (12+ / 0-)

                Yes, it takes a long time to make real oatmeal. I make it once every two weeks in three big pots and freeze it in individual portions.

                In the morning I just nuke it.

                I do the same with the beans and rice. Make it in a crock pot and freeze it in individual portions once every two weeks. Then nuke.

                Also, I'm stuck in the house as a 24/7 caregiver, so I can't do the walk around the neighborhood that I recommend. (I have a healthrider, and I'm struggling to get myself onto that every day. Once I overcome the inertia I'll be fine though. I've done it before.)

                I am, however, slowly losing weight.


                May your entire existence be one sensuous, frolic-filled experience lived in defiance of care!

                by Fonsia on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 01:16:12 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Real food (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                moosely2006, ilex, Fonsia

                whole food is key.  I eat processed foods but more real food than others do I'm sure.  It's just trying to find a balance.  I need to drink more water too, I'm awful about that.

                Please help me get to Netroots Nation! Please.

                by Ellinorianne on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 02:24:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The water takes awhile to get used to (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ilex, Ellinorianne, Maori

                  I tried drinking the recommended eight glasses years ago, and spent half my time in the bathroom.

                  However, your body adjusts.

                  Now I just lug a water bottle (BHP free) around with me all the time and take frequent sips rather than trying to gulp a whole glass at once.

                  About the only other thing I drink is milk and cranberry juice. But I admit that once per week, I have perhaps two glasses of diet coke with a restaurant lunch (I usually can get out of the house for about three hours per week, and I like to go to restaurants and have somebody wait on me for a change!)

                  Yeah, diet coke is lousy for you, but two restaurant glasses per week amounts to maybe one can, and I don't think that'll kill me.

                  I usually have the chicken ceasar salad at Mimi's. Yum.

                  May your entire existence be one sensuous, frolic-filled experience lived in defiance of care!

                  by Fonsia on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 02:46:35 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  shop the perimeter (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I read that somewhere, it helped.

              •  Beautiful Post (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ilex, Ellinorianne, Campfire30

                I'm the only Vegan in my house. Hubby and kids eat meat and cheese, but I insist on organic or free range. I know it can get pricey, but once or twice a week for organic meat is a good start, maybe toward only cutting down on meat, rather than cold turkey (no pun intended).
                Another thing people don't get right away, is how filling whole food is. I can eat a plate of brown rice, steamed veggies, and beans or seeds, and a small salad, and be stuffed. It's like the veggies swell in your tummy or something. I feel satisfied without the bogged down, slightly nauseaus (sp) feeling I remember after a SAD (standard American diet) meal.

                Farmer's Markets are a wonderful resource: save money, eat seasonal, support local farms and farmers.

                Kindness is the most important thing.

                by Maori on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 03:40:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thank you (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ilex, projahstice, Ellinorianne, Maori

                  for being vegan. It's very helpful to the rest of the world, so on behalf of everyone, thank you.

                  You're right about that point - people aren't really aware that a vegan diet is filling. I eat whenever I feel like eating, whatever I want. I have grilled veggies, eggplant-marinara hoagies, fried potatoes with onions and mushrooms, bean salads, Chinese take-out, pesto pizza, fresh coconut and mango smoothies, chocolate, tacos, rice and herbs, bagels, on and on... My diet is not the healthiest, but I'm working on it. (And it is cruelty-free.)

                  If you're looking to lose weight, you can certainly do it without going vegan, but going vegan would be a great step and have a trillion positive side effects (for you and everyone else in the world).

                  "If we don't fight hard enough for the things we stand for, at some point we have to recognize that we don't really stand for them." ~Senator Paul Wellstone

                  by Campfire30 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 04:36:07 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Right On. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ilex, Ellinorianne

                    The important thing to remember with any new way of doing things, is baby steps.
                    People usually imagine Veganism as this sweeping, radical, extreme life change, it doesn't have to be.

                    Some people start ballz out, all-at-once (I did) Vegan, but it can also be done in the beginning by simply switching gears: make meat the side dish rather than the main course, or eat more fruit during the day (a piece or 2), or bigger salads st night.

                    I know Vegans who'd never advocate eating meat, but I like to meet people where they are, much more effective and realistic.
                    You sound like you're doing great, and hey, don't begrudge yourself treats, you're human, we like treats. :-)

                    Kindness is the most important thing.

                    by Maori on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 04:54:29 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  We need Whole Food, for starters (12+ / 0-)

            Factory-farm produced food contains the calories but not the whole food our bodies need, so we eat more of this empty food stuff because our bodies rightly feel that they are being starved to death. Diets do not work for long because they just intensify the feeling of starvation. Our bodies feel threatened and our survival instincts kick in. As long as we eat mostly foods that do not fill our bodies’ needs. we will get fat and malnourished at the same time.  

            If we continue to focus on food quantity (counting calories) instead of whole food quality, we will continue the binge/starve cycle that is so detrimental to our health. Supplements are a huge industry as we are being told to replace what's missing in our foods with the right pill. Billions of dollars worth of those supplements literally are flushed down the toilet because our bodies are unable to utilize them.

            The answer is, of course, whole foods that are grown and allowed to ripen as nature intended and eaten as close to their natural state as possible. If you grow your own, you have the greatest control over the quality of your food. If that is not possible, visit your local farmer’s market or subscribe to a CSA (community supported agriculture). Discover slow food and make it part of your life. (Remember, since you will live longer, you will have the time for it.) Read Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food" and know this:

            Michelle Obama’s White House vegetable patch is revolutionary!

            Just some examples:

            In 2003 News Canada reported that today's fruit and vegetables contain far fewer nutrients than they did 50 years ago. Potatoes, tomatoes, bananas and apples were notably less nutritious. For example, the study found that potatoes had lost 100 % of their vitamin A content, 57% of their vitamin C and iron, and 28% of their calcium. The report went on to examine data from the US Department of Agriculture involving vegetable quality, which showed that over the entire 20th century the average mineral content of vegetables declined from 400mg to less than 50mg.  (News Canada, August 2003)

            ...the eggs from chickens raised on free range were much more nutritious - up to twice as rich in vitamin E, up to six times richer in beta carotene (a form of vitamin A) and four times richer in essential omega-3 fatty acids. And, the free-range eggs averaged only half as much cholesterol as the USDA data indicates for confinement-system eggs.

            I have won the War on Terror, and so can you. Simply refuse to be afraid.

            by heiderose1 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 01:24:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Absolutely (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Couldn't agree with you more.

          •  So true. Lots of malnutritioned obese kids. :-(. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ilex, Ellinorianne

            President Barack Obama. 11.04.08.

            by PoliticalJunkessa on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 05:09:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  OMG... (19+ / 0-)

          I really wasn't going to comment in this diary. I have very strong feelings, and will share my thoughts--and lend my support personally and privately--with my friend E. I'm proud of her for her honesty here. Obesity is physically and emotionally painful. I know.

          But "exercise doesn't burn that many calories?" Umm...wish I could show you my Size 3X dress, and now, my Size 8 jeans. I had a huge medication- and illness-induced weight gain, and obstacles to losing that weight that most people could never dream of. (See my diary from yesterday for some idea. I don't even mention the orthopedic challenges.)

          My history of anorexia, and permanently f-ed metabolism, means exercise is the only way for me to lose weight. Oh, I burn calories exercising. You'd better believe it. The Size 8 jeans tell the story. And I'm damn proud of it. I earned every ounce of weight loss. I eat a healthy diet. But I lost weight because I burned the calories EXERCISING.

          Sweet are the uses of adversity...Find tongues in the trees, books in the brooks, and good in everything. -Shakespeare, As You Like It.

          by earicicle on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:30:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  True true true. (9+ / 0-)

            But I lost weight because I burned the calories EXERCISING.

            You need both, especially if you have a messed-up metabolism. Starvation diets in my past and genetic predisposition mean I can maintain or gain on a very low number of calories (1100 or less).  I tried diet alone (no dice, and quick plateaus). I tried excercise alone (weight loss so slow it drove me crazy; and I couldn't stand the backsliding every month that came with hormonal changes and water retention).

            It wasn't until I combined better eating with regular excercise that the weight started to drop. My latest triumphs (running up a flight of stairs, and shaving 10 minutes off of my walking time on my 2.5 mile walk home) wouldn't have been possible even a month or so ago. I don't do scales, but I've lost almost 17" overall, and dropped 2 sizes since January. Without the excercise?  Wouldn't have happened.

            I'm getting a recumbent bike this month - I can't wait!  My present to me, for sticking to this thing. I'm swooning at the number of calories you can burn on those things (yeah, I know conventional bikes burn more, but my back and knee are messed up, so I have to go recumbent).

            Anyway, you should be proud of that work you've done.  It is not easy, especially at the beginning. I wish it were easier to let people know what we go through, or simulate how it feels to try and move these bodies. The closest I can imagine is "Okay, fine, be smug, do your workout. But first, here, strap this 120-lb person onto your back before you start...yeah, not so easy now, is it?"  

          •  I'm damn proud of you (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NC Dem, Cliss, ilex, earicicle

            and you are now my personal hero.  How you did that is a story I want to hear and with the health issues you're dealing with and medication, etc.  YOu can truly relate to the frustrations revolving around food and fat and that it's not just black and white.

            And exercise doesn't just burn calories when you're doing it, you burn more calories through the next few ours as well.  

            People don't want to accept it but it's one of the few components of a must have in any weight loss program, without it weight loss is impossible to maintain and it why so many people regain.

            Please help me get to Netroots Nation! Please.

            by Ellinorianne on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 02:26:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  As I say in a comment WAY down below... (4+ / 0-)

              I will share all with you! Feeling very drained today, and will be out of the house all day tomorrow. But we'll make contact via e, and we can talk on the phone too. Maybe later this week, or this weekend.

              You can do this. If I did it, you can do it too. It's a long road, but you CAN do it. One step at a time, girl. And you will feel so great along the way, as you're achieving goals, and especially once you leave obesity behind forever. And think of the example you'll be setting for your daughter! A healthy relationship to food and exercise and body image. As if she wasn't Wonder Woman in training already! ;-)

              Sweet are the uses of adversity...Find tongues in the trees, books in the brooks, and good in everything. -Shakespeare, As You Like It.

              by earicicle on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 02:34:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Pardon me... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cedwyn, Ellinorianne, Maori, liberate

          exercise doesn't really burn that many calories.

          But what the bloody green hell are you talking about here?

      •  This is one thing (98+ / 0-)

        I'm proud of that my daughter loves food for all the right reasons.  She kissed her dessert last night, which was a bunch of organic grapes.  SHE KISSED HER FRUIT because she was so excited to have them.

        That to me is a triumph, she loves fruit and veggies and she drinks water before anything else.  It's possible.

        Please help me get to Netroots Nation! Please.

        by Ellinorianne on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:13:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We also need to look closely at our attitudes (35+ / 0-)

        about what is 'overweight.'  The thin obsession that has prevailed since the 1970's is just insane--most healthy human beings actually do have some body fat, but you'd never know it from looking at our current standards of beauty and body type.

        "Going to church does not make us Christians any more than stepping into our garage makes us a car." --Rev R. Neville

        by catleigh on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:00:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  YES (29+ / 0-)

          I'm so tired of seeing commercials with anorexic women.  I feel for those who are anorexic or bulimic, don't misunderstand me... but I'm tired of the media promoting anorexia as "the way to be".

          Being too skinny is just as unhealthy as carrying too much weight.

          When I said that we needed to educate our children better, I meant in all senses.

          Teach them:

          about eating healthier
          about healthy exercise and how to have fun while doing it (if they're able to exercise)
          compassion for those who have difficulties

          And teach our medical community to STOP treating the overweight as if it's just laziness.  There are a lot of causes of obesity, and some are medical issues.

          AND - teach the manufacturing sector that "prettier" does NOT mean better when it comes to food.  Lasting three years on the shelf does not make food BETTER.

          We should have more local foods available, and healthier options.

          There are a lot of changes needed in our society, for sure - and we as individuals can start making those changes in our own lives, and with our own children.

          "Spread happiness... share it with all those who seek it." - Keith Olbermann

          by Diogenes2008 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:06:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The last time I weighed what the bmi tells me.. (16+ / 0-)

 healthy, I was 16 and rail thin. I hadn't developed the adult curves that come a bit later in life, and I had just finished an extended stay in the hospital, bedridden. The last time I was very fit I was 25, weighed 200 lbs, and had flat abs and lots of muscle (I was walking a lot and swimming an hour a day). But I was technically on the verge of being obese, based on my bmi. The bmi formula does not work well for tall or athletic people.

          •  actually, it does work (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I'm 6-6 and have been athletic all my life. I don't need to carry 50 pounds of "curves" aka fat. No reason in the world to weigh more than the BMI. Unless you're a pro football player and are OK with a short life expectancy. Muscle bulk has little real use for most of us, and goes away as you get older, so you should actually strive for your high school or college weight.

            fouls, excesses and immoderate behavior are scored ZERO at Over the Line, Smokey!

            by seesdifferent on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:28:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Actually no it doesn't (13+ / 0-)

              BMI is a tool for trying to guage the obesity of a large sample (population).  Applying it to specific people is typically not accurate unless their other physical attributes are around the mean.  You don't need much muscle mass to easily tip the BMI "scales" into the overweight or obese range.  The best shape I've been in was at the end of college, 6' 2", 220, not much strength training, but I would run about 30 miles a week.  Still considered obese.  From the Wiki:

              BMI has become controversial because many people, including physicians, have come to rely on its apparent numerical authority for medical diagnosis, but that was never the BMI's purpose. It is meant to be used as a simple means of classifying sedentary (physically inactive) individuals with an average body composition
              For a given height, BMI is proportional to weight. However, for a given weight, BMI is inversely proportional to the square of the height. So, if all body dimensions double, and weight scales naturally with the cube of the height (as is the case with a spherical cow), then BMI doubles instead of remaining the same. This results in taller people having a reported BMI that is uncharacteristically high compared to their actual body fat levels. This anomaly is partially offset by the fact that many taller people are not just "scaled up" short people, but tend to have narrower frames in proportion to their height.

              Instead of BMI, why don't we base fitness on actual measurements of FITNESS, instead of gross estimates?

              Mountaintop Removal Mining: trading our purple mountain majesties for central air.

              by demotarian on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:45:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I'm talking about "hips" (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              catleigh, ilex, Ellinorianne

              I didn't develop larger breasts and wide hips until my late teens. I wasn't overweight at 20, but I was rail thin at 16 after leaving the hospital. Not enough muscle to even stand up without a walker. When I was fit I wasn't bulky. Swimming and walking don't bulk you up unless you are fanatic about it. I have read experts saying that for tall people the bmi simply isn't realiable. You just can't apply a single formula to all the people in the world and get a reasonable result.

              In college, when I was fit, I was 200 lbs. That is 35 lbs higher than the bmi tells me I should be, but I would kill to have the figure I had then. I won't ever weigh what the bmi tells me I should - unless I end up in the hospital again.

          •  I seldom look at my BMI, but... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            catleigh, ilex

              I do look constantly at my body fat %. Over a two year period, I have moved it from an obese 34% to a better 24%. Although I have only lost 30 lbs, I have actually lost almost 40 lbs in fat and gained 10 lbs of muscle. I feel better today at age 60 than I did when I was moved into my 40's.

        •  models are too thin, yes.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          but increasingly the population is overweight. Since we are not thin models,  but rather are the fat ones, I suggest we recognize the true fact and dangers of obesity. It's not an obsession with thinness or "insurance company tables."
          Fat/overeating is a hugely expensive and dangerous problem. Life expectancy may actually begin to FALL as a result!!!!!!!

          fouls, excesses and immoderate behavior are scored ZERO at Over the Line, Smokey!

          by seesdifferent on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:15:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Don't overreact (10+ / 0-)

            Expensive and Dangerous? I think that this kind of attitude is partially a result of the level of judgementalism related to obesity. It's the new "smoking". The same people who brought you the anti-smoking campaigns are now attacking obesity. They make it sound as if it is the scourge of the modern world, to the point that people get dangerous surgery and take dangerous pills in an effort to get thinner. Obesity is not the only problem in the world. Try not to join the judgementalism. Accept people for who they are. There are a lot of people costing us a lot in terms of medical costs who aren't judged. I don't judge alcoholics when they need liver transplants - I don't expect to be judged for my weight, either.

          •  Models are thin (4+ / 0-)

            for a reason, and most of them are young girls who are naturally thin.
            The 90 pound waif who can barely stand from not eating is a stereotype, that makes 'normal' women feel better.   Yes it happens, but is not the norm, as the average model weighs in at around 120, and usually has nutritional advisors and personal trainers.

            So as unfair and discouraging as it may sound, most models are healthy, most agents won't take a girl who looks sick, it photographs badly.

            Kindness is the most important thing.

            by Maori on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:34:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That average model, though. . . (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              catleigh, ilex, Ellinorianne

              . . . is around 5'9" to 6', on which 120 lbs is a very thin frame. And most of them are very young. I went to modeling school (oh yes!) at age 24, just for fun. There was a girl in my class, a working swimsuit model. She had just turned 13, and was 5'11". I overheard the folks at the agency saying she was starting to get "lines" (i.e. wrinkles) and probably only had another year to work!

              At 5' 5.5" and 125 lbs, I was told I should really lose 5 or 10 pounds, which was ridiculous. I was never going to "work" as a model anyway, since you really have to be 5'7 or more for runway, except if you model petites, and then you have to be under 5'4".

              The top photo and runway models may have coaches, etc., but your "average" model does not have those advantages. It can be a very abusive occupation, and one which, for most girls, doesn't last long.

              I also don't buy the "thin for a reason" thing either. They say it's to "show off the clothes better". That's like showing off clothes on a hanger - it doesn't represent how they would look on the average person. Indeed, clothes that are flattering on the very thin are quite different than those that are flattering to the medium-sized.

              "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." -William Morris

              by Robespierrette on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 01:12:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ok, (0+ / 0-)

                well, I spent my teen years and early adulthood modeling, and I still do it in Summer when strapped for cash.

                I'm 5'8, and my usual weight is 120. I don't know if that's 'ridiculous' or not, but I've never been lectured about it, and I've never been abused.

                Maybe other models are as oppressed and miserable as you say, but I didn't meet any of those,I just saw it as a fun way to make money while you're young.   And I'm sorry if it offends, but longer, taller bodies do show off clothing according to the designer's intent.
                Seeing clothes on 'the average person' doesn't usually inspire people to buy, fashion is as much about art as it is about merchandising.

                I'm not saying it's fair or unfair, just the way it is.

                Kindness is the most important thing.

                by Maori on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 03:06:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  True. (0+ / 0-)

                  I have done modeling myself, but for art photographers and painters.

                  120 on 5'8" would have been acceptable to the folks at the modeling school. 125 on only 5'5" was "fat". Go figure. What I meant about the "ridiculous" was that there was no way I was going to drop 5 or 10 pounds to please them! :)

                  It's telling that "seeing clothes on 'the average person' doesn't usually inspire people to buy" - folks are just buying illusion, I guess. The dress will not look like that on them, but they can hold on to the mental picture from the catalog. . . and deal with the cognitive dissonance by avoiding a mirror? That's why I just go look at clothes in the stores when I need something - catalog and advertising pictures don't give me the information I need, which is "How will it look on me?".

                  "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." -William Morris

                  by Robespierrette on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:11:38 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Bzzzzt. Try again. (6+ / 0-)

            Fat/overeating is a hugely expensive and dangerous problem. Life expectancy may actually begin to FALL as a result!!!!!!!

            Well, you're partially right.  Life expectancy does fall when you're significantly overweight. But as for fat being "hugely expensive" - how so?  Higher hospital or healthcare costs? Costs involving disability payments? Nope.

            It is precisely because obese people don't live as long as thin people that they actually cost LESS over a lifetime than a thin person would. Overweight people (on the whole) tend to make less money, are more likely to be underinsured or uninsured, go to the doctor or receive health care less frequently, and yes, they do die earlier.  Same with smokers.  When you lop 10-20 years off of someone's life expectancy (the most expensive years of someone's life, excluding the costs surrounding pregnancy and birth), and you save money.

            I used to be a number cruncher for the health insurance industry, so I'm happy to clear up this misconception.

            Of course, finances do play a part in the obesity epidemic (and you do realize it is a disease process, not merely a matter of willpower, morality, or a simple, clinical exchange of calories in/energy out, right?).  It's often cheaper to feed a family crappy processed food than it is to eat the good-for-you stuff.  I never ate much fast food myself, but the same crap ingredients (salt, trans-fats, high fructose corn syrup) lurk in normal, everyday foods like catsup, sliced bread, lunch meats, or breakfast cereals.

            You may hate/fear/be baffled by/unable to resist judging fat and overweight people, but don't hide it as concern based on economics, 'cause that dog don't hunt.

        •  10 or 15 pounds (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          overweight is fine - but really, being heavy is just unhealthy.  Bad for your back and knees and heart and vascular system and lungs and all of you.  Of course everyone can not be a size 8 or even a size 10 but serious amounts of extra weight is serious.  And it cost everyone in this country money in health care costs.  Try walking instead of taking the car.  Park five blocks from where you are going if you do take the car.  Don't buy bread or butter or cookies.  Keep the house full of carrots and fruit.  Drink water not soda of any sort.  Slow and steady and you can lose the weight

      •  When a baby cries we should resist the temptation (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        to always offer food. Maybe the baby just wants some interaction or affection. Try that first then offer some water. Babies can tell us in no uncertain terms when they are really hungry.

        By 'baby' I mean children under 5 years old.

        This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

        by Agathena on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:37:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I love water, but babies under 6 months should (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          not be given water, as then they are less likely to get the nutrition they need.

          I'm with you on your comment about crying however, just wanted to offer that caveat.

          Hypocrisy, the eighth deadly sin.

          by cocomas on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 03:12:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  There was an article online about two weeks ago (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ellinorianne, Diogenes2008

        detailing how France and Japan in particular addressed school lunches.
        They variety and quality of food really stood out--plus it was viewed as a teaching tool.

        "The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you." - David Foster Wallace

        by John Shade on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 01:25:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And one of the root causes rarely discussed (6+ / 0-)

        is the fact that we're only centuries removed from times when we had to gain weight to survive harsh winters. This makes fatty foods attractive to the point of craziness. Grease, sugar, fat - all trigger something very deep within us. Knowing it can help fight it.

        And the other root cause rarely discussed is the simple plethora of foods available to us. The average American has more foods available to them than the richest Kings and Queens in history. And in most places, it's available 24/7. So, the temptations today are greater than ever before.

        It helps me to know that, in large part, I'm at war, not against some deep inner emotional need that needs filling, but simply against my genetics and the temptations caused by plentiful availability of fatty and greasy foods.

        So, cut yourself some slack on the emotional front, at least to a certain degree.  Become aware of that other voice - genetic survival - and tell it to shut up. You don't need those french fries to survive. You don't need that ice cream to survive.

        Good luck on losing the weight. It's a tough battle, but one that can be won.

        Change the media ownership laws - break up the corporate media monopoly!

        by moosely2006 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 02:20:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  not a lot (0+ / 0-)

        some, yes, but the vast majority of obesity cases are not due to medical issues.  if they were, we would not be seeing obesity spike like this.  

        New Rule: You may not simultaneously celebrate the Civil War *and* diss the South.

        by Cedwyn on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 03:46:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Want a tip, stop beating yourself up (50+ / 0-)

      Ignore everything you know about food, exercise and dieting and stop blaming yourself.

      Listen to me, I know whereof I speak.  I am a big fat guy.  Currently about 6'1 and 325  once  about 365, in between however I was about 260 after 3 months of "dieting". and NO this was in no way "Unsafe" or any of the other stupid adjectives poorly trained doctors like to throw at situation like this

      Let me tell you my story briefly.  For YEARS I was obsessed about my weight, ate a strict low-fat diet and spent an hour in the gym EVERY DAY 7 days a week, without fail  1/2 hour of cardio 1/2 of intense weightlifting.  In that time I went from 326 to 323. Then when work made me cut back on the gym I went all the way up to 365 and started feeling almost suicidal about it.

      A friend gave me a book called "Protein Power" by two Doctors, that basically called for an Atkins-Style low carb diet, and then proceeded to lay out the medical and endocrinological basis for it. (this was important to me, I cam from a medical family and thought of Atkins as a dangerous fad diet)

      But desperate, I jumped in, and began eating tons of "forbidden" foods like eggs, cheese, peanut butter, even bacon.  

      In two weeks I lost 15lbs.  When I went to the gym I noticed my endurance on the treadmill doubled (one of the microhormones released opens your airways)  My BP dropped from 180/110 to 135/80 without drugs (also predicted by the book)

      at the end of two months I was down 85 pounds, was NEVER hungry, and never felt "food deprivation" (I think i was eating MORE every day not less)  at the end of three months, even though work pressure was such that I couldn't go the gym at all anymore, I was down 100+ pounds (it dropped off at the rate of almost 2lbs a day)

      In the ensuing 9 years I've gained a family and am very busy, and after hearing a lot of propaganda about how dangerous the diet was, I tapered it off and then dropped it alltogether about 6 years ago...Since then the weight has gradually crept back up, I'm on medicine for my high BP, and I'm much less happy than I was.  Thus I'm preparing to start it over again.

      But here's the really interesting part: my weight doesn't bother me nearly as much anymore.  because I know HOW to change my body shape, almost at will, I've come to the wondrously peaceful revelation that "I am not my body"  and my size matters far less to me now.

      Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

      by Magorn on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:34:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's amazing how counterintuitive (18+ / 0-)

        the eat all the fat you want and no carbs is. Seems like everyone who does it reports the same. I did it about 8 years ago and my cholesterol went down 60 points. My dr. was congratulating me while saying it wasn't possible for the diet to do that. Eventually I went back to bread and beer with the predictable consequences.

        music- the universal language

        by daveygodigaditch on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:53:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Protein Power (17+ / 0-)

          Has an extensive and Chemistry heavy explanation of precisely why excess dietary fat, in absence of insulin makes "good" Cholesterol and lowers "bad"

          The short answer is that your body has a choice of making cells make their own Cholesterol or scavenging it from the blood stream.  The biochemical switch from one to the other is the presence or absence of insulin.  When the Body scavenges it fromt he bloodstream it A) lowers overall lipid count and b) tends to make the more dense HDL rather than the LDL

          It is truly amazing how many doctors will pronounce on matters of diet and nutrition without bothering to do the research on basic endocrinology first

          Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

          by Magorn on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:05:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  KEY: Always eat a good breakfast (9+ / 0-)

          NOTE: I am a very skinny guy- 6'3/160 and I have had cholseterol problems in the past, even though I run a lot, and have run 4 marathons in the past 3 years.  (Staying well hydrated is especially important if you are excercising a lot.)

          But never skip breakfast, and eat something fairly substantial.  I find when I do I can often skip lunch and not be too put out.  Drinking water is key to this though.

          My obsession with breakfast began 10 years ago when my wife's friend told her about a diet where you eat anything you want, starting with a good breakfast, but you cannot eat any carbohydrates.
          I took up this diet and began by eating bacon and egg breakfasts (that's where I overdid it with the cholesterol), however, the breakfast was so filling that I usually felt good for most of the day and didn't always need a lunch.  At the end of the day, you can eat all the carbohydrates you want, and usually you are craving them.  The problem with carbohydrates though is that sugars will turn into fat if not used. And the simpler the sugar, the quicker it will convert to fat once digested.  So the purpose of the diet is to actually wean you off of carbs, if not significantly reduce them. That is why the Atkins type diets are so successful- they, at the very least, steer you away from carbs and towards richer foods, so you don't feel hungry all the time.  And being sated is very important to the success of any of these diets, so you are not "grazing" between meals.  Drinking lots of water helps a lot too.

