Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fat celebrities and the rest of us

Just read this article ( in the NY Times.
Some pretty insightful stuff, especially the remarks about "self abasement". I say--and I believe it at the time--that I'm trying to lose weight so that I can be healthier. But, really, I'm doing it to look better. I don't know that I am "disgusted" by my appearance but I am not delusional and I know that my naked body doesn't live up to the standards of beauty! (But what 65 year old, thin or fat, can say that her body lives up to the standard of beauty!!!).
One line in particular in this article sticks in my head: "Thin means self-discipline and hard work; fat implies laziness, gluttony and lack of willpower."
I don't know why other people are fat. I do know why I am. I eat too much. I eat too much fat. I eat too much sugar. I consume too much food. I exercise enough. Enough for three people! I don't have a thyroid condition or metabolic imbalance except one that might be created by having too much fat on my body. So for me, I think it is gluttony and lack of willpower. Fat people may not be lazy, gluttonous or lacking in willpower but I am gluttonous and lacking in willpower. If I were less gluttonous and exercised more willpower would I be thinner? Would I be healthier? Would I be happier?
Happier? Would I be happier? When I do exercise willpower and control my gluttony, I am not happier. If I were happier, wouldn't I stay the course? What drives me to overeat again once I do lose weight?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I'm driving to the hairdressers. It's almost lunch time so everyone's got their little signs put up on the street hawking their food, hoping to attract lunchtime business. Navajo tacos. Burritos. Pizza. Chicken wings. Rice bowls. Those are the signs I pass. Nothing for salads or grilled chicken or roasted vegetables.
Of course, each sign conjures up visions of deliciously fatty, calorically dense foods. Pizza. With a chewy crust and the oil pooled on top. Yum. Navajo tacos filled with meat and topped with cheese. And maybe, just maybe, for dessert fry bread dripping with honey and dusted with confectioner's sugar. A plump burrito filled with carne asada, beans, avocado and onions. What's a person to do?
Come home and whip up a more favorable lunch of whole grain pasta, broccoli, chicken flavored with a sort of spicy Asian vinaigrette. I was distracted for a moment but I got back to the real world. What I ate might have actually equalled the calories in some of those luscious offerings but at least I managed to resist and get a few more nutrients in my homemade lunch.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Fat Talk

Okay. I've just watched the most vapid show on TV. I don't want to demean the show or anyone who watches it. Hey, I was watching it! And I didn't change the channel. I could have but I was mesmerized. To protect myself from a lawsuit (you never know), I'm not going to divulge the name of the show but it is a reality show that portrays a wealthy family of women who are all quite beautiful. One of the young women was going to pose nude for a PETA campaign. A worthy cause. This particular sister is bigger than the others. Bigger is the best descriptor because she is taller and curvier. Her step father remarked, upon hearing that she intended to pose nude, "Shouldn't you try to lose some weight before you do it?" I was appalled. Amazed. Thankfully, she had an intact self image and ignored him although she did become visibly angry. Probably not as angry I was!
Then I came in here to work on the computer. I received this web site from Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD, the co-author of Intuitive Eating:
It will take a while for the site to load. Be patient. It's worth it. I might have sent the link last year when they were having this campaign to stop the "fat talk". Even so, it's worth watching again.
Funny that it arrived in my mailbox just minutes after the segment with the step father commenting about losing a little weight.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My intuition fails me

As a long time student (many workshops and books read) of Intuitive Eating and Mindful Eating, I should long ago have reaped the benefits of those styles of living resulting in permanent weight loss and eternal happiness. Why has even weight maintenance eluded me in the face of all this knowledge. Because I'm still not sure when I've had enough.
As part of an exercise in one of the workshops I took, we all went out to lunch together to Pei Wei's. Everyone--except for me--ordered a "healthy" lunch. I wanted to be "honest", so I ordered honey shrimp over white rice. We were instructed to eat until we had "enough". I ate about three bites and felt that I had eaten enough. The rest of the group ate most of their meal. About two hours later, I was hungry while the others were not. The instructor said that we should not feel hunger for about three hours. If we did, then we had not eaten "enough". So what is enough???? I felt that if I had eaten past the point at which I stopped that I would have been eating past "enough". I wanted to eat more. My brain and my mouth wanted more but I knew that my stomach didn't need it yet. But the amount I ate did not keep me satisfied for three hours.
And this is a problem for me. Is it that I don't recognize "enough"? Do I stop too soon? Is my body different so that I need calories in two hours instead of three even if I've stopped at the "right" time?
Here's the thing: One sip of a drink satisfies my thirst. One bite of food satisfies my hunger. Obviously that's not good enough. How to eat until "enough"? I don't know. Is my intuitition off?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Nothing to do with dieting

This is a rogue post. I've gotta do it, though. My daughter is the co-producer of a movie, Paper Heart, that premiered at Sundance Film Festival and will play at LA Film Festival on June 24 and 26 and will open nationwide on August 14th. If you're in LA, go see it during LA Film Festival week. Or wait until it's wide release in August. I thank you.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

50 top dietitian blogs

Not sure how or why but my blog is on this list of esteemed dietitian blogs:

May I say thank you to whomever found me and put me on that list and especially for the comments that describe the blog. I'm humbled.

A little motivation to continue to post.....

