Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fat Head

I'm watching the rebuttal documentary, Fat Head.  I had never heard of Tom Naughton before, but he's actually quite funny and the documentary is informative.  Here's the trailer.

The food diary for "Fat Head" is here.  Taken with other documentaries like....


I also enjoyed the documentary that pissed off Naughton in the first place.

I also read this book and have been trying to keep my natural foods for my ethnicity and blood type in mind.  
I'm going to try to eat things that occur in natural.  Come to think of it, corn oil doesn't seem to be natural.  I've taken corn off the cob and the juice produced tends to be quite watery.  Processing food is bad.  I'm gonna stick with that.  

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bariatric Surgery?

Hospital experience:
I have attended sessions at medical centers for people interested in Bariatric Surgery.  There were two tracks for the treatments, one was surgery (covered by insurance) and one was diet and exercise (not covered by insurance.)  I just never felt that either of these approaches from a hospital was enough.  The diets involved liquid crash dieting and really boring exercise in a clinical environment.  I have yet to meet someone who has had the surgery who is really satisfied many years after.  Most of the time they gain the weight back and are really stuck. Now they need to lose weight the old fashioned way but with a really little stomach that pukes a lot.  Some develop keloid scarring that is very painful and impossible to get rid of.

The Easy Way Out?

Ultimately, the surgery makes the weight loss journey more difficult.  It's more difficult to eat the high fiber, high nutrition, high bulk foods that you need to keep full and satisfied and build muscle.  A really tiny stomach rewards small amounts of calorie-dense food.  Calorie dense foods are the problem that lead to the weight gain in the first place!

Bariatric surgery is preferable to cancer for a quick means of weight loss, but I think that's it.  I've had dysentery and that was an ordeal.  I would prefer that to puking all the time!

So let's just say I got the surgery and became really small really quickly.  Would I really use my new body for loads of exercise and eat mostly veggies, beans, whole grains, and lean meats?  Would I eat cakes and cookies because it wouldn't manifest for a few months or years?  Would I really care for the new body correctly?  Honestly I can say I would not.

I don't think there is a viable option besides major lifestyle changes.  I don't know if Ms Powter is right about the human body not being able to lose more than 2 pounds of fat per week, but it's probably not far off the mark.

This woman has gotten the surgery and committed herself to ongoing health.  I can see her points in this post.  This nurse points out that THERE HAVE BEEN NO STUDIES THAT PROVE ANY BENEFIT TO BARIATRIC SURGERY!  I was really shocked by that.  I was sure that the weight loss would result in longer life, lower cancer,etc. but there have been no released studies.  Studies have been done, but the results have not been released!  WOW.
The ECRI report, “Bariatric Surgery for Obesity,” noted that the surgeries can produce significant initial weight loss but “three years after surgery, the typical patient is still obese.” Most importantly, they concluded that based on the quality and strength of the available evidence, claims of improved “quality of life and long-term health impacts are less conclusive.” They found available evidence weak for demonstrating that comorbidities can resolve and “it was also not evident whether bariatric surgery extends survival.”

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Post #4

I just read an article online by a "knockout redhead" who was going off, tea party style, on the gluttony of Americans.  She bemoaned the higher healthcare costs and how repulsive she finds the morbidly obese.  She went on and on about how people need to stop being babies and take responsibility for their health.

I get plenty of this with my own negative self-talk.  I don't need her pointing this out.  She was writing it as though her diatribe would be inspiring to people like me.  People who are obese.  But somehow, I just didn't feel any inspiration at all.  I felt shame and hopelessness.  It's really really tough trying to find encouragement.  People who are not obese have loads of trouble understanding what I'm thinking or what it feels like to be me.  It's how I must be with people who have rage issues or do compulsive shopping, I just can't relate.  I'd say, "just calm down and put things in perspective" or "how can you enjoy shopping?"

We all have our crosses to bear.  It does no good to have someone who never consciously struggled with sin try to help.  I have a friend who is a Unitarian.  She doesn't believe in sin.  She's constantly asking me "what do you think about The Biggest Loser television show."  I guess she thinks that's a subtle hint.  Well, it ain't so subtle the 20th time you ask!

Encouragement in the area of gluttony and sloth (gosh, I need to exercise more!) needs some key elements.

  • An absolute, NOT relativistic approach to the sinful aspect of the gluttony or the sloth
  • Understanding: the advisor needs to not put themselves above the glutton.  If they do, they get really preachy and self-righteous.  That's a sin in and of itself and therefore a turn-off, even if their message would otherwise have been good
  • Factual: A proven idea is better than a wive's tale.  Soda is proven to increase appetite, advise against that.  Ditto for processed foods.  Gluten, chromium, soy, and other fad items or diet supplements have NOT been proven safe and effective
  • Possible:  It's not possible for me to eat only organic, gluten-free, whole foods grown with heirloom seeds within 20 miles of my home.  It's not possible for me to take a year off of work to workout 4 hours a day and hire a personal chef either.  I need workable options.  
I had a video of Susan Powter when I lost weight about 20 years ago.  I really liked her.  Her video was amazing and I loved it.  She has all sizes of people in them, she used to be fat, and she talks with real encouragement during the exercise.  My favorite quote that I remember is "don't wipe your sweat, it looks very pretty."  