          •  I eat breakfast (7+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NYFM, Lashe, NC Dem, Nulwee, ilex, Zulia, CanyonWren

            everyday as does my daughter.  It's important.

            Please help me get to Netroots Nation! Please.

            by Ellinorianne on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:19:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The key to carbs.... (0+ / 0-)

               is to make as many as possible "complex" carbs. The more highly refined the food is, the quicker the sugars hit your system.

               I really try to limit my carbs after 5:00 PM. If I have to eat a later dinner, I only nibble on any processed food and even keep the whole food vegetables like corn, peas, brocolli to a minimum. No rice or potatoes after 5:00 PM.

               I am usually up early and eat a great breakfast within one hour of getting up. I sometimes have steel rolled oatmeal with fresh blueberries but most mornings I will have three eggs, grits ( I add cheese), and a piece of whole wheat bread. Usually this is 500-600 calories but it works for me because it stays in my system longer and I seldom get hunger pains until 12:00-1:00 PM. If I work out hard in the morning, I might make a small protein fruit coction with some whey protein to repair muscle damage from a strong workout.

      •  I've tried (14+ / 0-)

        Protein Power and the Zone and agree they work better than the carb-heavy Weight Watchers and other "traditional" diets. I've battled my weight all my adult life, and have tried WW so many times.

        When I was on the Zone diet (a 40-30-30 carb-protein-fat ratio) I lost weight easily but found the diet unrealistic to maintain long-term, what with children, work and just "real life."

        I want to try again, though. Good luck to you as you start again.

        •  It doesn't work for everybody (20+ / 0-)

          Weight Watchers is not carb heavy. You eat what you want, but they encourage you to eat lean protein. I am on WW and I eat more protein than carbs, but I also eat whole grains and sweet foods when I want. I've lost 15 lbs so far. I had lost 40 previously when I hit a stressful period in my life and went off program.  Studies have found that most of the weight loss programs have similar effectiveness, but nutritionists prefer Weight Watchers because it teaches good eating habits with a variety of foods and is easier to stay with for the very long haul because people can eat whatever they want - as long as they follow a few basic rules and calculate their food intake using a fairly simple point system.

          •  Stop the Marketing Madness (4+ / 0-)

            You are trying all these fad diets. They simply do not work. Sure, you can lose weight while on them, but then you go off the diet, the weight comes back, and the company that sold you all the diet stuff made lots of money.

            And this was after the marketing machines made you fat in the first place by convincing you to buy all this refined, fatty food laced with High Fructose Corn Syrup.

            So they made money making us fat, then sold us plans to get us thin, and then made more money luring us off the diets and making us fat again.

            Jane! Stop this crazy thing!

            The answer is to stop eating processed foods. Avoid high-fructose corn syrup. Eat a mix of leaves and seeds with the occasional meat product thrown in.

            Read Michael Pollan.

            Also follow Jill Richardson and her La Vida Locavore blog.

            Find a local chapter of the Slow Food movement. There are lots of them all around the country.

            Avoid anyone who wants to sell you a plan or a pill that makes is easy to lose weight. You can only do it by changing your priorities and your lifestyle. And American Corporate Culture will fight you every step of the way.

            Hopelessly pedantic since 1963.

            by admiralh on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:04:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No more diets for me (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              admiralh, NC Dem, ilex, Zulia, hillgiant

              and I'm reading those books and I love La Vida Locavore.  This is part of the reason it's political, it really matters that we see the connections.

              Please help me get to Netroots Nation! Please.

              by Ellinorianne on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:20:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Weight Watchers is not a fad diet. (8+ / 0-)

              It is an excellent way of teaching yourself how to eat like a normal weight person; no foods are forbidden, but in order to follow the program, you will find yourself eating lean protein and fruits & veggies, and only occasional sweets.  IF you are following the plan.

              I will agree with you on your other points.  I love Michael Pollan's books, and I try very hard to avoid the nasty HFCS.  And one objection I do have to Weight Watchers is that they are always trying to sell you processed snack foods at the meetings.  If you ignore their product marketing, and just follow the program, you will do fine.

              •  Any organization that sells branded processed ... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                snack foods is officially a fad. Or at least so corrupted by corporate greed that its no longer useful.

                For me, WW is too much work to count calories. And then you start buying "Lite" products that add extra processing to put in the texture and flavor that was removed by making it light in the first place. And then you want to eat more, so counting calories becomes vital. It's a vicious cycle.

                If I ever see a Michael Pollan branded box on the grocery store shelf, I'll know he has completely jumped the shark :-)

                Hopelessly pedantic since 1963.

                by admiralh on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:24:52 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  WW isn't a fad (8+ / 0-)

              It's a variation on counting calories, which is the oldest and least faddish of dieting methods. I don't buy WW foods, I subscribe on-line, which is about $25/month. They don't claim it's easy or quick - 2 lbs/week (no more), no pills, no special food requirements. You just track what you eat with a formula that anybody could apply (or they provide point info for you if you're mathphobic). The formula is calories/50 + fat/12 - fiber/5 for the first 4 grams of fiber only. Your daily points allowance changes based on how much you weigh, so large people don't end up starving (you need more food when you weigh more). But I don't even need to calculate most things. 3 oz lean meat is 3 points. 1 cup milk is 3 points. An apple is 1, or 2 if it's large. Banana - 2. I don't have to count calories, which makes it easier. Exercise earns me more points. I get a budget weekly for special occassions. They encourage you to eat/drink dairy daily, eat a low fat/high fiber diet, eat 5 fruits/veges, take a vitamin, eat healthy oils, exercise, and eat whole grains with check off boxes. It's pretty simple, very healthy, and not at all faddish. It is the only way I've ever been able to lose weight without either starving myself or exercising 3 hours/day (who has time).

              There is no magic to not eating processed foods - I can quickly cook up a meal from scratch that would amaze you with it's calorie content, or I can carefully scan the labels of processed food containers and choose something healthy. There is also no magic in avoiding corn syrup. Calories are calories. Eating more than your body can burn will make you gain weight. Slow food is, imo, a fad. So is the recent anti corn syrup craze.

              •  WW is still nutritionism (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                The statement that you have to take a vitamin should be your first clue. You should be getting all your vitamins from food.

                And I certainly hope that slow food and anti-HFCS are not fads, because these are far more healthy than Atkins, South Beach, Jenny Craig, and all the other well-marketed corporate "health" fads.

                But since both these movements are essentially anti-corporate, you'll see lots of well-funded attempts to destroy them.

                Hopelessly pedantic since 1963.

                by admiralh on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:30:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Nutritionism? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kilgore2345, Ellinorianne

                  That would be focusing on nutrition? It is difficult to get all of your vitamins from food, even if you eat a lot of veges. Most nutritionists agree on that and recommend a multivitamin daily. Of course, I'm sure that most nutritionists subscribe to "nutritionism". I'm not against anything just because it is "corporate". Some corporations truly benefit the world. I have yet to see any efforts to destroy the slow food movement. It's just so poorly defined that it doesn't seem to be catching on very well.

                  Oh... and Weight watchers was founded in 1963, before I was born. It certainly isn't in the same class at Atkins, South Beach, or Jenny craig.

                  Happy eating, whatever food you choose. :-)

                  •  Atkins (3+ / 0-)

                    Oh... and Weight watchers was founded in 1963, before I was born. It certainly isn't in the same class at Atkins, South Beach, or Jenny craig.

                    Atkins published his diet in the early 1970s, if I'm recalling correctly, so it's been around quite a while as well.  It works great for some people, and it doesn't work for others.  

                    •  I stand (well, sit) corrected (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Bill W

                      I get sick as a dog on Atkins. Ketosis is not a good thing. Balanced meals, plenty of protein, fiber, and carbs, low (not-no) fat. Water. Exercise. I believe that these are the no so secret secrets to health. Now all I have to do is not surrender and eat peanut butter late at night. Do you have any idea how many calories there are in a tablespoon of peanut butter? <sigh>

                      •  Like I said... (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        dianem, ilex

                        ...Atkins, like most plans, works for some people and not for others.  I did well on it for a few years, but when my wife decided it wasn't for her, we switched to a low fat, low calorie approach. (I think Atkins is nearly impossible to do if you're having to accommodate non-Atkins diners at the same table.)  

                        No longer on Atkins, I'm very much enjoying learning to bake bread, but I do miss the barbeque.

                  •  Wikipedia is your friend (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    dianem, Ellinorianne

                    Hopelessly pedantic since 1963.

                    by admiralh on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 01:35:33 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  I like WW Online (0+ / 0-)

                It is easy.  All one has to do is enter the food or activity and it figure out the points.  This works well for me because it is easy.

                In nine lifetimes, you'll never know as much about your cat as your cat knows about you. - Michel de Montaigne

                by Sandy on Signal on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 05:39:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Oh, you do starve (0+ / 0-)

                At least I did. Eventually, the gnawing hunger pains subside and you stop thinking about food every second of every day--but it takes a good two weeks of sheer pain.

                Stephanie Dray
                of Jousting for Justice, a lefty blog with a Maryland tilt.

                by stephdray on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 11:52:22 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Weight Watchers isn't a fad (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              admiralh, Ellinorianne, Vacationland

              it's a cult!

        •  The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet (10+ / 0-)

          has worked for me. It's difficult to stick with for a long time, I'll admit. I loves me some bread and some chips. But I always come back to it and find success.

          The most amazing thing about it for me was the increased energy I felt when I gave up carbs during the day.  I used to do battle with afternoon tiredness, severe tiredness so that I could barely get up off the sofa sometimes. It was all I could do to climb a flight of stairs. Otherwise, I was a reasonably healthy 30-something woman. When I went on the Carb Addict's diet, that all changed. I found I had energy through the day. It seemed nothing short of miraculous, and it happened very quickly. On this diet, you can eat a normal amount of carbs for one meal per day, usually the evening meal. It's very relaxing then, and helps me wind down.

          Now, I can always tell the difference in my energy and mood when I'm not watching my carb intake.

          I do think that there are many different body types that will respond better or worse to different types of diets. There is no set answer for everyone. But this has been a godsend for me.

        •  IMHO, Dr. Andrew Weil does a pretty good (0+ / 0-)

          job of explaining the medical aspects of nutrition to the layman in his book, Eating Well for Optimum Heath.  He explains why white bread has a higher glycemic index than pure table sugar, that high fructose corn syrup makes your liver go haywire, and why the Atkins diet can mess with your brain.

          My dietitian said Dr. Weil's advice is pretty mainstream.  It's not all that restrictive, either.  He even says a little sugar is okay.  I'm sure you've all know he totes around a few extra pounds.  Yet he's still healthy.

          If you think every doctor knows about nutrition, on your next visit, ask yours to explain the Krebs cycle to you.  He or she had to memorize it in med school, but is almost guaranteed to have forgotten it shortly after the exam.

          After reading Weil's recommendations on allergy problems, I've noticed my symptoms get worse every time I eat dairy products.

          A jackass can kick down a barn but it takes a carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn (D-TX)

          by Ice Blue on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 03:10:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Read yourself some Michael Pollan (13+ / 0-)

        Especially The Omnivore's Dilemma.

        Low carb diets are dangerous (inducing ketosis is not natural, no matter what the Adkins propaganda might say.)

        What does Michael Pollan say the basis for a diet should be?

        Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

        And by food he means real food, the kind your grandmother would recognize.

        Hopelessly pedantic since 1963.

        by admiralh on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:41:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

          •  It nonsense no matter how it's spelled (0+ / 0-)


            Hopelessly pedantic since 1963.

            by admiralh on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:13:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not going to bother arguing... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              ...with someone whose sig line reads

              Hopelessly pedantic since 1963.

              Clearly, your mind is made up.

              •  Do you think that I'm unaware of the Atkins diet? (0+ / 0-)

                I even went on it for a couple of weeks back about 8-9 years ago (complete with strips for testing ketone levels and everything).

                I have never been more depressed in my entire life.

                My mind is made up about Atkins because I have researched it. I tried it. It made me feel both physically and mentally sick. How can this possibly be good for you?

                The diet is totally unnatural. We are omnivore's, not carnivores. We need to get nutrients from a wide variety of plants and animals.

                Atkins is simply a well-marketed plan to take money out of your pocket. You may lose weight, but it's not sustainable.

                Stick to real food (and I don't mean McDonalds).

                Hopelessly pedantic since 1963.

                by admiralh on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:43:16 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  huh? (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Bill W, Lashe, Edward Spurlock

                  You can eat plants on Atkins...You just need to keep carbs that are not from fiber below a certain threshold per day.

                  Mountaintop Removal Mining: trading our purple mountain majesties for central air.

                  by demotarian on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:50:18 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The point about Atkins ... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    is that it changes your body chemistry. Keeping your carbs below the threshold changes your body chemistry. I see this as being a bad thing.

                    As I said before, we as a species did not evolve to eat low-carb diets. We also did not evolve to eat low-fat diets. We evolved as omnivores that eat a variety of foods, and we need a variety of foods to be healthy.

                    Hopelessly pedantic since 1963.

                    by admiralh on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:15:54 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  As a species we did not evolve to (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      NC Dem, Edward Spurlock

                      eat processed/refined carbs either.  A typical caveman diet would be mostly lean game-meats, fruits and berries if in season, root veggies, grasses, nuts, etc...
                      Caveman diet
                      This specifically states that they likely did not eat:

                      Potatoes (less than 11,000 years old)
                      Cereal grains (rice, wheat, barley, corn)
                      Dairy products
                      Refined sugar products
                      Most alcohol; especially distilled
                      Modern fruits bred for high sugar content
                      Large amounts of salt (at least for those not living near the sea)
                      Foods that require cooking (the caveman did not have any mechanism for boiling beans for 2 hours, for example)

                      Mountaintop Removal Mining: trading our purple mountain majesties for central air.

                      by demotarian on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 01:42:07 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  LOL, I love food trolls from the carbohydrate (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bill W, Lashe, Ellinorianne

              .... junkies and the vegan crowd.  Too funny.

              There is no "ketosis" in a low carbohydrate maintenance diet, and some people with certain genetics do quite well on them.

              The irresponsible government Food Pyramid daily diet guide, and the low- fat diet craze taught us that most people attempting to eat themselves "thinner" on massive amounts of grain servings per day was a failure, yet still they persist.

              "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

              by AmericanRiverCanyon on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:40:17 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Did I say I was a vegan? I'm not. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Did I endorse eating massive amounts of grain servings per day? No. I didn't, and I don't.

                What I'm saying is that all the "fad" diets (low-carb, low fat, whatever) are all unnatural, unsustainable, and heavily marketed.

                And American consumer culture has swung back and forth following these fads. Calorie counting. Low-fat. No! Wait! Low-carb. Well, wait, let's look at that glycemic index. No something else.

                And the "food pyramid" is no better since it composition is so affected by the lobbying of the food industry.

                The problem here is what Michael Pollan calls "nutritionism". This is the idea that we can disrupt the natural food chain by figuring out what individual components we need, and then put them back together in some processed form to create a "food" that will sustain us.

                Just follow these seven words: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." (and by real food, we mean food your grandmother would recognize).

                Hopelessly pedantic since 1963.

                by admiralh on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:56:21 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  I just got this (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          admiralh, vigilant meerkat, blzabub8

          book and will be reading it, also the other one that's been making headlines, the end of overeating.

          Please help me get to Netroots Nation! Please.

          by Ellinorianne on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:21:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I heard an interview with David Kessler ... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lashe, kilgore2345, Ellinorianne

            not too long ago. I didn't realize he had a book coming out.

            The End of Overeating -

            I'll have to look into this one, too. Thanks.

            Just to give you my story. I'm 45, 5'6", and now weigh about 150. I've been jogging for almost 4 years (had my mid-life crisis where I decided to get off the couch), and even though I run about 20 miles/week (and even ran a half-marathon in a shade over 2 hours), the best I could do on my weight was drop from 165 to 155. I maintained, but my BMI was stuck in the "Overwight" range.

            I got The Omnivore's Dilemma as an audio book for a car trip my family was making two months ago. It inspired all of us to make serious changes to how we treated food.

            After two months, I've dropped 5 pounds (down to 150) and I think it will go further. My running times have also improved (I'm hoping to break 25 minutes in a 5K this weekend).

            And I haven't dieted. I haven't starved myself. I don't hate food.

            Hopelessly pedantic since 1963.

            by admiralh on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:35:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I am a Michael Pollan fan (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ellinorianne, blzabub8

            so I can recommend his books to you; I think they will help.  I have also just read The End of Overeating---interesting take on how the American food industry manipulates people into eating junk.

          •  reading it right now at my desk (4+ / 0-)

            It seems that the key difference between many fat and thin people is that thin people have developed counter strategies to the food industry's manipulation of food products. They add fat, salt and sugar to everything to put our brain's reward system into over drive, we then gain weight and our body resets its basal weight level making it hard to go back to our original weight. Successful strategies involve mitigating the reward system so it stays under control and we avoid binges.

            I would add my personal strategies:

            drink lots of water, it makes you feel fuller and speeds digestion of everything you eat.

            willpower is most important when shopping, if I don't buy something, I don't eat it, so if it never gets into my fridge, it cannot tempt me.

            Best of luck to all struggling with weight gain/loss.

        •  True, but in the short term the diet works (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          and heavy people get immediate healthy improvement because of the weight loss alone.

        •  If Ketosis is unnatural (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          stephdray, Bill W

          Then how did our Hunter-gather ancestors survive 9 months out of the year when Carbs were simply unavailable?

          How about folks like the Masai in Africa who survive on Cow's meat and blood almost exclusively  or the Innuit tribes who don't get a lot of leafy greens in their diet owing to the local climate?

          The fact is, Humans are Omnivores and nature provided us with a "dual-fuel" system-  Carbohydate metabolism when sugars and grains are plentiful (which naturally coincides with autumn-when primitive humans wanted to be packing on the fat reserves for the winter ahead)  and Ketone metabolism when meat and animal fats were the only thing on the menu, or when the body had to burn its own reserves

          Now yes, weight loss ketosis requires an increased uptake of water to flush some of the metabolic byproducts out more easily, but that's really not all that hard to do.  Ketosis has a bad rep because medically it is most commonly encountered in type one diabetics who, owing to their inability to produce insulin, cannot stop the reaction when it has gone too far and can actually die from it.  In an otherwise healthy human being, it has no appreaciable danger however.

          Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

          by Magorn on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 06:18:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Fascinating (6+ / 0-)

        I also suspect that individuals can have significantly different biochemistry and nutritional needs, just as we have significant differences in personal appearance that are inborn.

        And that those nutritional differences change as we age.

        I "struggled" with my weight from age 13 to mid-40's, with considerable success. I gained a bit, lost a bit, using various forms of dieting and exercise as needed, and never got into the technically overweight range on the BMI...until menopause.

        Menopause. I gained 40 pounds that seem impossible to lose, well into the overweight range and nudging at obsese. By restricting calories and upping exercise, I once managed to lose about 5 of those menopause pounds over 4 weeks...and gained them back in as many days. Repeat attempts were even less successful. I'm shaped just like I remember my mother and grandmother at the same age. It seems the body wants to do this. I keep trying to make decent nutritional choices and keep up my exercise, but I no longer expect to look like I did at 22 or even 42.

      •  Atkins is good for heavy people (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The immediate weight loss alone improves blood pressure and cholesteral numbers.

        I don't think it's healthy for the long term, because our protein sources are not very clean or healthy, but it provides fast weight loss and it is easy to stick to!!

        •  Yes, because as this thread has shown us... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ilex, Ellinorianne

          ...we're all exactly alike.

          Atkins is good for heavy people...The immediate weight loss alone improves blood pressure and cholesteral numbers. I don't think it's healthy for the long term...but it provides fast weight loss and it is easy to stick to!!

          Except...except...I'm a heavy person, and my BP is well within the "normal" range and I do not have high cholesterol. So if those are my incentives...?

          But by all means, bring on that diet that might not be healthy for me in the long term, because I will lose weight fast (speed of weight loss being key, and of course directly linked with whether I will be able to maintain the lower weight once I no longer eat this way).

          I'm glad it's easy to stick to, because meat, proteins and nuts are only my almost least favorite foods, so there's that.

          I don't mean to pick on you, but if life has taught me one thing, it's that one size definitely doesn't fit all! :-)

        •  Weight loss means nothing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          if it's not long term. If you drop weight in the short term and put it on again later, you'll put on more than you lost. It's a classic sawtooth graph. You have to get it off, and keep it off for 18 months. There's a physiological reason for this--your fat cells take a damn long time to die off, and until they do, they keep going "more food more food more food" at you constantly. That's why it's so hard to ignore.

          Also, as pointed out further upthread, Atkins is potentially deleterious to one's health, if it starts causing ketoacidosis. As yet, yes, there is medical controversy over its efficacy; many trials both for and against are inadequate proof either way, due to flaws in design or implementation. That being said, I'd rather not risk the acidosis, which has been known to happen. A safer diet would be a high-fibre one with moderate protein intake and restricted carbs and fat. That one will help, if not in weight loss then in overall health, and you don't risk all those funny controversial things that come with Atkins too.

        •  Your brain runs best on glucose (0+ / 0-)

          which comes from dietary carbs.  In the absence of carbs, it runs on something else, but it isn't happy about it.

          A jackass can kick down a barn but it takes a carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn (D-TX)

          by Ice Blue on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 03:57:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've read that (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ice Blue, ilex

            But I know from personal experience that too much sugar interferes with my memory, and overall, I feel my mental acuity is heightened when I'm low carbing.   The fact that I scored 99th percentile on my LSATs and graduated Magna Cum Laude from law school during my Low carb dieting phase does provide some support for the notion.  

            I do think the person who noted that all bodies are different is on to something. It makes sense that people who evolved in Agrarian societies would have a greater tolerance for carbs than say those descended from nomadic herdsmen.

            Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

            by Magorn on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 06:10:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So true. (0+ / 0-)

              We are all different.

              I feel yukky, too, after I've eaten 5,000 calories worth of sugar.  I've got to break myself of the habit.

              But it's not healthy to eliminate 100% of the carbs from your diet.  If you do, to your brain, you're as good on a hunger strike.

              A jackass can kick down a barn but it takes a carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn (D-TX)

              by Ice Blue on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 06:24:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I'm about to go back to PP (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ilex, Ellinorianne

        after a long time away. I lose about ten pounds a month on it, without exercise. At that rate, it will take me a year to get to a healthy weight. As for cholesterol and BP, yes, those did go down radically, though my BP was never far above normal. My healthy normal is apparently around 108/58, with a resting heart rate in the high 50's/low 60's.

        What I've found works very well is to precook and freeze my meals. That way, I'm getting home-cooked foods, proper portion sizes, and convenience. My aunt is having me cook her lunches & dinners & package them up for her, since she works full-time outside the house.

        -8.00, -7.08

        It isn't easy being green.

        Buy Green

        by emeraldmaiden on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 01:45:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Unlike a Cigarette/Alcohol/Illicit Drug Addiction (53+ / 0-)

      you have to give in several times a day. Some alcoholics manifest their addiction as a tiger which they lock away in a cage... but you have to let your's out several times a day as a food addict, overeater, or dieter. This makes it a much harder problem.

      That is all. Individually, I wish you the best, but collectively, my dearest hope is to outlive you - groovetronica

      by Nulwee on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:56:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  *raises hand* (22+ / 0-)

      Due to my own choices, I too became very obese and now have Type 2 diabetes as a consequence.

      It's very tough -- tougher still to realize I have only myself to blame. But if I can spend so many years of my life fucking up my body I can spend at least as many trying to fix it.

      So far so good. A1Cs down to 6.4 (target is 6.5 or under) in the first three months.

      Don't give up!

      We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

      by raptavio on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:02:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's a good tip in terms of (6+ / 0-)

      eating well--my wife recently purchased "Hungry Girl: 200 Under 200: 200 Recipes Under 200 Calories" and the stuff is really good. It's helping us eat healthier while not having to resort to uninspiring, bland diet food.

      -1.50, -3.95 | VA 2009: Deeds / Wagner / Shannon

      by Red Sox on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:07:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I bought that book (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but regretted it after buying.  So many of her recipes call for products I don't use, or don't want to use.

        Love her ideas, though and have modified many of her recipes for my use.

        "Right wing freak machine" General Wes Clark

        by Tracker on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:51:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Inspirational Video - Moenia, Ni Tu Ni Nadie (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rogneid, Ellinorianne

      In Spanish.

      By an exceptional group, Moenia...

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

      by PatriciaVa on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:21:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm overweight (3+ / 0-)

      I was thin and healthy, even buff until I married. Then I had a major lifestyle change. I used to go hiking and biking and so forth all the time.

      My wife, a city girl from South America never exercised and did not like outdoor activities at all. As I adjusted my lifestyle to spend my time with her I went from being active to being a couch potato.

      I've gradually gained about 40 lbs over the last 15 years. I don't blame it on abuse or anything from my childhood, nor do I blame my wife. The fact is I eat too much, and don't exercise enough. That's what makes people fat, not psychology. That's just a cheap excuse. It's lifestyle.

      If you want to lose weight, eat less and exercise more. I think if you have a buddy to do it with, it probably helps to keep the commitment. My wife and I will be doing this from now on. I only hope we can stick to it. I think if we help each other with it, together we can be successful.

      "crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

      by Phil In Denver on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:44:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No. (7+ / 0-)

        First, I wish you great luck on entering back into a healthy and active lifestyle. But this is just not accurate:

        The fact is I eat too much, and don't exercise enough. That's what makes people fat, not psychology. That's just a cheap excuse. It's lifestyle.

        For many, many people, it is in fact psychology and physiology that it makes it difficult for them to control their weight. Please do not try to minimize those who have legitimate struggles with diseases associated with eating (anorexia, bulemia, compulsive eating disorder, etc) by insinuating that if they could only change their lifestyle that everything would become better.

        •  Many Many People? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kilgore2345, Ellinorianne

          I think not. I invite you to spend a year in a third world country and see if you can spot "many many" significantly overweight people.

          Or for that matter, spend a year in Canada and try to find "many many" significantly overweight people.

          Or take a look at what people in this country looked like 50 years ago. Again, you won't find that many really overweight people. It's a lot of horseshit. It's diet and excercise for nearly everyone.

          "crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

          by Phil In Denver on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:02:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry Phil, but you're entirely wrong. (4+ / 0-)

            You're entitled to your opinion just as I'm entitled to my medical science. Are you really going to argue that eating disorders are all "a lot of horseshit" as you seem to imply? If you are, you will definitely be fighting an uphill battle.

            Further, your intentionally condescending argument about finding overweight people in foreign countries misses the point ENTIRELY. If you had carefully read my statement you would have noticed that the "many, many" that you repeatedly quote refers to the large pertentage of people who are already overweight, not an attempt to quantify the number of people who are overweight.

            Oh, and thanks for pointing out that diet and exercise are intricately related to weight. A lot of people may have been unclear on that. Unfortunately, it turns out that there are a few more complications than you are willing to acknowledge. But that's what we have doctors and scientists for.

            Anyway, thanks for the insensitive and (willfully?) ignorant comments. I guess I can tell my doctor that my diagnosis of compulsive eating disorder was wrong because Phil In Denver said I just lack will power and need to eat right and exercise.

