Sunday, August 16, 2009


If you ask me if I know what I look like, I will answer with certainty that I do. I see myself in photos and I agree with the image. But that's today. What about the past? How accurate was I in the past about what I looked like?
My nickname growing up was Fatty Matty. Kids gave me that name in school. There are very few photos of me from my childhood and early adolescence and none from my high school years. My memory of those times is sketchy because in many ways, those were not the best of times. I know that when I was in elementary school, I wore "chubby" size clothes. At least, that's what I remember.
Someone from elementary school/junior high recently e-mailed me a photo of our class from 1955. I would have been in fifth grade, about eleven years old. I'm sitting in the front row, all dressed in my finest, my hair pulled tightly back in a pony tail. And I'm not fat. Not at all. Not one bit. Not fat. In fact, I'm a normal size (well, not height because I've always been short) girl. I look just like all the other girls. And in those days, there weren't as many fat kids.
So why did the kids call me Fatty Matty? And why did my mother buy me chubby size clothes?
I've gained 50 pounds since my 20s. And I would have described myself as fat when I was 20 years old. Now forty five years later, I still call myself fat. I am fat according to the scale, according to BMI, according to waist measurement, according to the way my clothes fit and the size I wear. I accept that I am indeed fat now. But what was I when I was 20? Just right?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Time Magazine article: Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin

The buzz at the gym: "Did you read that article about exercise? It hardly burns any calories. Why are we doing this?"
Let me start with "duh". What did they think, my exercising buddies at the gym? Did no one know how few calories are used up in exercise? Let's be realistic. If exercise really did burn that many calories, I'd be a waif. For all the effort and time I put into exercise, I wouldn't be able to eat enough calories to maintain my weight if exercise did such a good job using up calories.
So, no. Exercise will not make you thin. But it will help make you more flexible. Exercise will make your heart stronger. It will make your bones stronger. Exercise will make your body use insulin more efficiently. Exercise may help to prevent breast cancer and colon cancer. I don't know why. But that's what the research shows. People who exercise sleep better. Exercise helps to reduce stress. So it doesn't help people lose weight. Oh, goodness me. Does that mean we should be giving it up?
Are we so obsessed with weight that we'll only choose lifestyle activities that result in weight loss?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Yoga and Mindful Eating...a serious post

I get a lot of this: "I think you're so funny. I love reading your blog." I hope this won't disappoint you all but this is going to be a serious "dietitian" post.
I just read this article, Regular Yoga Practice Is Associated with Mindful Eating ( I'm feeling thoughtful about it.
I don't like yoga. I've tried it a few times--maybe more than a few times. I've gone to yoga studios and tried classes at the gym. I find the remarks and beliefs of the teachers to be difficult for me to accept. Talking about stimulating my liver and kidneys with different poses. I don't know. They're constant chattering during class about how each pose is making a difference in my psyche or my body just bothers me. I like aerobics classes more because all the teacher does is cue the moves and occasionally grunt.
Anyway, I've never been able to get "into" yoga. I even tried hot yoga which I kind of liked more because of the added challenge of trying to avoid throwing up in class from the heat. But I digress. So, I've not been a fan.
This article is giving me reason to try yoga again. As a weight lifter, I am NOT in touch with my body sometimes. Sure, I have to know that I am working the right muscle and know that my form is good but in order to lift heavy weights, I have to get out of my body. I have to ignore the pain and discomfort that often accompanies straining to lift something very heavy.
I've had difficulty with mindfulness when it comes to eating. So I think I'm going to give yoga another chance.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Home and Hot

I'm home! Arrived in the inferno last night. The ride across the desert from LA to Phoenix was HOT! We stopped to eat our lunch and the food in the cooler started to warm up as soon as I opened the cooler!
We went shopping for food at Whole Foods before we left LA. My husband eyed bags of potato chips and packages of cookies. But, no. The week of excess (even though it wasn't as excessive as in times past) had to end on the trip home. At least that's what I decided. I did find some candy bars in the cooler, though. He must have slipped those in when I wasn't looking and I gotta say I was glad because six hours in the car left me feeling like I deserved a food reward.
But now we're home. And although it's only been 1/2 day so far, I'm trying. Had oatmeal for breakfast and tuna fish with veggies for lunch with a pluot for dessert. Drinking water instead of soda. Lots of water. It's 115 degrees here. I'm "eliminating all the stored glycogen quickly" (you dietitians will know what I mean by that!).
Yes, it's hot here. So many people tell me they aren't hungry in hot weather. What's wrong with them? Or that they want to eat "light". What is "light" food? I don't get it.
Going to book club meeting tonight. There will be food. Lots of it. There will be dessert. I hate it when someone refuses to eat something by saying, "I'm on a diet." So I'll taste. And if it's really good, I'll eat it! I'm not going to lie. I will eat it. All of it if it's tasty. That's how it is. I won't, however, refuse something because of dieting. Ugh. It's that word again. I'm not dieting and I'm not following a diet. I'm just trying to get back into the groove of eating the way I know I should eat. And I'm trying to remember what it feels like to be hungry! While on vacation, I often have to eat when others are hungry. That doesn't work out well for me because even if I'm not hungry, I will eat a meal. I mean, who knows when I might get another chance?
Anyway, back to normal (what's normal for me) and hoping there are no restaurant meals in my future. At least not for a few days.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Vacation Food Report

I had good intentions. "Let's try to lose weight on this trip", I said to my husband as we pulled out of the driveway. Right. Started out on the right foot. Except for the ice cream we had the first night but really not too bad. Well, the burger and fries. I mean, I didn't finish the bun. But then I lost all control (did I ever have any?). Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy. Chicken breast only. No skin. But still. Bagels and cream cheese, sweet rolls, pastries of all sorts for breakfast. Pinkberry (the best frozen yogurt) a couple of times. No candy, though. Interesting. I usually keep candy and cookies in the hotel room just in case. Just in case the end of the world comes and I find myself the only living survivor holed up in my hotel room. I want to make sure I don't starve to death. But this time no food in the room. Of course, never once did I find myself hungry but still I think that is an accomplishment I can be proud of. Didn't stock up on junk. And only had Pepsi a few times. Mostly water. What other virtuous things have I done? Last night while everyone else chowed down on steak, creamed spinach, baked potatoes with all the fixings, I, Miss Virtuous, had roasted chicken. Yes, that's right. And I didn't finish it. So there. On my way to a cooking class at Sur La Table with the family. Greek cooking. Should be fun. And we get to eat what we cook! Now that's what I call a good day.