2013 at Living 400lbs

Most-read posts / pages:

  1. Day in the Life
  2. About
  3. Barefoot Contessa
  4. How Do You Comfort Sore Muscles?
  5. Fat Clothing Catalogs…
  6. Day in the Life: Shower, Chafing, & Jock Itch
  7. But…!
  8. Disney World
  9. What If You’re Too Big For Lane Bryant?
  10. Exercise

Some more amusing search terms:

  • unicorns are real they’re just fat and gray and we call them rhinos
  • rhetorical question about obesity
  • what size is 30/32 plus size
  • cyberspace mountain weight
  • 400 hundred pounds woman sex lessons while dancing

Some that have me rolling my eyes at the denial involved:

  • what do you eat in a day morbidly obese  — people’s eating habits vary. 
  • do all obese people have diabetes — no 
  • why don’t super obese people have diabetes — genetics, stress, luck? 

Those are outliers though.  Most people find this blog by searching for a variation of the blog name -or- on something to do with Ina Garten.  (Seriously, I don’t know why.  Maybe I need to post more about Dawn French?)   Others find this blog from links on other sites.  In the past year Shakesville, Reddit, The Fat Nutritionist, Twitter, a HuffPo post, and Fat Heffalump sent a lot of people here.

Whether you’re new here or just found this site recently, relax and be welcome.  :)

Try Some New Music

Several indie artists put together a sampler of music — over 70 tracks — to try.

Some of it is music I’ve loved for years.

“Firebird’s Child”

“Light Heart”

“Salad of Doom”

“Tam Lin”

“The Cthulhu Colada Song”

“The Holly & The Ivy”

“Two Guys Kissin’ Ruined My Life”

“WinterTide”

“Witches’ Rune”

Others are new to me, or new interpretations.

“Close Your Eyes”

“Do Virgins Taste Better Medley”

“How Was The Show Last Night”

“Jedi Drinking Song”

“Mingulay Boat Song”

“XLibris”

There are links to all the performers’ websites as well.

Green Tea Extracts

I’ve written before that our society tends to push weight loss “pros” and not mention “cons”.  Here’s a “con” you may not be familiar with.

There are many products to help people lose weight (if only temporarily).   Some “fat burning” supplements contain green tea extracts, which in high doses can be toxic to the liver.

 The investigators looked at 845 patients with severe, drug-induced liver damage who were treated at hospitals in the network from 2004 to 2012. It focused only on cases where the investigators ruled out other causes and blamed a drug or a supplement with a high degree of certainty.

When the network began tracking liver injuries in 2004, supplements accounted for 7 percent of the 115 severe cases. But the percentage has steadily risen, reaching 20 percent of the 313 cases recorded from 2010 to 2012.

Those patients included dozens of young men who were sickened by bodybuilding supplements.  [...]

A second trend emerged [...in...] patients with liver injuries linked to herbal pills and powders. Two-thirds were middle-aged women, on average 48 years old, who often used the supplements to lose weight or increase energy. Nearly a dozen of those patients required liver transplants, and three died.

Not all supplements are dangerous, of course. But this is part of why I get leery of gyms and personal trainers who push pills and powders — and anything with “lose weight fast” in the title.

#fatmicroaggressions

[Content warning: criticism of fat shaming]

Melissa McEwan at Shakesville started the #fatmicroaggressions tag on Twitter.   (If you’re not familiar, “microaggression” is the concept that specific interactions between those of different races, cultures, or genders can be interpreted as small acts of mostly non-physical aggression; the term was coined byChester M. Pierce in 1970.  I am most familiar with microaggressions via http://www.microaggressions.com/.)

Melissa started with the old chestnut we’ve all probably heard too many times:

"You have such a pretty face."

“You have such a pretty face.”

Others included one I hope to never hear again while sick:

"There's nothing wrong with you that losing x pounds wouldn't solve."

“There’s nothing wrong with you that losing x pounds wouldn’t solve.”

…and one that seems to be declining as my age advances:

"Are you sure you should be eating that?"

“Are you sure you should be eating that?”

