Monday, May 30, 2011

"A Weight Off Your Mind": Australian Writer Confronts the Biased Researchers

I know I have confronted this issue here. "Letter to Obesity Researchers".
I believe us fat people have all been betrayed. Corporate and other interests are wiping out real true help, for profit.

It seems this writer also found out the nefarious connection between the "research" out there and the diet and weight loss surgery industry.

Just last year the Centre for Obesity Research and Education (CORE) - a department of Monash University - published a study that found lap-banding procedures were appropriate interventions for obese teenagers as young as 14. What they didn’t reveal, however, was that the study was funded by Allergan, Australia’s largest manufacturer of lap-banding products. In mid-2010, Allergan sought approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market lap bands to US teens after sponsoring clinical trials, essentially opening up the global teenage market for profit.

They arrive at this very good question and I've asked it many times on this blog, why do they keep pushing the solutions that do NOT WORK?

What is odd then, is why there seems to be a dialectic approach to obesity. On the one hand, the obesity “experts” don’t have solutions that work long-term for the majority of the population, yet at the same time continue to prescribe their shonky solutions. If Viagra had a 98 per cent failure rate, doctors would not be allowed to prescribe it. Yet most of the time, individuals who cannot “lose the weight and keep it off” are treated like failures, as though they are “not trying damned hard enough” and shamed in hostile programs like The Biggest Loser.

The reality is that obesity research is riddled with conflicts of interest. It’s best to check who funded the research prior to reading it. Obesity research typically does not account for a person’s history of weight cycling, life fitness, stress, socioeconomic status, history of weight loss drugs, and nutrient intake. Is it the case that the solution might be worse than the disease?

Lack of Sleep Makes Kids Fat

I believe it, I know a life of restaurant jobs til midnight and getting up at 6am in the morning for high school didn't do me any favors. Let your kids sleep, don't roust them awake at 8am on Sat mornings for chores, when they are sleep deprived all week.

"More Sleep May Cut Kid's Risk of Obesity"

Saturday, May 7, 2011

LivingXL--Products for Big People

I've seen this catalogue before, it's pretty good. Time for me to order another one.

Living XL

They have everything from shoes, to bikes, and furniture. I have noticed they have expanded their product line. Maybe some things are pricey, but I know one of the higher up, wider outdoor chairs, would be nice to have.

My Life As a Fat Teen #2

From seventh to tenth grade, I suffered a reverse invisibility. I wasn't deemed fat enough to warrant my previous diet of elementary school torture, but I wanted no one's attention, and did little to attract it and I still remained fat enough to be DIFFERENT from all the ultra-thin lithe girls around me. I rarely spoke and always sat in the back, as long as there wasn't a seating chart to ruin my best intentions.

I felt my residual bottled-up anger would take time do dissipate. Try delivering a speech before a class notorious for making earthquake noises as you'd walk up there: by eight grade, I'd take the F and stay in my seat.

Better yet, try walking onstage to collect an award for tackling the most books in the summer reading program, with the entire school jeering, and laughing at once: what you feel goes beyond all academic study. Like many teens, I was sensitive to the constant scrutiny, especially when I started high school. The halls would close in as I took stock of the jeering faces, pointing fingers, and whispered words. I'd seek refuse in the remote Science Hall bathroom, where I'd be guaranteed an hour of solitude reading a book.

Such disconnection suited me while sitting in the back with my nose in Stephen King's [books I cannot tolerate now] latest novel, having finished all my homework before the day ended. From there, I'd look forward to afternoons of television and never ending household chores from my perfectionist parents. When I turned 16, the endless grind of salad girldom and fast food work which did more to train me to be a future member of the impoverished working class, rather then learning any real job skills, at least gave me a bit of spending money. The music I listened to was rot as well, a headbangers ball, of AC/DC and Def Leppard, that would pave the way for even darker and worse music tastes by college with a little bit of Duran Duran to lighten things up.