            Take care!

            •  Sounds like pop psychology to me (0+ / 0-)

              Mostly neurotic white people looking for excuses for their lack of self control. And a lot of doctors and so called "scientists" all too eager to cash in on placating their obese patients.

              It's funny how your "medical science" only seems to apply to people in the United States. I guess the rest of the world is a different species.

              I'm fat and I admit it. I eat when I don't need to, eat things I shouldn't eat, and live an entirely too sedentary life. At least I don't make excuses for it.

              "crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

              by Phil In Denver on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:57:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Your arguments are OUTSTANDING. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                greeseyparrot, ilex, Ellinorianne

                You've managed to denigrate those with mental illnesses AND the medical profession. Congrats.

                You've obviously never encountered anyone with a serious eating disorder. Maybe all of those women and young girls who have died from anorexia really just couldn't figure out what they needed to do to make themselves healthy. Maybe all of the people who damage their bodies through bulimia really just don't get that throwing up over and over again is not entirely natural.

                Perhaps you think all mental illnesses are merely pop-psychology and not grounded in real science. At least I hope you understand that's the logical conclusion of your line of thinking. It's ok, though, you're part of a long line of people who have felt the same way. I hope you think first next time and are a little more sensitive toward people with serious mental health issues.

                I think your opinions here are extremely misguided at best and ignorant at worst, but hey, to each his own. I mean, shit, what do I know, I'm just a dirt-poor neurotic white person looking for an excuse for my lack of self control.

                •  It might surprise you (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ellinorianne, arrows theorem

                  but someone very close to me, I won't say who, does have an eating disorder. I'm not altogether unfamiliar nor insensitive to it.

                  All eating disorders are not the same. What we are talking about here is obesity. Anorexia for example does not make people obese. Nor does bulemia. In both cases, people who are both obese and have these conditions were obese before they became anorexic or bulemic.

                  Compulsive eating, frankly I'll willingly admit that I don't know much about it, but I'm pretty sure that the more than 200 million Americans who are overweight do not all suffer from it.

                  And how do I know that? Because having lived in multiple foreign countries I know that our lifestyle here is decidedly unhealthy. We tend to work long hours in sedentary jobs that sap our energy to the point that most of us just don't have the time or energy to exercise.

                  We have fast food joints on every corner and live out of our microwaves. I believe this is true of most middle class and working class Americans.

                  You may well be an exception, only you know that. But we can't all be exceptions. I know my story isn't that much different than that of most other pudgy people I know. I don't like the idea that we can easily take blameless refuge in mental disorders that a few, but very few people really have.

                  "crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

                  by Phil In Denver on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 05:50:18 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  i agree almost 100% (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ilex, RickyNelson, Ellinorianne

        I think you are right, in fact, I think it can even be narrowed down to just food. you can be thin without exercising, just by restricting caloric intake. it is clearly healthier to do some exercise though.

        I would only argue this, the food industry (including corporately owned restaurant chains), is working very inventively and aggressively to make us eat more food by using chemistry and other food engineering techniques. These food products trigger not just our appetite systems, but our reward and pleasure centers, the same parts of our brain that go off when we have sex, snort cocaine, etc. They are waging a war against us.

        So I think there is some psychology involved, but maybe not the kind you are talking about.

        •  Much of The Psychology (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ilex, Ellinorianne

          Of this, and please falme away (and forgive me if this is addressed upstream, I'm wading in slowly) is that unlike 3rd world situations, we are exposed to a steady stream of images nearly impossible to avoid of women and men on TV, films, advertising, news, in name the venue, the thin & beautiful rule it. Much more so for women than men.

          Up til the 1920s, women were expected to be curvy. Clothing & underpinnings were designed to accentuate those curves, reigning in the waist and pushing out the bum & bust. The Zaftig look was the norm. Women left home (when they did, though rarely back then) to go to college or finishing schools and were expected to GAIN weight.

          In the 1920s, the advent of mass advertising and the film industry coupled with the rebellion of women of the "flapper" genre created an image that was far more difficult for the average woman to attain. Those restrictive and body training undergarments were cast aside as women saw them as oppressive (rightfully so, to a degree). However, without those women were suddenly faced with having to look like Clara Bow in a stick straight silk dress with nothing to reign in any body fat. Women were now exposed to film stars they wanted to look like, exposed to magazine adverts and catalogs...all a new experience as our country began to experiment with the use of mass advertising for the first time, and were just realizing the effect of using models and film stars to appeal to the reader. There is a reason ads from the 20s touting cigarettes as a weight loss tool.

          From the 20s on, women were compared by the media to tiny, beautiful women as the golden standard. The idea that the flapper movement freed us from the restraints of corsets is nonsense...we ended up the worse off for it. Add to that the New Look era after WWII when Dior introduced the wasp waist and corsets came back IN, and the silhouette was even more modified into something nearly completely unattainable by the average woman without rib removal surgery.

          Its a decades old battle, the fight to find any level of comfort with your own body image vs. the media (and often, the American man's) idea of what that image should be.

          So very, very psychological.

          "I'll tell you, if there's anything worse than dealing with a staunch woman. S.T.A.U.N.C.H. There's nothing worse, I'm telling 'ya!". Little Edie

          by vintage dem on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 04:22:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why is it that whenever this subject comes up (0+ / 0-)

            the excuses about the pressures on Women to be beautiful somehow magically explain why people are fat? First, only half the population is female. But obesity is common for both sexes.

            Obesity is an equal opportunity thing. Spend a week in rural South Carolina, Georgia, or Mississippi and you will see an endless parade of morbidly obese people virtually everywhere you go. Somehow I doubt the beer drinking, nascar loving, gun totin' rednecks who predomintate there are much affected by this so called psychology.

            Those same so called pressures exist in Europe as well, I know, I lived there for years. Yet obesity is comparitively rare there.

            And where on Earth do you get the idea that our steady  stream here is somehow different than in the 3rd world, where I also lived for over a year? I suggest you tune in to Univision and watch some of those Spanish soap operas for a while. The feminine glamour is even more extreme there than it is here.

            "crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

            by Phil In Denver on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 06:14:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I Doubt In Somalia (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ilex, Ellinorianne

              Or other realllly 3rd world countries they are watching Spanish soaps.


              I am not at all saying that women, or men, are obese because of adverts or media or the like. I am pointing out that many people struggle with self image, and trust me, overeating based on the depression that brings on....based on their feeling of inferiority hinging on this image they are expected to live up to.

              Ultimately the saddest thing about America is that we do not honor and revere people of all sizes abd shapes. America, literally, is pathetically defined by these idiots like Paris Hilton and her ilk. Anyone who is "bigger" talks and talks about their weight, their size, what they eat, what they do to lose weight....but the ones we seem to revere are those who are anorexic or unnaturally thin.

              It really....despite what you think, really affects so many women. Really.

              "I'll tell you, if there's anything worse than dealing with a staunch woman. S.T.A.U.N.C.H. There's nothing worse, I'm telling 'ya!". Little Edie

              by vintage dem on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 06:34:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  i think you are missing my point, or debating (3+ / 0-)

                something else, maybe i am missing the point.

                Since 1980, obesity has exploded in the USA. I am not talking about women who think they should be a bit thinner so they can fit into a certain dress size or look more like Paris Hilton rather than Marilyn Monroe, I am talking about unhealthily obese, heart disease, diabetes obese. Marilyn Monroe was not obese. People are fat because our food industry is producing waaaaay more calories than we need and are figuring out amazing technological ways to make us eat all those calories. When you eat something loaded with fat and sugar and salt, your brain goes into addiction mode and craves more of the same.

                •  Point Taken (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  But I contend women who (ok, and men) fight obesity struggle against very real psychological issues, which you have dismissed.

                  You will have to trust me when I say, people very often over eat based on emotional issues. As an addiction, people, like they do with any other vice, will do what they do to numb pain. And sometimes that pain is growing up feeling sub-par to Farrah Fawcett, to Paulina Porizkova, to a plethora of women paraded before us as what we are expected to be as the type of women we "should" be.

                  The idea that people over eat for kicks, or because they're lazy....certainly some do, but some struggle with something deeper that cause a self destruction or depression that shouldn't ever be dismissed as "laziness".

                  And the fact that its more prevalent here in the US where the media adores the skinny & beautiful only lends credence to my point that in the US, the media definitely plays a role in our body image.  

                  "I'll tell you, if there's anything worse than dealing with a staunch woman. S.T.A.U.N.C.H. There's nothing worse, I'm telling 'ya!". Little Edie

                  by vintage dem on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 07:03:46 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  we are talking past each other i think (0+ / 0-)

                    I never said there were no psychological issues, I think that was Phil in Denver. I am saying the psychological issues are different. Why do people eat when they are sad, depressed, anxious, unhappy? Because food of a certain nature (fatty, sweet, salty) functions like a drug, it affects the pleasure centers. I'm not saying you are wrong, I am saying the problem is the food companies which purposely load their products with things to make their products addictive. It is akin to the tobacco companies knowing their product is deadly, and figuring out ways to make it more addictive.

                    To address Phil- yes people should exert more personable responsibility, they should research what they are eating, they should learn about physiology and take a bigger interest in their own health, but we should also have a government that protects us against the abuses of corporations. Minimally, we should have better food labeling and food labeling in restaurants.

                •  Marilyn Monroe (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  wasn't even fat.  Clothing sizes were smaller then and they keep getting bigger and bigger.  She was healthy but not skinny.

                  Please help me get to Netroots Nation! Please.

                  by Ellinorianne on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 07:08:18 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Marilyn Was a Vintage sz 12 (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Or 14. Modern sizing is 2 sizes smaller, making her a modern 8 or 10. Not fat by any stretch of the imagination, but to those who are offended by a little padding on the curves and prefer bones jutting out as seems to be the red carpet look these days, Marilyn would be considered chubby. I've seen posts on message boards where people constantly rail on how fat she was....pretty amazing.

                    "I'll tell you, if there's anything worse than dealing with a staunch woman. S.T.A.U.N.C.H. There's nothing worse, I'm telling 'ya!". Little Edie

                    by vintage dem on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 04:19:39 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Yer darn tootin' n/t (0+ / 0-)

                  "crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

                  by Phil In Denver on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 07:49:35 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Well I'll certainly agree (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                that self image brought on by a ridiculous fascination with people like Paris Hilton and the like leads to eating disorders of the type that make people thin. But I seriously doubt that is what causes anyone to be fat.

                That is the result of poor diet and sedentary lifestyle. I just get rather annoyed when people try to take refuge from the responsibilities of maintaining their own bodies with excuses like the teevee made me do it.

                Personally, like many, maybe most men my age, I'm overweight. It's because of what I eat and how I live. I'm honest about it. And I doubt I'm much different than most other overweight Americans.

                Regarding the third world, I suppose there are differing degrees. Somalia is desperately poor and I imagine glamour culture has little impact there. But much of latin America is also quite poor as well, yet they have the same exposure to it as we do if not more so. Yet they suffer from obesity far less and also from eating disorders far less. Also Europe, Australia, Japan, and Canada all have the same exposure to this culture of thin that we Americans do. Let us not forget where the worlds fashion center is. But none of those places have the same degree of food/eating related problems that we do here.

                What we do have is a McDonalds on every corner, a near worship of fatty foods and a ridiculous work schedule that causes people to have too little time for exercise or to prepare healthy foods.

                "crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

                by Phil In Denver on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 07:47:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  absolutely (0+ / 0-)

        no soda, no cookies, no butter on the popcorn, no big mac.  carrots, apples, pretzels instead.  Walk, walk, walk - park the car 5 blocks away instead of circling around looking for a close spot.  drink water

    •  Ellinorianne, one of the most important . . . (19+ / 0-)

      diaries I've ever read on Daily Kos.

      I suspect many of us struggle everyday with food and body issues. I certainly do.  I want more than life itself to lose these stubborn 15-20 pounds.  But it's not happening.  I know my life would be so much more fulfilling if only I could accomplish this task. But, my body ain't cooperating.

      So your diary has given me renewed inspiration and thank you for that. Thank you so much!

    •  *hugs* I understand, and sympathize (6+ / 0-)

      I'm there, too. 5'5", 175-180.

      Around 2000 I started putting on weight and inches, hitting 150. I was doing everything right - eating healthy, watching my calories, working out 30-70 minutes 5-6 times a week. The weight kept coming on - I could understand that, the same volume of muscle weighs more than twice that of the same volume of fat, and I was building muscle - except that the inches kept coming on, too.  NOT how it should have worked.

      My doctor ran a bunch of tests. I was borderline hypothyroid but not enough to treat, no diabetes, no deficiencies. (A couple years later I started on levothyroxine and that at least stopped the weight gain - didn't facilitate any weight loss, though).

      Doc thought it might be the SSRI I was on, so we tried switching to another one (Wellbuterin) not as likely to cause weight gain. I ended up with some of the rarest side effects of it within a couple of days: paranoia and borderline psychosis. I called the doc after 6-7 days and asked her to switch me back. "I'd rather weigh 500 lbs than go through one more day of this!" Switched back the same day, and it took almost two weeks to feel normal again.

      A year later I(literally) ran myself into patellar tracking problems, which derailed my workouts. I was just back to running again a few months later when I took a fall and sprained my knee. (The kind of injury where the doctor suggests it would have been better to break your leg - less painful, and it heals faster.)

      So, that knocked me out from working out at all for about 2 months, and on a very limited basis for months after that. Weight went up, no matter what I did.

      The only time I've actually lost weight (and kept it off since) was about 5 lbs after I started using a rowing machine to work out last year.

      It's so damned frustrating - do everything "right", and nothing really happens. I've kind of given up. I still try to somewhat watch what I eat, and try to eat a (mostly) healthy diet. Hubby and I go hiking, and I try to work out a few times a week.

      But I don't know that I'll ever lose that weight. I've thought about trying that Alli stuff, but I had some kidney problems a few years ago (okay now) and it doesn't seem smart to risk it.

      Besides. We're both currently unemployed, and have no health insurance as a result. According to some wingers, I guess we're supposed to be fat and lazy. And ya know, that's one of the harder things about it. People see overweight, and assume you're a pig about food and you must be lazy. I worry how that might affect opinions at job interviews.

      (Give me my Camelbak pack, and I'll out-hike just about every damned one of 'em.)

      Lazy - ha. We're painting siding we bought before the layoffs, in preparation for fixing up the house which we can do ourselves with help from family; refinishing some furniture (yay, wedding giftcards from home supply stores!); caring for two gardens (carefully, since that produce will mean a lot to our budget); trying to do other work around the house; looking for work; going to free/cheap seminars on all sorts of topics to keep our minds engaged; etc.

      Sorry to ramble. I get so damned frustrated on this subject.

      Those who say it cannot be done
      should not interrupt the person doing it.

      by Lashe on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:48:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh no (5+ / 0-)

        so much!  Unemployment doesn't help and I'm unemployed right now but I'm trying to find something that makes me happy that can sustain me mentally and emotionally and help pay the bills.

        That's connected too.  How can we try to be healthy if so many people are just attempting to make ends meet?

        Thank you for sharing this, every story matters and it adds to my understanding, thank you so much.  And hang in there, we can do it, progress not perfection!

        Rambling is good.

        Please help me get to Netroots Nation! Please.

        by Ellinorianne on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:59:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Eating healthy isn't exactly cheap (7+ / 0-)

          and we both do a lot of from-scratch cooking. Homemade stock, cooking with dried legumes, pickling and canning our garden produce - things a lot of people just don't know how to do anymore.

          We've been trying to watch our grocery expenditures, but it drives me nuts how the (cheaper) store brands of bread all have HFCS in them! When we're been to busy (or sick, or it's been too darned hot) to bake our own bread, we used to get the nicer brands that didn't have HFCS. Now, trying to keep costs down, we end up with junk in our diet.

          (Just bought flour yesterday - gods, that's gone up in price the past couple years!)

          I've been trying to get HFCS out of my diet. (My one downfall is my Coke Classic. I've backed off from a can a day to 1-3 a week. If they ever switch back to cane sugar, I'm gonna love 'em forever. Can't stand the diet - the aspartame is not kind to my body, and they use WAY too much Ace-K/Splenda in the Zero.)

          So much of the "cheaper" food, including many supposedly "healthy" breakfast cereals, is loaded with HFCS. Staying away from it is practically a part-time job.

          And don't even get me started on sodium content!

          Those who say it cannot be done
          should not interrupt the person doing it.

          by Lashe on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:17:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Wow, you are so brave (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lashe, ilex, Zulia, Ellinorianne, Vacationland

      to address this in a diary. Thank you.
      My mom weighed 300lbs at 5'2". It was a hard childhood, neighbors would make fun of her (adults)! I am crying as I write this, you are not alone! It is a never ending cycle, gain weight get sad, get sad eat more!
      My childhood was a tragic mix of love and embarassment, that at 50 I still have not come to terms with. Our eating habits were horrible, lots of junk food, I am the oldest and stayed skinny from 28 til 38, now i'm 215 at 5'10". My sisters both had gastric bypass, my poor sister Kelly (youngest girl) weighed 300lbs until she was 30, she has kept it off so far - she is 38. I know weight is as much a mental issue as it is overeating. But I seriously couldn't control my weight if I ate more than 1 meal and exercised for at least 1-2 hrs a day.

      •  I don't feel brave (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ilex, Nica24

        It just came to me, as if it had to be said, that I had to get it out.  But I'm one of those oversharers, which I guess is good in the blogosphere :)

        I know my Grandmother on my father's side was obese and struggled with her weight her whole life.  My Mother has as well.  It does matter, all those things affect us from how we relate to food to our genetic make up.

        Thank you though :)  That's crazy though, I refuse to do one meal, I just CAN'T, my blood sugar gets crazy and I get MEAN.

        Please help me get to Netroots Nation! Please.

        by Ellinorianne on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 02:38:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, I know what u mean :) (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ilex, Ellinorianne

          I drink coffee all day, eat dinner, then snack all night. I always tell everyone my addiction is food, because at this point it really has become a snack addiction.
          I'm an oversharer too, and I think it helps with the shame I feel over my mom. She's been gone for 9yrs.(died at 59), then I lost my 17 year younger only brother (2 weeks after his 28th bday), 6 yrs ago of the same heart problem, then I really started to gain.

    •  I link to your site (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and love your perspective on food and healthy living. Keep plugging away - you'll get there. But remember, as my trainer says "It's 80% diet."

      The Shane Life - Chock full o' juicy Shane-bits!

      by Shane Hensinger on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 01:09:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  While your background issues are (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ilex, Ellinorianne

      entirely different from mine, your struggles are similar.  My real struggle with weight dates from my 3rd pregnancy which occurred in the midst of dealing with my recently, severely disabled son.  I couldn't get in shape prior to the pregnancy, the way I did before the previous 2 pregnancies, and so started from a basis of 20 lb overweight.  I developed heel spurs during the pregnancy and that took away my favorite ways to exercise -- running and walking.  And things got worse from that point on.
      I've lost and gained and lost and gained and am discouraged beyond belief.
      It's disheartening and embarrassing.  
      My newest plan is to try to create a realistic and low-expectation goal of losing some weight (no where near what I need to) before we go on a big wonderful overseas trip we're planning.
      And after we come back from the trip, look into getting lap band surgery.

      If, in our efforts to win, we become as dishonest as our opponents on the right, we don't deserve to triumph.

      by Tamar on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 01:25:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ever been tested for Celiac Disease? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rogneid, ilex, Ellinorianne

      It's a common misperception that Celiac is solely a wasting syndrome. A study done by the Mayo Clinic in 2003 showed approximately 20% of Celiacs were overweight or obese.  Your mention of fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis made me think of the possibility....both are sometimes reported as concurrent diagnoses in Celiacs.  Some patients with rheumatic type syndromes have reported improved symptoms on a gluten free diet.  Throwing this out there for you to think about, or for someone else to see....with Celiac disease affecting nearly 1 in a hundred people (current estimates) but 97% remaining undiagnosed, you just never know.

      Best of luck to you, and kudos for your campaign for awareness!

    •  I struggle too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ilex, Ellinorianne

      but have not had to lose as much as you have.  I work for WW (you had to do the program and need to lose weight to work for them) and we are one of the better programs.  We have a method for people that don't want to write things down and it totally works with eating quality organic food.  If you want more info email me.  So cool that you did this.  I am going to send your diary to many WW employees.  

      S.I.B.S. Supporting Illinois Brothers and Sisters

      by NHandler on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 01:45:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I did weight watchers (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        last year and had good results, I hit a bump when my daughter went to kindergarten and I stopped getting enough sleep, it just went all to hell for some reason and I went off.

        I know I can do this, I just have to find what works for me, that's the thing, everyone is different.

        Please help me get to Netroots Nation! Please.

        by Ellinorianne on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 02:40:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Being short on sleep affects weight gain. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ilex, Ellinorianne

          It increases the production of cortisol, which stimulates your body to store fat, especially abdominal fat. And IIRC there's another aspect, having to do with producing less of the chemical that gives you the sense of satiation. So you're more hungry and more of whatever you eat goes to fat. Bad combo.

          I was one of those people who lived on short sleep all week long, with some catch-up on the weekends -- four or five hours most nights -- for years. And I had no idea until recently that my sleep pattern had anything to do with my struggles with weight.

          So much in our cultural lifestyles has changed radically over the last three generations, and we're just starting to understand what all the effects are.

    •  I relate to everything you said (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vigilant meerkat, ilex, Ellinorianne, bvig

      Same situation....could only lose weight by starving. I also had rheumatoid arthritis, depression and lots of other autoimmune conditions. Long story short, turns out I am gluten intolerant. I went off gluten, all conditions cleared up, I had energy and felt like a new person.....and I lost weight  without hardly trying!
      My poor body had been fighting  the gluten proteins ( wheat rye, barley)that had been invading my body. I do not have celiac disease.....blood tests came back negative. Non celiac gluten sensitivity is not celiac disease and it is being found to be so much more common than it used to be, especially if you are of European descent....and it's the cause of so many autoimmune diseases in sensitive people. I was tested  byEnterolab, a fecal and DNA test. If you go to their website and read the FAQs, it will help you understand. I've been three years "clean" and never felt better. Everything cleared up within a month of going off gluten.

    •  That and being gay (46+ / 0-)

      I still hear people say "that's so gay" and it makes me cringe.

      Humor should not be about causing pain, it should be about healing.

      "Spread happiness... share it with all those who seek it." - Keith Olbermann

      by Diogenes2008 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:02:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Its actually deeper than typical stereotyping. (45+ / 0-)

      There's a significant contingent of people on the Left side of the political divide who categorize fat people the same way some on the Right categorize gay people-- not as people but as living embodiments of everything that morally wrong with America.

      The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

      by kingubu on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:11:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are those who call themselves liberal (28+ / 0-)

        who consider weight and food pressing issues of public morality. They look at fat adults in the same way as certain conservatives look at gay people (complete with the whole "hate the sin, love the sinner" holier-than-thou attitude), and they use overweight children to push for control over people's private lives in the same way the right uses aborted fetuses. Very tiresome.

      •  hmm (3+ / 0-)

        i personally see the steady increase in the rate of obesity in the US since the 1970's as one of the obvious indicators of a deep cultural problem with america; but i wouldn't go so far as to say "living embodiments of everything that morally wrong with America."

        the prevalence of overweight/obese people in the US is just another example of quality being thrown to the wayside -- think about how easy it is to eat a happy meal or something, and < emeril> BAM! </ emeril> you just got like 1000mg of sodium and a cool 1000 calories -- and you're not even full!

        it's fucked up, bc i could so easily do a year's worth of damage to my body in one week just by eating the shitty food that's hoisted on every american every cot damn second.

        i'm up early 'cause ain't enough light in the day time...

        by keonhp on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:39:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Look, I don't understand this (13+ / 0-)

          "concern" over people's weight.  If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone tell my sister, "I just want you to be healthy" I'd fucking buy her an island to live and I'd buy a thousand people to tell her she's beautiful every single moment of her day.  

          Should we have better food available at an affordable price for everyone?  Of course.  Should we have fun, energy-buring activities for kids and adults alike that are free and in safe places?  Absolutely.  In our society, should we put value on treating ourselves well?  Definitely.  

          But you know what, if someone is fat in this world with or without those Utopian perks... it's still none of your fucking business. If I want to shove Bugles in my maw until I pass out, it's not your business.  If I want to screw a guy, a girl, someone transgendered, or a blow-up doll it's none of your fucking business.  

          Going around giving the stink eye to people that you know nothing about because you assume they're lazy, binge eating, dumb, fast food obsessed lard-asses does not make you morally superior no matter what your fucking BMI is.  You want to help fat people?  SHUT UP!  Ostrasizing people certainly doesn't help.  You think they should join a gym?  Well one more blow-hard shouting on CNN that OMGTEHFATZ!!! are going to kill us all, fat people are the cause of global warming, and THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!! isn't going to make that fat person want to go out into public and jump on a treadmill.  

          It's not your business no matter what excuse you put out there.  If you don't want me peeping in your bedroom window, and you don't want me spilling jesus juice all over your kids in school, then you better keep your head turned when I put a forkfull of mashed potatoes in my mouth.  

          Let's have good lunches for kids, let's have non-processed, locally grown food at prices reasonable for EVERY budget available in every market, and then let people choose.  

          **This isn't aimed at anyone in particular, I just get so fucking tired of the hand-wringing when a fat person is just as deserving of respect, love, and equality as anyone else.  And just because the diet industry tells you they're lazy and awful people doens't give you an excuse to still be an uneducated asshat.

          "In political discussion heat is in inverse proportion to knowledge." J. G. C. Minchin

          by LucyMO on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:32:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  dude. you could have posted this (4+ / 0-)

            as a reply where it actually makes sense.  i'm sure you could find some "uneducated asshat" in the comments who is actually "hand-wringing when a fat person is just as deserving of respect, love, and equality as anyone else."

            since you posted it as a reply to my shit, i'm going to respond to yr ass.

            But you know what, if someone is fat in this world with or without those Utopian perks... it's still none of your fucking business. If I want to shove Bugles in my maw until I pass out, it's not your business.  If I want to screw a guy, a girl, someone transgendered, or a blow-up doll it's none of your fucking business.

            yeah, yr right, i don't give a fuck if you do that.  you can fucking go shoot heroin and fuck a maple board for all i care.  the point at which i care isn't when one person or one group of people is doing it -- it's when it's a FUCKING ENDEMIC PROBLEM COVERING THE ENTIRE FAT FUCKING COUNTRY.

            you see, it depresses me.  every day when i walk through the streets i see a lot of people who are incredibly obese, and sure, i don't give a fuck whether they're doing it on purpose or it's a health problem or not, that's not the issue for me, they're their own people, they can be overweight or obese or morbidly obese or even 1400lbs at 5'6" if they want to, it doesn't matter a lick to me.  the issue is that every god damn day i get a whole bunch of reminders that if i go about business as a normal american and don't watch what i eat and watch my activity level and just go with the all-american flow, i will be a fucking fatass, and i don't like being a fatass.  my problem isn't that i hate fat people.  my problem is that i have to go out of my way in this country to avoid becoming fat, and that's bullshit.

            when one person is fat, it's their own choice.  when over 25% of the fucking population is obese, and 64% is overweight-plus, that's a real health problem.

            i'm up early 'cause ain't enough light in the day time...

            by keonhp on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:57:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Look, I should have posted in an a (6+ / 0-)

              more appropriate place, and for that I apologize.  I think we agree to an extent and my rant may have been a bit too harsh and in a bad place to put a response.  But I don't think we can charatarize every fat person as someone who wants to be fat or as someone who simply doesn't have the will power to eat fewer calories.  