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Overall health vs. weight

According to a survey, most women are more concerned with their weight than their overall health ( Am I missing something here? Haven't we dietitians been telling people that being overweight IS a health risk? So why wouldn't women be concerned with their weight? Okay. I get it. Even women who don't have a weight problem but are not living a healthy lifestyle (exercise, eating properly, getting enough sleep, etc.) are overly concerned with their weight. Well, I kind of think we have a responsibility with that one. Obesity. Overweight. Overfat. And then linking being fat to heart disease, diabetes, cancer and even Alzheimer's. Why wouldn't we women be overly concerned about our weight!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tamales and Peaches

I'm obsessed with food. Shopping for it, reading about it, cooking it but most especially eating it. Flavors. Textures. Smells. I think about food all the time. I drive down the street and think, "Maybe I'll stop at the Chinese restaurant for some wonton soup." I'm just back from our evening farmer's market. I went specifically for peaches. Our peaches ripen early here in the desert and the season is very short especially since the temps are already in the 100s. Got my peaches and should have left immediately. But the Tamale Lady was there. I stopped. I bought pork tamales. Why? Oh, and I ate two of them. It's not that I bought them but I also ate them. See, the buying isn't the issue. It's the eating that is the issue.
My excuse (EXCUSE) is that my livelihood depends on my knowing all about food....the latest trends, the newest restaurants, the best chefs. And this is true. Although friends who do the same work are not as obsessed as I am. It's not just a job to's my life. Food. Shouldn't something else be my life? Do I have to give up writing about food in order to stay away from food? Should I cancel subscriptions to food magazines? Give away all my cookbooks? How do I break free from the obsession if I am surrounded by food all the time?
The peaches are still in the bag but the tamales are eaten.

It's over!

The Biggest Loser is over for this season. And the winner is....Helen. Hmmm. Okay. She lost the highest percentage of body weight BUT she lost too much weight. So maybe the way the game is decided is not the healthiest way to determine a winner. Helen's body weight is really too low right now. It will be interesting to watch her over the next few weeks and months to see how she does. No idea how she lost the weight since she left the Ranch leading up to the finale--for all we know she starved herself or she exercised 24/7. No idea how far she would go to win. Possible that she just continued to eat a healthy diet and exercise. Certainly she is a woman of great determination, potential and strength. She is a role model but perhaps not at this weight. I hope that as her life becomes more normal, she will gain back a few pounds and will land on a weight that she can maintain without following a stringent regimen. I would have thought that Tara would be the winner. She'd won just about everything else. And Mike. Good for Mike. I just hope that he can maintain his weight as he grows up since he's young enough to have a lot more growing ahead of him. Now if he can just inspire his brother! And Jerry. Hip hip hooray for the old guy! Now that's an inspiration!
So, the show. You know. It's getting on my nerves. The pace is so slow. The repeating and rehashing is getting old. You know they've got hours and hours of footage so why do they keep repeating stuff? I'd like them to focus a bit more on nutrition. I'd like them to get a little more "real". I'd like them to stop that damned product placement stuff. Jeez. Subway this and Subway that. Give me a break. And, Subway? Yuck. Sorry. Not my idea of a palatable meal. Soggy squishy bread. Blech. Baked chips??? Nope.
So, of course I'll watch it next season. I just wish they would change the format a bit. Speed up the action. Talk more about nutrition. And make it obvious to the audience that it's pretty impossible to lose that much weight in such a short time in "real" life conditions. Nor is it advisable.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Eating with normal people

I eat out a lot. I'm almost embarrassed to report that I haven't cooked dinner in two weeks. Forget lunch or breakfast. Most of the time I eat with like minded people--meaning people who like to eat! A lot. Not all are chubby like me (today I consider myself chubby, not fat). But many of them are a bit over the ideal weight scale.
Last night we ate dinner with normal eaters. It wasn't much fun. We wanted them to order appetizers but they didn't. Forget french fries. That wasn't going to happen. Rather than scandalize them, I ordered grilled halibut, roasted veggies and mashed potatoes. Delicious meal although the burger and fries that passed by on the way to a nearby table sure looked good. Anyway. The other woman ordered a similar dinner, different fish selection.
Meals came and hubby and I dove right in. Other couple continued talking as though they weren't really that eager to taste the luscious food in front of them. They never talked with food in their mouths which to us would mean not talking at all! They ate ever so slowly and did look like they were enjoying the food. But then they stopped. Abruptly. About halfway thru the food on their plates. The fish was a small portion...maybe only four ounces...and she didn't finish it. She said it would make a good lunch for the next day. What? Is she human? Did I hear her correctly? Two ounces of fish, a few bites of veggies and she's finished? Had enough? And the minuscule portion left on her plate is lunch for the next day? I wouldn't even bother to take that home.
Undeterred by her restraint, I ate all my fish, potatoes and veggies. Tasty meal. I did check my fullness when she stopped. You know. I'm not sure. I wasn't "hungry" but I also wasn't "full". You know. Fish. It doesn't exactly fill you up. Right? So I kept eating. I wonder what she was thinking.....and was she hungry when she got home?
BTW...she's gorgeously slim and fit.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Kirstie all over again

I marveled at Kirstie's transformation. In the commercials even though she looked like she had been "poured" into her dresses, I thought she looked good. She held herself so erect that I guessed she was wearing an iron girdle under her wardrobe! Still, I was happy for her. I mean, you know. She wanted to lose weight and she was having success. I thought it was ridiculous that consumers would be taking HER advice. She's just an actress. Not a health professional. And someone who was being paid to push the diet. But we're always so impressed with fame. Me, too!
So now I'm so sorry for all those people (like me) who were taken with her success. She has "issues" around food and those issues were not dealt with. You know, some people are fat because they make bad choices because they don't know any better. For that very small group of chubbies, a few lessons on portion control and "eat this not that" and they're ready for a bikini. But issues. That's another story altogether. And Kirstie has issues. I don't know what her issues are....loneliness, perhaps? Sadly, since she is a Scientologist, she won't be getting any therapy or taking any antidepressants (lest Tom Cruise finds out!) so she will have to find other ways to deal with her issues. But until she does, expect her to chub up even more.