Other times, I'd be riding my bike, or reading or collecting stickers which my sister with whom I shared a bedroom. I could handle being an outcast since I had two siblings only a year apart in age each and jobs that filled my time.

By mid-high school, I weighed in the low to mid 200s and stood almost 6 feet tall. Being so large and invisible had a price. I soon learned unlike the small private school where I went to elementary, I no longer even had the couple close friends to pass my time.

For openers we moved from a huge metro city, to a more medium town, where everyone had been born there, and been together in school from kindergarten on. My siblings still hung out with me but their company seemed to come more cheaply and dearly as my new "nerd" status reached greater heights.

One horrible joke in my high school would be the boys comparing girls to dogs as they walked down the hall. I didn't have an ugly face, but was fat enough to earn barks, as I walked to class. It didn't take a rock scientists that especially by the halcyon days of the 1980s, that looks were the female sex's hottest currency: instead of Harriet the Spy Adventures, I'd find myself overtaken by Sweet Valley High nightmares.

In late junior high school I approached one of my other "Fat" classmates only to have her yell: "Get away from me!". Years later, I'd see her red-haired, freckled face in a magazine, talking about those teenage battles with anorexia.

As a first hand witness to her constant teasing, I wasn't surprised but wondered "What was wrong with me"? I couldn't walk into a classroom without someone trying to trip me, or muttering "boom, boom" under their breath. I knew by then, something was very wrong with me, and dieting, exercising since I spent literal hours on my bike, walking, and at the restaurants working on my feet, that nothing was doing anything to touch it.

When my weight went up, my treatment would go down accordingly, as my bowling partner, Stephanie, demonstrated, she'd hang out with me at home but pretend not to know me at school, even though our parents were friends. My sociosexual development slowed to a crawl. I had no interest in makeup or dating and by then had equated all boys with teasing tormentors. Even at 13, I knew things were more dangerous for fat girls who were seen as easy pickings.

I can remember having a full figured friend of my mother at a family pool party, saying "You better lose weight, or you'll never get a boyfriend." The message came at a pool party, where I sat forlorn and vulnerable in my bathing suit, with my mother nodding in agreement, I slunk my 14 year old self into the bathroom where I cried for half an hour and wondered aloud why the boys seemed so interested in having girls be so bony?

Periods of lower weight did not cut me a break in the looks department. When that happened, I no longer was called "earthquake or Big Mama" but they would switch over to "Amazon!". I had far more hair then other girls, was larger, more muscular and had more oily skin. Being taller, more masculinzed and more aggressive, results of the high androgens racing through my body, it would take almost 15 years to find out why my body did not match those of other high school girls when I discovered the realities of severe polycystic ovarian syndrome along with other endocrine problems. Dirty brown spots starting popping up all over my body, my mother would tell me constantly to wash my neck, not realizing this was a sympton of the hormonal chaos taking over my body. Even as a teen, my periods permanently disappeared, and there was no help. By then I had thought "good riddance to bad rubbish", the doctors never did any tests. They'd just send me home and say Diet!

It is strange to look back, and think if only I had known.....

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"Guys Who Like Fat Chicks"

"Guys Who Like Fat Chicks"

Warning the above article has some risque language.

I have written about the fat admirers before..."Chubby Chasers Give Me the Willies!" This article seems to back up what I said. Seeing women like in one giant meat-market as a bunch of body parts...

Entries happily, ravenously, robustly referenced double bellies, back rolls, and “big old ham thighs.” Feminine body shapes were compared to pears, apples, and one calabash squash; their weights spanned from 180 pounds to over 500.