              I have watched my sister eat nothing but rice pudding and water for 6 months and the few precious pounds she dropped still didn't make her acceptable in anyone's eyes.  

              I think it's sick that when I go out to have lunch with my female friends at least 30% (if not more) of the conversation revolves around "I shouldn't be eating this" and "I just started this new diet" or "I'm on Weight Watchers again".  And here's the real kick in the ass... I went to lunch with 4 female friends, most of whom would identify themselves as feminists.  This may not be universal in all circles, but it has been throughout my entire life.  We sat down at the restaurant waiting for the final woman in our party to arrive, and one friend shared that she had just received a monumental promotion at her job and was being allowed to take control over a significant portion of the company and it was such a huuuuge deal.  She was rewarded with, "Oh, that's really great!  I know you'll do well!" and the conversation ended within two minutes.  

              Shortly after our final friend arrived beaming from ear to ear.  It was clear that she had lost about 20 pounds and without saying a word everyone at that table (aside from me) got up to hug her, crying "Oh my god, you look soooo good!"  "I can't believe how amazing you look!"  "I'm just so thrilled for you!"  This went on for at least twenty minutes.  

              Why is it that losing 20 pounds was a far greater accomplishment than 10 years of hard work finally paying off?  

              Here's my thing... until we have the society we desire, until giants like Monsanto are squashed into oblivion and farmers' markets are not a weekly, but daily occurance with good, fresh, organic, locally grown food - let's give it a rest on the "Obesity will kill us all!"  The only thing it does is make good, beautiful people hate themselves and feel like failures.  

              Let's put money into as many places as we can to achieve those goals for good food and safe, fun activities but stop shouting from the mountaintop every chance we get that fat people are doomed and this epidemic will swallow our fat asses whole.  

              That's all I'm saying.  And again, I apologize if I offended you by responding on your post.

              "In political discussion heat is in inverse proportion to knowledge." J. G. C. Minchin

              by LucyMO on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:14:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You shouldn't be apologizing to this guy (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Louisiana 1976

                Your statements were perfectly appropriate.  

                From what he says, he should be grateful all us fatties are out walking around and making him so grossed out that he's motivated to stay healthy.  He should be kissing our giant fat feet for making him change the error of his ways.  

                And he clearly doesn't understand what it's like to stand in my "fatass" body and have to cope with the nastiness from people like him.

                •  ? (0+ / 0-)

                  nastiness from ppl like me?  i'm sorry, what?

                  i dono who the fuck you are, but i've been fat.  i got the joy of breaking the 90th percentile for weight at my height in middle school, and getting to be "that ugly fat kid" for 3+ years.

                  so then let's see:

                  did my not wanting to be fat offend you?

                  oh maybe it was my stating that 64% of the country is overweight.  that's pretty offensive.

                  OH I KNOW!  it was pointing out the fact that, yes, i run into obese people on a daily basis!  yeah, obviously that must have been it.

                  nope, i've got it figured out.  yr actually a fast food advertiser, and you're offended that i would be so uncouth with you for shilling shitty food that i have to dodge on the daily.

                  i'm up early 'cause ain't enough light in the day time...

                  by keonhp on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 01:20:14 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You're right (0+ / 0-)

                    I don't know anything about you.  I should be begging for your forgiveness that you have to witness me walking around town minding my own business while you privately retch in the corner from having to observe my massive girth moving about and drawing stares of incredulity from all passersby.  

                    Really, please, please, please forgive me for existing.  I really need your forgiveness, your opinion matters SO much to me!  

                    •  so maybe you can (0+ / 0-)

                      tell me where exactly i've expressed this disgust that you're latching onto with every furious keystroke?

                      i'm up early 'cause ain't enough light in the day time...

                      by keonhp on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 01:51:31 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The fact that you say (0+ / 0-)

                        We "depress" you.  The fact that you imply we don't watch what we eat (many of us do) and we don't exercise (many of us do) like YOU do.  The fact that you seem to think it's OK to call us "fatass".  The fact that you equate obesity with shooting up heroin.  The fact that you equate obesity with being the cause of this country's health problems.  

                        Let me give you a hint there- obesity is a symptom of the problem.  It is not the problem itself.    

                        •  you forgot 'fuck[ing] a maple board' (0+ / 0-)

                          Let me give you a hint there- obesity is a symptom of the problem.  It is not the problem itself.

                          here was the thesis of my screed: "my problem is that i have to go out of my way in this country to avoid becoming fat, and that's bullshit"

                          here was a nice excerpt from the original comment, which i expounded upon: "i personally see the steady increase in the rate of obesity in the US since the 1970's as one of the obvious indicators of a deep cultural problem with america"

                          and here are the replies to yr comment:

                          -again, no, the difficulty in maintaining a normal life without getting fat in the US is what depresses me.
                          -i didn't imply that anywhere.  i even mentioned health problems as a cause for obesity.  i also don't exercise nearly as much as i should, but, again, it's very difficult to fit proper exercise into a working american lifestyle isn't it?
                          -yeah, you're right.  well.  no actually i said this was a "FAT FUCKING COUNTRY," and said that if i let myself go i would end up being "a fatass," but whatever, close enough.
                          -no, i don't equate obesity with shooting up heroin.  i do, however, equate how much of my business it is whether you shoot heroin (and fuck a maple board) with how much of my business it is whether you eat 4 big macs for lunch.
                          -correlation is not causation.

                          i think rising obesity is a symptom of the unhealthy relationship that america has with food -- we don't really know where it comes from or how it gets to us, we just shovel it into our faces, and for any reason you can think of: sad? eat. happy? eat. angry? eat. bored? eat...  we don't think about our food, or even enjoy it anymore.  i mean, fawk, if i want to eat 1500 calories and not feel full, i want it in fucking foie gras and creme fraiche, not partially hydrogenated soybean oil-soaked re-substantiated cornmeal.

                          i'm up early 'cause ain't enough light in the day time...

                          by keonhp on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 03:02:00 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Maple board (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Maori, keonhp

                            I didn't remark on that because I honestly didn't know what you're talking about.  Maple doesn't even have knot holes.  

                            It sounds like you want to place blame on the food industry, which is probably a good place for some of it.  I can agree with that.  

                            I still have an issue with the heroin comment.  I am a fat person.  I hold a good job, I provide for my family, I hold public office and I am active in my community.  I have a husband and two children who would argue that I'm a pretty decent wife and mother.  I would not be able to do any of those things if I was shooting up heroin every day.  I also don't eat 4 big macs for lunch.  Not all obese people a food bingers.  That is yet another stereotype.  I also don't consider myself an emotional eater, but that could be argued depending on the day.  

                            I also would rather expend my calories on food that is real, whole and fresh rather than chemical, manufactured and fake.  We can agree on that.  

                          •  no, but it does sometimes have bird's eyes (0+ / 0-)

                            with the heroin comment i'm more trying to say that even in the case where someone is eating 4 big macs for lunch, it's not my business.  the same way it's not my business if they have a medical condition that makes them fat.  the same way it's not my business if they like the brothers gibbs, or have a cat, or can't eat peanuts.

                            i'm up early 'cause ain't enough light in the day time...

                            by keonhp on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 03:47:29 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  Maybe it's being reminded... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mamabigdog, keonhp

                    ...that we "depress you" simply by being out there, walking around, or that a pretty significant aspect of our very beings offend you?  

                    That would be my guess.

                    (sorry for glitchy double-post thingie)

                    •  this makes sense to me (0+ / 0-)

                      but again, i'm not depressed by the fact that you're "being out there, walking around."  i'm depressed by the fact that it's so damn hard to live here and not get fat.

                      i'm up early 'cause ain't enough light in the day time...

                      by keonhp on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 01:54:40 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  ah no worries (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ilex, LucyMO

                i don't take offense on the internet -- it just doesn't help anybody.

                i agree with just about everything you said.

                But I don't think we can charatarize every fat person as someone who wants to be fat or as someone who simply doesn't have the will power to eat fewer calories.

                i think the fact that the rate of obesity is already so high and rising illustrates that point perfectly.  there's definitely more to it than just wanting to be fat or eating less, i think there's a cultural problem that needs addressed.

                i'm up early 'cause ain't enough light in the day time...

                by keonhp on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:57:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think the best illustration of that point (5+ / 0-)

                  is the intense and horrible shame that is heaped upon fat people.  Even from an extremely young age fat is stigmatized.  Who would want to be treated like less of a person?  If it was simply a situation of calories in/energy out like everyone loves to say... every fatty in the world would be dropping pounds like flies because no one wants to be treated like that.  No one.

                  "In political discussion heat is in inverse proportion to knowledge." J. G. C. Minchin

                  by LucyMO on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 01:03:34 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Wow, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              you could really help a lot of people if you transformed that rage and disdain into passionate concern for other beings.

              Kindness is the most important thing.

              by Maori on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:55:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Ostracize, there's a kappa there in the Greek (0+ / 0-)

            from ὄστρακον, the potsherd on which the name of the person to be ostracized was written. On the distant chance that someone else would think this is interesting. /pedantic classicist

            It is pronounced as a soft c, so you're thinking it right.

      •  Can you give me an example? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ANY example?

        Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

        by anastasia p on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:43:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's so right (5+ / 0-)

        Just listen to people like Bill Maher (who has never has a weight problem in his entire life) lay the responsibility for all that is wrong with our health care system and food production system at the feet of obese people.  

        I saw him live last year, and his lengthy rant about obese people and how disgusting we are, and how we are the fault of everything from global warming to the economic meltdown truly amounts to a new racism to me.  

        •  He can be so "off" in his thinking- (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mamabigdog, ilex, Maori

          at times - for such a seemingly smart guy.  He goes off on vaccines and pharmaceutical companies -- so far beyond the usual distrust and dislike most of share concerning them.  It just seems to come out of nowhere.

           How awful (and awfully surprising) to have paid money to see someone who basically personally attacks you.   I'm sorry you were subjected to that.

    •  It's getting worse (13+ / 0-)

      It's now creeping into health care policy. I fully expect to see caveats in the new health care reform legislation that financially punishes people who are overweight.  Look for it under language for "prevention and wellness".

      Private health insurers always manage to stay one step ahead of the sheriff - Sen. Sherrod Brown

      by Betty Pinson on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:19:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mississippi (14+ / 0-)

        tried to pass a law that would prohibit restaurants from serving those who are overweight.  Most disgusting piece of legislation I've heard of in a long time.

        Fortunately, I don't believe it passed.

        HOUSE BILL NO. 282


        SECTION 1.

        (1) The provisions of this section shall apply to any food establishment that is required to obtain a permit from the State Department of Health under Section 41-3-15(4)(f), that operates primarily in an enclosed facility and that has five (5) or more seats for customers.

        (2) Any food establishment to which this section applies shall not be allowed to serve food to any person who is obese, based on criteria prescribed by the State Department of Health after consultation with the Mississippi Council on Obesity  Prevention and Management established under Section 41-101-1 or its successor. The State Department of Health shall prepare written materials that describe and explain the criteria for determining whether a person is obese, and shall provide those materials to all food establishments to which this section applies. A food establishment shall be entitled to rely on the criteria for obesity in those written materials when determining whether or not it is allowed to serve food to any person.

        (3) The State Department of Health shall monitor the food establishments to which this section applies for compliance with the provisions of this section, and may revoke the permit of any food establishment that repeatedly violates the provisions of this section.

        SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2008.

        ST: Food establishments; prohibit from serving food to any person who is obese.

        "Spread happiness... share it with all those who seek it." - Keith Olbermann

        by Diogenes2008 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:27:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The whole idea that "prevention" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cowalker, ilex, Betty Pinson

        could be a significant part of health-care reform creeps me out. It's a tiny little tweak that doesn't BEGIN to address the core problems.

        Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

        by anastasia p on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:44:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's absolutely a shame (5+ / 0-)

      The obesity epidemic does have its roots in modern American culture, specifically the drive for profit above the drive for social responsibility.

      I think people who abhor Corporate Food unfairly point to the overweight as "what's wrong with America," but that's a) cruel and b) completely off-target.

      Now I don't know but I been told/it's hard to run with the weight of gold
      Other hand I heard it said/it's just as hard with the weight of lead

      by ekthesy on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:25:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Like the diarist (8+ / 0-)

      I've been "fat" all of my life, migrating from overweight to obese during college and, yes, med school. I lost a good deal of weight with an appetite suppressant (bad for you causes PAH), slimfast and exercise, but not enough to get to a normal weight. Breastfeeding was by far the best diet and at least I lost to my pre pregnancy weight. Now however, age, disability have made me the largest person in the room, which is depressing.

      Maybe I'm fooling myself, but I feel that what we eat has changed. There is a lot of HFC in our diets now, it is ubiquitous and insidious and I really believe that it has a lot to do with my and the nation's obesity.

      Mentally, being obese is like being a public failure. Despite my education and achievements in my field, I know my physical appearance is always a counterbalance to those things. Internally, I do succumb to "willpower guilt" that is how can someone who was so disciplined academically not conquer this.

      Thanks, E!

  •  It's always (33+ / 0-)

    a struggle--especially when you get to the 40's and 50's.  

    I have no idea why I'm hungry all of the time even when I don't need food.

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:02:42 AM PDT

    •  I hear that (31+ / 0-)

      I just turned 50 last week, but now I'm going through a whole new chapter in my life, and I don't even know what the ground rules are yet.

      Just found out about two months ago that I wasn't taking in nutrition from food like I should have been.  So I'm taking enzyme supplements, and suddenly I'm HUNGRY.  I used to be able to go without eating until as late as 5 pm... but didn't lose weight.  This morning, I was prepping breakfast at 10 am, and feeling sick and dizzy from hunger.  It's a whole new world for me.

      Eating is a very complicated issue, even if you don't have physical problems.

      "Spread happiness... share it with all those who seek it." - Keith Olbermann

      by Diogenes2008 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:05:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fresh food (21+ / 0-)

        I'm just one year behind you...and in parallel, am in the process of finding out if I have gluten intolerance. The signs are there, that's for sure.

        It wasn't until I started trying to avoid gluten that I realized how little in the way of fresh food we eat in America today. I'm a on a big fresh food binge and it's already making a huge difference in how I feel, my skin, etc.

        •  I learned it the hard way (15+ / 0-)

          I found out I'm extremely allergic (sensitive, whatever) to Red Dye #40.  I have a lot of food allergies, but that one is REALLY bad.  

          When I started reading labels so that I could avoid it, I realized just how much crap I was eating.  I still eat some processed foods, but not nearly as much.

          I'm allergic to nuts, peanuts, milk, chocolate, oranges, tomatoes, potatoes, corn and Red Dye #40.

          So... I avoid the red dye like the plague, I don't eat nuts at all anymore (and I miss them) and I rarely eat cheese or ice cream because they make me really miserable for a couple of days.

          The rest of them I eat in moderation.

          Food is complicated, no matter how you look at it.

          "Spread happiness... share it with all those who seek it." - Keith Olbermann

          by Diogenes2008 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:46:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Veggies are zero points (7+ / 0-)

          my sister in law is addicted to diets. My favorite one as she would share them all with me was weight watchers, which had the usual crappy food but I liked the ratings system. My sister in law quit the diet program but we both were really sold on the veggies are zero points. So if you just eat whole foods with the main part being veggies you lose weight. I usually eat one meal a day that's nothing but veggies. I think our food industry has lost touch with the nutrition part of eating and has turned food into valueless filler, nothing better then real food in it's unaltered state. Processing the food becomes the job of the body again like it was intended to do.  

          "And if my thought-dreams could be seen They'd probably put my head in a guillotine" Bob Dylan

          by shaharazade on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:19:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My only problem now (6+ / 0-)

            Is that my body is recovering from ? whatever it is that I have.

            My roommate says I went from "dead to alive" as far as stamina goes.

            I love vegetables, but right now I find that if I don't have at least one serious meat protein a day (or more), I crash hard the next day.  Long story short - wasn't getting nutrition from my food, am taking enzymes and have had a huge increase in strength... so I think my body is in the process of rebuilding itself.

            We went to Sweet Tomatoes a few days back... I ate a lot of salad and other wonderful stuff... and spent the entire next day in bed with no energy (like the old days).

            Eventually, I'll have to see a nutritionist, because my whole "eating world" has changed.  It's a good thing, of course... but it's all new.

            "Spread happiness... share it with all those who seek it." - Keith Olbermann

            by Diogenes2008 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:43:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  balance? (0+ / 0-)

              eat the meat if you need it, but balance it out with veggies, fruit and whole grain. Perhaps your body/mind is reacting to stopping what it normally gets, give it a week or two before abandoning the veggies. No nutrtionist  can help as it's an adjustment, a human one that is yours alone. A plain and simple change that freaks you out. Me I get these freak outs daily and adjust plow ahead cause what am I going to do eat the crap they declare food? Or take the drugs they declare a cure for the food they advocate? We all find our way through the maze the have created the one that the corps profit from coming in (so called food) and going out so called health care after your done eating the shit they sell as food.Veggies good organic veggies better, whole grain good the rest is crap that kills you.    

              "And if my thought-dreams could be seen They'd probably put my head in a guillotine" Bob Dylan

              by shaharazade on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 01:54:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm not abandoning veggies (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I just have to make sure I get more protein than I would normally eat.

                "Spread happiness... share it with all those who seek it." - Keith Olbermann

                by Diogenes2008 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 02:14:26 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You probably know (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  better then anyone what you need. I was just getting into my heath food mode. not a bad mode but one which neds to take into consideration the notion that we all are entitled to live and die by our own means. Fear of meat, protein is no more realistic then fear of terrorists the boogiemen who are going to get us.

                  "And if my thought-dreams could be seen They'd probably put my head in a guillotine" Bob Dylan

                  by shaharazade on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 02:35:37 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah and when I was in college (0+ / 0-)

            there was that diet going around that claimed grapefruit was negative calories and if you ate enough, it would neutralize other calories. Please.

            Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

            by anastasia p on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:45:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  If you miss the official medical diagnosis but (12+ / 0-)

          .... find your self feeling dramatically better on the gluten free diet, go ahead and stick with it. We have these discussions all the time over on the celiac/gluten intolerant websites on how the medical testing & diagnosis in this country....  don't get me going on that.
          Okay, I'll try to do a short version. It's vastly underdiagnosed in the US because most people with it don't have the symptoms that the doctors are looking for, and the blood panels for the antibodies can give false negatives, and they won't do a biopsy of the small intestine without a positive blood test.

          These doctors will tell you you cannot have it because you aren't stick thin and wasting away, for example.  But if it is causing thyroid auto immune disease you can be gaining weight for no reason. The regular TSH test for thyroid does not test for the antibodies of Hashimoto's autoimmune thyroid disease, and the thyroid hormone levels may be whacking up or down crazily with a test showing "normal" levels.  There are also forms of gluten intolerance that cause liver disease (cirrosis and gall bladder problems) and arthritis and even a form that causes so much nerve damage it mimics the symptoms of MS (reversible if caught in time).

          Pediatricians also have trouble diagnosing it because small children's immune systems are not fully developed and they may not test out as well.  Mothers may know something goes wrong with their kids when they observe the symptoms that occur with eating the wheat family, but can't get the doctors to give them an "official" diagnosis because the blood tests may be giving false negatives.

          It is estimated that aprox. 1 in 133 people have it, and about 30% of the population carries the genes HLA DQ 2 and DQ8 that are associated with it, but it takes a triggering stress such as an infection to set it off, so most people with the genes don't get it. (there's also other genes they are working on linking to this)  However, the genes can show you do have a propensity for it.  Certain ethnic groups have a higher percentage of carriers, in general, if your background ancestry is from the northern latitudes, certain places in the Americas, or even Northern Africa/Spain....

  (has a good chart of parts of the world this is common )

          If you have certain other auto immune diseases, you have a much greater chance of the root cause being celiac or gluten intolerant. This is because the person becomes deficient in absorbing nutrients, such as the B vitamins, iron, and calcium, which can create other problems.

          My personal opinion, partially based on experience and otherwise based on my extensive reading, says that an awful lot of the so- called IBS and "fibro" diagnosis in this country is a missed gluten intolerance diagnosis.  And I'm not one of the nutters who think that nobody at all should eat wheat, which is this goofy idea a few get when they go sort of overboard, and "jump the biscuit."  Most people should be fine with it.  I like to think I'm slightly more articulate than the average person at expressing myself (maybe not...) but I have had physicians attempt to mislabel me after I told them what I had, and my response has been, frankly, what the bleep is wrong with these people ?  Just because you haven't heard of it or have no wonder drug for it, doesn't mean I don't have it.

          Encouraging consumption of fresh foods in our society is an ongoing challenge.  So is ensuring that what is on the label of packaged and processed foods is accurate.  But the biggest challenge is giving information so that people may have knowledge.

          "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

          by AmericanRiverCanyon on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:43:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What I have is something like celiac (4+ / 0-)

            But I don't seem to have a problem with wheat.  I'm allergic to a whole host of foods... and am now beginning to get a little bit better by taking digestive enzymes.

            Scratch that - I went from staggering and stumbling everywhere for the last ten years (in a progression that got worse by the year) to being able to go for long walks, in about a month's time.

            SERIOUS change for me.

            I have a rare disorder that complicates things... so I know that there is more out there than the medical profession can understand or know.

            "Spread happiness... share it with all those who seek it." - Keith Olbermann

            by Diogenes2008 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:47:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, and by the way (4+ / 0-)

              I stopped eating EVERYTHING I was allergic to, for three solid months.  Not even a hint of the things I shouldn't have.

              No change, except for feeling less sick.

              The enzymes (starting with lactase enzyme) gave me a drastic change... so I have no idea what is wrong in my body, but I'm hoping some doctor, somewhere, someday... can tell me what's going on.

              "Spread happiness... share it with all those who seek it." - Keith Olbermann

              by Diogenes2008 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:48:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  celiacs (5+ / 0-)

            I've been spending an enormous amount of time online researching celiacs. My symptoms and family history are so glaring that I am amazed my primary physician didn't order a panel of tests years ago.

            Regardless of outcome, I'm pretty set on being gluten free. We have house guests for the next 10 days. As soon as they leave, our house starts the long process of going gluten free. (getting rid of foods with gluten and/or anything that might have contamination, wood and plastic kitchen items, buying a new dishwasher to wash the glass and stainless steel...etc)

            Eating fresh vegetables, meats, fruits and baked goods we make ourselves is just about the only way to be sure the food is safe.

          •  Fascinating (3+ / 0-)

            Thanks for posting.

    •  Try more protein (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It worked for me. I'm on Weight Watchers, and I make sure to eat at least 3 servings (3 oz of lean meat, a protein shake, scrambled eggbeaters/egg whites) every day. Studies have found that if you eat a lot of protein your stomach starts to produce a hormone that causes you to crave fewer carbs. That's why high protein diets work so well, but I don't want to go on a diet that limits carbs, so I just add protein. It takes about 4 days for the effect to kick in, but it is worth a try.

      P.S. this doesn't fix "psychological" cravings for carbs. When I'm stressed I still reach for sweets. I try to keep fruit and light yogurt handy at all times and drink a gatorade (G2) when I just need something quick.

    •  It's much harder to lose weight after 40 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ilex, Zulia, Diogenes2008


      "Right wing freak machine" General Wes Clark

      by Tracker on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:52:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you're hungry all the time, eat something (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the key is what you eat and how much not the eating.  And, honestly?  I'm so over age as an excuse.  This is not to discount hormonal changes and their effects but I know more people who won't start eating right and exercising because they're middle-aged plus.  I started exercising seriously for the first time in my adult life the month after my 40th birthday.  It's been 5 years and I'll have a slight variation [2-5 lbs.] but I've maintained.  And worked with other women who are in their 50s, 60s, and 70s.

      Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way. Booker T. Washington

      by conlakappa on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:14:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've always (0+ / 0-)

        been a bottomless pit, but I eat about 1/3 of what I used to as a young adult.  If I ate like I used to, I'd be at least 300+ lbs [now, I'm about 40 lbs overweight], and I'd have to exercise like Michael Phelps to work off so many calories, so age certainly does have an impact on caloric needs and metabolism levels.  

        And I've exercised [off and on--I used to run 8 miles] enough to avoid losing the level I've worked up to [aerobically and with weights].

        But I've always had a hungry feeling, regardless of what I eat.  

        The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

        by dfarrah on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 04:33:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hugs! I struggle too, and I beat myself up (21+ / 0-)

    when I miss two days of workouts (like yesterday and Sunday).  I prefer to work out so that I can eat what I want, but even so I eat too much.  Hang in there.

    fka indigoblueskies

    by RLMiller on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:05:15 AM PDT

  •  I've never understood the moral revulsion (52+ / 0-)

    some people seem to feel toward the obese. It's not just that we apparently eat too much, but that we're BAD PEOPLE because we're not in the very middle of the insurance industries height/weight charts. I've actually had conversations (online) in which people I had previously thought were pretty decent and normal went batshit insane moral indignation on the concept of obese people.

    It just baffles and hurts me.

    •  interesting and complex question (12+ / 0-)

      Obviously obese people look "different." But there are other factors:

      One factor: food craving is very much like an addiction. But one that is visually evident. Obese people eat too much.

      Related factor: obesity has a high social cost, as well as a cost to the individual.

      Another factor: Obese people tend to deny both of the above.

      note: since most people are overweight or obese nowadays, obese people don't get stared at until they are well into the obese range, which starts at roughly 50 pounds overweight. Many obese people are double their normal weight.

      note: I was obese, now am just overweight. I've lost 35 lbs. Within a couple of months I will be of normal weight, if I can continue my program. I literally feel better physically every week.

      fouls, excesses and immoderate behavior are scored ZERO at Over the Line, Smokey!

      by seesdifferent on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:43:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Justifications (16+ / 0-)
        1. Obese people do not eat that much more than non-obese people. When I watch what my non-overweight husband eats I am amazed. He can eat 3 hot dogs in a sitting, followed by a bag of full fat popcorn.
        1. A lot of things have high social costs. Riding motorcycles, climbing mountains, not exercising (even thin people should exercise). We don't seem to worry about those.
        1. By saying that we deny the above, you are trying to make it impossible for me to defend obese people, which is just nasty.

        You'd also be amazed at how little you have to weigh in order to be criticized. I was yelled at for stretching in public when I was only about 30 lbs overweight, and I'm tall, so 30 lbs is not that much. I have never been close to double my normal weight.

        There is nothing more critical than a reformed whore. I do agree, however, that losing weight makes me feel better. However, getting a personal trainer and exercising properly (so I don't get injured and have to give up) made me feel better even before I lost weight.

      •  By classifying (7+ / 0-)

        "food craving" as "an addiction", you get that big heaping dose of moral superiority. The fact is that the body is designed to get hungry when it is out of fuel. Heavy people eat just a little bit more than they need, because they're hungrier than they ought to be, not because they have made the conscious decision to addict themselves to food. Doctors are clueless why this is the case and have no suggestions except to go on a diet and stay on it for the rest of your life, which is such an unnatural thing to do that essentially no one can do it successfully. A "success rate" of 1% is also kmown as "failure of the treament method" when any other condition is discussed. With obesity it is considered a sign of the moral failure of the patient.