Others came fast & furious.

#fatmicroagressions "urrrgh, I feel fat" (said with fear/disgust/shame)

“urrrgh, I feel fat” (said with fear/disgust/shame)

"How do you wipe??"

“How do you wipe??”

Obviously reading this can be upsetting, in part because it reminds of when we’ve had these thrown at us.  But there’s camaraderie in sharing.  Some are common enough to be an in-joke.

"Have you tried dieting?"

“Have you tried dieting?”

Other things fit into less-common portions of the fat experience. Most fat women, for example, wear US women’s size 24 or below…but millions do not.

"We carry sizes to fit every body!" *stops at size 24*

“We carry sizes to fit every body!” *stops at size 24*

And most people probably do not think about who attends conferences on public health in regards to obesity, or why weight bias scholars are often thin and thus don’t have to face fat bias on their own.

No fat people speaking at the so-called "obesity" conference.

No fat people speaking at the so-called “obesity” conference.

Harassing women is depressingly common. Some people might think fat women get to avoid it. They’d be wrong.

Man at a club: "Hey baby, c'mon dance with me." Me: "No thanks." Him: "Whatever. Fat bitch. You're ugly anyway."

Man at a club: “Hey baby, c’mon dance with me.” Me: “No thanks.” Him: “Whatever. Fat bitch. You’re ugly anyway.”

Here the impression is that the fat hate might have been avoided if the writer had complied with his ask. However, when unhappy, he used “fat” as a go-to insult — along with “bitch” and “ugly”. It says something about what our culture does and doesn’t value.

"No one would rape someone as fat as you."

“No one would rape someone as fat as you.”

And here the anger is even uglier.  It asserts the myth that rape is about a man’s uncontrollable desire for an attractive woman.  It asserts that being “rapeable” is a standard to aspire to.  And it is a threat.  The person who states “No one would rape someone as fat as you” claims to know what rapists would do.  By doing this, that person claims to be a rapist.   Implied is also that “no one would believe you so I can do as I please”.  As Amadi notes, this also intersects with the concepts of rape culture and intersectionality. Fat does not exist in a vacuum. 

This is getting depressing, and I’ve barely skimmed the surface.  Feel free to check out the convo or post your own here.

Other posts:

Things I’m reading

Kath as a post at Fat Heffalump on the feedback from her recent interview by Jasmin Lill on news.com.au, Brisbane blogger speaks out against online bullies. Go Kath!

Closet Puritan has a thoughtful response to some of the conflation between “Fat people are more common in communities with a Walmart” and “Eating more processed food from Walmart makes people fat”.

This Adipose Rex has some musings on Christianity and the body:

This Advent I am thinking about how if my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, then this flesh itself is sacred — this same substance worn by the God of the universe, and shaped into God’s image. If I really believe in the words I recite every week, the resurrection of the body, then this is not some temporary meat-costume I will abandon so my soul can flit off to an immaterial heaven, but the too too solid flesh that will dance in the hereafter.

This reminds me of The Unapologetic Fat Girl’s Guide to Exercise and Other Incendiary Acts by Hanne Blank, which I’ve been reading. From the introduction:

Exercise—by which I mean regular physical movement that puts your body through its paces—is crucially important because it is something that makes it possible for you and your body to coexist in better and more integrated ways. It builds a bridge across the mind-body split. [...E]xercise gives your body to you. [...] Most of all, it teaches you that your body is not just a sort of jar made out of meat that you lug around because it’s what you keep your brain in, but an equal and in fact quite opinionated partner in the joint production that is you.

And over on the HAES blog, there’s an interesting discussion on healthism & privilege.

Quote of the day: Easier to get fit than thin

Not that everyone has to want to be fit or can be fit, but for those who exercise and don’t lose weight, this might be helpful.

[Deb Burgard, Ph.D. points out that] fat people who repeatedly try to lose weight are more likely to yo-yo diet, or weight-cycle, than they are to maintain weight loss permanently. And because weight-cycling has been linked to cardiac disease and other problems, overweight people who are metabolically healthy could increase their risks of the very diseases they tried to avoid in the first place if they lose weight and gain it back again.