In person at the East Village's Cafe Orlin, Dan explains that, yes, he likes round bellies. He likes double chins. He likes breasts the size of his head. He loves flabby biceps. “Fat upper arms are awesome. I would almost say I’m an arms guy,” he says, not by any means whispering. “I didn’t know that they would be that soft. I, like, fell asleep on a girl’s arm once. I was like, ‘Wow.’ ”

Excuse me, if I feel a bit creeped out. Maybe I am old fashioned, no let me say this, I AM old fashioned, some of you probably would think I belong back in 1880, and that's just fine with me! I read that and think- "look's like the "body is everything" stuff got to the fat people", and these skinny guys who are interested in dating them. Hey there is a person in there!

OK, I get that people are attracted to certain things, and to be with someone you want does take some chemistry, but it shouldn't mean everything. Relationships have to go beyond just a body that attracts you in the room, there has to be some personality and mental interest...remember the soul? Oh yeah, it's like they forgot about that!

This weird labeling of fat admiration, like other sexual categories is just odd.

Fat Admirers (FA) have historically adopted queer nomenclature for their self-discovery stages and preferences. Men who openly pursue, prefer, and date fat women are “out.” Men who like fat women but more or less hide them from friends and family are “closeted.” Men who say they like both skinny and supersize women ones are “bisizuals,” a controversial term that’s regarded as disingenuous in various online circles.

I never heard of "bisizuals" guess you learn something new everyday. The ones who hide their heavier girlfriends, are brainwashed by society and lack courage, and that lady should run not walk from such a relationship.

The article goes on to list "misconceptions" about the chubby chasers, LOL I think the writer would see ME as holding a few...but then I wrote from what I saw...perhaps not all the men take it as far as others but I'll stand by what I wrote in the other article.

This sentence is telling...

"Nope. Lawrence, who sometimes fantasizes about a 550-pound wife, thinks the smallest he could go would be 180 pounds, though that veers into bisizualism."

Who wants to just be a fantasy? Not me. I wonder if he realizes that a 550lb wife means he would be having to do a lot of errands, and helping take care of her? Maybe that's why he knows he has to go smaller, in facing reality.

The rest of the article goes on. I am glad that fat women, can get boyfriends. Why should men only date the skinny minnies? But part of me cringes that that just the act of dating someone who is heavy, earns you a special name and subculture and almost a metal! It seems to me fat women got husbands even 50 plus years ago, and they didn't have to go to a NAAFA meeting to find one either.

Fat people deserve love too, but there is a lot of weird baggage and debauchery that goes with the fat admirer world. One thing I want to ask is how come it's always skinny dudes going with the fat women? That is one weird thing, I guess if some guy is over 230lbs, he is fat too and not a fat admirer.

When I was younger and even at my severe high weights, I did get hit on, would just say "I am married, thanks but no thanks", and walk on. So I know these guys are out there, whatever their intentions were towards me. I was spoken for pretty young--by 25, and married by 29, and spent the majority of my 20s midsized before my weight gain, so the whole fat admirer thing didn't really register on my radar til after I was attached. I'm glad I didn't have to go swim in that slimy pond for a mate.

Carrot Chips and Organic Udon Noodles

I am continually tweaking the diet to control digestive problems. I went and priced this nutritional supplement health juice, that is very costly at a local vitamin shop but it has every vitamin, enzyme and mineral known to man in it, and I often have suspected that my body is dealing with some mal-absorption problems and want to see if it will help with some health problems. It's 35.00 bucks so a purchase for later in the week.

I do dabble in the alternative medical world, though I avoid some of the wooh-wooh stuff, I've felt the benefits of colloidal silver--used on a skin problem--I have yet to ingest any, herbs and other treatments. Sometimes it does take a lot of work, to find good food and the healthy stuff, it certainly does take me a lot of thought. Finding my favorite organic udon noodles, takes some doing but at least sometimes I do hit success, whoever made the carrot chips I found today, I want to thank them, they are extremely tasty, and digestible. Somehow I think to myself I must be the only woman this size skulking around the health food stores but perhaps not? While many within those places seem as lean as greyhounds, maybe there are few other fat people like me, who have to find good food to stay alive as well.