        The "social cost", if you mean medical cost, is not nearly as great as has been claimed for many years.  The only disease obesity has a large impact on is arthritis. The others it is a matter of a few percentage points or none at all.

        If wanting the country to succeed is wrong, I don't want to be right.

        by Angela Quattrano on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:42:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What I find sad (8+ / 0-)

          Is when someone is able to lose weight by exercise or dieting... and then considers everyone else "weak" because they aren't able to lose the weight as quickly or as well as they did.

          I deal with that attitude all the time.  I weigh 120 lbs, which isn't too bad (I'm only five feet tall, however), but it has been hard for me to lose weight.  I was always too thin growing up, but when I hit my 40's, the weight suddenly wouldn't go away.

          What makes it even more difficult is the food issues I've discussed here in other comments - that I literally could not exercise.  Just walking through the grocery store was an extreme workout for me, because of the lack of muscle strength.

          Finding out that I could take digestive enzymes and gain back a lot of the stamina I had lost was nothing short of a miracle for me...

          ...but I still get people saying "maybe you just needed to exercise more".

          Sometimes people just don't understand... unless they have been in the same exact position.  And since my underlying disorder is extremely rare, I haven't met anyone yet who has my exact problem (regarding digestive issues).  I've met plenty with periodic paralysis... but I was always the odd one out because I had symptoms that were extraneous.

          People should at least TRY to be more understanding.... seriously.

          "Spread happiness... share it with all those who seek it." - Keith Olbermann

          by Diogenes2008 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:34:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  A-fracking-men! (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cowalker, Lashe, ilex, jayjaybear, Ellinorianne

          Thank you for that!!!  And all of this "obese people cost so much" yet we freak out because "you'll have a heart attack at 32!!!"... how can you cost that much if you're gone by 32?  Certainly less than an 80 year old thin person.  

          "In political discussion heat is in inverse proportion to knowledge." J. G. C. Minchin

          by LucyMO on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:41:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I think it's actually tied up (14+ / 0-)

      in part with the excess emphasis on ultra-thinness. If you set standards almost no one can attain, people develop strong self-loathing, even if they are not, by regular standards, overweight. I went through this until I tossed my scale out 20 years ago. I think there's a lot of fear that may be getting misdirected because so many people (especially women) feel that they personally are fat by media standards — and they are. That still doesn't entirely explain the rampant epidemic of obesity in this country, which I think has complex origins, much of it definitely rooted in unhealthy attitudes toward food and unhealthy foods being so easy to access. But until people stop passing moral judgments on themselves, they're going to keep defensively passing judgments on others.

      Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

      by anastasia p on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:50:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have a fourteen year old daughter (9+ / 0-)

        who is perfectly slim and healthy; but she's concerned about her weight, because she weighs 160, and all her friends weigh quite a bit less.  The kicker here is that the girl is 5'11", so her weight is perfectly proportioned to her height. (Although if she were a model, she'd have to lose about 45 pounds!)

        I keep telling her that's she's perfect like she is, and that the best way for her to screw up her metabolism would be to start dieting.  She's a pretty sensible kid, so I think she gets it; but that number still bugs her.

        •  keep it up, mom (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Freakinout daily, ilex, Ellinorianne

          I have a slightly older cousin who was tall, slim and pretty. She gained a little weight one year as she got through to the other side of puberty, and the chit-chat started with her and her friends about "needing to lose weight." It didn't help that her younger sister, who was always a chubby type, was getting nasty comments at home about her weight.
          So she started the diets. She lost weight. She lost more weight. She became anorexic.
          Everyone said she looked "great," even though the truth is that she looked like a stick insect. By this time she was married and if she gained a couple pounds her husband started with the criticism.
          Long story short, she f*cked up her metabolism so bad that after years of this diet, that diet and yo-yo weight gain in between because she had developed a bizarre relationship to food, she now weighs around 300 pounds (morbidly obese).
          She has joined gyms, did so much Weight Watchers that one point she was leading the meetings, taken supplements and diet drugs. I believe she even had a gastric band or similar op at one point, though we haven't talked for awhile and it could be she didn't go through with it.
          Her ideas about her self-worth are almost completely wrapped up in how she feels about her fat body, not her sharp mind, caring nature, good sense of humour, and friendly personality.

          Me, I'm fat too--like every other woman in my family, a least since photography was invented. People have no idea that I weigh 230 because my frame can carry a lot, though it ought to be carrying about 50 pounds less. I've only been on a diet once, when one was imposed on our theatre group by a high school teacher. I weighed 140-160 until I got pregnant with my second child--gained 50 pounds and never lost it, then about a pound a year since. I'm about to give changing my diet (note: still not dieting) a go for the first time this fall, when my youngest leaves home. Seems to me that the easiest thing to do will be to eat more vegetables, give up meat altogether, and keep lots of fresh fruit around. Without a teenager around and the hectic schedule that goes with one, no more takeaways and pizzas--unless we really want one.

          Political Compass says: -8.88, -8.67
          "We never sold out cos no one would buy."--J Neo Marvin

          by expatyank on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:56:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks, I'm trying. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I never had a weight problem myself, until I went to college and a lot of my dorm mates had weird food issues.  So we all went on diets periodically, interspersed with midnight trips to the convenience store to buy cookies and chips.  Once I started that cycle, I was always fighting the same 10-20 lbs. for years.  I'm trying to prevent my kid falling into that trap.  I know just how she feels, though; I'm 5'7" and all my college buddies were 5'2", so they all weighed less and could borrow each others' size 4 clothes.  At about 130 lbs, I wore the "big" size ten.  (what I wouldn't give to be that size now!)  I knew I looked good, but that comparison still bothered me.

            So I just keep reinforcing to my daughter that 160 is an ideal weight for a girl nearly six feet tall, and that she looks adorable in a bikini (which she does, so I don't have to do that polite Mommy lie.)

    •  Because it's entirely preventable (0+ / 0-)

      Unless you're a small child, there is only one person controlling what food goes in your mouth and that's you.  I don't hate fat people, but I have no sympathy for them.  They brought it all on themselves.

      •  Are you serious? (7+ / 0-)

        I would desperately LOVE to know why YOU think I was still GAINING weight and going up in size during a 6-month period when I was careful to eat no more than 1600-2000 calories of healthy food per day (counting every goddamned thing I put into my mouth), drinking plenty of water, PLUS was getting an average of 45 minutes per day 5-6 days a week of hard aerobic exercise.

        Please, DO tell what made that happen.

        I (and my doctors) would LOVE to know your medical opinion on this one.

        Those who say it cannot be done
        should not interrupt the person doing it.

        by Lashe on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:28:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You are an ass (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pdxRita, Lashe, jayjaybear, Louisiana 1976

        and your screen name suits you.  

      •  You are an ass. nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
      •  sigh (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lashe, ilex, Ellinorianne

        In case there's anyone out there agreeing with this guy--no, it's not. You're fighting biology. You're fighting a hundred and one appetite-controlling hormones that say EAT EAT EAT EAT EAT. You're fighting 200,000 years of evolution wherein we evolved to GUARD our fat stores, because that was a good survival strategy in lean times. Yeah, we should all be wonderful strong people who can control our every urge and instinct--let me know how often you manage that, kay? It's hard as hell to starve yourself, and it's harder for some people than others just purely due to genetics, or for those people whose environment early in life predisposed them to obesity.

  •  Great diary (22+ / 0-)

    It's a real struggle. For me a lot of it has to do with creating an environmental conducive to health, with walkable neighborhoods, safe streets for bicycling, lots of parks and open spaces for recreation, running, hiking, good, healthy food in the stores and restaurants. You're right though, corporate America has a bigger interest in making sure that people are either driving, watching TV, eating or working, or preferably all of those at the same time!

  •  I have struggled, but (33+ / 0-)

    I learned to force myself to be athletic.

    Trust me, I was absolutely miserable running. I hated it, I told my self I just "wasn't a runner". But I kept it up.

    The problem is that there are so many voices in our media that tell us how easy and painless weightloss is. It isn't.

    There was a point in my life where I just accepted the fact that I could chose to be miserable for a hour a day while running or be miserable for the rest of my life.

    Life gives you a chance to choose when you are in pain, you may as well bring it on yourself in amounts you can deal with.

    "the government is full of vampires!" - Glenn Beck

    by superHappyInDC on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:10:38 AM PDT

    •  Word. (17+ / 0-)

      At the end of grad school and a bad marriage, I weighed 227 (on a 5'7" woman...I can't even look at pictures from that year, yikes).  When I moved away from all of my old habits and friends to take a job, I threw myself into fitness.  I counted calories carefully and exercised daily.  I got my weight down to about 167.  Still "fat", but I was perfectly happy with that weight, could wear normal clothing sizes, and so I just decided to maintain it there.

      Over the next 7 years, through a job change and some other stresses about 10 +/-5 pounds crept back on.  But I had learned good enough habits in my 2 years of weight loss mode never to let it get completely out of hand again.

      This spring, after turning 40, I decided I would take off the rest of my excess weight.  I bought a little monitor that tells me how many calories I burn in my daily activities.  I count every calorie and make sure I'm not eating more than I'm burning.  I've lost 14 pounds in the last 3 months.

      Not working hard enough was the only reason for my fatness -- for a person of my size, in a largely sedentary occupation to "burn it off", it simply takes about 2 hours of walking per day.  If I get up in the morning and exercise for about 45 minutes, walk the long way to my office from my car, and then work in a couple of short walks during the day, I burn enough calories to let me eat about 1800-2000 calories of food (the "RDA" for women) per day and lose weight.

      The price of weight loss is hard work and eternal vigilance about how much you're eating, unless you work at manual labor or in a walking/standing job.  It's not ever going to be fun, easy, or painless.  Running does get easier and more pleasant after you get used to it for a while, though, I find.

      Fat has never been a completely negative thing for me though.  What???  You say...

      I sometimes think of my excess weight as a fat suit.  The 227 pound fat suit came off and left me in a less-big fat suit that I've had since I was a teenager.  My fat has never been purely negative for me, even when I was very big.  The fat suits have been disguises, and in some sense I put them on, although maybe not completely voluntarily.  They give me a mass advantage, and they obscure trivial physical beauty enough so that people have to take me seriously.  They have kept me from being diminished, or preyed on, in some ways that small attractive girls and women can be.   I don't even know what's under the fat suit.  I have no idea what my body will look like or what size I will be or how people will interact with me when I get myself down to a healthy body fat %.  I already see signs that men will interact with me differently after losing only the weight I've lost recently, and that not all of those interactions will be of the type I'd welcome.

      In the words of Frances King:  "If you can’t be pretty, you might as well cause trouble."  From high school to grad school, my fat suit kept me happily in the realm of the trouble-makers.  I was never steered towards cheerleading or pressured for sex by high school boys, and later in my school career I was a big wall of woman that you didn't want to mess with -- it kept away the lecherous research advisors (mostly).  Yet my fat never stopped me from being pleased with my own face (except maybe for one year in there around 1999) and it never once stopped me from having rewarding romantic relationships and friendships.

      Coincidentally, the first time I took off a bunch of weight was after I got my first real job.  Now I've consolidated my professional power, as it were, and I have no reason not to be smaller or more conventionally attractive.  So I am ready to remove it and in the frame of mind to do so.

      Consider, if you're having trouble with weight, everything that it could be protecting you from.

    •  That is such a great way of looking at it. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ilex, ClapClapSnap, Ellinorianne

      There was a point in my life where I just accepted the fact that I could chose to be miserable for a hour a day while running or be miserable for the rest of my life.

      I run, too.  I recently started doing it.  Pretty much just did very intensive yoga before b/c I love it so much.  Still do  A LOT of yoga but have added running a few times a week into the mix.  The results are amazing.  I am so fortunate to have never had a huge struggle w/ weight.  Have known many that do and I know it is something they are constantly tormenting themselves about.  But still, had put on some pounds w/ working on the election and neglecting yoga and eating like shit.  Never thought I would ever see this clothing size again after having a child.  I didn't really necessarily want to.  But running is unbelieveably amazing (as much as I don't love doing it).  I'm having a fairly major surgery in the fall and am worried about not being able to do anything for several weeks.

      Say "Yes" to Michigan!

      by jodygirl on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:27:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Shin splints (6+ / 0-)

      Tried to run... shin splints. Tried to use treadmill... plantar fasciitis (sp?). Tried to do weights... torn meniscus, damage to elbow. Swimming ... bronchitis. Finally, I hired a trainer who specializes in difficult cases to show me how to exercise properly. He has been wonderful. At $50/session, he should be.

    •  That was true for me too - (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lashe, ilex, Ellinorianne

      until my knee pain wouldn't support my activities.  No more running.  No hiking.  I can bike, swim, and walk.  Grr!

      "Right wing freak machine" General Wes Clark

      by Tracker on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:54:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Since my knee sprain (4+ / 0-)

        (and the patellar tracking problem, and the broken bone in my foot...) running, even on a treadmill, just isn't something I feel comfortable doing very often, and not for any great distance.

        Rowing, though. I LOVE me that concept2 rowing machine at the club. Full aerobic and resistance workout, and it works darned near every muscle in your body at some point of the stroke, as you will discover after your first row...  While the full stroke is repetitive, the constant changeup in the motion keeps it from being something that lets your body "coast" through the work.

        It's the one exercise that doesn't even occasionally bother my foot. It doesn't bother my knees at all; the proper stroke is mostly in the legs, but if your knee is bugging you that day, you can modify it to do most of the work with your arms. If an elbow is bothering you, do most of the work with your legs that day. (Obviously, aim for a proper stroke whenever possible.)

        I'm so glad to have found it, thanks to a suggestion from a sculler from the Kiddie Pool.

        Those who say it cannot be done
        should not interrupt the person doing it.

        by Lashe on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:40:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  What has worked for me is only doing an (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Maynard G Krebs, Lashe, Ellinorianne

      exercise if I DON'T hate it. It's too easy to come up with an excuse to not do something I hate. I started with walking outside, and now I go to the gym three times a week for a two-hour workout that includes walking on the treadmill, strength exercises and yoga stretches.

      I try different things in my routine, and if I find I'm dreading a particular exercise, I substitute something else.

  •  Speaking as someone who, (27+ / 0-)

    even after losing 65 pounds, is considered obese:

    food SUCKS. I love it. I HATE IT. i LOVE it. I hate IT! i love IT! i hate it. food is AWESOME.

    I could continue but the point needn't shoved home with more.

    I exercised a LOT in high school. I was still 270. I didn't gain any weight going to college the first year but the second year I gained over 60 lbs. Exercising didn't help.

    Screw this food thing. Can't I survive on IV fed fluids?

    Abolish gun control, marriage, and helmet laws. -7.00, -3.79

    by KVoimakas on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:11:57 AM PDT

  •  I'm very overweight. (39+ / 0-)

    And it's very hard to live with.  I count calories, I exercise, I can't lose weight.  I have changed so much regarding what I eat, but it doesn't make a difference.  Doctors are dismissive and assume that because my husband is heavy that I can't be telling them the truth about what I eat, regardless of the fact that he eats considerably more than me and doesn't exercise at all.

    My bad eating habits, which I've spent most of my adult life fighting began in childhood.  My parents restricted my food (so I wouldn't get fat) and I was often hungry, and even when I wasn't, I ate because tomorrow I might be hungry.  I grew up very isolated and never really felt safe and food was a comfort.

    The diet industry is not there to help you, they are there to make money.

    I'm not really getting anywhere with my comment, just glad we can discuss that weight is not a character issue.

    •  The diet industry (24+ / 0-)

      is there to make money.  I'm quite sure that there are many involved who wish to help people with their weight and their health but ultimately, it's an industry and it can't solve this issue.  It's disgusting how much money we spend on weight loss products, Billions every year with results that are so dismal it's shameful.

      Not everyone will be the right size or shape, but ultimately it's about being healthy.  Don't be so hard on yourself and keep looking for answers, don't let doctors tell you that you aren't worth the work.  It takes time and persistence and only you can be your best advocate.

      Please help me get to Netroots Nation! Please.

      by Ellinorianne on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:34:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Probably not the case (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ellinorianne, conlakappa, Katie71

      that your parents restricting your intake as a child is a factor. Though obviously you can never forget such a long period of what your body quite rightly interpreted as starvation.

      If wanting the country to succeed is wrong, I don't want to be right.

      by Angela Quattrano on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:48:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It could be (7+ / 0-)


        did you know that the mother restricting calories during pregnancy can cause the child to develop a calorie-parsimonious metabolism, and tend to get fat?

        There's a good evolutionary reason for this type of adaption during the devlopmental process...if a kid's born into a famine prone environment, it will serve the kid well to need the least possible calories and, if there is a temporary surplus, pack it away in the form of fat for future use.

        All those pregnant mothers in the 1950's and early 1960's who tried, on medical advice, not to gain more than 12 pounds, were setting their kids up for later weight struggles, for example. Who knew?

        On top of that, part of the tendency to gain weight on a particular regimen is strictly genetic. If a lot of your ancestors lived in famine prone environments, there's a good chance your body--and unconscious mind--will try to minimize calorie use and gain weight when possible, "anticipating" lean times, which in modern society may never actually come.

        •  Whew, glad I gained those 35 pounds (5+ / 0-)

          with each of my pregnancies!  Too bad I still carry around most of those pounds 14 years later, though.

        •  Also setting themselves up for (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ellinorianne, Katie71

          serious complications- restricting weight during pregnancy is a good way to end up with pre-eclampsia. (Been there, done that, barely survived.) When I was a student midwife we recommended 25-30 pounds gain, with high quality protein, complex carbohydrates, and lots of veggies. Outcomes were good, and if you had extra weight it tended to go away while you're breastfeeding.

          "It is our choices Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." -Albus Dumbledore ~~~~~~~~~

          by Lainie on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 01:08:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I think emotionally it's a huge factor. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lashe, Ellinorianne

        Even now I still get afraid that there's not going to be enough.  And the first time I turn down something is scary.  I know that sounds kind of silly, but it's real to me.

    •  "Are you sure you counted EVERYTHING?" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ellinorianne, Katie71, andreac

      The doctor asks about your food diary, because obviously, if you haven't lost weight, you must be lying about how much you ate.

      Some doctors, you can tell them time, food, amount, and a full nutritional breakdown of everything you ate, and they'll still claim you're lying because your body isn't acting "normally".

      Gee, DUH, doc, why do you think I came to a doc about this weight in the first place!

      I hear you... there's no winning with some of them. If your body doesn't fit "normal" parameters as they think it should, when it comes to being overweight it's all because you're a liar or something - not because of any physical, genetic, or hormonal problems you may have. (Problems they might find if they would just LOOK instead of calling you a liar.)


      Those who say it cannot be done
      should not interrupt the person doing it.

      by Lashe on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:56:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It took me YEARS (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ellinorianne, Katie71

      to talk to that inner ravenously hungry adolescent, who was growing and growing and didn't have more than just a little food to eat, and reassure her that no, really, we can stop when we're comfortable. There will be food tomorrow. If we want more, we can go out and buy it.

      But it was a seriously hard struggle.

  •  this is the struggle of my life (26+ / 0-)

    and now I am in such bad shape I can't even exercise.  my iron levels are so low that my blood does not carry much oxygen.  I get out of breath easily, so I avoid exerting myself, which is a vicious circle that can make me even weaker.

    my conditioning has improved a bit in recent months with a new job that requires walking around a much larger office area and occasional climbing of stairs.  The first day I had to stop to rest twice walking up the one flight of stairs and now I can go straight up without stopping, so that is something.

    I do not obsess about food all day.  I do not graze all day.  In fact, most days I am so busy I go without eating all day.  I do not have a sweet tooth.  I know some people eat nothing but junk and if you took the junk food out of their diet there would be nothing left.  But I enjoy lots of healthy foods like beans and grains and fruits and vegetables as part of my meals.  I know my protein portions are too large and I eat too many nuts and cheese and fried snacks.  Grease and salt: my downfall.

    I understand that it is a visual culture and people have been trained to find me less visually appealing, but I don't see why I should inspire disgust and moral indignation.  I think I'm still attractive, but maybe that is just a self-delusion to give me the courage to show myself in the world every day at this very large size.

    I believe someday scientists will discover the true causes of obesity and people will realize there is a biological compulsion involved and we are not just willfully destroying ourselves for the hell of it.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
    President Obama. Still a thrill to see that in print.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:31:38 AM PDT

    •  gease and salt (8+ / 0-)

      when the ants start taking over my kitchen I take the 40 mule team borax (probably 25 years old now) and mix it with water and either sugar or butter and burger fat. I tell people there's 2 kinds of ants, either sugar or grease. I'm definitely a grease critter. Put a potato chip and a piece of cake in front of me and I'll take the chip every time.

      music- the universal language

      by daveygodigaditch on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:46:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  eating once a day is worse for you (12+ / 0-)

      than eating smaller meals multiple times a day.  It slows down your metabolism to only eat once.

      Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. ~ Reinhold Niebuhr

      by bvig on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:00:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, worst thing you can do (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ellinorianne, Vacationland

        I've always been pretty svelte, but as I enter middle age I'm noticing the inevitable slowdown of my metabolism.

        So I've been exercising more--mostly in "boot camp" settings (single trainer with up to a dozen people, though usually only three or four show up, and its not unusual to be the only person there). My current trainer is really good and has the following suggestions for nutrition:

        1. Eat 5-6 small meals per day. Always have fruit and vegetables with a meal.
        1. Drink lots of water.
        1. Keep track of your sugar intake. Many, many prepared foods have lots of hidden sugars in them. Things like condiments and peanut butter. Personally, I won't touch anything with HFCS.
        1. Shoot for a 40-30-30 carbs-protein-fat ratio, making sure the carbs are whole grain and the fats are high in omega-3s.
        1. It's ok to work in an occasional "cheat."

        Tikkun Olam...Obama '08

        by tethys on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:31:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But don't call it cheating; too much baggage (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I'm not sure if many people are going to sit down and figure out a ratio.

          Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way. Booker T. Washington

          by conlakappa on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:28:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  thanks tethys (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ellinorianne, Vacationland

          i do some of those things.  I am good with my water intake.  I read labels like a maniac and avoid HFCS.  I don't eat a lot of prepared foods (I like natural peanut butter) and I don't add sugar to my food.  I have a pound of sugar in my house that I bought almost a year ago.

          i know what my problem is: i eat large portions of meat/poultry/fish, which is too often fried, and eat sandwiches with mayonnaise, and put butter in/on everything, and snack on high calorie things like nuts and chips (although I haven't had either one lately).

          it feels good to share.  If OA were this good I would go to more meetings!  I wish we had a food habits subcommunity here where we could share like this every week.

          Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
          President Obama. Still a thrill to see that in print.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 01:48:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I know. it's horrible. extremely poor habit. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ellinorianne, Vacationland

        I am trying to eat smaller meals throughout the day but my schedule is so unmanageable sometimes that I just don't make it a priority.

        For example, I have not yet had anything to eat today.   I had planned to get an egg sandwich on my way to work but I was already running late.  So I told myself I would forget breakfast and get something from the nearby Whole Foods for a healthy lunch (which I usually do manage to do on Tuesdays).  When my morning meeting ended I tried to finish up a few loose ends before going to get lunch.  But as I was getting ready to head out the door someone called and needed to see me with an urgent matter.  I even told her I was just about to run out to get something to eat and she assured me it would take "just a minute".  It took her half an hour to get to my office and then we ended up talking for almost two hours.  But it was an important conversation and worth skipping a meal for.

        By now I was getting into the late lunch time of day, but I got a call about a time sensitive matter that had to be taken care of right away.  Then someone else dropped in to talk, but he did only take a few minutes.

        Then I looked at the clock and it was 4:15 and I still had a whole day's worth of things to do and had had nothing to eat.  I checked for reply comments before I turned my computer off and saw this and wrote this quick response.

        Some days I manage to at least grab an apple as I am heading out the door so that I don't work all day on nothing.  My plan is to buy a small refrigerator for my office so I can have fruit and yogurt (I like yogurt) and other appropriate snacks right at hand even when I am working nonstop.

        I am beginning to feel hungry now but I have to get to the bank before it closes.  I promise I'll get something to eat before my evening meeting, otherwise it will be 8:30 or 9 before I get home, kicking myself once again for going all day without eating.

        I'm so large people think I eat all the time but they don;t know how it wreaks havoc on your metabolism to get home at 9pm and eat one (way too big because by then I'm really hungry) meal and fall in bed exhausted while the food is still mostly undigested.

        I have so many bad habits I need to break!!!

        Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
        President Obama. Still a thrill to see that in print.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 01:42:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Knowing is the first step. :-) (0+ / 0-)

          I'm so large people think I eat all the time but they don;t know how it wreaks havoc on your metabolism to get home at 9pm and eat one (way too big because by then I'm really hungry) meal and fall in bed exhausted while the food is still mostly undigested.

          I have so many bad habits I need to break!!!

          You eat like my Dad, I think.  He can start with black coffee, have a couple of crackers and peanut butter with honey midday, more black coffee, and then around 8 or 9 pm he'll realize he hasn't eaten, is now starving, and eat a single meal that has twice or three times the daily calories he needs, then suffer digestion issues because it's so late (acid reflux, IBS symptoms caused by the big carb-dump, etc.). Sound familiar?

          I used to do a variation of that: lived on black coffee and cigarettes and the occasional small snack (usually an apple, or peanut butter on a piece of toast), work like a fiend, skip lunch, work late, get home after 8 or 9, and then realize I hadn't eaten all day and have a single meal late at night. My "excercise" involved walking to and from the subway or bus, work, and home - a few minutes per trip, tops.

          I'm not much for fried/salty food, but I lived on takeout (Chinese, Vietnamese, Middle Eastern, Indian, Greek, pizza, whatever) for years, and I do like me some dessert (though I don't go crazy, I wasn't chowing on plates of brownies or eating whole pints of Ben & Jerry's, but I do feel deprived if the meal doesn't end with something sweet). But - well, I only ate once a day!  How can I be my size?

          The eating better stuff, more frequently helps. You find you don't crave that big pile of food at the end of the day. Being prepared helps so much.  Buy the following things and stash them at home and work:

          lowfat or part-skim cheese sticks

          small organic fat-free or lowfat yogurt (I like Stonyfield Farm - they have good flavors, it's organic, and it's a decent, socially conscious company)

          a container of hummous (or a similar bean/chickpea-based dip) and a bag of baby carrots

          a bag of apples

          cut-up fruit or veggies (buy them pre-sliced if you can afford it; it eliminates the excuse that you don't have time to prepare them and truly does make it easier to snack on something good for you)

          a bag of baked chips (Target has good flavors, Jamaican Jerk, garlic-rosemary, vinegar, BBQ) - and a bunch of small baggies; take them home and portion them out into the number of servings it says on the bag (9 or 10, I think?) - have the small portions handy, not the big bag.

          Mini cans of tuna and lemon juice (I prefer real lemons at home, but keep a bottle of lemon juice in my work fridge) - the lemon jazzes up the tuna so you don't miss the mayo, and even a small bit of protein earlier in the day will make you feel more full than just carbs or empty-calorie junk.

          Oh, and also try to have water handy and drink as much of it as you can during the day.

          All of those things have less than 150 calories per serving. If you have them handy, you can make the time to grab them and eat them - I can usually find 5 or 10 minutes a couple of times a day even on the busiest days. Use them to take care of yourself by normalizing your eating schedule. Make it a priority.  You should start to feel better (and less hungry at night) almost immediately.