Listen to her.  She meets all the above criteria.  You can probably get her stuff on ebay or in the library.  She was big in the 90s.  I find her motivating and encouraging.  
If you see any of her other videos, you'll see that she doesn't get nutrition quite right.  She was a leader of the low fat craze that lead to fat people eating low fat carbs with extra sugar and millions of calories.  Her exercise tips are dead on, not the eating per se.  Her rants however and wicked fun!  I love this woman!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Post #2

We're readying ourselves for Hurricane Irene.  It may be a bit more challenging than the "earthquake", but I don't expect too much drama.  Here's hoping that the Carolinas and Connecticut fare well.  I find that I feel less peckish and hungry when my house is clean and I'm getting things done.  When I'm in parts of the house that I've cleaned, I feel calmer.  Do you find that too?

Found an awesome article on gluttony and the Catholic life.  If you are Orthodox Christian, don't worry, the "filoque" isn't mentioned.  This is one area where both sides of the Adriatic are in full agreement.  The article is here and is titled, "Overcoming Gluttony."  The article has many great tips like limiting soft drinks, getting smaller meals, and saying a daily rosary.

The article says something very controversial, but quite true.
And always remember - It's no one's fault that they are gluttons.  It's only the cross that they have to bear in this life, and overcome; just like homosexuals have to overcome their affinity for same sex attraction, like fornicators have to overcome their love of illicit sexual pleasure, like angry people have to overcome their rage whenever something doesn't go right, etc., if they want to go to heaven when they die.  Eat, drink, and be merry is NOT the Biblical message.

Hummus, tabouleh, baba ganoush, falafel, pita, rice, beans,
grape leaves, and salads are great fasting foods.  Observing
these little fasts help us practice for the Great Fast of Lent.
Isn't that amazing!  It's just my cross to bear.  I like to eat a lot.  Just my thing.  It's not okay for me to eat too much, it's not okay for someone else to have road rage or cheat on a spouse.  Sin is sin.

On the Orthodox side, we have fasting.  No meat (white or red), wine, dairy (including eggs), or fish with bones.  Only vegan plus bugs.  Fortunately these bugs include not only grasshoppers, but sea bugs like crabs and lobsters!  We are in the middle of the fast of the Dormition of the Theotokos.  It's also prime veggie season.  I'm lovin' the sweet corn this year!

Here's a fun video.  If you feel like walking on the wild side or getting in touch with your John The Baptist side, you might wanna try it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The first step

I weigh over 300 pounds and have been tormented by weight loathing my entire adult life.  I know that sin has a major role to play in my body shape.  I also know that there are forces outside of myself that make weight loss more challenging.

Me this week
Why begin now?

Well, I've been beginning weight loss for decades.  This is far from the beginning.  At the very least, this is the middle!  I went to my friend's pool today and made a bit of a confession to her while floating in the water.  We were discussing confession and sin and I told her that I wear my sin for everyone to see.  My fat is like a badge that way.  And not just that, but, if I were to begin to eat perfectly and exercise 3-4 time a week, I would still be wearing the fat for months or years.  The world will still be disgusted by me after months of doing all the right things.  That's what being morbidly obese is.  It is daunting.

Every month or so someone will be rude or disdainful just because they can.  This would still happen if I lost 50 pounds.  It may even happen after 100!  How discouraging that is.  I remember when I lost weight before.  I started at 235 and had lost 25 pounds.  I was looking good and went out for a jog.  Some school kids walking home jeered at me and were really cruel.  I had lost weight, but my body hadn't tightened up yet.  That happened when I got under 200.  It's happened when I've ridden my bike, been out for a walk, and doing almost anything else for exercise.  I know that this will happen this time too.

Jesus is going to be right there with me.  I put on this weight walking away from Him, but I'll take it off with Him by my side.  The jeers and the disdain are part of the penance of my sin.  They are also blessings.  Didn't Jesus say,

"Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake."

If I'm exercising and caring for my "temple of the Holy Spirit" then I'm doing something for God.  If someone laughs at me or makes fun, they are persecuting me.  Think about it, making fun of a fat person for exercising is like making fun of a person with cancer for going to chemo.  It's evil!  

My confessor last week suggested that I read Dortheus of Gaza, a great Church Father.  This week, I'm going to concentrate on one of his ideas.  I hope it helps you too.
"I have never known someone to fall who was not trusting his own judgement"

  • I need to trust that fewer calories will be enough
  • I need to trust that I can make it through my weight routine and swimming rosary
  • I need to trust that I can do it if I go one day at a time
  • I need to trust that imperfection is a big part of who I am and that I will fall, but I can get back up!