I've had a bit frustrations eating out, it seems everything is cheese laden, or high in fat or calories. I have to avoid fat to keep from getting sick, eating a fast food chicken sandwich put me under for two entire days, what ARE they putting in that stuff?
Thats it, never again. Can someone inform the restauranteurs, that some of us want more then a parade of pizza, subs and hamburgers?

Sometimes I think if they want to get serious about the obesity epidemic, they need to face the garbage being poured into our food and make the good stuff far more accessible and less expensive. The times I have the money and wherewithall, to go on a health food shopping trip, it takes usually going to three places, at least one store does offer organic veggies and meat, so that helps.

I am thinking more and more, you HAVE to spend the money or find it, it makes such a difference in how you feel. My doctor thinks I could be allergic to MSG of all things? Why not let it join the allergy parade. One can tell when food does actual nourishment or just passes through you, causing nothing but trouble.

"Obesity is Bad, We Get That"

"Obesity is Bad, We Get That"...

This article kind of goes along with a theme I've discussed on this blog, ok we know obesity is bad and leads to a lot of health problems well how about a real cure?

Diets don't work. They may have a short-term effect but, unless you can maintain a celebrity-like iron grip on your eating for the rest of your life (and few can) they are not a permanent solution and can have negative effects. For some people, like me, they don't work at all, because of complex endocrine deficiencies that are only recently being properly investigated, documented and understood. People tend not to believe that a medical condition can cause weight gain, but the little-known – and devastating – Cushing's disease is one such cause, alongside more well-recognised but not yet fully understood illnesses including hypothyroidism and PCOS (sometimes referred to as metabolic syndrome because, yes, it does affect men too).

It's easily understood that we are less active and eat more processed food than our ancestors did, and we have seen our size increase as a result – not just weight but height and shoe sizes, too. But that's not the whole story. Why do some people manage to eat as much as they like and yet remain slim, while others gain weight even on a restricted diet, with healthy levels of exercise? Why are children increasingly affected by obesity? There are pieces of the puzzle – the social elements, the dietary issues, the medical problems, the genetic picture, the psychological factors – that are still missing. And it is on that absent information that our research efforts ought to be focused.

What is sad is all the snide comments under her article, They just won't let go of the usual failed answers will they? Until someone actually starts listening to fat people, I fear no changes will be forth coming and that includes the medical researchers. The thin people eat too, and do not let them make you think they do not.

Watch Out For Fat Hating Doctors!

I have had good doctors over some of my last years, including one good doctor from Ghana who saved my life, , but along the way, I had the doctors who almost cost me my life. One thing I've noticed is the voicelessness I can still contend with, when trying to tell doctors, my body does not work like the norm. Thankfully I do have a nurse practitioner/doctor now who admit that I have severe metabolic and other problems and help me with open eyes but to get to better doctors took me a very long time and I still have to be careful.

When discussing a possible procedure with an outside specialist, and bringing up breathing concerns, I do not want it assumed that my body worked like other people's. When it comes to medical things, I have had to turn some treatments down, pray to God and figure out the best routes. However I am writing this article, knowing that there are many doctors out there that do buy into all the stereotypes and hate fat people. If you have one, run like the wind, because they could cost you, your very life! In fact if you are an overweight person, you better find out if your doctor will listen, if they devalue you due to your weight and more and what they think of you as a human being.

Some years ago I found this article on line. I was able to track down at least a short portion of it here. The doctor in question here, still is practicing medicine according to the link.

I found a story that can dictate the worse examples of hatred that could lead to patient harm. Dr. Martin is a doctor that writes stories about different cases he has in the emergency room. I am not sure if this story is an actual repeating of an event or an anecdote of some sort. Anyway you will see medical fat discrimination rear it's ugly skinny head!

