Thursday, March 10, 2011

Review of Why We Get Fat

This book blew away (finally and irretrievably) some thoughts I have had about weight, weight loss and the cause of obesity.

  • You are not fat because you eat too much and are too sedentary 
  • My obesity is not a moral failing--as I suspected.
  • We have known why people get fat for over 200 years
  • Why we get fat is not popular and does not align with conventional health mantras
  • I feel some hope again
Is it possible that there is a way that I can lose weight and be healthy for the rest of my life? Really, really healthy? 

For the 300th time in my life, I hope. Again. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sibling Success

Just saw this post tonight from my little brother about his experience with Crossfit the last year. It takes an AWFUL lot now-a-days to get me inspired but his story made me beam from ear to ear. I am so excited for how awesome he feels and what a difference this program has made for his health.

I've grown rather maudlin and overly depressed the last few months about my pathway and how I CAN'T DO IT and IT ISN'T FAIR and NO ONE HAS to SUFFER LIKE ME. Brock reminded me tonight that we all have uphill battles and challenges and odds stacked against us. Life isn't about removing challenges but about overcoming them.

Now if I can just keep reminding myself about that truth.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Membership in the Club

I read this article the other day on CNN and thought: "My words exactly." I couldn't describe any better the feelings I have experienced the last five years (since my last major weight loss) when it comes to my weight. I know this all tends to victimhood and outrage too. I know that that will get me nowhere either. I guess sometimes I just really, really, really want to be understood. I've always felt like a thin girl in a fat body. This body is foreign, unwieldy and NOT mine. And I get reminded rather often that no matter how I feel on the inside, much of my experience here deals with how I look on the outside. I've known about the club's existence for years but I've rarely "qualified."

But when I lost weight, I was rewarded with membership in a club I never knew existed, where the benefits included better treatment, greater professional success and, above all, a new status as qualified participant in the social world including romantic relationships.
I've railed against the existence of the club for a long time. It doesn't really make me feel better. It just hurts. But to see in print the words that I have so often thought makes me think that other people have experienced the same kind of hurt. We don't like getting to:

Reap the benefits of a society set up to punish fat people for the unforgivable crime of eating too much.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

First CSA Share

I got my first CSA share today of greens and vegetables today. I was inspired by this video about a 2-minute salad. I made my own salad tonight and I think it was a decent first attempt. Here are the ingredients:
  • spring mix of greens
  • romaine lettuce
  • grape tomatoes
  • grilled chicken
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • sugar snap peas
  • sliced almonds
  • sweet corn
  • sliced red onions
  • olive oil
  • fresh lemon juice
  • apple cider vinegar
  • garlic
  • Dijon mustard
It was good. And I'm full. And I'm not stuffed. All tiny miracles in my book.

What kind of salads have you been eating this summer?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Doctor Visit

I went to my doctor's appointment this morning with a surly attitude. Didn't realize how surly until the receptionist handed me about 10 pages of documents she wanted me to fill out. All legal and billing documents and patient information. Ticked me off to no end because I've been a patient there for five years and you would think by now that they would have all of my relevant info, no? I had to remind myself to breathe because the ugly was baring its fangs.

Anyway, thanks to that little snafu, my bad attitude and my absolutely horrific way of eating the last few months, my blood pressure was higher than it has ever been: 153/90. I'm usually about 120/70-80. So, that wasn't a great way to start off the appointment. Plus, my weight was 339. Niiiiice.

So, I wasn't thrilled about anything. I didn't want to hear from the doctor that I should be doing a whole bunch of things differently. What I do is HARD. I wanted that acknowledged. But in all reality what I don't do and what I do when I don't care is really hard on my body.

My weight is up. My gallbladder and liver are both tender. My temperature is down to 97.3 degrees (a sign of metabolic slow down and thyroid issues). My attitude/emotions are on a roller coaster. My cycle is still anovulatory. And my energy is low, low, low.

