Friday, September 30, 2011

Should a fat governor run for president?

It's all over the Internet. The women of The View can't stop chattering about it. Does it matter that Governor Christie is fat--really fat, visibly fat, overly fat. I am not a supporter of his politics but I keep wondering about all the hoopla over his weight. Our present president was an admitted smoker when he was elected. Is this outcry and interest over Christie's weight just a fat acceptance issue? Is his life (health) more in jeopardy than Obama's was when he was a smoker (Obama says he's conquered his habit). Even I'm not so sure how I feel about this! Health seems to be an important issue for a president. The electorate wondered about McCain's age. Obama's smoking. I wondered about Bush's substance abuse issues way back when. Well, as far as we know, Bush didn't relapse, McCain is still hanging in there and Obama has stopped smoking without any apparent ill effects. So, does it matter that Christie is fat? Shouldn't we be focusing on his politics????

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fast Food and Calories

I don't eat fast food. I've never tasted Wendy's or Burger King or Taco Bell. Have only had McD's a few times because that was my kids' favorite when they were young. Never been to Arby's or Carl's Jr. Can't say that I don't like the food because I've never sampled it. Just never liked the way the food smelled so was never tempted.
A new fast food burger restaurant from California opened up near our house this past week. I knew my husband wanted to try it. Since I was busy watching the Emmys, I suggested he bring some food home from the place. Before he left, I checked the web site for the menu and also clicked on the nutrition info tab.
Whoa. Burger, 470 calories. French fries, 440 calories. Chocolate shake, 820 calories. What! So one meal could add up to more calories than I should have in a day. And, honestly, wasn't that much food in quantity. Holy #*%.
I know. I'm a dietitian. I should know how many calories are in these foods but when it comes to restaurants (whether fast food or traditional), I have no idea how they prepared the food so I can't guess how many calories are in the dish. Take the burger from this new place: thin, didn't look like it weighed more than 3 ounces. The bun? Just an ordinary white bun, a little too large for the burger. A smear of mayo, some lettuce, one slice of tomato and two pickle slices. The fries. Well, okay. Fried in oil. I get it. The shake? What do they put in the shake? I didn't have one so I don't know how thick it was or how big but that's a lot of calories for one drink!
Pretty shocking.
A while back when NYC was getting ready to start posting nutrition information in fast food restaurants, I gave an interview to a journalist about the impending posting. I didn't think it would make any difference to the ordinary consumer who was making choices based solely on taste (and maybe also price). I thought  an informed consumer (like I am), might, however, be swayed by calorie counts. I never would have been a repeat offender at this place because I'm not a fan of the food but the calorie information certainly did keep me from ordering that shake!
I gotta admit, though, that right now I could use some thick and creamy and cold like a chocolate shake.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

10 minutes a day

There's an ad on my google home page: Tone your butt and abs in just 10 minutes a day. Okay. Sounds good. So why aren't my butt and abs toned when I do about 2 hours of exercise a day? I should be like steel. Like iron. My abs should be like cement.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Parental Responsibility

My mother loved chocolate and cheesecake and french fries. She kept a monster-sized Hershey's milk chocolate bar on the kitchen counter. Every once in a while (and I do not mean every five minutes) she would break off a tiny piece-one even smaller than the marked squares on the bar-to slowly savor while she did her chores.
My mother baked the creamiest most delicious cheesecakes. She would give my father one slice with his evening coffee. Her portion was what was stuck to the knife.
We had homemade french fries probably five nights a week (the other nights we might have pasta or mashed potatoes). I don't ever remember seeing my mother eat more than four or five slender fries.
So, no, my mother was not fat. Not even close. But her likes did influence mine. The difference is that I don't exercise the control that she did. One monster size chocolate bar might last me one day. And even though I don't like cheesecake that much, I would never be satisfied with what was left on the knife after slicing.
Fries. I have a strong feeling about french fries--I love them! A few slender fries would be a tease and definitely lead to many more.
So since my mother introduced me to these foods, is she responsible for my obesity? Because that's what's being debated right now. Should parents be punished for their kids' weight?
On the flip side, if a child suffers from anorexia is there a punishment for that, too? And drug addiction? Poor grades in school?
If you believe that parents of a toddler are responsibile since they are fully in control of what is fed to the child, then what about an obese teen? Should parents be held responsible for how much and what a teenager eats?
This is a sticky issue. According to child feeding expert Ellen Satler, parents decide what is brought into the house and what is served and the kids should decide how much they eat (very simplistic explanation for her recommendations). If parents buy and serve sweetened beverages, fried foods and desserts with every meal, that makes it pretty hard for a kid to avoid obesity even if she is very active and even if she eats only until satisfied. So parents do have some responsibility-especially for very young children who cannot fend for themselves.
I'm just not sure the present discussion about punishing parents for their kids' weight issues is a fair one. That implies that there's only one cause for obesity: eating too much (of the "wrong" foods). If you believe that, then you've not kept up with the research.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Beauty Queen Weight Loss