The takeaway for fat people? Keep on trucking when it comes to increasing your physical activity, and don’t get discouraged by headlines that seem to make weight the single determining factor in living a long, healthy life.

“It’s much easier to get a fat person fit than it is to get a fat person thin,” concluded Gaesser. And that’s a good thing, because fitness may be much more rewarding than thinness alone.

— From a Huffington Post discussion of a new “But fat people are so unhealthy” study.

Quotes: Gratitude

“There are slavish souls who carry their appreciation for favors done them so far that they strangle themselves with the rope of gratitude.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“Next to ingratitude the most painful thing to bear is gratitude.” — Henry Ward Beecher

“No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.” — Alfred North Whitehead

“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.” — Henry Van Dyke

“‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.” — Alice Walker

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” — Melody Beattie

Interesting – research on insomnia & depression

I’ve written about depression and insomnia before.  Also that I can induce depression symptoms by shorting myself on sleep.

Now the NIMH is studying interactions between depression and insomnia. 

Doctors have long considered poor sleep to be a symptom of depression that would clear up with treatments, said Rachel Manber, a professor in the psychiatry and behavioral sciences department at Stanford, whose 2008 pilot trial of insomnia therapy provided the rationale for larger studies. “But we now know that’s not the case,” she said. “The relationship is bidirectional — that insomnia can precede the depression.”

Full-blown insomnia is more serious than the sleep problems most people occasionally have. To qualify for a diagnosis, people must have endured at least a month of chronic sleep loss that has caused problems at work, at home or in important relationships. Several studies now suggest that developing insomnia doubles a person’s risk of later becoming depressed — the sleep problem preceding the mood disorder, rather than the other way around.

I doubt there’s a magic bullet here, but it is interesting and encouraging to see this sort of research.  (And on a more humorous note, check out Candorville.)

Love Song for Internet Trolls

From The Doubleclicks:

It is snarky and silly and fun.

I love you, even though you’re a commenter from hell
the predictable way you don’t know how to spell
and you’re hateful
disgusting, ungrateful
like you don’t understand, other people have feelings

I feel like you don’t even know
if you don’t enjoy a youtube video
you can stop it. you don’t have to watch it.
your ignorance is just amazing.

it seems like you’ve never heard
that if media doesn’t speak your words
you can make something new, express your view
it’s a delight how you’re so darn LAZY

the internet makes you feel so empowered
you almost forget you’re a stupid coward

Full lyrics & download at thedoubleclicks.bandcamp.com.

Sick

You know that stage of being sick where you feel fine, really, as long as you don’t actually try to DO a anything?

Yeah. 

Tonight I tried to make pumpkin bread & forgot to put the pumpkin in. So it’s spice bread.

Anyway.  I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t try to drive or go to work today.

Halloween

The company I’ve worked at for the last three years has parties for Halloween & trick-or-treating in the office. I’ve sometimes felt strange, in past years, to be the fat lady handing out candy.  (No cultural baggage there…!)

This is the second company I’ve worked at to do the full-on trick-or-treating. Some years at the old company I stamped kids’ hands with bats and cats, but I gave my rubber stamps away in an uncluttering binge. So I stopped by the party store on the way home Tuesday.

image

I’m giving out small toys this year. It’ll be different, and the kids might like the variety. Besides, leftover kazoos might be fun.

Quote of the Day: Hunger, Food, and Self-acceptance

[Discusses calorie counts, reference to dieting/WLS]

I work with Michelle, The Fat Nutritionist, and she’s changed my entire life and my entire relationship with food. I was talking to her about hating myself for eating more often than I “should” [...] She said my body requires more calories than I’m able to consume in one sitting . That my 350 pound body requires more calories to function than someone who is, say, 200 pounds. That’s why I eat more often…I need more nutrients and calories than my stomach is capable of holding at any one time. Blew. My. Mind. I just thought, well I’m clearly eating too much [...]