          •  i got up this morning and had a healthy breakfast (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            shredded wheat, soymilk and mandarin oranges in pear juice.

            i love all those things.  i don't think of it as a diet breakfast.

            now I can take my morning pills and feel like I have done something right to start the day!

            Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
            President Obama. Still a thrill to see that in print.

            by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 07:02:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There ya go. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Now, make sure you have something for lunch (lean protein, whole-grain bread, some kind of veggie...a small turkey sub, skip pickles and mayo would work), a small snack mid-to-late afternoon (a piece of fruit, 10 almonds, or a low-fat string cheese) and dinner that doesn't involve anything salty or fried, and you're on your way.  :-)

    •  Yay for small victories! (4+ / 0-)

      my conditioning has improved a bit in recent months with a new job that requires walking around a much larger office area and occasional climbing of stairs.  The first day I had to stop to rest twice walking up the one flight of stairs and now I can go straight up without stopping, so that is something.

      And it will only get better, I promise.  Okay, I feel like a dork for wanting to celebrate this, but this weekend, I sprinted up a flight of stairs for the first time in about 25 years. I just decided in the moment to try it and zzzzip, up I went.  When I got to the top I stood there for a moment with a Cletus-the-Slack-Jawed-Yokel expression, realizing that I had completely forgotten what it felt like to do that.

      And to be honest, I would not have been able to do that even 3 or 4 weeks ago.  Since January, I've been working out 4-5x a week for at least 35-40 minutes, but that started out as an exhausted 20 minutes of flailing around after which I hurt for 3 days, so, y'know, I hear ya).

      I understand limits on excercise - I have always walked (I live downtown and don't own a car) but my pace was slow and I was really starting to hurt the last few years. Out of breath, heart pounding, feet and knees and hips and lower back aching. And walking in the heat? Fuggedaboutit. I get so red in the face people assume I'm about to stroke out (I'm not, I'm just naturally pasty and flush easily).

      Complications for me (aside from my size, which while shrinking, is still comfortably in the "obese" category) include nerve damage and pins holding together part of one knee (courtesy of a car accident in my 20s), early arthritis in my knee, hip and shoulder joints, and congenital lower back problems. That 20+ years of smoking didn't do me any favors, either (quit 5 years ago this summer, who-hoo!).

      Because of this, my entire routine is based on making adjustments for my body so I can keep moving...because I know that if I don't keep moving, I'll die a lot sooner than I want to, and before I go, I'll spend a good long time as a prisoner in my own body, reliant on pain meds, like my Dad. It's a very bad way to go.

      I'm not a skinny minnie, never have been.  I was a sturdy-verging-on-pudgy kid who spent more than a few years in a food-insecure household (living on a feast/famine cycle encourages poor eating habits; everything from hoarding to binging to eventually just dissociating from having any sense of appetite). When we visited relatives, we'd be in food comas after consuming alien treats like bologna-and-cheese sandwiches, chips, sodas, Kool-Aid or packaged snack treats. My body learned to hang onto those calories, not knowing from one day to the next whether there would be anything to eat. In short, my upbringing made me extremely famine-resistant.  I have the metabolism of a garden slug, or possibly a hibernating grizzly.

      We also did a lot of physical activity (chopping & lugging wood, walking, biking, swimming, etc.) so I was muscular, never skinny. When I moved in with the other parent and food was no longer scarce, I gained 60 lbs in less than a year (at my full adult height of 5'3").

      Spent my teens and early twenties on a series of starvation diets, the worst of which involved eating less than 700 calories a day and caused my nails to crack, my teeth to loosen in my gums, and my hair to fall out in clumps. I dropped 45 lbs on that diet, felt like absolute death, and basked in the praise of friends and family and colleagues who told me I looked fantastic. I guess the smaller ass distracted them from the gray circles under my eyes, cracked lips and patchy hair?

      I can go all day on nothing but black coffee and not even feel a hunger pang; eating one meal a day used to be a piece of cake for me (indeed, sometimes that "one meal" was an actual piece of cake!). Sounds to me like this might be where you are, in terms of eating patterns.

      If I may make a suggestion?  Stop doing that!

      I hate formal dieting as much as anyone alive.  I won't step on a scale, after having that stupid number dictate my self worth for so many years. Even now, while I'm sticking to a rigorous (for me) workout plan, I do not do the traditional dieting things like count calories, weigh food, or eat special diet foods (in fact, those can be seriously counterproductive; case in point, diet soda actually contributes to weight gain in obese or insulin-resistant people). What I do, aside from the usual common-sense stuff like eat more veggies and fruit, lean protein and complex carbs, avoid processed or very salty foods and high fructose corn syrup, is this: eat frequently.  

      I know! It's a pain in the ass. Seems counterproductive. I'm not hungry 3 or 4 times a day either. But seriously: eat frequently. I can eat 1000 calories a day and not lose weight, if all of those calories are concentrated in one or two meals a day at most.  If I break the same calories into 4 or 5 meals, it either revvs up the metabolism or evens out the blood sugar levels, I don't know, but the end result is that the weight starts coming off. In fact, I can eat up to 300 more calories a day in this manner (lots of evenly-spaced small meals) and maintain or lose weight.

      And sorry for trotting out the obvious cliche, but...what have you go to lose? :-)  Hang in there!

    •  Please work on not skipping meals (3+ / 0-)

      a hand full of nuts, a single serving of apple sauce, yogurt, dried fruit, whatever your body and mind likes, take it.

      Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way. Booker T. Washington

      by conlakappa on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:26:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I know so many people (14+ / 0-)

    who've found peace with food through Overeaters Anonymous. Obviously that doesn't help with the national conversation we need to have! But on an individual level, it does deal with the guilt, the shame, underlying personal issues, and the rebuilding of healthier food habits.

    On the national scale (no pun intended!) I see obesity as another manifestation of our consumerism gone insane. Culturally we've completely swallowed the concept that personal fulfillment, completion, happiness, satisfaction can be purchased and applied externally: step into that new car, eat that burger, luxuriate in your new clothes! And we gobble, gobble, gobble while the hole we're trying to fill just gets bigger. It moves me to tears.

    Ellinorianne, whatever your ultimate path to peace, I hold you in my heart.

    •  Question: who is responsible? (0+ / 0-)

      By that I don't mean who is to blame, but rather, where does ultimate responsibility lie?

      Is it the responsibility of the corporations to make our good choices for us, or is it each individual's responsibility to take care of themselves?

      Is the power of advertising so strong that it represents an "independent force" that the average consumer cannot reasonably expected to resist? Or are we looking to blame others for our problems?

      I understand your comments about "consumerism gone insane"; I just wonder how that can be addressed without creating a situation that is even worse.

      If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible...tonight is your answer.

      by Azdak on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:08:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The corporations will make better choices (3+ / 0-)

        If we give them no options.

        If we stop buying the stuff that is processed to death, then perhaps they'll try to make healthier food.  We see a small amount of that in some areas, like (for example) some of the fast food restaurants that are trying to build slightly healthier menus.

        If we keep asking for the good stuff, eventually they'll get it, and then WE will get it.  :)

        "Spread happiness... share it with all those who seek it." - Keith Olbermann

        by Diogenes2008 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:35:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's the solution that I prefer.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          as opposed to govt regulation in this case.

          It may take longer, but the benefits tend to be more long-lasting.

          If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible...tonight is your answer.

          by Azdak on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:49:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alexandra Lynch

      Please help me get to Netroots Nation! Please.

      by Ellinorianne on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:38:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I disagree completely (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      evilstorm, Gorette, Clio2, LucyMO, Ellinorianne

      I see obesity as a result of a number of factors, much of which, like our genetics, we have no control over, and none of which are related to any philosophy or attitude.

      If everybody had to walk to the store to buy raw ingredients (or grow their own) we would be much healthier. But I have always cooked all my own food, and I used to be an exercise fanatic, and I have never been thin.

      If wanting the country to succeed is wrong, I don't want to be right.

      by Angela Quattrano on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:53:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yours, first comment to mention genetics. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        evilstorm, LucyMO, Ellinorianne

        That's fascinating. People talk about lack of "control" or will-power and exercise and diet, but genetics certainly plays a major role.

        I really don't understand how bipartisanship is ever going to work when one of the parties is insane. - John Cole

        by Gorette on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:02:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But if you and everyone in your family (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          evilstorm, Ellinorianne

          all eat the same way, it can be difficult to tease away the genetics from the behavior.

          Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way. Booker T. Washington

          by conlakappa on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:31:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  genetics certainly plays a role (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            but there's a difference between not thin and obesity, where many risks on health and life quality accumulate.  Some people do just have a higher set point.

            Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. ~ Reinhold Niebuhr

            by bvig on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 01:38:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  OA is great for the religious. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ellinorianne, kyeo

      Not as awesome for the rest of us.

      •  Not my experience (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        arrows theorem

        but I understand there's a lot of variation, especially regionally. In urban Northern California, you're as likely to park your butt in a 12-step meeting next to an atheist or a pagan as a Christian.

        I've heard complaints that in other parts of the country, "higher power" is equated with Christianity's god, and it's hard to plow a different path. It's a shame, because detangling the spiritual aspects from concepts of "religion" means more people can heal.

  •  I bloated up like a (13+ / 0-)

    . . . well, pick a conventional simile while I was in law school.  Long hours, stress, eating at odd times (and the wrong things).  

    Then I lost my best friend to cancer, during the first week of bar prep.  My other friends (and my husband) had me on a virtual suicide watch; I couldn't eat anything, and what I did eat came back up almost immediately.  I lost 30 pounds during that miserable 8 weeks, but I started doing yoga to help deal with the stress and depression.  It helped a lot.

    I don't recommend that as a weight loss method, but I have used Alli to good effect.  I did not have a single issue with some of the more unpleasant side effects.  For me, it was a good way to really examine my diet for fat content and get a jump start on the rest of my regiment.  

    You are a valuable person.  Believe that.  I do.  

    Our promises are made in proportion to our hopes, but kept in proportion to our fears.-LaRouchefoucauld

    by luvsathoroughbred on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:31:43 AM PDT

  •  Nutrition and Wellness (8+ / 0-)

    I've struggled with weight my whole life.  I've never really been obese, but was a chubby kid left with some painful memories.  

    As an adult, I came to terms with the issue and have focused my energies on finding workouts that I enjoy and eating food that nourishes my body and my soul.  Weight is no longer a problem for me and I am a healthy and fit individual.

    I really think the key to solving the weight issue is education and moderation.  We can't blame corporate america for marketing products that don't work or that make us fat.  There are plenty of healthy products that are marketed to us as well.  

    •  It's not about blame (6+ / 0-)

      there are a lot of foods that are pushed as health that just aren't and many of the foods that we are told are safe, aren't either.  It's more complicated than that.

      Please help me get to Netroots Nation! Please.

      by Ellinorianne on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:52:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  availability (8+ / 0-)

        you're right the most available foods often are not very healthy, whether it's for a quick lunch or at the grocery store.  So it has to be a lifestyle change where you either know what foods are OK in the grocery store or learning about local farms in the area.  My fiance and I just cook up a storm and take the leftovers in for lunch.  We just got tired of eating all the crap that's out there, and it's so much better.  Homemade delicious desserts and a nice hot meal but we're able to regulate ourselves.  We don't cook with any butter, only vegetable oil, usually canola, we eat lots of fish, which to cut down the price we often buy frozen when it's on sale.  It takes a bit of time to stop craving the grease burgers from mcdonalds but now they hurt my belly and I'd rather have a homemade burger.  Home cooking is the way to go.

        Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. ~ Reinhold Niebuhr

        by bvig on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:05:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree completely (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Once you get used to cooking healthy at home, it's not that hard and you start to prefer it to eating out.

          I always bring my lunch and many times it's leftovers from the previous evening.  

        •  I still have cravings (0+ / 0-)

          Even after 10 months, I still want a Big Mac and large fries with a gallon of Coke followed with 5 or 6 cigarettes on a drive.  There was something really fulfilling about that whole routine, but I could just feel myself clogging my arteries, driving up my blood pressure, and frying my lungs.  

          My New Year's resolution this year was to lose 20 pounds and eat healthier.  I am not obese, but I am overweight - I have become extremely lazy when it came to diet and exercise.  So, after 10 years I packed it on.

          For the most part, I am succeeding at weight loss.  I haven't invested totally into dropping all the weight in 6 months or even within the year.  When people say or I read that for the most part diets do not work, I believe them.  Moderation and cutting out most the crap is what I am doing.  That and eating my vegetables and drinking water.

          However, I still get very discouraged.  As my wife always says to me when I get discourage by the process - it took you 10 years to put it on, it is going to take awhile to lose it.  

      •  That's my point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I didn't say it was about blame.  Several of the responses referred to the marketing of junk food being responsible - my point was that it is more complicated than that.

  •  I had an eating disorder in my teens. (19+ / 0-)

    I am twice the weight I was then, and have rather a complicated relationship with it. My knees and feet would, biomechanically, be slightly happier if I carried less total poundage. (Not entirely happy; I've got an excessive Q angle and one bad midfoot.)

    But I don't want to be thin.

    I've accepted and grown to love that I take up space, that I am lush, full, curved, soft, big in body as I am big in mind and personality. My genetics are to be tall and big of breast and hip and back, with solid, long legs. If I dropped a hundred pounds, society would still call me fat. So I don't worry about society. My partners love me, and they don't have a problem with it.

  •  Have you had your thyroid checked? (6+ / 0-)

    It's a major cause of obesity, is a pain in the ass to deal with, and you have to take pills for the rest of your life, but on the other hand it takes away the moral guilt.

  •  Great diary! (10+ / 0-)

    I think society, capitalism, technology and personal responsbility all have a part to play in the obesity epidemic.  

    I recently had to make some lifestyle adjustments to begin losing the 27 lbs I had gained since I quit smoking and switched jobs (my job now is more sedentary).  I have lost 15 lbs, and I am working on losing the last 12.

    I have good days and bad, and I realize I am only human.  I never had to struggle with my weight as a smoker, but I would never go back to smoking.

    I just need to take better care of myself.  Eating fast food sometimes seems like 'care', but is it really?  Not sure.  I know that in a hectic life, it seems like a saving grace.  

    But in the end, I have buyers remorse.  And it often doesn't taste as good as I want it to, and so I've learned to pack lunches, enjoy cooking meals etc.  I like good quality, fresh food, I've found.  And it's really hard to get that out, so most of the time (unless its a special occasion) I just no longer go.

    Society, especially capitalist societies, have people willing to you your dirty chores for you, for a buck or two.  Car washing, house cleaning, yard work, etc.  I don't rememeber my folks paying for those things - they did them themselves, or had us kids help out.  Now, I may have my neighbor cut my yard, but I trim the hedges, and weed the beds.  It burns more calories, and puts more $$ in my pocket.  I wash my car instead of go through the auto-washer.

    These things may be small changes, but they add up to a mindset.  I don't care where I park in the parking lot, I'll walk.  I biked to the centralized mailboxes to pick up my mail, I don't drive.  Those things...

    But mostly I try to eat and prepare food with loving care, because if I don't care for myself, who will?

    Best of luck on your journey, Ellinoranne~!

    I'm sick of GOP SOP!

    by xysea on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:39:09 AM PDT

    •  I clean my own house (9+ / 0-)

      I walk my daughter to school in the morning.  I'm not completely sedentary.  And the arthritis hasn't helped nor the fibromyaligia, constant pain is a difficult thing to bear.  So I know I already have amassed some good habits.  If I don't like something, why bother, I don't eat it.  Progress not perfection.

      Please help me get to Netroots Nation! Please.

      by Ellinorianne on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:49:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Progress, yes (6+ / 0-)

        Perfection?  That's a dangerous thing to reach for.

        I think this says it for me:

        "Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing."  - Harriet Braiker

        "Spread happiness... share it with all those who seek it." - Keith Olbermann

        by Diogenes2008 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:52:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  yes, that's excellent. (6+ / 0-)

        The point is, progress.  No one is going to be perfect.  When I first started, I worked out all the dang time.  Now, maybe 3xs a week but I watch portions more.  

        And I've had problems, too.  When I found out a delivery service here would deliver ice cream (my weakness) to the house, for example.  I gained 3lbs in one week that way and then said 'nope'.  So, I stopped doing it.

        I guess I'm just lucky I like to eat mostly vegetarian food, and I eat a lot of fruits and vegs.  My other weakness is bread, but I try to only have a bit of it.  Today it was a veggie burger with lettuce, tomato and sprouts, with plain potato chips and a pickle.  Tonight it will be grilled fish with couscous and broccoli.  I happen to like that, and how it makes me feel, a bit more than Wendy's or some place like that.

        I'm sick of GOP SOP!

        by xysea on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:52:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Your weighty issue (11+ / 0-)

    You are not alone in your struggle. I`ve been where you are now Dear; and there is hope. Look into minimizing your carbohydrate intake. You don`t have to get all crazy about it. After losing nearly 100 pounds in the last 2 years, I have found this to be the solution for me. A low carb way of life is extremely easy to live with. High carb foods don`t stay with you the way that protein rich food does; thereby not leaving you to feel starved the way a low fat diet does. There are hundreds of recipes online and all the info and support you could want. You can rid yourself of that self-imposed prison. Others of us have and it is so much easier this way. Forget the gimmicky TV solutions; YOU have the power to do it on your own, with a low carb approach. Good luck and God bless you with better health that YOU can make happen.

  •  The solution for me has always been (11+ / 0-)

    walk, walk, walk, and when I was younger, it was jog, jog, jog - plus a low carb diet. Between high carb foods and high fructose corn syrup in our foods, it is a wonder we are not even heavier.  Also, the size of portions in restaurants is more than enough for two; I always bring the other half home now for the next day's meal.
        It is difficult too when one's chosen pleasures such as reading, writing, crocheting, painting, etc are all sedentary activities when one should really be in 'boot-camp' for a month!
        It is so simple for one's weight to rise and so very difficult to lose weight. This is a reminder I give myself from time to time.
        Living uncomfortably in one's body is a tragedy, whether gender issues or being overweight, or being anorectic for that matter.
        I wish you well and good physical health no matter how long it takes in your struggle, just never give up.

    In youth we learn, in age we understand.

    by Jbeaudill on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:39:57 AM PDT

    •  Yes, you are right. If you can walk, do so!!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It is the best advice. Walk miles.

      When I lived in DC without a car and walked to work and well, everywhere, I lost weight and was in the best shape ever. (This was before the metro was built!)

      So before you get too sedentary or have arthritis and can't walk, keep walking and walking and you won't regret it. Lots of people get injured from running and jogging but not from walking.

      [I have four joint replacements already and do not want another so my bad knee keeps me from walking much now, making it hard to lose weight.]

      I really don't understand how bipartisanship is ever going to work when one of the parties is insane. - John Cole

      by Gorette on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:11:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My husband has a cousin who was clinically (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gorette, Zulia

        obese, his lower legs had turned purple from his weight and diabetes. He worked at Target; when he retired, he joined the Post Office and walked delivering mail.  He lost well over 100 pounds and no longer has diabetes and his legs look normal.  Amazing!  His job in retirement saved his life.
              I wish everyone would read your post!

        In youth we learn, in age we understand.

        by Jbeaudill on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:59:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Great story! Walking works more than diet. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          But it has to be every day and a couple of miles minimum with longer walks as well.

          I really don't understand how bipartisanship is ever going to work when one of the parties is insane. - John Cole

          by Gorette on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 02:47:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Have you had your thyroid checked? (6+ / 0-)

    A good deal of the time obesity is caused by thyroid malfunction. There are other symptoms, and you may have to take pills for the rest of your life, but a blood test will let you know for may also take away the guilt.

    •  Yes (8+ / 0-)

      repeatedly, it's fine.  It comes down to portion sizes and activity for me, I know that.  But it's more complicated than that.  Which I will attempt to understand but the first thing is talking about it and my health issues make exercise difficult at times.  It's just all so complicated.

      Please help me get to Netroots Nation! Please.

      by Ellinorianne on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:45:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Portion size was most difficult for me. (13+ / 0-)

        Meat should be the size of my palm?  What?!  

        1/2 c of ice cream is damn little, I'm telling you.  lol

        But eventually my body couldnt' handle more.  Even when I tried to eat a bit more, it actually upset my stomach.  

        I'm sick of GOP SOP!

        by xysea on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:54:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's what's never been a problrm (6+ / 0-)

          for me - I've never been able to eat large volumes of food. But I tend to pick foods that aren't good for me, because when I eat the ones that are good for me, I'm left still craving calories when I'm stuffed (I don't know how to explain the discomfort of feeling "hungry" and "so stuffed you want to throw up" at the same time).

          So my diet is full of calorie-dense, greasy, sugary foods, liquid calories, processed crap...I'm only slightly chubby to look at and my weight is in the low end of "healthy" for my height, but my diet is terribly unhealthy and I have a really bad relationship with food.

          •  Ellyn Satter (5+ / 0-)

            Kyril, if you know you're not eating right (because you don't feel well), you may find Ellyn Satter's books useful.  Her focus is on feeding children, but we all were children once and we don't have to stay stuck with how we grew up.  Her tone is so matter-of-fact, calm, encouraging and reality-based.  She not only cuts through all the dieting bullshit (and there is so much misinformation about diet and health, it's astonishing) and gives the reader confidence in our ability to make our own choices.

            I've read all of her books.  Her basic ideas and insights are present in them all.  How to get your kid to eat (but not too much) has stories from her clinical experiences that are useful for understanding one's own disordered eating.  Secrets for Feeding a Health Family has recipes and plans for non-disordered eating.  Child of Mine was her first book, and it's now in a second, revised edition.  I cannot recommend them highly enough!

            •  Thanks for the suggestion (5+ / 0-)

              I'll take a look at that.

              I actually grew up with what was objectively a really good diet - dinners all homemade food entirely from scratch, balanced, lots of veggies. I still love veggies. They're like a treat (seriously, when I have room left to enjoy some broccoli it's the most amazing dessert!

              But I was always an underweight kid, and starting in high school I started feeling hungry all the time - the stuff we ate at home wasn't enough. I'd go through 3-4 sodas and 2-3 packs of Skittles or M&Ms during the day at school, in addition to our regular meals, and was still not gaining weight at an appropriate rate for my height. I'd wake up in the middle of the night hungry (in that "I need calories but don't have anywhere to put them" way), and I'd wander to the kitchen and literally eat spoonfuls of sugar out of the bag if we didn't have any snacks already prepared.

              My weight finally caught up with my height when I got pregnant a few years ago, but my BMI's still on the low end of normal, though as I said I do now look kind of chubby. The only real-food diet I've ever found that doesn't require me to supplement it with unhealthy quantities of sugar to feel normal is an Atkins-like heavy meat and dairy diet with fruit juice and veggies as treats, and...well, I just can't afford to eat like that. It's expensive and my husband will eat what would be a week's worth of food for me in one sitting if it's meat or dairy.

              So yes, I do feel unhealthy. Not sure what to do about it, though. Maybe your books have something that applies.

          •  you could be talking about me (6+ / 0-)

            I'm left still craving calories when I'm stuffed (I don't know how to explain the discomfort of feeling "hungry" and "so stuffed you want to throw up" at the same time).

            my sister, who is thin and healthy and married to a doctor, tries so hard to help me with advice and recipes, health information and encouragement.  and i still struggle.  at the end of the day, we do make our own choices about what goes into our bodies.  i have put myself in this unhealthy position.  and i don't know how to get out.

            I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice, though not in principle. - Jane Austen

            by st minutia on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:28:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  The thing is (12+ / 0-)

          I'm pretty good about that stuff.  I don't eat heaps, I have small servings of ice cream etc.  

          I have a funny story, I went to Cold Stone and asked for a kids size, I always have the kids size anywhere I go and the woman behind the counter said, "You know it's just one scoop, right?"

          That stuff hurts a lot sometimes, especially when she didn't say that to my thin friend.

          Please help me get to Netroots Nation! Please.

          by Ellinorianne on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:01:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What a bitch. lol (14+ / 0-)

            Sorry, but I would have said something.  And I know why that hurts.  ((hugs))

            The other thing that works against us, besides the desire for food, is our desire for a 'good deal' in this society.  Instead of desiring good quality, regular sized food portions, we want masses of cheaply produced food.  Look at how much you can get at a fast food joint for $10.00.  Now, how far would that go in a sit-down restaurant?  

            I remember going into Olive Garden and ordering chicken parmagiana.  It was three full cutlets, a giant portion of spaghetti and all the garlic bread and salad I wanted.  For $8.99.  I couldn't eat all that.  I took 60% of that home.  And it was only so-so.  I would have much rather had a smaller portion of better cooked food, made with healthier and humanely raised ingredients.  Sometimes, quality is better than quantity - but less so in America.

            I'm sick of GOP SOP!

            by xysea on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:07:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I can never finish a meal (8+ / 0-)

              when we out and never try to.  I usually eat half.  I have a weakness for Indian Food and so whenever we get it, I can only eat half and save the rest for the next day for lunch.

              The portions are obscene and there must he a half option for people.  We have to change how we look at food and people need the OPTIONS.  No one food is bad, not one thing is evil but it's the culmination of many factors that add up.

              Please help me get to Netroots Nation! Please.

              by Ellinorianne on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:09:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  ITA - and there is something in our (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Alexandra Lynch, kyril, Ellinorianne

                national psyche for many (not all) that makes them feel compelled to try and eat all that they ordered.  Or suggests that is a 'good amount' of food for a 'good deal'.

                It's the whole 'waste not want not', 'clean plate' club type of mentality.  The Puritanical frugality and judgement thing that many people have towards food.  

                I'm sick of GOP SOP!

                by xysea on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:12:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Portion Sizes (5+ / 0-)

                Portion sizes in restaurants have just about doubled in the past 20 years or so.  If we take our cues from what's served in restaurants, we all end up overeating!  You are so right:  no food is bad.  But too much of any food can be a problem!

                (following Weight Watchers, pretty much all I've done is adjust portion sizes and cut down on snacking.  It made a huge difference!)

              •  The one good thing I took from my Jenny (0+ / 0-)

                Craig experience was during the weekly group meetings:  as soon as the food arrives at the table, cut it in half, pushing one-half aside, and know that it's tomorrow's lunch or dinner.

                Someone was telling me the other day about her granddaughter getting praise for cleaning her plate.  Sigh.  I asked that she re-direct it and cheer when the little girl finishes her vegetables.

                Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way. Booker T. Washington

                by conlakappa on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:38:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Ha. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            We buy Ben & Jerry's or Haagen Dasz in the tiny single serve cups (and even those, depending on the flavor, are close to or just above 200 calories). One day on the checkout line, the woman picks one up and scowls at it and says, "I couldn't eat just one of these."

            Tikkun Olam...Obama '08

            by tethys on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:37:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  1/2 c ice cream? That's like, 3 licks, right? nt (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
  •  Obesity is the only addiction left (20+ / 0-)

    where society actively and consistently shames the victim for the addiction.  In that sense, it's taken the place of cocaine and alcohol.  Those addictions won't land you on the front cover of gossip mags with captions like "STARLET GAINS WEIGHT, LOOKS LIKE A BATTLESHIP!"  Even if you don't read the mags, you're affected by them.  Every overweight person knows what it feels like to undergo drive-by insults (you know the ones I mean).  

    What obese people need to get control of their addiction is carefully surround themselves ONLY with people who understand it and are willing to support efforts to get it under control.  That includes relatives, friends and medical professionals.  

    For chronically obese people, food is a drug, both physically and psychologically.  Only by confronting this truth, and demanding other people acknowledge it, can we begin to take back control of our lives.

