Monday, August 30, 2010

Are They Trying to Make Us Fatter #2?

Check this article out and the new recipes some of these restaurants came up. Its like in all their test kitchens got together to try to break the world's record for the most fattening food ever!

Yes that is lumps of white-colored cheese melted within the cheddar cheese!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A-Mini-Art Show: My Painted Fat Ladies

Here is a mini-art show, a couple years ago, I painted some different fat ladies, these were based on pictures of super-obese women who worked the sideshows. The pictures all seem to encompass sides of my being, the wistful thoughtful melancholic lady, the strong, fighting woman and the Victorian lady, dressed up in a lovely dress. I'm one of those throwbacks who always felt like I was born into the wrong century.


The Show Ruby

I've been watching this show with interest, this is the Ruby show from the Style network starring a lady who used to be as much as 700lbs and has been losing weight. She started the show at around 487lbs.

She looks like she has made it down to the 300lb mark, and here she is shown going to buy a belt for the first time. It's an interesting show because it has shown the day-to day life of a severely obese woman. She has been able to exercise, and do many more things which are all positive. One thing I get from the show is when someone is facing severe obesity they really do need more support out there, medical and otherwise. The show has covered everything from her dating life to health concerns with diabetes. It is good to see her having lost weight and become more active. Here you can see some of the earlier shows in the first season.

I wish I could talk to Ruby one day, her personality is more outgoing then my own [I'm far more of the bookworm and serious type] and her weight seems more centered in eating disorders coupled with childhood issues, rather then endocrine problems, but I think we could have some interesting conversations just about how life is living as a super-sized woman and about what she has overcome.

Fat Albert

I remember watching this cartoon as a kid and loved it. Bill Cosby was also one of my favorite comedians years ago. One thing with Fat Albert, he was active, confident, and had lots of friends, which is a good thing to show fat kids. The old cartoons were better, this one had positive messages to it too. Today how come there are no fat kids showed in cartoons or TV shows who were like Fat Albert?

Asparagus, Garlic and Artichokes Against Obesity

Asparagus, garlic and artichokes 'could help fight obesity and diabetes'

Well we all know vegetables are good for you, I found it interesting how they pinpointed these exact ones. These are tasty ones.

My Failure to Lose [Enough?] Weight

More and more I am finding food an expensive interruption and annoyance, and tiring enterprise. Trying to eat gluten free is wiping me out and when money has been low, I've fallen off the gluten free wagon. I itch far less and my celiac skin problem is kept in check when I'm on it, but I am getting a very weird relationship with food.

Every food makes me guilty, maybe this banana is bad, maybe this bean soup I'm making for lunch with carrots and onions shouldn't have any meat at all to flavor it. Then there is the gut wrenching/blocking, asthma inducing food allergies from hell, I'll list here wheat, rye, barley, eggs, potatoes, fish, shellfish, shrimp, wine, cheese, all dairy, yogurt, eggplant, radishes and now soy which seems to make my thyroid swell up every time I eat just a little bit too much of it.

Following so many food rules, is driving me nuts too:, "don't eat any bacon, or allow it only once a month--that includes pork chops, water down juice the rare times you do drink it, only eat at meal times, etc. These are the rules that got off the 150lbs from when I was near 700lbs, along with medical treatment. People do not realize I have to work at NOT GAINING.

I don't want to cook anymore, but the hunger pain feels like its going to kill me sometimes. Over the last year, I did both Overeaters Anonymous which seemed to assume I was eating whole cakes, entire casseroles and pies, and I didn't relate to what the women talked about as they ate whole bags of cookies, and Weight Watchers--I lost only 8lbs and got the director mad at me who told me I had to be cheating. Gluten-free eating--with my pasta and bread free-life, has taken off a bit of weight up top but nothing on the bottom, but even there too much rice and corn can do a person in.

Overall this weight loss failure, will probably end my life early. When I'm dead will people will be clucking over the corpse thinking why didn't she lose weight? In my family there will be some sympathy, my severely obese nephews, have pointed to a serious problem in my genetics, but overall its embarrassing. Normal adults can go on a diet and lose weight, I note that the 200lbers while they may regain some weight are not going up up up. They lose their 40-50lbs and at least get to enjoy near normal hood for a while. No one would ever believe in a million years, that a 500lb woman goes running to her bedroom panicked over gaining weight, because she ate a $4.25 Chinese lunch twice this week, and measures herself. Well the Chinese food even free of the fried stuff and gluten is going off the menu too, its making me feel sick. The measurements now are at 54 bust, waist 60 [it can drop to 55 when there is less water on my body] and hips at 84. I still remember my peak measurement of 103 inch hips.