We’re told so often that we’re supposed to eat 1,200 calories a day. The end. No flexibility. No matter how much you weigh, no matter how hard you work. 1,200 calories. That’s what I learned as a child and I’ve held on to that – even when I know, logically, that it’s complete and utter bullshit. Even dieting sites tell me I should be eating 2,500+ calories just to function. When you’ve believed your entire life that 1,200 calories is your goal, giving yourself permission to eat twice that amount is terrifying. I don’t trust my body. I don’t trust my hunger. How can I? Look where that left me.

What Michelle teaches me is to learn to accept that my body knows best. My body knows what it needs from me. And even after ignoring and disbelieving that for 30 years, I can teach myself to slowly start listening to the things my body tells me. I can permit my body to eat what it needs and wants, whether that’s a candy bar or a bucket of greens. I can give myself permission to eat. I can eat without judgment or fear or shame.

The food mantra I’ve come up with and repeat to myself when I eat: My food choices are valid. I’m allowed to eat this.

— From Heidi at Attack of the Sugar Monster, in discussing learning to eat more intuitively.   (Warning: Linked page includes discussion of weight loss surgery, eating disorders, and purging.)

I don’t try to count the calories in my food;I know the human body isn’t a bomb calorimeter. But I learned, young, that I “eat too much” (because otherwise I wouldn’t be fat) and was urged to diet (even though dieting isn’t necessarily about being healthy).  Heidi’s framing of this, of learning to trust her body, is really helpful to me.

I am also a fan of The Fat Nutritionist, though I haven’t worked with Michelle one-on-one myself.


Mod note: I keep this a space to discuss life & fat acceptance without focus on weight loss. I realize that quoting from this post of Heidi’s  may seem to open up the door to discuss weight loss here. NOPE. If you want to talk about it, please take it elsewhere.

Yes, I have done some reading on weight loss surgery and am not interested.  I believe in body autonomy and letting each person make their own choices about their own body — including weight loss — even though choosing not to diet is considered wrong by society.

Things to Read

You may have seen this poor as folk post on why poor people might not eat healthy.   There’s also a great post on why “healthy food vs junk food” infographics are inaccurate, misleading lies.

From Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor at the the Health At Every Size® Blog:

“Obesity-related” disease actually tracks your social status more than what size clothing you wear. In developed nations, data show, members of stigmatized groups, including those who are economically disadvantaged and people of color, are the most common victims of illnesses typically grouped under the “metabolic” umbrella. [...] With social status comes control over one’s circumstances – success at work, fostering loved ones’ well-being, being able to plan for the future, or even next week. The absence of those, no matter how punctilious our lifestyle habits, stresses our systems in disease-promoting ways. In contrast, being able to exert an influence over what matters to us is health-promoting.

And astronaut Karen Nyberg created a stuffed dinosaur in space.

AbFab

I think I discovered Absolutely Fabulous at the right time for me – I was on my own and trying to disconnect from family dysfunction.  The stone-faced Saffron politely telling her mother off became one of my icons of rationality.

Well, why is today such a panic, anyway? It’s only a fashion show, and you’ve had six months to prepare it.[...] Greater feats have been achieved in less time and with less fuss.  — Fashion

Tonight on YouTube I found the original French & Saunders sketch that the show was based on.  Two things in particular caused me to pause and re-play to get written:

Mother: “I think you’d be a lot happier if you shed a few stone.”

Daughter: “No, YOU’d be a lot happier.”

And, again from the daughter:

Mom. Would you please stop swearing? It’s not clever, it’s not funny, and nobody’s in the slightest bit impressed.

….I’m tempted to use that on some coworkers. ;)

Music Monday: I Made My Bed & I Sleep Like A Baby

This song’s been around for quite a while now, but given the ongoing death threats going around the net it seems a bit timely.

And how in the world
Can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they’d write me a letter
Saying that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over.

Yes, that verse was written in response to a death threat.

(I also just love the line “I made my bed & I sleep like a baby.”)

“Not Ready To Make Nice” was written by Natalie MainesMartie MaguireEmily Robison and Dan Wilson.