    Randall Terry is an accomplice to murder.

    by dotalbon on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:43:01 AM PDT

  •  Great diary (14+ / 0-)

    Please just try to stay as attuned to your overall health as possible.  Understand specifically what the extra weight you carry around with you every day means to your organs, especially your heart.

    I have a good friend who's a chef.  He used to be a drug addict.  When he got sober, he turned to food as his security blanket.  Then he married a co-dependent.  They only seem to relate to one another on the level of food.  She's now so big she can't walk and is confined to a wheelchair.  And as you might expect they are both sad.  But the real problem is that they're both on borrowed time now, health-wise, and none of us seem able to help them.  They don't even seem willing to talk about it.

    I don't struggle so much with weight (a bit, maybe) but there are other struggles.  This isn't my confession - it's yours - so I'll omit them.  But I sympathize with the feeling of having to constantly do battle with your own impulses.  It can weigh on you terribly, and you feel like you should be "above it."  For what it's worth, I just try to listen to my heart and body, as a means of ensuring I don't get out of control.

    Rush Limbaugh: Opiated Sack of Porkfarts

    by The Termite on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:43:04 AM PDT

  •  Read "The End of Overeating" and then follow it (9+ / 0-)

    If you don't re-program your brain, you don't have much of a chance to be healthy.

    "The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality" -Dante-

    by gillangreen on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:44:48 AM PDT

  •  the happy jolly fat person myth (15+ / 0-)

    When I see overweight people I know they must feel terrible (not all) because I know how I feel being overweight. I mostly feel like my stomach is crying out to my abdomen asking for more room. I'm very sluggish, my knees aren't built for this load. I haven't seen my penis in years and I sweat very easily. Trying to reach my feet to put socks on is the hardest part of my day. If I don't eat every few hours I feel starved. It just plain sucks. It's ironic that most people in world can't get enough to eat yet our abundance can cause such grief.

    music- the universal language

    by daveygodigaditch on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:47:41 AM PDT

  •  It incenses me (21+ / 0-)

    that people who struggle with weight issues, just might have the deck stacked against them in this society, among other things, by the food industry. I'm thinking of cheap additives that make processed food more filling, and tastier, and whatever, but add calories and damage the body in other ways.

    It incenses me, because people struggling with their weight, typically blame themselves. If you're female, having weight issues (being over a Size 6) is yet another way you "don't measure up." Yet another reason to be ashamed.

    Makes me furious.

    Thanks for the diary.

  •  While battling Lyme, babesia and (9+ / 0-)

    nerve impacts related to these underlying issues, keeping my weight down has been one of the few areas where I can feel a constant sense of triumph and see real progress made.

    At points, I've packed on a quick 10-25 lbs from my muscles screaming for energy and my emotions yelling for something, anything that might make the body feel better.  More food hasn't been the answer and only makes things worse physically and emotionally, I've found.  Better choices in my food have helped, though.  And, that includes how many calories or carbs (depending on how you measure) I take in relative to my activity levels.

    More weight just makes the entire effort of working hopefully against chronic pain, weakness, etc. that much more difficult.

    So, I appreciate your openness and sharing here, hoping that you can begin to make lasting progress in this area of your health - regardless of how others view bodies of people.  I ignore such superfluous and often superficial things, most times.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:51:32 AM PDT

    •  I had Lyme 18 years ago (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, Alexandra Lynch, kyril

      at the age of 12, and I am just now realizing how much neurological damage it did to my body. Mostly chronic pain and stomach issues...I can't eat much before 6 PM for some reason.

      Now I don't know but I been told/it's hard to run with the weight of gold
      Other hand I heard it said/it's just as hard with the weight of lead

      by ekthesy on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:32:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I had gastric bypass... (16+ / 0-)

    ... about 4 years ago, after getting bigger every year between the ages of 22 and 40.

    My entire family is overweight - some are "Discovery Channel" sized people.

    We have historical documents (ie- letters) written from the 1800's which describe "portly" as a family trait.

    Diet and exercise always made me lose weight, sometime significant amounts.  The amount of activity / diet restriction I needed to maintain increased each year, and it was a losing battle.

    When I hit 40, I told someone "I don't care about getting older- aging I can deal with.  But I hate getter fatter each year, no matter what I do."

    I soon hit 300 LBS, at 5' 9".

    So for me, the bariatric surgery was a godsend.  My weight, cholesterol and blood pressure have all dramatically improved.

    I still have work to do - I'm at ~ 210 LBS now, and could lose another 20 lbs.  

    This is SO beyond "lazy" or "undisciplined"

    And the national DIET INDUSTRY does not help matters.

    REAFFIRMED as a second-class citizen since Nov 4, 2008!

    by Timoteo on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:51:50 AM PDT

    •  Some of what the national diet industry (8+ / 0-)

      does and offers should be criminal offenses, in my opinion.  The thing about a diet, when you're speaking of 'going on' one as opposed to the general variety of what you eat' is that it is temporary.  Then you go off, gain the weight back.

      Lifestyle changes are more difficult to do, often don't result in dramatic sudden loss and have to be learned, as any other habit.

      So far, I'm doing pretty well on my changes.  I'm losing a steady 1lb per week, which is what my target is...

      I'm sick of GOP SOP!

      by xysea on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:58:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm glad you had a good result (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      with WLS.  I know it's a big decision.  It saddens me to see people wanting it when they are just a little overweight and infuriates me when doctors will give it to them.

    •  Lazy and undisciplined. (0+ / 0-)

      Yep.  Being overweight is a character flaw as far as this society is concerned.  

      I have battled my weight for many years and in those years I've come to really hate and despise a whole lot of people -- people who consider me and others like me to be weak, spineless, lazy.  I've long since lost count of the number of times I've heard and read statements that have implied or come right out and said that I DESERVE to feel shamed, I DESERVE people's disparagement, and I DESERVE to be socially ostracized just because I don't have the willpower to stay on a diet and lose the weight.  I hear that shit all the time, including here on DK by any number of users who presume to know better than me what my problem is and how to fix it.

      Alcoholics get compassion, and so do drug addicts.  Society in general does recognize that addiction is a disease, unless one's addiction is to food.  Then it's a character flaw.  Even other eating disorders like anorexia -- you can to go treatment for those.  Anorexics aren't fat, so I guess in their case the eating disorder really is a disease.  But not compulsive overeating.  Nope, that's a character flaw.

      One of the most difficult aspects of my experience as an overweight woman is the level of mistrust and hatred I've come to have for people -- just because of this.  It's really, really hard to be the target of unrepentant bigotry from pretty much everyone around you and not come to mistrust and despise the human race.  I've learned over the years that people, in general, are hateful beings.  Even people who genuinely consider themselves to be good, generous, liberal, compassionate people -- way too many of them don't think twice about passing judgement on people like me based on nothing but my appearance. The exceptions are few and far between.  

      President Obama can talk all he wants about not looking back, but this grotesque past is bigger than even he is. - Frank Rich

      by Mehitabel9 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:49:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've been there and the most important thing I (9+ / 0-)

    can tell you is STOP feeling guilty about food. We all need to eat and it is one of life's pleasures. I know from experience that, when I dieted, I obsessed about and fetishized food to the point that my attempts to cut back were totally counterproductive. I would starve three days, then, when my totally normal urge to eat overpowered me, I would eat everything in sight, reasoning that I'd already blown it.

    The only thing that ever worked for me was taking the emphasis completely off food and onto exercise and nutrition. I lost fifty pounds ten years ago through walking 45 min a day and weight training three or four times a week. I read nutrition books and cut back on fat and sugar while adding more fiber, fruit and vegetables, but I ate as much as I wanted whenever I wanted. The whole process took six or seven months, but it was steady, and it's stayed off.

    Many people have become rich writing diet books, but IMO they're all destined to fail because it's just impossible to ignore basic biological needs. One of them is food. Another is exercise.

    •  I did what you said all of last year. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Exercise, fiber, fruit, vegetables, and gained weight.  Weight is not entirely about what you do.

      •  Wow, that is frustrating! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I'm sorry...and I agree that weight isn't all about what you do. At minimum, if you are eating nutritious food and exercising regularly, you are in a far, far better position health-wise that your average couch potato. I guess my whole point is I hate to see people feel that food is an enemy and something to feel guilty about. It's our fuel and we NEED it.

  •  Support (12+ / 0-)

    Good diary.  So many issues become tangled here -- health, food, emotion, plus human decency -- and you do a good job of showing how they're interrelated.

    I was underweight all my life, until I had children.  Then I was not only overweight but overweight and middle aged.  I could not believe the difference in how I was treated by total strangers and also by people I knew when I was heavy as opposed to thin.  I was shocked, actually.  And as badly as I was treated, I know I didn't experience even a fraction of what obese people have to endure.  It was a real eye-opener.

    FWIW my husband and I have had great success with Weight Watchers Online.  We have no time for meetings, and we already live in front of our computers! :-)  The interface is fantastic, the tools are great.  It's really working for us.

    I also recommend the books by nutritionist Ellyn Satter.  They're focused on parents feeding children, but I found real life-changing support and help for conquering my own eating disorders.  

  •  I weighed 400 pounds (22+ / 0-)

    about a year and a half ago - and had been morbidly obese for decades.

    The worst part (besides health issues that have resolved themselves as I lost - regaining agility, losing sleep apnea, improving my fitness level, etc) was the emotional toll it took on me.  It would take a MUCH stronger person than I to deal with the physical and emotional turmoil I'd created in anything like a healthy way.

    Fortunately, now that I'm nearing the healthy weight range for my height, I've realized the necessity for the focus on my emotional health as well.

    "The joy of activity is the activity itself, not some arbitrary goal which, if not achieved, steals the joy." ~John "the Penguin" Bingham

    by sheddhead on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:55:31 AM PDT

    •  I often talk to folks about starting with the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      emotional health part and work outward.  There are definitely emotional issues involved and are not resolved by "the surgery" that now seems to be performed nearly as often as dental cleanings.

      Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way. Booker T. Washington

      by conlakappa on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 03:56:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "The surgery" causes more emotional (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        issues.  For that matter, so does rapid weight loss without the surgery - how I did it.  Low calories and exercise.

        "The joy of activity is the activity itself, not some arbitrary goal which, if not achieved, steals the joy." ~John "the Penguin" Bingham

        by sheddhead on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 05:28:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  One of our great national health challenges (14+ / 0-)

    How to fight obesity without stigmatizing the obese?
    On the one hand, I am not on board with the fact acceptance movement - the idea that there is nothing wrong with being fat and that a person should learn to just be happy with it.  The health consequences of obesity are enormous.  Not to mention the consequences for health care cost and the wear and tear on providers.  I know a lot of nurses who have suffered crippling, career ending injuries working with obese patients.  
    On the other hand, treating obese people as pariahs or inferior people is not only counterproductive but inhumane.
    I think the key may lie in this observation: The rate of obesity has skyrocketed in recent years, but people themselves are no different than they ever were.  The average person is not "weaker" or less disciplined or more self indulgent than their grandparents were.  So the answer must lie in the larger society.  We have somehow created an obesigenic society and we need to figure out how to change the social conditions that create obesity.

    •  More specificity is needed ... (9+ / 0-)

      I'm not dissing your comment, but this stuck out for me:

      ... the idea that there is nothing wrong with being fat and that a person should learn to just be happy with it.  The health consequences of obesity are enormous.  

      I think lack of physical activity (usually corraleted w/ obesity) and obesity itself are often conflated, even in medical research.

      I think people can be what our society considers as "fat" and still be quite healthy.  Many are not, but encouraging people to focus on being more activity, rather than dieting, would be a good start.

      And some of this fat 'unacceptance' is corporate driven, and the medical community has done a poor job at times in going along to get along.

      Ever see a picture of Teddy Rossevelt? One of our most physically active presidents - former soldier, creator of our national park system?

      A typical MD today would say he was overwieght, throw statins and anti-hypertensives down his throat, and tell him he needs to 'slim down.'

      REAFFIRMED as a second-class citizen since Nov 4, 2008!

      by Timoteo on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:06:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Active - yes, but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chico David RN

        I believe TR suffered from numerous ailments the last 10 years of his life, and died at 61. Not a good role model for today, necessarily...

      •  There is some truth in what you say there (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        At least to an extent.  There are some folks who are carrying some extra weight - not obese, but overweight - who are quite active and probably not particularly high risk.
        I'm actually one of them.  I'm 5'11" and a moderately muscular 200 lbs.  That's about 30 lbs over what I think of as ideal for my height and muscle mass.  But I get an average of 90 minutes of aerobic exercise a day, with regular cycling of 20-25 miles a day, plus some weight training besides.  BP and cholesterol are excellent.
        But as a Cardiac Rehab nurse, I can tell you that people like me are not the norm, even among the overweight, and that the number of people who can be categorized as obese who are getting good levels of activity is vanishingly small.
        Steve Blair at the Cooper clinic in Dallas has written quite a bit on this - that one can be healthy at a moderately overweight body type IF one is physically active enough.

    •  I think a lot of the culprit (7+ / 0-)

      is processed foods, unfortunately. They're laden with cheap additives that add calories, and damage the body in other ways.

      There is a diarist around here who loves to post Dorothea Lange photos of the Great Depression. Once this diarist did a side-by-side photo comparison of a Dust Bowl-era encampment of homeless farm workers, and a modern-day tent city by Sacramento. I had been thinking, but somebody actually pointed out in the comments, that the people in the Depression photos were about 20% thinner on average than the modern-day tent city dwellers.

      What you say is true. It doesn't come down to differences in will-power and self-discipline, between us and our ancestors. It comes down to food. Our great-grandparents during the Great Depression didn't have Diet Pepsi and Hostess Ding Dongs.

  •  I have struggled with it all my life, never (10+ / 0-)

    more so than since I had children.  I get so tired of the lack of understanding about what pregnancy does to most women.  Your metabolism changes, your lifestyle is taken up by childcare instead of caring for yourself . . . but society just expects that we can all be like the Hollywood stars who hire nannies and personal trainers and nutritionists and (big shocker) look great post-babies.  

    I've decided, screw it, I'm going to eat when I'm hungry, exercise when I can, and try to enjoy what's left of my time on this earth.  I'll never be what my doctors call a 'healthy' weight, and I'll never be what society deems acceptably thin.  I just don't give a crap anymore--anyone who doesn't like how I look is free to look elsewhere.

    "Going to church does not make us Christians any more than stepping into our garage makes us a car." --Rev R. Neville

    by catleigh on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:57:38 AM PDT

  •  goodness (6+ / 0-)

    this is so very real and a problem i am also struggling with.

    however, the likelihood that your illnesses are the cause of your weight is very high.

    i confessed to my new doctor that i have a learned neurosis about food that has to do with being told what not to eat by so many specialists who think they understand my health problems are connected to food allergies while not really being able to help me get well.

    i do not think obesity in the country is the result of bad habits as much as it is the result of being poisoned by everything in our environments.  our bodies are desperately trying to heal and/or keep from keeling over.

    you must let go of your guilt.

    it is entirely destructive.

    i am ashamed of what i look like now and astounded at how little sympathy i get even when i ask for help from medical professionals.

    twenty years ago, i successfully dieted to my ideal weight as the result of an informed medical weight loss program, but for the past year, i have had no real success.  this is because something is very wrong.

    please stop beating yourself up about it.

    it is not just a matter of calories in,  calories out.

    it is far, far more complex.

    i love food but could give it up for a year if that would help, but you can't give up food.

    eating what, when and how much exactly right is not a will power issue.  it is a matter of chemical imbalances in our bodies that we do not yet understand.

    have you read about the leptin resistance diet. it explains a lot of this.  even so, i have not been able to lose.

    Geithner + Summers = EPIC FAIL

    by fernan47 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 09:57:42 AM PDT

  •  You said... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catleigh, Katie71, fernan47

    The only time I weighed 115 pounds is when I ate one meal a day.

    I can't recommend what anyone else should do, but I eat only one meal a day.  Only one.

    If I ate the THREE recommended meals a day, I'd be as wide as the side of the biggest barn in the country.  How people eat three meals a day and keep a healthy weight is beyond my comprehension.

    So for me, one meal a day is the key.  And even with one meal a day I've got to watch what I eat for that one meal.

    Something else to consider...

    The less you eat, the less you want to eat.  The converse is also true: the more you eat, the more you want to eat.

    One meal a day works for me and I know it works for many other people.


    What I say is - one meal a day keeps the fat away!

    •  this won't work (6+ / 0-)

      for hypoglycemics who must eat often.

      one of my problems in my 20-30s.

      Geithner + Summers = EPIC FAIL

      by fernan47 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:03:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, that's why I said I couldn't recommend (4+ / 0-)

        what anyone else should do.

        I suppose that for some people, eating one meal a day spread out in increments through out the day might work too?

        In any case, your point is well taken. Thanks.

        •  it is all so very (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril, Ellinorianne, doc superdog


          there isn't one answer.

          what is clear is that something in our environment is making a substantial number of us sick, and we are gaining weight in an uncontrollable way in larger numbers than ever before.

          i am incensed that this gets structured as a will power problem.

          it is an environmental problem.

          Geithner + Summers = EPIC FAIL

          by fernan47 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:12:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Think: SOY. Soy is dangerous. n/t (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            •  i am now (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kyril, doc superdog

              allergic to soy




              which cuts across most everything you could buy in any restaurant or any traditional dish you could make at home.

              it is miserable always wondering if you are making yourself sick on top of fat.

              Geithner + Summers = EPIC FAIL

              by fernan47 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:31:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  My wife has the same problem. Soy is in (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                virtually EVERYTHING that has been processed.  Why do they put that soy crap in food?
                I suspect it's used as filler so they can make money at the expense of people's health.

                My wife has to read each label each time she shops because one day a food product won't have soy in it, then the next day it might.

                If I could kill every soy plant on this planet I would.

                •  That's the craziest comment I've ever read here (0+ / 0-)

                  There are people allergic to gluten, let's get rid of wheat. Peanuts? Kill 'em all. Let's let everyone starve.

                  Edemame and tofu are staples for millions of people, you want them to eat corn?

                  I'm shaking my head.

                  Don't walk away! Stay, investigate, prosecute, change Omelas!

                  by high uintas on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:38:30 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Apparently you aren't allergic to anything or (0+ / 0-)

                    you'd want to kill the allergen too.

                    •  I'm allergic to lots of things (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      doc superdog

                      Some more than others, but I wouldn't want to deprive others who aren't allergic of that which they need or love.

                      I do believe in absolute truth in ingredient lists. People should know what's in the food they eat. My daughter is a vegetarian, "natural flavors" can be anything including meat products. I understand where you are coming from.

                      I am allergic to capsaicin. Even a little bit will cause my mouth to blister. It seems that the whole world likes hot, I have to be careful. And bees will kill me, but....well you know.

                      Don't walk away! Stay, investigate, prosecute, change Omelas!

                      by high uintas on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 12:24:56 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yeah, I get what you are saying. However, (0+ / 0-)

                        soy is so very you realize how many things it's in?  Peanut allergies, for example, are one thing.  Peanuts aren't in almost everything we eat, so sorting them out is relatively easy.

                        Soy is an awful thing because it is in so many products.

                        I still think the world would be much better off if soy were wiped off the planet.  That plant does great, great harm.

                        I wouldn't go so far as to say those who grow soy and put it into food products ought to be put in jail, but I wouldn't be unhappy if they were.

                        •  actually soy is a good food (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          as is wheat, etc.  The problem is that we are polluted by chemicals, endure the stress of that and all sorts of other modern stresses.  Our immune systems start breaking down and we begin reacting to whatever gets repeated in our diet over and over.

                          So while soy is a wonder food and is whole wheat, by the time they enter our damaged bodies, they become the enemy because our abused systems can no longer tell the difference between healthy food and foreign invader.

                          Soy is added to so many things because it is a good, cheap source of protein and adds flavor.

                          The real culprit is the environment which is over stressing our systems.  Sugar is necessary, but is a poison for diabetics.  

                          I am absolutely convinced that most people who are overweight have endured a breakdown in their immune systems and metabolic response.  

                          The issue is: why are so many people hungry after eating sufficient calories?  The body in its healthy state rejects eating past a certain point.

                          Without a doubt, we are wildly out of balance to the point of ill and we think it is about will power and gluttony.  No way, no how.

                          Geithner + Summers = EPIC FAIL

                          by fernan47 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 01:51:17 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  "natural flavors" can mean soy. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        high uintas, chloris creator

                        There ought to be a law to ban the term "natural flavors".  Soy is "natural".  So they should say soy if it is soy.  And usually it is soy they are describing by the stupid term "natural flavors".

    •  I don't know you in person (5+ / 0-)

      so I can't say if this is true of you or not, but I can tell you that the "meals" I eat (and I eat several) are not what most people would call "meals" at all. They're along the lines of one slice of a medium pizza (but I never manage to eat the crust), or 10-15 tortilla chips with salsa, or a scoop of ice cream.

      If you are used to a "meal" being defined as a dinner plate full of food including a meat, a starch, and a vegetable, and if your daily calorie requirement is similar to mine, then yes, you probably do only need one meal a day.

      •  The one meal my wife and I eat each day (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, fernan47

        includes meat, as you say, and something very low on the starch (we don't eat much of anything that is white) and heavy on salads and vegetables.

        My fervent belief is that it's the starch (potatoes, rice, flour and other white stuff) is a major culprit vis a vis weight gain.  When one eats starch there is a delayed body reaction that makes one crave food.  It's related to insulin.

        Again, what my wife and I do is go really easy on the white foods, go heavy on the salads and vegetables and go reasonable on the meats (meaning lots of fish).

        That works for us. Whether or not it works for others is another story.

        Oh, and one other thing:  my wife and I are in our 60's.  Every year we age, we've found that we need less and less food to maintain our weight.  So if we ate the same amount each year, we'd gain weight.

        Also, how many "really old" people do you see that are fat?  Most that survive are skinny.  I'm not sure "skinny" is an appropriate term, but hopefully I got my point across...that one's weight is important in terms of longevity, at least from my observations.

        •  in my mother's case (0+ / 0-)

          she keeps losing weight although she was always a little bit chunky.  So now she is shorter and thinner.  To some extent, this is a natural process, I think.

          Of course the very obese are not going to live to be ninety as she has.

          Geithner + Summers = EPIC FAIL

          by fernan47 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 01:55:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  it's not about meals or quantity, but calories (4+ / 0-)

      A person can eat three solid meals a day and clock in at 1200 - 1500 calories.

      You set up a caloric budget for each day, and you stick to it, not eating above the budget.

      You can't do this if you eat junk food, though.

      If you keep close count on calories (noting portion size), you can eat well and lose weight.

      •  Quality and calories (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        catleigh, bvig

        I believe it is more about what you eat.  It is not easy to find "good" calories in this (American) society.  Real food, with as little processing as possible has worked for me.

      •  Count Your Calories to Lose Weight (0+ / 0-)

        I recently started counting calories, and the discipline it gives me is liberating. I still snack but usually only 100 calories at a time. In the last three weeks I have been making steady progress.

        All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; The point is to discover them. -Galileo

        by phild1976 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:45:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, that sounds logical, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fernan47, andreac

        just count your calories, but if you listen to people's experience, it's more complicated than that for a lot of people in real life.

        Pure calorie counting worked for me at first. I tabulated calories and ate a lot of carrots and celery and lost 10 pounds age 14.

        On later occasions, the simplistic just-count-the- calories method caused unbearable complications...plummeting metabolism, ravenous cravings, ADD, mood swings, food obsession, and giving up in disgust. I needed a more sophisticated, tailored approach including size and timing of meals, particular nutritional constituents, adequate sleep, moderate exercise, exposure to sunlight and personal permission to take off and spend time and money on other pleasures.

        Today, my calorie requirements have dropped precipitously with age and I can apparently no longer keep the weight off no matter what I do.

        •  I think you misread what I wrote. (0+ / 0-)

          I didn't say all you needed to do was count calories.

          I said that if you count calories, you can eat well and lose weight.

          In other words, having a complete diet, with all the right nutrients timed well and having everything that you put into the mix - is possible if you count calories.

          What do you think your basal metabolic rate is?  How many calories are you eating throughout the day?  It's a killer for me, now in my late 30s, seeing my metabolic rate drop, and having to reduce the calories I bring in to keep from gaining weight.

      •  everyone thinks they know the secret (0+ / 0-)

        but the answer is those who have found something that works for them have found their solution.

        the same formula will absolutely not work for certain others even if it works for you.

        we are complicated individuals on the metabolic level.

        Geithner + Summers = EPIC FAIL

        by fernan47 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 01:57:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I eat two meals a day (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alexandra Lynch, doc superdog

      Skip breakfast, normal cooked lunch and dinner. I can no no longer eat 3 meals a day, as I end up eating more that way. But I'm less hungry anyway.

      If wanting the country to succeed is wrong, I don't want to be right.

      by Angela Quattrano on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 11:09:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary, I'm still struggling, but have just (6+ / 0-)

    about given up.

    "So, who said life's an easy ride, General Motors?" Debbie Navotny, QAF-Season 2

    by AntKat on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:01:14 AM PDT

  •  Obesity is often much more than food.... (8+ / 0-)

    as you relate in your diary--there can be other important lifestyle, medical, and emotional issues involved, and just dealing with the food will not address the overall situation.

    I was diagnosed w/Type II diabetes last March, and I used that as motivation to finally get my life back under control.

    Since then I have lost 30+ pounds, normalized my blood sugar readings and discontinued my blood pressure meds. I have also taken back control of food preparation from my wife, which means I am not only eating better and tastier food, but our food budget has decreased 30%.

    I have stuck with a pretty well-controlled food intake, averaging 1400-1500 calories a day. Once a month we have a wine-tasting group event where I relax my "rules", but otherwise I am been very consistent.

    What I find interesting is that, even though I have been able to maintain this structured plan religiously for around 10 weeks now, and even with the positive reinforcement of substantial weight loss and improved fitness, I find myself fighting my "eating cues" on a daily basis, and they have virtually the same intensity as before I started all this.

    I am rotating different strategies--from resistance to food substitution (e.g. vegetables in place of snacks) but it is still a daily struggle.

    These are powerful urges that can't be dismissed as just someone being "lazy" or "lacking will power".

    If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible...tonight is your answer.

    by Azdak on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:01:55 AM PDT

  •  Yeah, I have struggled my whole damned life (20+ / 0-)

    I know for sure that part of it is that my family has these peasent bodies. They need a rediculous amount of exercise and don't need a lot of food. This is not a good combination in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries.

    On Jan 1 2004 I was 301 lbs. Big, but you would not really know how big since I am all torso and short legs (I am 5'11' but I have a 27 inch inseam). I decided I did not want to that way and went on the South Beach diet.

    I lost 70 lbs over the next 8 months. I have given back about 30 of that, so I am still way out of the range of what is healthy. The thing is I swim a mile five days a week, lift weights after and walk 4 miles a day (back and forth to work). Even with this much exercise and a reasonable diet (though I do indulge from time to time) I can hardly keep from gaining weight.

    I confound my doctor, as all my tests are in the normal range, good BP, Cholesterol all in line, blood work fine for sugars.

    It sucks to be judged on a standard I don't think I can ever achieve.

    Can you help the Dog get a Netroots Scholarship? -6.25, -6.10

    by Something the Dog Said on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:02:59 AM PDT

    •  Listen to us! Listen to the chorus of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Something the Dog Said

      voices in this diary.  We are consumed by this!  How do you feel, StDS?  How does your body feel?  If the answer is, all right... then why do we let ourselves still be obsessed with this "standard"?  

