Just THINK about what you eat!

May 13, 2008 at 4:47 pm (binging, diets, disordered eating, media)

This lovely quote came from the Wall Street Journal:

“Most people don’t think about what they’re eating — they’re focusing on the next bite,” says Sasha Loring, a psychotherapist at Duke Integrative Medicine, part of Duke University Health System here. “I’ve worked with lots of obese people — you’d think they’d enjoy food. But a lot of them say they haven’t really tasted what they’ve been shoveling down for years.”

So is it most people who don’t think about what they’re eating, or just obese people? Also, why would obese people enjoy food more than non obese people? Are thin people simply unable to enjoy food, or does this psychotherapist simply buy into the notion that all fat people are fat because they overeat and no thin people over eat? Also, note the degrading, insulting term “shoveling down” in reference to eating habits of OMG TEH OBESE. They don’t eat food. They “shovel down” food. You know. Like shoveling slop from a barrel into a pig trough.

What’s different about mindful eating is the paradoxical concept that eating just a few mouthfuls, and savoring the experience, can be far more satisfying than eating an entire cake mindlessly.

Once again, LOL FAT PEOPLE EAT CAKES LOL. I weigh 280 pounds and have never “eaten an entire cake mindlessly.” Even when binging, which is abnormal and unhealthy behavior that will not be magically cured simply by “paying attention to what you eat,” I’ve never “eaten an entire cake.” But, you know, all fat people are fat because they eat cakes constantly. If they’d just stop SHOVELLING FOOD INTO THEIR GAPING MAWS, they’d be thin. And healthy. And fabulous. And human.

One key aspect is to approach food nonjudgmentally. Many people bring a host of negative emotions to the table — from guilt about blowing a diet to childhood fears of deprivation or wastefulness. “I joke with my clients that if I could put a microphone in their heads and broadcast what they’re saying to themselves when they eat, the FCC would have to bleep it out,” says Megrette Fletcher, executive director of the Center for Mindful Eating, a Web-based forum for health-care professionals.
So, does that nonjudgemental approach to food include accusing people of “shovelling down” food and “eating entire cakes”? Because that seems kind of, you  know, judgemental to me.
Chronic dieters in particular have trouble recognizing their internal cues, says Jean Kristeller, a psychologist at Indiana State, who pioneered mindful eating in the 1990s. “Diets set up rules around food and disconnect people even further from their own experiences of hunger and satiety and fullness,” she says.
Oh, hey, but diets totally work and if you’re fat you should totally diet so that you can be skinny. Even though it fucks up your internal cues and makes you unable to tell if you’re hungry or full or what.
“I don’t think about food anymore. It’s totally out of my mind,” says Mary Ann Power, age 50, of Pittsboro, N.C., a lifelong dieter who thinks she’s lost eight or 10 pounds in two weeks since learning the practice at Duke. “I think you could put a piece of chocolate cake in front of my nose right now, and it wouldn’t tempt me. Before, I could eat three pieces.”
I frequently have chocolate cake or other goodies around me without diving face first into them. I currently have a Vosges Gianduja Bar on my desk that’s been here for two weeks. I love this chocolate bar, but haven’t been hungry for it. If I want it, I can have it, but I haven’t wanted it. Sorry, this fatty isn’t really in the habit of “shovelling down” available food. I don’t need to, because I don’t deny myself and categorize food into “good” and “bad” subsets. It’s just food. I mean, you know, good on her that she no longer feels the urge to binge on chocolate cake. But still.

One of the most frustrating thing about this Hot New Practice!!!! is that it has its roots in Buddhist medidation. It’s like aping Ramadan’s fasting rules or giving up eating for Lent for the vain purposes of losing weight. It’s cheapening a religious practice, removing all the religion and spirituality, and using it solely for vain, earthly purposes. And that is FOUL.

I really don’t see Buddha usind Mindful Eating as a weight loss measure. Do you?

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“Death is the outcome we’re most concerned about avoiding.”