It's getting to the point where I want to just skip meals and NOT eat anymore. Everything is just gross, but the HUNGER kicks in, and when you feel your brain melting, your hands tingling and your vision going wonky because its 3pm and you haven't eaten lunch and your nurse practitioner says you need to quit doing that after she finds you lethargic due to putting off lunch, you really have no choice but to.

Trying to buy food, too it stinks, everything healthy takes hours of cooking. Sometimes I enjoy it but other times, there are others thing I need to be doing, like art work. Meal planning is a normal facet of life, but feels like a part time job lately. I am not disabled due to great health, and spending hours in the kitchen, is no fun either, I actually found myself boiling and rolling cabbage rolls hurriedly at 4:00pm because I needed a wholesome cooked meal, realizing I cannot get a decent healthy meal at any of the restaurants around here. If your food budget is under 20 dollars a person, everything is a bread and cheese laden mess. Jaime Oliver needs to start addressing that FACET of the dieting life. Someone please open up a cheaper "health food" restaurant.

If I could give up eating all together lately I would. Its getting that bad. Sorry for this rant. Everyone hears about the weight loss winners, very few will admit when they are failing at it or losing far too little. Any advice, Ill take it. I know one has to remain positive to keep going, but I do not feel positive at all about this facet of life, even if I have other good things going on.

Why You Got Fat!

This video has a lot of good stuff in it. Let me just say INSULIN RESISTANCE is the key that many don't know about in severe obesity. I think this video has a lot of good stuff to warn about, and goes along with the premise, that NOT everyone has the same metabolic rate, and or ability to burn food, fat and calories.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Housebound Fat People

Fat people do become housebound. I am considered housebound [really apartment-bound] though in my case, on good weather days, where breathing is not compromised, I can make it out.

Good weather days, are the narrow weather window of when it is between 45 degrees to around 78 degrees. There are fat people right now who haven't left home in days. This happens to me during winter, once I was inside for three months, the temperature not breaking the 30 degree mark. Summer can be tough too if it's a hot one. I have known fat people who gained weight and one living on a second floor apartment, literally got trapped up there for three years, as the stairs became too hard to do. There are fat people who are totally bed bound, and right now a friend in nursing home care, has informed me of the fat people my age, who cannot walk at all, or walk very minimally who have lost the ability to live independently.

One huge factor affecting being housebound is mobility factors. Over 250lbs, normal walking ceases, you can't do 5 mile walks downtown so easily, at around 350lbs, say goodbye to even traversing your local shopping mall, at around 400lbs say goodbye to shopping without a scooter at Wal-mart or store of like size. 450lbs: say goodbye to staircases, with more then a few stairs, and walks over a short distance and so forth and so on. Due to my height, near 6 feet, I can carry 500lbs and still walk, most people cannot. Normal walking and mobility is obliterated for those who cross the 500lb mark. The 700lb mark you are looking at never leaving your bed: I was young when I was near 700lbs so could still walk though looking at pictures do not know how I did it.

Normal things that people take for granted a stroll down the street, going shopping on their feet, where its more then one store {I can amble through half of a Dollar Store}, all disappears under the unwanted tons of adipose tissue. I know my mobility given one knee twist, one fall, or broken or injured limb, and it could be the nursing home for me. I needed physical therapy and walking a little bit for couple months, to even be able to take a small bag of trash out, which is about 1000 feet down from my apt door. This is a walk I take daily, to make sure I still can.

Even in my old town, I found out about two hidden away 600lb people [one I saw a few times in a wheelchair] and heard about a 900lb man, one friend helped to take care of. There are probably thousands of obese hidden away people. They are the invisibles of American culture.

There is nothing more low status then being a housebound fat person. In some ways it is really hitting bottom, and don't think endocrine sufferers receive more good will and mercy then those who suffer eating addictions. Read this discussion regarding housebound fat people on the Straight Dope Message Board, and you'll see what I mean.

One thing that happens to fat people beyond the physical pain, swelling, fatigue and breathing problems that preclude making it outdoors, is the social stuff. I was very spoiled enjoying a small rural town, [I still want to go back!] that was 30 years behind the time, under 7,000 in population, so with time people got used to me, fat or not, and being able to go around freely knowing except for the rare inerrant teen, who would make jokes on occasion. I did volunteer work, had a good small church and friendly people who worked around my health problems. Going back to stares and people who don't even say Hi back, has really gotten to me after years of the complete opposite. Fat people in other words, have disappointment, ridicule, overt discrimination, rejection and ostracization, all send them back home. In other words no place is made for them. Dealing with the outside world becomes a source of pain not of joy.