It doesn't help that I'm stressed out of my mind by school. That I keep wondering if yet again am I going to FAIL?

The doc and I talked about the HCG diet and Dr. Mark Hyman's UltraSimple Diet too. She suggested I look them both over. Which I will do. When I can gather the energy to do more than sit at my computer at work or sit in my chair at home. I spend a lot of time just sitting.

I had big plans. I thought about getting a commuter bike and riding my bike to work each day. My gym membership is about to run out. I wish I could talk yoga classes. I so, so, so want to try Pilates too. Are all of those thoughts just wisps of smoke?

All-in-all though, I came away from this doctor's visit feeling hopeful--a feeling I didn't expect. I have two new books to read and a desire to do life better. That's always good in my book.

Maybe, just maybe, someday I will get this all figured out.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I gained thirty pounds.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Women Fear Fat

I saw this on Twitter today.

RT @HealthPop: Women fear fat. Men don't. Are you surprised?

I sense the fear. I feel the fear. I see how people look at me, underestimate me, wish to never be me. I'm not blind. I see how terrified people can become in my presence from the fact that I am overweight.

It is a scary thing to be obese. It carries the dichotomous pressure of having your "sins" or weaknesses erred publicly and the fact that you are never really seen by others. You are always the great white elephant in the room. Never mentioned, quickly judged, mostly overlooked.

I know this is sounding like a pathetic song of victimization. Maybe it is. Sometimes, I don't know how to tell the truth without the telling the lies that so often weigh on my mind.

And one of the big lies that permeates American society is that fat people are that way because they are weak, lazy or unintelligent. Because it isn't like they were born with a birth defect or a handicap. They are just fat. And you can always do something about being fat. Like exercise. And eat right. And stop overeating. Fat is your fault.

That kind of lie can really hurt you.

It's always easy to make fun of the fatty. It is always good for a laugh. Men who are fat can turn themselves into the butt of every joke. Women who are fat wish to melt into the scenery. Obesity in America is viewed as no less than a weakness and sometimes even a sin.

You are fat because you just are not good enough. Some days it is hard not to buy into this untruth.

I may sound heretical on this point but I know what it is like to be the subject of prejudice and bigotry. I know what it is like to be a second-class citizen. I know what it is like to be viewed as less than and worse than "the normal people." Fat is not only a weakness it is a lower-class status. You are to take your place in the basement of society and be grateful for the scraps that are thrown you. Because you are fat. And fat is very, very bad.

In some ways, women are right to fear fat. Who would want to be daily reminded that you are not and never will be good enough? Who wants to pretend to ignore the stares, not hear the snickers and preeminently exclude yourself from any activity that would put you in an awkward physical space? Who wants to be reduced to shopping for clothes in the only fat store within a fifty-mile radius? Or wear the same thing over and over and over again simply because the pain of facing yourself in the mirror is worse than the boredom of wearing clothes that you hate? Who want to be told you are "a sweetheart" and have "a pretty face" but are never complemented on how you look? Who wants to feel that no matter what she does that no amount of grooming or preparation will ever move you out of the ugly camp?

Sometimes I want to shout at people who have been thin all their lives: "Do you know what you have? Do you understand what a gift it is? Would you please just appreciate your blessings?" These people will never spend a moment worrying about tipping over a picnic table, being able to fit in a theater seat, or getting in and out of a car gracefully. These people will never understand how much their genetic inheritance plays a role in their good fortune and professional advancements. These people are not accustomed to living in a world where everything is too small and nothing is ever made to fit their size. They will be lauded as heroes and champions because of their genetic capabilities and not their own cultivated abilities. They will not be sneered at, derided or overlooked because they are so undesirable. They will not have to fight intense self-loathing and morbid self-hatred because of their weight. I see their lives as unimaginably blessed.

I may not like it but I understand and believe there is good reason for women to "fear fat."


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