April 30, 2008 at 1:00 am (diets, media, weight loss)

Inside Drugmakers’ War on Fat

Bradbury watched a live simulcast as an FDA advisory panel grilled Sanofi executives over the memory loss, dizziness, depression, and other side effects reported by people who took Acomplia in clinical trials. Most worrisome, at least four people on the drug committed suicide.

The FDA demanded that Amylin explain why some patients in the pramlintide trials suffered hypoglycemia, or dangerously low blood sugar.

Problems with weight-loss drugs date from the 1950s, when doctors began dosing overweight patients with Dexedrine, a form of speed that left people strung out and sometimes addicted.

But when patients began suffering damaged heart valves, fen-phen was hastily pulled from the market.

With Sanofi’s Acomplia, the major concern was suicide. One patient who took his life after using Acomplia was a 36-year-old man with no history of depression; another was a 77-year-old man who had been treated for depression 30 years earlier.

Phentermine was never implicated in the heart-valve issues that caused fen-phen to be recalled, and it remained on the market as a solo treatment. But it can make people so jumpy they feel like crawling out of their skin.

Topiramate, an epilepsy treatment that J&J tried to repurpose as an obesity cure, has an even more disturbing record: At the high doses required to promote substantial weight loss, many patients lost their ability to think straight. That’s because topiramate slows the rapid firing of neurons in the brain—a dulling effect that’s wonderful for controlling seizures but that can turn non-epileptics into bumbling dimwits, doctors say.

After it released a small 12-week study, press reports focused on a disturbing revelation: About 30% of patients on the drug reported psychiatric side effects such as depression, vs. 18% who were taking the placebo. Amatruda says the side effects were clearly worse in the patients who took the highest doses of the drug, and that the company has decided not to seek FDA approval for the higher doses.

Hey, are you fat? Well, modern medicine has a solution for you. Maybe. If you’re cool with shitting yourself, being unable to think, developing problems with your heart valve, or killing yourself, that is.

The latest obesity research is centering on an increasingly popular scientific premise: The human mind is all but hard-wired to hold the body at a certain weight. When people take a drug that helps them shed pounds, or even when they lose weight with exercise, an intricate tangle of brain signals kicks in to tell the body it’s in danger. Metabolism slows to help the body preserve itself, and hunger intensifies. Most scientists have come to believe that obesity is not a disease of gluttony so much as it is an unfortunate roll of the genetic dice, made harder to fight in Western nations by the growing availability of cheap food. “Some people are preordained to have a higher body weight than others. It’s normal’ for them,” says Rudy Leibel, a professor and obesity researcher at Columbia University. That may be why most people who slim down with drugs plateau after they lose just 5% to 8% of their weight: When a drug blocks one of the brain’s appetite pathways, another goes into overdrive to tell the body to find food, right now.

Or you could just, you know, be fat. The way your body is meant to be. The way you were made to be.

But there’s not a lot of money in people just being fat, is there?

These quotes are from the same article. In one breath they talk about how dangerous– how deadly, even– diet drugs are. And in the next breath they quote a scientist talking about how some humans are just fat and that’s the way they are.

Wake up! Diet drugs, diets, pills, concoctions, shakes, prepared meals, calorie counting books, diet websites, diet books… they don’t exist because they’re healthy, they exist because they make money. You can be happy and fat. You can be healthy and fat. In fact, it looks like you’re more likely to be happy and healthy and alive if you’re fat than you will be if you take diet drugs.

Stop buying into the diet machine. You don’t benefit from it. You just line the pockets of somebody else.

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Cruel and unusual?

April 29, 2008 at 9:57 am (diets, media, weight loss)

Part of the penal code of the USA outlaws cruel and unusual punishment. Does that include starvation? If a man in jail for murder drops 25% of his body weight in only 8 months, is that cruel and unusual punishment?

Broderick Lloyd Laswell has lost over 100 pounds in under a year, and has filed a lawsuit against Benton County Jail claiming that he and other inmates aren’t getting fed enough, and claiming also that the inmates should be fed hot food, instead of cold food only, which has been policy for years. Meals are provided by Aramark Correctional Institution Services and, assuming that all food in the meal is eaten, inmates should be taking in about 3000 calories a day. If that seems like a lot, bear in mind that the average calorie requirement for a man is 2700 calories a day.