Social distress becomes more the norm, rather then feeling part of things. Others living in more urban areas and I have experienced this too, know that being super-obese and less able to run, in high-crime communities or ghetto communities, it's like walking with a target painted on your back. Add in poverty and having to deal with the indignities of public transportation and rude people, and one sees how fat people become motivated never to leave the house.

But for most, it is the physical factors, the sheer fatigue of hauling a very fat body around coupled with the lack of support. This country too, while it has endless clinics, drop-in centers, groups, for drug addicts and alcoholics, has absolutely very few helps for the obese, they are either shoved in nursing homes with the Alzheimer patients and extreme elderly or have the choice of 3-4 centers [why so few?] that do anything for the ultra-obese. The numbers of housebound fat people are growing.

Too Fat To Fight?

Army recruiters are getting worried about the obesity epidemic. One shocking statistic here:

And up to 9 million Americans ages 17 to 24 -- or nearly 27 percent of the prime military recruiting age demographic -- are "too fat to serve in the military," according to an April study from Mission: Readiness, a non-profit group composed of senior retired military officials

They were noticing this problem even a couple years ago.

Problem is all the anti obesity programs are recycling all the stuff that hasn't worked yet and the worsening economy [unless it worsens to the point where we have food shortages and famine] is only going to lead to more bad food, and obesity.

The Ramps of Doom

Think about this picture, they expect someone to use a ramp that steep without crashing into the sidewalk?

Yesterday, I tried going out to a stamp club, held at a local church, I collect stamps as a hobby, and was going to be new to this group. The churches in this community are a nightmare, it was like they were built to make things as hard on the old and disabled as possible.

Anyhow, I walk in, carry my three binders full of stamps, and the building is deceiving [knowing my mobility concerns, I GPSed it, and look at the satellite "street view", thinking, "Great it's a one story building, that is nice, I should be able to walk in easily. As you read this, keep in mind I weigh at least 500lbs, most people my size cannot even walk at all. It is a miracle I can.

I realize the club meeting isn't on the main floor, and see this weird ramp, off to the side, I think ok, there is no railing, just hold on to the wall, because it goes down at an angle and you'll make it, and I go down it, and realize that 50 foot flight down, is just the teaser, coming to the end of that hallway and I see this weird crazy twisting ramp, with no railing, that goes down what is equivalent to 4 flights of stairs but a ramp replaces where the flights of stairs would be. For some reason this church seems to have a down stairs room that is so far underground it's like they built the place as a bunker. It is a mainline church so seeing this room tucked away 2 stories under ground was just weird.

I instantly thought "My goodness, I probably can do the distance down--clinging to the side of the wall hoping for the best--but there is no way, I'll ever get back up that thing considering the distance and steepness. It was heartbreaking to know another activity was blocked to me due to the combination of my body, bad 60s architecture, and healthy people who have no sympathy or empathy for the disabled. How on earth could this church expect anyone over 70 with a heart condition or on a walker to even make this journey?

I was guessing that they had meals and other meetings down there, in their underground room. I usually don't do this but I wrote a complaint letter and asked if the group ever met upstairs. This is now club or group #4 in this area, I am blocked from due to inaccessibility. No one who is disabled should move to my area, it is one of the worse I've seen. A person in a wheelchair here, would never make it, except in one art center and in the hospital.

They build these ramps of doom, looking like they are obeying ADA, but really anyone in a wheelchair could have never used this thing [the turns were too tight, and the walls too narrow-and it just put a huge burden on the otherwise disabled. You get these thin and normal people who in their lack of empathy, don't even think out the logistics. How on earth can these people expect even 80 year old folks to walk down a steep ramp with no railings? [and get back up]? Don't they realize if the ramp is too steep, your scooter or wheelchair can severely injure you?

One friend told me I shouldn't even have taken the risk walking down the short portion without a railing, she says a fall could put you in the nursing home. This is true.

Just so people know I own a scooter, its pretty useless since I don't own a car lift and husband used to lift it into car, but now is too weak to do so. I would have been scared to death to use even my old giant scooter on this twisty turn, steep ramp of doom.

One disability website mentions "intentional failure of ramps" [I don't do stairs comfortably, and cant go up entire flights of them, those "zipper ramps" look more dangerous then not.

It over all was a disappointing experience. I feel like this community is not right for me in so many ways, but I'll leave that for another blog entry.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Times Have Changed: "Sugar is Good Food"!?

This old advertisement from the Retrospace blog says it all. Wow think about how this ad points to all the thin kids, well hindsight is 50/50, this kind of marketing as it grew, made for more fat people.