The story is titled "Pickwickian Syndrome" and tells the story of an overweight woman around 280lbs and in her late 50s coming in to be treated for shortness of breathe. The lady is described like she weights 700lbs, it would still be wrong but you will see. "Gloria" is her name. As Dr. Martin checks her in, he asks a fellow staff member, "Can we get her one of those 'Big Boy' beds? The kind we used for that five hundred pounder?" It is interesting to note that he defines people by numbers. Can you imagine him asking, "We need a bed for that 120 pounder..."

His disgust at her personal appearance is not even hidden for the sake of the story but denotes a sick interest: "She looked pachydermish with the endotracheal tube coming out of her right nostril, a giant thick neck and a mountain of flesh south of that. Her legs were huge rounded limbs of tissue. I arranged the sheets to expose her abdominal protuberance." He refuses this poor lady even modesty.

He continues. "We have had heavier patients [one of 550lbs] but Gloria's short stature and Jabba the Hut appearance made her look more grotesque then the others. Clinical knowledge and professionalism aside, large patients bring out the voyeur, so it was on teaching rounds with the interns and residents. Everyone stared at her. Placing my hands on her abdomen...."

One cannot imagine a doctor taking off a sheet to show a cancerous limb or a gangrenous sore for everyone to have a look but for this fat patient this was surely the case. His attitude towards her speaks volumes at 280lbs she is far from the most severely obese, at one point in the story, they move her from gurney to bed, "Heavy" in capital letters he complains.

In one point in the story, an intern points out, rather stupidly, "Maybe she is just too lazy to breathe" but our anti-hero points out that is medically impossible. Gloria is stabilized and goes home and fails to lose weight on another diet program. Her failure is made quite apparent through the doctors comments "she was too lazy to continue coming". Gloria dies at the end of the story. Clearly more destroyed than helped by this doctor.

This is an extreme example of medical smugness and cruelty but I experienced many things along the same line. Being fat in the already cold growing crueler world of the medical establishment today can be a scary enterprise. The doctor from Ghana? He saved my life at 2am, when nurses because of my collapsing veins could not get an IV in for antibiotics, they wanted to quit. He came in, and yelled at them not to after a nurse called him. A couple years ago, I found out I have a heart condition due to the years of my undiagnosed and untreated hypothyroidism, in my memory, I scroll through the constant exhortations to doctors at a variety of clinics, in a huge Midwestern city, telling them, "I knew something was very wrong beyond just being fat".

I believe if I had gotten decent medical care, I would have even avoided disability, and other ill affects, medical, mental and emotional. Thankfully I do get some good care today even if it's after the damage has been done, but I have to even be careful now, there are many fat haters out there, and they will let you know in no uncertain terms, what they think of you.

One thing, don't think big city hospitals and clinics will do you any favors, outside of a kindly Jewish doctor who finally had some mercy, and took me pro-bono, and diagnosed my hypothyroidism, I stayed alive escaping the huge city, and having a small town doctor treat me for almost 10 years. A "center for advanced medicine" even massively failed me, even with an office specializing in one problem [PCOS] they missed right down the hall. With medical treatment I would lose 150lbs, going from death's door to where I have been for far too many years, still too fat, but definitely not in the straits I was during that period.

Years later I would get ahold of the papers from this place and they had the exclamation, "patient has doubled her weight in less then 18 months and showed pictorial proof" and "patient has to be lying about her food intake". Oh that usual canard.

I believe that there has to be people literally dying out there. I almost died. When you are almost 700lbs death awaits. I remember literally fighting, arguing and doing endless searches online, to find the reasons and causes why someone would be so overweight or gain so much in short time. By the end I was screaming at some of these people and no longer cared. I have gotten some answers, I outline on my blog entry "My 350-400 Pound Weight Gain".

Even today I believe the whole story is not in, though I saw different pieces of the puzzle such as the hyperadrenalism and got diagnoses that helped keep me alive. What is sad, is I saw this experience replicated with another relative, who died around 13 years ago, who was told he was dying from congestive heart failure. What was seen at fault? His weight.