“On several occasions I have started to do some exercising and my vision went blurry and I felt like I was going to pass out,” Laswell wrote in his complaint. “About an hour after each meal my stomach starts to hurt and growl. I feel hungry again.”

Laswell claims he’s lost about a half-pound a day.

“If we are in a small pod all day (and) do next to nothing for physical exercise, we should not lose weight,” according to Laswell. “The only reason we lost weight in here is because we are literally being starved to death.”

http://www2.arkansasonline.com/news/2008/apr/27/murder-case-defendant-complains-about-jail-diet-re/

Let me state this again.

An otherwise healthy man has lost over one hundred pounds in eight months.

An otherwise healthy man has lost 25% of his body mass in eight months.

But, hey, you know, at least he is less of a fatty than he was, right? He should be greatful that any time he tries to do any physical activity he gets dizzy and almost passes out. It means the enforced starvation diet is working! A lack of physical activity is totally healthy as long as he keeps shedding those extra pounds.

 

 

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Bad Advice: Binging on the weekend

April 28, 2008 at 3:44 pm (advice, binging, diets, disordered eating)

I want to start doing a theme where I take advice column questions and answer the answers. Today’s question comes from About.com
Weekend Diet Traps

I eat a healthy diet Monday through Friday, but on the weekends, it’s no holds barred. How do I bring in the reins?
…Your mindless weekend binge just ruined an entire week of healthy eating. Then the guilt sets in. You get back to your routine diet on Monday, feeling bad and vowing to eat right next weekend. But then Friday comes around and the whole cycle starts all over again. …

Your mindless weekend binge ruining an entire week of healthy eating is one way of looking at it. However, what if you aren’t “being bad”? What if your body is desperately trying to make up the calories you’ve been denying it all week by being “good”?

Most of the “tips” in the article have to do with face-stuffing and offer helpful suggestions like “don’t keep food in the house” (ok, I’m exagerating slightly) and “don’t order vast amounts of food at restaurants… if you do, don’t eat it all.” They push fruits and veggies, under the asumption that you’re not eating them at home, I guess. And then there’s the slide into disordered territory. Log everything you eat. Keep track of every calorie consumed, every bite you take. Hungry? Take a walk to distract yourself! You’ll burn calories, too! Want one thing? Have another! Have some fruit. It’s mostly water and fiber.

Nowhere does it address the actual problem, which is a repeat pattern of binge behavior. Nowhere do they ask “are you really binging, or just not dieting? And if you are binging, what’s the reason behind it? What’s causing it? What aren’t you getting that you’re trying to replace with food?

I also don’t like the assumption that a “healthy” diet is one that’s bad or boring. It’s very possible to eat healthily and enjoy your food. In fact, that should be the default… enjoyment of food. Scandalous, I know. But what happens when you don’t enjoy your food during the week? You stick your face in a pie on the weekend. Yeah. That’s healthy.

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The Diet Mindset

April 8, 2008 at 11:49 am (diets, disordered eating, weight loss) (, , , )

It’s pervasive, this idea that if one simply limits one’s calories below what they need to survive, one’s excess weight will melt away like so much ice cream in the hot sun. Despite studies that have shown that people burn calories differently when they have plenty to eat versus when they have little to eat, and despite studies that have shown that biologicaly fat people and thin people burn calories at a different rate, most non-fat-friendly people who talk about THE OBESITY EPIDEMIC lead off with the assumption that fat is a choice, and fat people could all be thin if they’d only eat less and move more… despite the failure rate of diets, and despite the fact that most fat people have been on diets and failed, and despite the fact that many many many articles talk about “the dangers of yo yo dieting” in the same paragraph they talk about yet another low calorie starvation fest.