Just saw Miss South Carolina on Today Show. She lost over 100 pounds by eating well and exercising. Shocking! I'm thinking she's particularly "lean" in her swimsuit or so she looks on my TV screen but she looks fit and, dare I say, buff! Her legs look great. And not just because she's wearing those stilt high heels but because she's got muscle there.
She didn't talk about following any particular diet plan or counting calories. She said, "Whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean meats and exercise." Goodness. Is that some sort of fad diet?
She denies having had plastic surgery and I'll believe her because to lie about it might jeopardize her entry into Miss America contest.
She admits to exercising three hours a day before a competition but less than that when she is not competing which tells me that she knows three hours a day is excessive for the average person. Good.
Healthy foods and exercise. Who knew!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Guilt Free and other damaging phrases

I might have written about this before but I'm not going to take the time to go back thru all the posts to find out. If it sounds familiar, forgive me and move on.
In the last week I've read a few blog posts about "guilt free" desserts and "guilt free" BBQ options for July 4th. Really? I should be guilty if I eat something that tastes good on a holiday?
Sure. I understand. A 500 calorie slice of cheesecake is probably not a good idea if I'm eating it nightly while lounging on the couch, remote in hand, after a dinner of ribs, fries and soda. But it's the 4th of July, folks. A day to celebrate. Not a day to worry about guilt.
A burger. Maybe some potato salad made with real mayonnaise. Pie topped with ice cream for dessert. Just on Monday. For the holiday. And not a turkey or veggie burger on a whole wheat bun accompanied by potato salad made with fat free yogurt and a plate of fresh berries (delicious though they might be) topped with fat free yogurt mixed with vanilla and Splenda.
You can have that food on Tuesday, July 5th.
Implying that eating something "fattening" should fill me with guilt is a pretty sick idea. Eating shouldn't make a person feel guilty--regardless of what or how much they've eaten or where or how they've eaten it.
Guilt is for murder, rape and other violence against people and animals. Remorse. But not for eating something that perhaps is forbidden on your "diet".
I know. Articles like that grab your attention. You're thinking--I can have my cake and eat it, too. Yes, you can. You can have your "real" cake. Not your ersatz cake. Just this one time. Go for it. Enjoy it. Savor it. Because on Monday you're going to have to go back to deprivation.
End of rant.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Secrets that aren't secrets

From my facebook page today: Articles on the "secret" to maintaining weight loss and the 5 (or 10 or 20) diet foods that are sure to help you lose weight.
Secret? Really? Is it a secret that you should eat less than you did when you were fat if you want to maintain weight loss? Is there really some secret that no one knows about that will ensure no weight gain? These are just the buzz words that catch your eye and get you excited. Then you read the article and discover that the secret tips are just to eat less and exercise more. Or maybe don't buy trigger foods. Or stock your fridge with healthy (whatever that means) snacks. Or the best, eat lots of vegetables. Ooooh. The secret is revealed.
As for the top whatever number of diet foods to help you lose weight--let me guess: Vegetables (volume) are one (or all). Lean protein, of course. Stay hydrated. Puleeze. Heard it all before.
If you don't have something new to say, then please don't rehash and regurgitate. There is no secret. We fatties know what has to be done. There are no magic diet foods. So, stop. Just stop promising me something that you cannot deliver.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Happy Birthday to ME

It's Flag Day and my birthday. When I was a kid, my parents told me that the flags people put out were in honor of my birthday so I've always thought I was something special! Thank you, Americans, for honoring my birthday.
In the past, this has been a special day for me. This year, I'm feeling a little uncomfortable. My mother died during this same year of her life. It's not that I think I'm going to die this year (not) but it's sad to me that she missed out on so much because I feel great so I can't imagine that at this age she was so sick that she died. Sad.
Back to me.
I'm still fat. You know, each year I think that on my next birthday I'll be "smaller" but of course it never happens. So I'm going to stop thinking and wishing for it. I just want to be alive on my next birthday!
So far today (and it's only 9:30 am), I've eaten two cupcakes. I baked them last night at 10 pm to take to aerobics class this afternoon to celebrate my birthday. They still need to be frosted but they were tasty without any frosting and quite sweet enough.
There will be more eating today. I mean, I eat on non birthdays so of course I'm going to eat on my birthday. Indian food. To start. Possibly fried food to end the day. Not sure. Right now, cupcakes have filled my tummy and I'm not thinking of anything that I particularly want.
So cheers to me for my birthday. For another year. As my life ahead of me gets shorter, I definitely do appreciate each day a little bit more.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rule #1