He was never super-obese but by regular standards was very overweight or fat, ranging from 250-330 at a shorter height. My father was able to lose weight from time to time, but being unable to exercise due to the heart, weight loss was a frustrating enterprise, later after he died, an autopsy was done, and they found out due to a heart surgery done earlier in life in his 20s for an infected pericardium, that a huge wall of scar tissue and calcium had built up into a huge mass around his heart and around his lungs. For years he had been told he was dying because he was fat, the real cause was the calcium had slowly built up over the years and strangled his heart. Oddly there were times 100lbs in fluid would be removed from his body, but he was told, "you are fat and this is what happens" with the subtext, of "It's all your fault!".

So how often does fat hate, lead to bad science or even bad medical conclusions? I know from many experiences, that the blind eyes, and ineptitude almost led to me losing my life in my late 20s. And today, I know that given the wrong medico, or even more false assumptions, they could easily send me over the precipice.

Dr. A:
I went to go visit her in a suburb of the huge Midwest metro city I then lived in, I was around 360lbs and had gained more then 80lbs in less then 7 months, and starting to get a bit afraid. She looked at my lack of insurance, refused me thyroid tests saying I had to pay 500 dollars up front to afford them. I didn't have it even being desperate and told me "You just need more diet and exercise".

Dr. F: She was a thin Asian woman who never looked like she had an extra pound in her life, who in 1996 when I had then reached the middle of the 400s, told me because of my asthma that Fen Phen would not be a viable option [Thank God! as I later found out] This was the only intelligent thing she did. Her only advice to me was "You need to do exercise even if it hurts and eat only salads". No blood tests were given though I told her I was scared because of how much weight I was gaining. I cried tears rolling down my face as I walked down the 6 hard blocks I had to navigate to get to the bus stop. Not having a car, such walks were a normal part of life, and getting harder to do, and doing nothing to keep the weight from coming. I couldn't afford a car or the health club she recommended either.

Dr. M: I saw him the same year, he was good to get antibiotics for bronchitis, and ran a small city clinic, his scale didn't work, weighing me around 100lbs below what I really was. I was told to just diet and exercise there as well.

Dr. S: was a psychologist, at a huge metro clinic, for the overweight, he told me I was lying, every time I showed him my food journals, and weighed me at 552lbs over and over. I figured out, that his scale didn't go any higher.

Another Dr. M. was an intern I saw at a clinic when I was getting near 600lbs in 1997. I found out my thyroid scores were abnormal on blood tests they had given me elsewhere, but no one had said a thing. He just brushed me off, I then went to the Jewish doctor and asked him to please help me despite no money or insurance and was helped with the early stages of things.

During the early part of this enterprise I had a job as a residential counselor and worked, but the insurance with its copay of 1,000 dollars was a joke, and my budget was so tight, there was nothing left after rent and bus fare.

These were just some of the doctors I saw, as I was in and out of the emergency room for severe asthma attacks and cellulitis.

What is scary is the medical world is getting to be a more draconian, shut down, expensive, failing place. With endless middle men waiting for their hand outs, how many doctors are "practicing" anymore overloaded with medical school debts and malpractice insurance? How many are even thinking outside the box or daring to anymore? I have noticed that the doctors who are creative or think outside of the status quo are growing rarer and rarer? Otherwise why do such insane things happen to me like being told to get weight loss surgery when I already have serious bowel problems? Those are interesting questions. There are some nice doctors out there, but what I experienced scares me to this day. One thing a person must do is be careful make your own medical decisions and what is best for you. I do combine myself some outside treatments, such as using colloidal silver on a recurring skin ulcer, to regular medicine I need to stay alive. I do have the opinion, the more you are left alone, the better you are, and not everyone understands some of my medical decisions but those come from a life time of learning.

Leave the ones who hate you for being fat behind. When I was young, it almost cost me my life. I fear things are only getting worse, as the brainwashed repeat the "diet and exercise line" and it keeps on failing!