I know my body. I’ve lived in it for a long time, and started listening to it actively recently. I know for a fact that I can limit calories to starvation levels while doing intense aerobic exercise for many hours a day and still not lose weight. But the other day while changing into pajamas and thinking about whether or not I wanted to have some ice cream, that little niggling voice in the back of my head whispered that if I’d just skip the ice cream my clothes would fit that much better. And maybe I should just have a salad for dinner, or skip it entirely. I have been losing weight after all. If I just take control and limit my calories a bit, I’ll lose even more weight, even faster.

This, despite the fact that I’m losing weight at a time when I’ve eaten more calories than I have in years. I’m eating more food over the course of the day than I usually do because I’m not restricting what I eat, I’m not eating what I “should” eat. I’m eating enough to be healthy and have energy and to keep me alive, and my body’s responding by stopping it’s OMG FAMINE HOARD HOARD HOARD freak out and letting go of the excess fat I have… the fat that truely is excess, and which has me at a higher point of my body’s natural set point. I know what’s healthy for me, what’s good for me. Yet even knowing that, I still feel the urge sometimes to act in unhealthy, destructive ways; to engage in disordered eating and compulsive behavior again.

And that’s not right and that’s not good and that’s not healthy, and that’s the diet mindset that grips this country.

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Weight Loss

April 2, 2008 at 1:00 am (diets, disordered eating, weight loss) (, , )

I haven’t been doing any extra excercise lately, or conciously restricting my caloric intake. I have, however, been pretty sick, to the point of not eating. But when well enough to eat, I’ve been eating pretty fatty things– in large part a response to my enforced fasting, I think, and the fact that my body is trying very, very hard to recover and get well and needs to burn calories to do so. Despite that, I’ve been losing weight over the past few months.

I first noticed it, as I always do, in my breasts. I’ve gone down a cup size. And now my pants are too large on me as well, and some shirts with very snug arms now fit a bit better in the shoulder/upper arm area. When I look in the mirror I look different. Shirts on hang on me differently. I don’t know what I weigh. I don’t own a scale, and the few times I’ve stepped on one, out of curiousity, in some friend’s or family member’s bathroom, the needle has burried itself in the “lolfattylol” range of over 250 pounds. Just… thunk.

If I mention my weight loss to most people they congratulate me. “You must be so proud,” they say. But I’m not proud. I’m not doing anything to lose weight, and even if I were, why should I be proud of the size I am? How is that an important thing?

What I am, however, is worried. I’m something of a hypochondriac, so I lose weight without meaning to and my brain is all “OMG cancer! OMG thyroid problems! OMG tape worm! OMG YOU WILL DIE.”

I spoke with another friend of mine, who is also fat and who also grapples with positive self image, FA, HAES, and intuitive eating. She asked me if I started losing weight after I started eating more intuitively and yes, that’s when it started. When I finally let go of a lot of my hangups with food and started listening to my body, I started losing weight. I’ve been feeling healthier for a while now, eating a more balanced diet. I doubt I’ll loose MUCH weight… just get back to a lower point in my body’s natural range, which is still fat. But people tell me I’m looking better, that I must be proud. After all, I’m losing weight! Isn’t that fabulous?

I was sitting in the lunch room at work while a co-worker talked excitedly about finally fitting back into a pair of pants she hadn’t worn for sixteen years. Which means that she hauled these pants (and other articles of clothing) around with her every time she moved for sixteen years. For sixteen years, those clothes have been taking up closet, shelf, and drawer space. Instead of buying clothes that fit and look good on her, she’s been maintaining a shrine to clothes she can’t wear, for over a decade and a half. They’re nice pants, don’t get me wrong, but not worth wearing around your neck for sixteen years. She took a break from marveling over the new shape of her butt and thighs to congratulate another coworker on her recent weight loss. The other coworker tried to deflect the congratulations by saying she’d been really sick. “But you look so great! So thin!” “Yeah, I was really sick. I almost went to the hospital. It was awful.” “You must have dropped two pants sizes! You look so good!” “Uh… I couldn’t stop puking. Seriously. I thought I would die. I was so incredibly dehydrated. I burst all the blood vessels in my eye balls.” “Really really great! You’re so slender now! Your clothes are just hanging off of you!”

Because being thin is always healthier than being fat. Always.

I’m so glad I found FA.

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