If you're trying to lose weight or even maintain weight, Rule #1 is never to buy a "trigger" food. I love crispy salty foods like potato chips but especially those bagel chips from Trader Joe's.
Rule #1: Don't buy bagel chips at Trader Joe's.
I broke the rule. Bought the "Everything" bagel chips. Gone. The whole bag. Eaten. By me. One person. One sitting.
How many servings were in the bag? Six.
And Rule #2: Don't eat mindlessly.
I ate the bag while reading the WSJ. Kind of knew I was going too far but, "crunch, crunch", they were good. Just enough fat on my fingers from the chips for the salt to stick to them. Perfect. With an icy cold Snapple.
Oh, well. Guilt is not productive so no guilt. Just a stomach ache.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Xena Welcomes You

Just saw the blog post on Chow Bella ( about Xena. Not sure if all the hoopla this week actually did bring anyone here (and the poster spelled "dietitian" with a "c" so it's possible no one will find the blog) but if you're here because you read about Xena, hello. I've been writing this blog for a few years--ever since I tried (and succeeded but then failed) to lose some weight. You might enjoy starting at the beginning. None of my posts are very long. I'm way too lazy to write long involved researched posts.
Oh, and Xena is home safe and sound. Happy. Sleeping right now. I'm so grateful to everyone who helped me find her--thank you to everyone who posted on their blog or shared on their facebook page or tweeted for me. We love our big (Xena weighs 75 pounds and stands over 5 feet on her hind legs) sweetheart who most probably kissed the burglars until they left out of frustration instead of fear.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Another dietitian's blog post on 17 day diet

I just read this post by another dietitian. I thought she did a great job so I'm sending it along to all of you.

Oh, hi

Just wanted to greet everyone who found this blog last week after the burglary and loss of my sweet precious dog (who has since been returned....reluctantly).
Maybe you're here because you read Jess Harter's post about the freelance food writer whose dog disappeared after her house was burglarized and you were curious about who and what. Well, here we are. A blog written by a dietitian who eats her veggies but can't seem to stay away from french fries is maybe not what you expected.
As for the dog--I knew she would go straight to the park near our house because we go there every day for a walk. I did go to look for her three times but no sign of her. My husband went and put up flyers. I went again and handed out flyers to everyone in the park. Each time we were sad to return home without her. Then the homeless guy at the park (his dog, Rosie, plays with our dog, Xena) saw Xena jogging with a guy. Homeless guy told jogging guy that she was our dog and gave him the flyer. Jogging guy called and Xena is home. Of course, jogging guy said he wanted to keep her because she was such a great dog. Uh, yes, she is. The reason we didn't fnd her at the park is that he took her home and she spent the night at his house. He never even considered checking to see if she had a microchip but at least he kept her safe from coyotes (she thinks they're dogs and tries to play with them). He refused a reward but homeless guy did take a reward (and he deserved it). We're all safe and happy now.

Why they have it all wrong

Just finished reading yet another article about how to lose weight without being hungry. This one from Weill Cornell Medical College, Women's Nutrition Connection. They offer three strategies: 1. Eat breakfast. I have never skipped breakfast in my life. I often don't eat for a while after I get up because I'm not hungry but I do eat breakfast every day. If I don't eat by 9 am (I get up at 5 am), then I am pretty hungry but not more than I would expect and I'd never make it until noon if I didn't eat. I'd either bite someone's head off or eat a box of cookies. Either way, skipping breakfast is not something I do. Still it doesn't help me lose weight and I'm surely hungry in a few hours afterwards even though my breakfast is high in protein. So strategy #1 doesn't work for me.
2. Suggestion is to eat filling foods first (like high fiber foods) and fattening foods later. Hah. I don't have to be "hungry" to eat fattening foods and I'm going to eat them because I want to whether or not I've eaten the filling foods first.
3. Keep a lifestyle log. Right. Honey, I know all about my eating habits. I'm not really a mindless eater (okay, occasionally with a bag of chips and a book, I might get carried away). My eating is intentional. Triggers? Uh, yes. Show me fried chicken and I'll eat it. I like the way the author offers this quote: " keeps you more accountable when you write everything down." Accountable? To whom? Myself? I don't feel guilty when I've overeaten. I might feel sick but not guilty. I'm only accountable to myself and since I'm present while I'm eating, I don't need to keep a log.
So maybe I'm being just a little bit too critical of the article. It's just that it's yet another one offering up the same advice to someone who knows all the tricks and has all the (excuses) answers. This stuff works with someone who is motivated. How to motivate myself to maybe not take that second helping or eat that new ice cream that I just bought at the supermarket yesterday (Magnum bar?). Not sure.
Are dieters really "hungry"? Is that why they fall off the wagon or is it because they are bored with the food or just want something extra tasty? Because if a dieter were hungry, she could just eat something that is "legal" on her diet. So it isn't about "hunger" but HUNGER. These strategies don't address HUNGER.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Silly chocolate milk ban