      Because of the exact thing you mentioned... we're being judged by people who know nothing about us.  

      I think you're doing great with the exercise, and indulging occasionally is part of what keeps life livable.  

      I think you're amazing.  301 lbs or 115.  Either way you have a great brain.  

      "In political discussion heat is in inverse proportion to knowledge." J. G. C. Minchin

      by LucyMO on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 01:17:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks Lucy! I don't worry about it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        much except that I don't want to look like a teddy bear like my Dad and his brothers did. If you get above 300 and you have a long torso and short legs, that comparison comes up way too often.

        I do want to live to 80 so I will keep working out, I just wish people did not think they knew something about me based on what I weigh.

        Can you help the Dog get a Netroots Scholarship? -6.25, -6.10

        by Something the Dog Said on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 01:39:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  but i do not feel well and i do not (0+ / 0-)

        believe the people who are obese who claim they feel well.  if i am even 10 lbs overweight i feel it.

        now it is true that i have lots of other problems that are contributing to how i feel, but anyone who is a certain percentage over is not healthy, even if s/he thinks s/he is.  maybe the damage is slowly accumulating in a way that makes it barely noticeable.

        that doesn't translate into blaming people.  i know that given what we know right now, some people are virtually doomed to be obese, no matter how hard they try.

        i hope that i have not reached that point: the point of no return because i know i am going to pay a heavy price.

        even my obese grandmother lost weight in her 80s and 90s.  

        perhaps something happens in my family that reverses the trend, but i can't afford to wait that long for lots of other health reasons.

        Geithner + Summers = EPIC FAIL

        by fernan47 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 02:05:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Every single day is a struggle (10+ / 0-)

    I honestly don't know what to do anymore. Right now I'm 40 lbs overweight but have been as much as 90 lbs overweight, after the birth of my first son (and a toxemic pregnancy at that). I have only reached my "ideal" weight, as an adult, for a total of three years -- two years in a row (!) in between babies, and then once again for another year after another big weight loss after my second baby. That's it. I'm going to be 40 this month. I first joined Weight Watchers at age 7. I have been food compulsive as long as I can remember.

    I want to give up, but damned if my knees aren't constantly aching and I get short of breath too easily now, all stuff that I didn't feel those three random "normal" years. And so I am still plugging away.

    I think we're the new normal, Ellinorianne.

    The braying sheep on my TV screen make this boy shout -- make this boy scream -- I'm going underground...

    by jamfan on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:06:35 AM PDT

  •  Sizism Is Pervasive - (14+ / 0-)

    In our society.

    I'm sure I have potato famine genes.
    And if there is ever a worldwide famine -
    I and others like me will be more likely to survive.

    I've cycled more than 100,000 miles over the years.  I do all of my commuting and errands - winter and summer in Wyoming - on a bike.  I hike in rough terrain a couple of miles most days.  I cross-country ski.  And still I am "chunky".

    Although I do not diet - I know all about trying not to eat. I'm horribly allergic to most artificial sweeteners.  So I just don't drink soft drinks.  No alcohol, either.  Water is fine by me.  And yet, I see sedentary people my own age who booze it up and then guzzle the Cokes to get rid of the hangovers who are half my size.

    Go figure.
    No justice.

    PS - Since I am poor, most of my meals are made from whole ingredients - granted they are of the grits, black-eyed peas, and pasta variety.  Oh, and I put sugar in my tea.  But it seems that my body always stays a step ahead of each ratcheting down of calories and each ratcheting up of activity.

  •  The stigma (10+ / 0-)

    on overweight people in our society did not exist before TV and mass marketing glorified teenage and pre-pubescent girlish figures.  I always used to say that my body type would have been considered sexy in the Victorian Age.  

    My mother was overweight, and as I get older, I struggle constantly with weight.  One thing that has helped me tremendously has been vegetarianism, and a strict adherance to natural and whole-grain foods.  Meat and dairy products will pile on the pounds, while adding layers to the inside of your arteries.  Of course, exercise helps a lot, not only with burning calories, but also with helping you feel better about life.

    I am so glad that you opened up to us here at DKos.  Negative body image can take away from your health, as much as the actual weight.  Please go to T.O.P.S. or Overeaters Anonymous.  These organizations provide a lot of mental support as well as tips for how to get more physically healthy.  

    I give you my aloha and support - you are speaking for many here at Daily Kos.  Mahalo for your courage in sharing your thoughts.

  •  totally with you (8+ / 0-)

    As a very large person, I totally get what you are saying. I have always been really active (less so now that I had to drop my gym membership - no money) and have really struggled with the assumption that many make when they look at me that I can't possibly be an athlete. I'm ambivalent about physical activity, because it is harder for a plus-sized person. Also, there are all those people who say (and there have been diaries here saying it) that losing weight is a "simple" matter of expending more calories that you take in. I have gone through times (lasting up to a year, so yes I did give it long enough) of exercising like a fiend and eating perfectly - 1800-2200 cal/day of vegetables, fruits & non-processed foods. Still round. Very round. So I go through another phase of refusing to exercise, because it doesn't change anything, and being very depressed. And around it goes.

    So, my ambivalence is more about exercise than food, but I totally know where you're coming from.

    My Netroots Nation scholarship page please vote for me

    by anotherdemocrat on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:09:04 AM PDT

  •  Gluttony (13+ / 0-)

    I'm amazed when I watch tiny girls at lunch eat more than I'm allowed to eat in a day on Weight Watchers. Meanwhile, they are looking at my carefully calculated (points) plate judgementally. I asked one how she does it, and she told me she works out every day. I know a bit about exercise, and unless she spends 4 hours at that workout, she can't possibly be burning off all of those calories.

    Of course, "metabolism" is just seen as an excuse for us fat people. Really, we're lazy and have no self-esteem (if we did, how could we let out bodies get so ugly). I'm not fat in the sense that I'm round. Few people would guess my true weight, I'm "big" and tall and curvy. People find my size threatening and I have to be careful to not be too assertive. But I often see jusgement in people's faces when I'm on the heavy side of big, and I've actually had complete strangers tell me I should lose weight.

    Obesity is the last frontier in terms of discrimination. And lest people say "Well, it's your choice"... it's not. You'd be amazed at how little I eat to lose weight, and how much I exercise. I'm more fit than many thin people. Everybody in my family is overweight. In my Eastern European heritage, women get quite heavy as they age (and moustaches - which I have been blessedly spared). I'd like to lose weight, but more than that I'd like to come to terms with my body and stop constantly feeling judged, as if my weight determines who I am. It doesn't.

  •  Check out The Engine Two Diet. Written by a (3+ / 0-)

    Texas firefighter, it's more of a lifestyle and philosophy than a diet.

  •  Thank you so much Ellinorianne. I could relate to (8+ / 0-)

    just about every point you made. You.are.not.alone.  I have RA, am overweight, am a 'food-aholic' and struggle everyday.
    I found Weight Watchers works best for me.  Have lost 25 lbs. in last year, kept it off.  Work at it every day. It is exercise, exercise, exercise. Godspeed.

    They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

    by jdmorg on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:10:38 AM PDT

  •  Not your fault! (9+ / 0-)

    It's not your fault.

    It's so hard to be truly fat in this society, and that's because people think of us as gluttonous, stupid and unconcerned about our health, among other negative characterizations. They think it's  as simple as eat less, move more, and therefore fat people must be ridiculously lazy and greedy. They think "I lost ten or twenty or thirty pounds easily, so they should just do that, only for longer." Or they think, "I have kept all this weight off for a year! I have found THE ANSWER! You see, you just have to eat less and move more!"

    In fact, the science shows that while it's easy to lose a little weight and keep it off for a long time, or a lot of weight and keep it off for a year or two, by the end of five years almost everyone who loses weight, by any method other than surgery, has gained it all back. Usually with some extra. Even Oprah, with all her money, resources, knowledge and commitment, has not found the answer. No one has found a diet that works long term. No one. There is NO study that shows good results at 5 years for the majority of dieters. And surgery can have serious repercussions and result in death for a significant percentage of patients.

    The body's weight defense system acts OVER THE LONG TERM to keep you at a certain weight to protect you from famine. It involves many separate mechanisms for multiple redundancies. Read up, you'll be shocked. You'll also be shocked about what the statistically longest-lived weight category is (hint: not "normal") and how many others out there have faced the same struggle and declared a truce. People who have found a way to eat healthy and exercise while remaining fat.

    Your portal to the fat community!




    Support and sassiness!

    •  That is what I suspected -- that my body (10+ / 0-)

      wanted to be a certain weight, and would make all necessary adjustments to get back up to that weight.  I went from 190 to the high 150s a few years ago by cutting out sweets, cutting out eating in the evenings, reducing meal portions, and exercising for 1/2 hour every day.  I lost weight steadily doing that -- until I didn't.  I hit the dreaded "plateau".  It went on and on... finally discouragement and other problems in my life combined to make me slack off on the exercise, and backslide on the eating.  Over the course of 5 years I got back up to the low 180s.  

      I realized why the "social X-rays" (as Tom Wolfe characterized women like Jacqueline Onassis and Nancy Reagan) subsisted on a lettuce leaf and a cup of broth a day to stay thin: they got to that point by eating less and less to compensate for their bodies' adjustments to eating less.  They had to eat less and less in order to maintain the weight they wanted.

      I'm not willing to do that... and I don't have the kind of movie-star lifestyle that would allow me to exercise 6 hours a day like Demi Moore.  Right now I'm eating healthy again, and exercising again, and I won't quit that.  But when my body gets its wits about it and starts working against my weight loss, I'm not going to fight it.  I just don't think that's healthy.

      I love the smell of failed conservatism in the morning.

      by snazzzybird on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:32:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep. And everybody has a story... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snazzzybird, Clio2, LucyMO, Katie71

        Everybody can explain all the psychological factors that made them go off their diet. But these are just stories. The systems in your body, some well understood like leptin and ghrelin and some not yet understood, are screaming chemical messages to get you to eat.

        Lots of "reasons" we have for many things are just stories our brains make up to explain why we did what our bodies urged or forced us to do.

        It's hard to accept that our conscious minds are only partly in control.

        See also:

        •  Now that (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          snazzzybird, LucyMO, andreac

          is a very good point indeed, and about so much more in addition to weight issue.

          Lots of "reasons" we have for many things are just stories our brains make up to explain why we did what our bodies urged or forced us to do.

          It's hard to accept that our conscious minds are only partly in control.

  •  a small thing perhaps (6+ / 0-)

    If you haven't been tested for sleep apnea, you might do so. You may not even know you are stuggling all night just to breathe. Using a CPAP machine helps you get a good night's sleep and, though not a cure all, it can help your metabolism.

    Thanks for sharing your battle with an issue so many of us face.

    Dennis Kucinich was right.

    by lisastar on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:13:55 AM PDT

    •  A good night's sleep (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lisastar, andreac

      is not the cure for fatness, but it doesn't hurt.  I had nightmares my whole life and barely slept, finally I got tested for sleep apnea and I love my CPAP, I rarely have caffeine, soda, or loads of sugar.  I still don't lose weight, but just sleeping through the night is a great, great thing.

  •  I'm sorry, but obesity is a choice (3+ / 5-)
    Recommended by:
    play jurist, TheChop, FTV08
    Hidden by:
    Lainie, Glinda, Clio2, Katie71, Word Alchemy

    to play the metabolism card is insulting to those of us who are dedicated and disciplined about our weight.

    It's too dangerous to make excuses, we need to face this issue with honesty.  People are fatter than ever and I don't think genetics suddenly sprang into action.  

    Eat less.  Exercise more.

  •  Short term diets DO NOT WORK. (13+ / 0-)

    They only fuck up your metabolism.  This is scientific fact.  Your body goes into starvation mode and actually becomes more efficient at storing fat.  You might lose some weight in the short term on a strict diet, but it will come back and then some.

    Really all one can do is eat a healthy balanced diet and get adequate exercise doing something you enjoy...and engage in strength training, which will in fact help metabolism.

    The Republican Sociopath Party

    by The Creator on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:16:27 AM PDT

  •  The Glycemic Index (4+ / 0-)

    I've seen this (plus lean protein) work for friends:

    What is the Glycemic Index?

    Not all carbohydrate foods are created equal, in fact they behave quite differently in our bodies. The glycemic index or GI describes this difference by ranking carbohydrates according to their effect on our blood glucose levels. Choosing low GI carbs - the ones that produce only small fluctuations in our blood glucose and insulin levels - is the secret to long-term health reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes and is the key to sustainable weight loss.

    I add lean protein (not nonfat though) with small meals spaced evenly throughout the day combined with low Glycemic foods.  It's worked for me.

    Good and brave diary.  Tipped and recommended.

  •  You can control your intake and exercise (7+ / 0-)

    I've made a list of the things I can control and I do those things.  Everytime I feel depressed I walk or exercise.  

    It is a constant day to day struggle but I've managed to control myself to a great degree by practice.  I've kept off about 60lbs over about 9 years this time.  

    I too have struggled with weight issues all my life.

  •  Education (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, ViralDem

    There's so much poor knowledge out there on what is healthy to eat, what makes you overweight, etc. It's really a shame. At its core the principles of healthy eating are not terribly complex. The principles of getting in shape are not terribly complex but figuring out the truth from the marketed and made up diet fads is terribly complex.

    That's the real shame here. It's stupid simple to be healthy but our society has bombarded us with such bullshit that we think we need to pay $20 bucks for a book or sign up for a weight watchers membership. Most houses own TV's. Most houses do not own a bicycle, an elliptical or a weight set.

    I won't say it's easy for me to work out but I love doing it. My friend asked me what I was going to do once I lost my weight and my reply was just "Keep doing this because I love it." There's just that moment when there's no room for anything in your head but the pounding of your blood and the truth.

    The Great Depression: Now In Color!

    by TheChop on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:20:25 AM PDT

    •  Our household (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dannyinla, kyril

      has a treadmill, a glider and a Wii fit.  The Wii fit is new and I love it to death.   I'm using it almost everyday as does my daughter and husband.  We also go out for walks, etc.  I have a six year old that would live outside if she could and walk all day.

      I've never liked working out, never but I'm attempting to find ways to make it not only bearable but enjoyable and that's a journey each of us has to make on our own.

      Please help me get to Netroots Nation! Please.

      by Ellinorianne on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:30:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here's what I did to make myself keep exercising: (3+ / 0-)

        For years, I had an exercise bike in the study.  It was placed directly in front of a TV which was usually tuned to CSPAN or whatever was political and would keep my interest.  In addition, I had a cassette player upon which I had customized "pumping" tapes.  Only songs with a good strong beat were allowed.
        I listened with one ear to the music and with the other ear to the TV.  I closed the door so as not to drive my family insane.

        In other words, do whatever you can to make your exercise time interesting!  If you like politics, then tape political shows.  If you like soaps, then tape them.   If you have to spend money, then do it!  Everytime I started to lose interest, I upped the ante by getting a color TV, then a VCR and then cable, etc.

        Exercise is boring but you can trick yourself into doing it by doing something else that you like  at the same time.

        Have fun with it.  And best wishes to you.

        It's the Supreme Court, Stupid!

        by Radiowalla on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:44:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fantastic advice. (3+ / 0-)

          I have a 32 inch TV right in front of the elliptical. I watched the entire run of Battlestar Galactica on it, Breaking Bad, Burn Notice, and several other TV shows. Before I got the home elliptical it was watching stuff on my video iPod. Too many people have these very strict definitions of what it means to work out and don't realize that it can be quite fun if you just put some thought into it. People always think well listen to music while working out or watch ESPN but for me watching a TV show with a beginning middle and end makes the time go by quickly. It's just a matter of figuring out what's keeping you from meeting your goals and then figuring out solutions to those obstacles.

          The Great Depression: Now In Color!

          by TheChop on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:50:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  My dog helps me keep exercising. (0+ / 0-)

        I use the equipment in front of the TV sometimes, but the dog has to be walked a couple of times a day, every day, whether I feel like it or not.  It's not a power-workout, but it's moving, for a total of at least an hour a day.  And walking the dog distracts me from my urge to snack in the evenings, too.

        (My husband jokingly suggested that we name the new dog "Valium" in honor of her primary function in our household.  Dogs are my favorite form of self-medication!)

  •  See, that's the wrong attitude about your weight (9+ / 0-)

    You're just self-preparing for that inevitable global catashtrophe.

    Skinny people will be dead within a couple of weeks, but those of generous proportion and nature will have that little extra padding to see them throug hthe lean times until the recovery.

    You're not overweight; you're stockpiling.

    (Zaftige women are more attractive anyway.)

  •  Ellyn Satter (3+ / 0-)

    I've mentioned the books by nutritionist Ellyn Satter in two other comments, but I am posting this third one to make sure the info doesn't get lost!  Satter focuses on feeding children and the feeding relationship between parents and children (she is herself a clinician working on eating disorders), but her books can be read usefully by anyone who was once a child :-)

    Satter's books Child of Mine, Feeding with Love and Good Sense; How to Get Your Kids to Eat (But not too much); and Secrets of Feeding A Healthy Family all discuss her insights on the feeding relationship and how it can go wrong.  I read them as self-help to overcome a lifetime of disordered eating.  Her tone is calm and supportive, and she cuts through so much harmful advice about food choice and diet.  I can't recommend these books highly enough for everyone who's concerned about their eating habits.

    According to Satter has written a fourth book, Your Child's Weight: Helping Without Harming.  I haven't read it (yet) but I can tell from the information there that it will be worthwhile as well.  Satter's books share the same basic approach and information, just focused differently.  They're all good!

    •  Thankfully (6+ / 0-)

      I've not passed on my issues to my daughter.  She eats great, loves fruits and veggies and can walk away from a sweet treat if she's done.  She's got a BMI of 14, which is normal for a six year old.  She's doing great and she's so active.

      I'm proud of what I've taught my daughter regarding food, really proud.

      Please help me get to Netroots Nation! Please.

      by Ellinorianne on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:29:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think that we need to be very careful about the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eru, 1864 House, LucyMO

      messages that we send our children . . . it's too easy to project our adult hang-ups onto them.  My daughter has been heavy all her life--95 percentile in weight since the day she was born, chubby and pot-bellied.  I absolutely refused to use the word 'fat' with her or limit her food intake--instead, we offer her mostly healthy options, with a few treats and junk food too, and we have taught her 'eat if you're hungry, stop when you're full.'  She does multiple athletic activities (plus just playing like a kid) and I have done all I can to avoid imposing negative body images on her, in spite of all the 'helpful' advice from friends and family.  

      Sure enough, over the last year or so, she has grown taller and finally lost that baby fat layer, eliciting lots of comments about how she's 'slimmed out' from all those people who thought I needed to put her on a diet.  But even if she stays stocky all her life, I'll be happy if I know I've never given her the idea that there's something wrong with her for not being skinny.

      "Going to church does not make us Christians any more than stepping into our garage makes us a car." --Rev R. Neville

      by catleigh on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:46:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is not just a stigma (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Something the Dog Said, TheChop

    Obesity is much more than just a stigma.  It is a serious national public health issue.  The bleeding heart types need to forget about the body image excuses and think of body health issues.

    Some people have the genetic makeup to put on the fat layers when food is plentiful so they will survive a famine.  Skinny Polynesians didn't survive their long boat trips and didn't reproduce.  Ditto for other ethnic groups.  If that's what's in your genes (not to mention what's in your jeans), decide how you'll deal with it.

    You have choices.  You can get mental health counseling to help control the causes of your urges to overeat and get bariatric medical procedures.

    Or you can continue to overeat until you eat yourself into an early grave, but stop worrying about it!

    In the meantime, buy Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food and eat smart & healthy, and forget reducing diets.

    •  Here here (0+ / 0-)

      Positive self-esteem is one thing but making this issue out like it's somehow perfectly acceptable to be a fat ass is bullshit. No one is out there saying we need to advocate on behalf of alcoholics or heroin addicts or cigarette smokers. You smoke cigarettes? That's your right and your life choice and I've got no problem with it but don't expect others to advocate on your behalf because you a little for smelling bad, not being able to walk up a hill without wheezing and getting lung cancer.

      We need to deal with this health issue realistically, with truth, honesty and compassion. Simply going "Fat people are fantastic!" is nearly the exact opposite of that.

      The Great Depression: Now In Color!

      by TheChop on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:30:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  With you. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Floja Roja, kyril

    I've always been big-boned. ;) And I always thought of myself as fat though when I look back at photos, I wasn't really. I'm tall and round and that bigness translated into "fat" for me. It's hard when you have that image in your head so any attempts not to be seem futile. I am genuinely fat now though, and struggling with it. I know it comes from inactivity and too much food. My activity level has gotten better since I went back to work part-time last year. I feel much better because I'm usually on my feet and when I get a break, I take a walk. I know I need to find an activity that I can enjoy regularly and commit to for the long-term and daily. I need to reimagine myself as an active person. I like the person up-thread who said they force themselves to run even though they hate it. Maybe I need to do that! As for food, I've tried to be conscious about that lately. I've done WW and South Beach and other diets as well. Eventually, the focus just gets to be too much. The thing is, I really prefer veggies and good stuff but I need to take the time and work to make it. So those are my personal issues. Socially, I know some people view me differently because I'm heavy. I've been at my ideal weight (and family members thought I was getting anorexic--what is up with those weight charts?!) and know the attention I get then. Excuse me, but do you not know that I am the same person?

    I'd love to see a regular diary feature for us large Kossacks. I know I draw strength from support. Maybe we could encourage each other. And we could certainly use more time to hash out these big questions.

    There's a reason Democrats won massively the last two cycles, and it wasn't because people were desperate for "bipartisanship". --kos

    by Debby on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:24:56 AM PDT

  •  FAT! SO? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catleigh, kyril, andreac, hillgiant

    is an amazing book for coming to terms with being fat.  I read it a decade ago when I was 20.  My best friend bought it for me.  The truth is that merely being obese does NOT kill you.  In fact, medical studies reveal that plenty of fat people eat healthy and exercise, and have healthy cholesterol and fat levels, they just can't get the physical fat off.  The author also talks about Samoan people, how they are naturally fat and eat nothing but fish, fruits, veggies, and nuts!    Long ago I decided to focus on eating well and exercising when i can.  I have taken the focus off of the physical.  I'm 5 foot 8 inches tall and weigh 270 pounds and I LOVE my body.  I make it a point to look at myself naked everyday and just love it.  I encourage you to do the same.  
        I think that by changing the dialogue to being about eating healthy (not how much) and exercising (not losing weight) people would feel more inspired to take care of themselves.  So yeah.  I think that changing the dialogue is key.  Thank you so much for posting this.  You are not alone.  there are millions of us out here.  Let's start a revolution and love our bodies the way they are, instead of hating them for not being what we're told they should be.

  •  I love food, too (6+ / 0-)

    I mean, I just love different flavors and textures, herbs and seasonings, and...well, all of it.

    I'm not nor have I ever been obese, but as the ancestor of those who died of weight-related diseases (Type 2 diabetes, heart attack, high blood pressure, etc.) I've always tried to be careful.

    Ironically, in late March I began watching "The Biggest Loser" at a time when I weighed almost as much as I did when I was full-term with kidlet. If someone who weighs 400 pounds can get in shape, why can't I drop twenty pounds? I found that, when I was really honest with myself, I was indulging my food whims WAY too often.

    I did. I kept a food diary and began weighing my portions. It sounds tedious and frustrating, but I made it a habit and now that I know the calories in a given portion of a type of food, I can estimate fairly accurately how much goes into me without having to beak out the calculator.

    I also do cardio daily and resistance training when I can bring myself to do it. I've lost thirteen pounds in eight weeks.

    Another big factor in this change was the book "You On a Diet". I know it's kind of pop culture, but the way those two docs explain what happens when someone is overweight was enough to encourage me to stick with the change. And if you need a plan to follow (I make mine up as I go along), it's in there.

    Best wishes to all. Obesity is a tough nut to crack, but it can be done without giving up all that you love.

    Hi, my name is Auntie Neo Kawn and I'm a recovering wingnut.

    by Auntie Neo Kawn on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:25:56 AM PDT

    •  Reading this from the set of Biggest Loser (0+ / 0-)

      It's interesting to me that, several hundred comments into this discussion, you're the only one to mention BL.  

      Not surprisingly - and the comments here prove it - there are as many reasons for obesity and successful fat loss as there are people.  We are a vast nation of different types of people, cultures, ages, risk-factors, medical ailments, etc... and some methods are better than others.  

      Spending several days a week with health and fitness experts, I've learned a couple of consistent factors in the fat loss equation: portion control, a balanced diet, no soda or high fructose corn syrup, exercise, and coming to terms with why you eat.  Everything else is a variable that will work with some folks and not others.  

  •  As a 65-year-old who has had a life-long struggle (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    karmsy, kyril, Ellinorianne, fernan47

    I would like to make one suggestion with respect and empathy for your situation:

    Have you tried ZUMBA?  I have been quite physically active all my life, and have enjoyed all kinds of different forms of exercise including physical work.  

    But I have never LOVED any kind of exercise the way I love my Zumba classes.  And I have noticed that Zumba classes tend to be extremely diverse in every way: age, race, fitness level AND SIZE.  We have every kind of woman in these classes from 16 to 76, and from super-fit folks to people with a LOT of weight and substance.  By the end of the class, everybody is just blissed out, and all self-consciousness is out the window.

    And if you think "Oh I could never do that," just remember, most of us start out in the very back row, and a lot of us stay there, and we have a blast back there.  Take it from me, this is exercise a large woman can love.

    •  zumba is great (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      redcedar, Ellinorianne

      I started this salsa/latin dance/aerobics class a couple months ago. It is very aerobic but easy to modify to be low impact. My instructor is a large Latina gal with a background in dance--and boy, can she dance. My class is diverse in age, size, ethnicity--but not many men.

      Zumba is a very hard workout for me, but never dull. Most of my other workouts don't help develop coordination, but this one does. And we love the music!

      You do need the right shoes. Running shoes are too "sticky" on the gym floor and you need to pivot.

      This is the hardest workout I've ever done that I actually look forward to.

    •  I got a wii fit (0+ / 0-)

      and adore it!  Use it everyday, it's great.  But I will check out Zumba as well.  The nice thing about the Wii fit is it's low impact, that's huge for me since my joints just can't handle it.

      Please help me get to Netroots Nation! Please.

      by Ellinorianne on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:59:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Time can be your best friend AND worst enemy (4+ / 0-)

    in this. The least variances in average daily intake can have huge impacts on your physiology.

    A variance of 100 calories per day is 10 pounds in a year.

    This is how I went from being about 165 pounds as a college senior to one day in my late 20s wondering where the other 80 pounds came from.

    I am presenting coming back from my third visit to 240-lb territory. In the 220s at the moment and looking to drop more.

    What motivates me now is the certainty that this will be my last chance to make a big dent in my base weight, and keep it healthy.

    As I said - time can be your best friend, or your worst enemy, when it comes to weight loss.

    And my time is drawing short to fix this situation once and for all.

    •  Oh, yes! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cskendrick, Alexandra Lynch

      Doctor was looking at my records recently, and asked me how long I'd been on a particular drug. 15 years was my reply. He was surprised- because you can expect to gain 1 pound a month on that stuff. 12 pounds a year. Times 15 years... well, I haven't gained that much, but it does explain a lot about why it has been so hard for me to lose weight!