Absolutely mindblowing!

Is Stress Making Everyone Fat?

Part of my weight gain picture, I haven't talked about is the sheer stress I was under. I am talking extreme stress beyond most people's wildest dreams. During the 28 months, I gained my 400lbs, I witnessed crimes, had been laid off, had already had years worth of 60-70 work weeks sometimes combining up to 4 part time jobs to try and keep a basic apartment and car afloat, was unemployed and almost homeless, moved to a giant shockingly crime-ridden metro city where I didn't know anyone, and had to work a job dealing with actually diagnosed sociopaths [not all of them but enough of them] violent teens, in a residential home which was a job I took believing the 12 dollars an hour would be better then the minimum wages I was making at a part time fast food job, after a teaching job lay-off. This job required constant vigilance, and crisis management. I took it fearing homelessness. Stress kills and I have told friends for years, that my weight is always more stable when I am less stressed, outside of food intake. In my case, I do have the confirmed Pseudo Cushings diagnosis, my body pumps out cortisol like gangbusters.

Years ago, circa 2001, I raised the theory [this was before I read research articles] finding out about cortisol, is that I think the high stress of the American life style, is leading everyone to be fatter! Let's think about this, this isn't the acute stress of dealing with being out in the wild and maybe seeing wolf you have to get away from but having it last for a short duration but a the unrelenting lingering stress of today's modern life: life today is far too complex, and overly fast for the human mind and body to take.

There is little peace, and all but the richest live under the constant pressure to perform lest they lose their livelihood. Life was much different when there was peace, quiet, more close-knit small towns, living from the land, and when people had vast family and long lasting social networks right by them. There is a reason psychological problems are skyrocketing along with obesity. So why wouldn't the hypothalamus be damaged under years of unrelenting stress in some people? Why wouldn't the high serotonin making foods, the so called "comfort foods" in this video be the more attractive? In other words, Americans via their high driving, socially disconnected, crowded, fast, complex lifestyles, oddly combining loads of stress while being more sedentary [driving in traffic] are releasing tons of toxic hormones, and self medicating with bad food, food that may offer temporary solace, but little nutrition in helping in recovery.

After I was disabled I would escape to a small town and far slower life, had to leave that place a few years ago going to a larger town but no where near a huge metro city in size. I discovered that life 30 years behind the times is a far better life. Very few are pointing out the obvious, that the modern American lifestyle stinks, its priorities are misplaced, and is destroying people's health and minds.

I'm glad the academics and medicos are finally picking up this thread to examine it. They have done studies even realizing monkeys put under more chronic stress, obtain more belly fat, get a metabolic syndrome, get fatter and sicker. They are realizing chronic stress, the kind that comes about from modern living is shredding people's well being.
I also believe this is why poor people are fatter, not just due to the bad cheap food but knowing their precarious situation in this world, one mistake, one car break-down, one job lay-off and they can end up on the street. What does that kind of stress do to people? Add to that the rising crime-rates, lack of support and ongoing stress of "making it" among groups of people, and it's not a good mixture.

A study was done in Canada, [the references to Eastern Europe and other studies are very interesting] where they realized in the case of rich children and poor ones eating the same, the poor ones were fatter.
What else but the stress-cortisol connection could explain this?

Experts say the deeper roots of the obesity problem lie at the crossroads between social status and biology. Generally speaking, even if rich kids and poor kids eat exactly the same diet -- from Big Macs and fries to tofu and granola -- the poor kids get fatter.

"I believe that there's much more biology to this than what we've been willing to recognize in the past," says Dr. Goodman.

The centre of this poverty-obesity link is a hormonal pathway known as the HPA axis. This is a loop connecting the hypothalamus, a jellybean-size part of the brain that governs appetite, and the pituitary and adrenal glands, which secrete a variety of hormones, including the stress hormone cortisol.

Cortisol helps the liver convert fat into the lightning bursts of energy the body needs to escape danger, a vital function. But it also signals the body to accumulate mounds of fat in the abdomen, building the "apple" shape that is so hazardous to health.

"When you have too much cortisol, you have Cushing's disease, which is an illness that causes central fat deposition," says Dr. Goodman.

Once this fat builds up, it spews a toxic array of chemical signals back to the brain and into the body. "It's a vicious cycle," she says.

Research shows children raised in low socioeconomic settings produce greater amounts of cortisol, a stress hormone.

In a 2001 study, researchers from McGill University measured the hormone levels of 300 children from poor to wealthy families. They found three times as much cortisol in low-income kids compared with rich kids.

What is going to happen to them? Severely Obese Children

I have two young male relatives who are early elementary school-aged and already over the 200lb mark. They are as much or more then some of the kids in the video. [I hate how they have the kids on Maury dressed to emphasize their large stomachs but wanted to show this video-- you are seeing kids this size all over now.]

One thing I am noticing about some fat kids, is they are much taller [notice the three year old being compared at the 24 second mark, the fat kid is far taller]. I wonder if some kids are more sensitive to the growth hormones in our food? As you watch on further, realize all that hunger, is not normal, and while some may want to blame the kids, for being "overeating", a normal healthy child wouldn't even want that much food: they would be disgusted by it.

Sometimes I have cried considering what my two young relatives may face and have prayed for them, because obesity is one of the hardest things anyone could deal with especially in this shallow culture. They are boys so there is a bit less pressure, but having experienced what I have in life, where I was basically in the large but not super sized realm until age 27, I am horrified as to what could await them.

It really makes me wonder. Something is wrong, even watching their eating habits, which are not different from other children has deeply concerned me, one actually refused the marinated chicken, green beans from a friend's garden and rice I made for dinner, eating two bananas instead while the other ate one chicken thigh and nothing else. Now not being around them 24/7, of course I could be missing something but I have not seen anything out of the ordinary. They don't appear to eat like the kids on the Maury videos and I've seen them at several family dinners some with more lavish and extensive food. They do come from divorced parents, and they are going to be eating many a frugal dinner, so that could be part of at least the food picture.

What scares me is they are far larger then I was at their age. When I was young, I was not considered severely obese, I was large enough in a few grades to get made fun of, but what was "fat" in the 1970s would barely past muster now, [check out the "fat kid" on from the Willy Wonka movies from the 70s, the kid is just plump by today's standards] a kid my old size today in a public school may get ribbed a few times, but there would a bunch of kids out weighing me judging from what I have seen among youth today.

Things are getting stupid as the powers that be, actually are crying for kids to be stuck inside their desks even more hours a day and now more months, as this insane cry for summer vacation to be done away with was recently printed in Time magazine. OK, they got the kids already shoved in desks 7 hours a day being bored to death in public schools, where gym and recess have become things of the past, why not just the send children off to a public education center til they turn 18? This kind of dumb stuff permeates this culture. As the kids get fatter they want them chained to a desk even more?

The American lifestyle is deteriorating, as parents go off to their cubicle/or other job 8-12 hours a day and children are shunted off to sit quietly in school with few activities, dining on bad food consisting of cheap hot dogs, cardboard boxed macaroni and cheese and fast food, especially if the family is poor. I believe my family's richer diet--I grew up upper middle class so we had roast beef on the table every week, tons of vegetables, home-cooked foods and hours a day delivering papers and venturing far and wide on my bicycle for miles around my town, out to two large parks, with gym class, 4-H club, etc, made things very different for me. Course I got fat even with exercise later [see here]. Overall, I'm getting very scared for the children.

Americans Need to Learn to Cook and Eat Real Food: Article

This article "Government to Blame for Obesity Epidemic" hits on many themes I have talked about here. My advice is for folks if they have land to start growing your own food and realize the poison they are selling to people that they call food. Too many moneyed interests are promoting the bad stuff above decent wholesome food. I definitely agree with this.

The obesity problem is complicated by multiple endocrine-disrupting compounds that permeate our environment and food supply. It is made worse by the addition of GMO toxic and mutated food into our food supply. And it is locked in place by an industry that knows quite well how to create brand addiction by stimulating the subconscious brain with a variety of unnatural chemicals in combination with salt, refined sugar, and fat. Every step of the way is corrupt government officials acting as gatekeepers for profits at the expense of human health.

The bottom line result is a society that is addicted to food garbage.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Good Riddance Cathy!

Good riddance Cathy! The comic strip Cathy is being ended by it's founder. I love comics, I even draw my own, but I won't be sad about seeing the end of this one.

I often wondered why some of these comic strips are allowed to moulder and fester on the comics page for upwards of 35 years. Sometimes I felt like Cathy was used for social programming, to represent women as totally weight obsessed, man-pleasing and shallow. The thing that made me sick too about Cathy, is the comic strip artist would still show her shopping til she dropped, that may have worked in the go-go 1980s but now in this economy? Talk about out of touch! Cathy actually to me represents everything about the distorted view of the "modern woman" and that includes Cathy's years of whining about chocolate and shopping. Even marriage didn't save Cathy from continuing in the same shallow vein.

This comic was an insult to every woman who weighs over 99lbs. It made even normal weighted women feel bad about themselves. Again good riddance!