There's been lots of talk this week about banning chocolate milk in schools. As though that's going to resolve the problem of obesity in kids. Right. Let's just stop drinking chocolate milk.
Sure. I get it. It's just another sweet food and kids should learn to enjoy milk without having to flavor it. Join us in the real world, people. Lots of kids don't like milk. Especially skim milk. Please, don't tell me that "humans" weren't meant to drink cow's milk. Heard that before. Makes me laugh. Were we "meant" to eat potatoes? Broccoli? Tofu?
Yes, cow's milk is food for calves and we usurp it. Got that. But it's chock full of nutrients that, yes, can come from other sources but are found in milk and, therefore, anything made from milk. Skim or lowfat milk is an easy source of protein and lots of minerals, calcium among them.
Yes, some people are lactose intolerant. So let them drink other beverages that are calcium fortified. I'll stick with milk.
Back to chocolate milk: Most kids get one serving of a milk a day at school. Maybe two if they're eating breakfast as well as lunch. Gosh, two servings of chocolate milk. Do you think that's what makes them fat? Or might it be the fast food, snack foods and sugary drinks they consume away from school? Or lack of exercise? Or a combination. But don't let's blame chocolate milk for making kids fat.
Should school districts work with the dairy industry/food manufacturers to make chocolate milk with less sugar in it? Sure. And wouldn't we just love it if the kids learned to drink "white" milk? Yes. But chocolate milk is not a product of the devil sent to earth to fatten up our little kids.
How about working on adding more fruits and vegetables to school lunch rather than spending time damning chocolate milk.
And, by the way, there have been plenty of studies supporting the notion that chocolate milk is an excellent post work out beverage--way better than plain unflavored milk. I'm not making that up.
So let's choose our battles a little bit more wisely. I'm happy that sodas are out of schools. How about working on changing the idea that kids will only eat pizza and chicken nuggets?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Some more on The Biggest Loser

Hundreds of pounds lost. And so little talk about nutrition. Pretty chef comes on and women go gaga but why is chef talking about nutrition? So far nothing he's made has resonated with my taste buds but I'm a pretty picky eater. Thinking that Chef Pretty Boy consults with dietitian/chef Cheryl Forberg before he goes on camera to wow us with his pearly whites.
Trainers acting like shrinks? What's that about? Hoping that Jillian has consult with show's therapist before she goes off in private with contestant asking her to bare her soul. Hoping.
One big happy family? Really? Everyone loves everyone else. Endorphins from exercising so much?
Still watching it. Still criticizing it. Still hasn't motivated me but I expect it's motivated others.
Funny thing is that we eat dinner at about 7:30 on Tuesdays when the show is on and we watch while we're eating! Not very mindful of us and I'm sure watching TV and eating is frowned upon by those who counsel the contestants.
Weird that a show about sweaty fat people has  mesmerized the viewing public.
I can just imagine the pitch session from the creators: So we take very fat people and we make them stand in front of the camera without their shirts on displaying all their roles and dimples for the world to see. Then we humilate them on the first episode showing everyone how they stuff their faces with extraordinarily unhealthy food in huge quantities. We ask them to perform exercise feats that even elite athletes have trouble completing. So, what do you think? Wanna buy that show idea?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Gold medals

Totally forgot to post that I won the gold medal for power lifting in the 65-69 year age group in the AZ Senior Olympics! Yea for me. Still fat but fat and strong.  Had a wonderful day. Last year silver. This year gold. Now what!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Slimming bathing suits and other lies

It's still kind of chilly here in Phoenix so maybe it's a little early to anticipate the hell of shopping for a bathing suit but I just got an e-mail from a manufacturer of women's slimming undergarments (WLU) letting me know that they have a new slimming swimsuit. The cartoon model is svelte, long legged and gorgeous. Yes, I'm sure the WSU bathing suit is making her look ten pounds slimmer. I know a lot of people who swear by WSU but they're not as fat as I am. They've got way less to hold in. Why, if I had that little to hold in, I'd just hold my breath.
But, folks, let's face it. Even if I looked ten pounds slimmer, I would not be parading around the beach proudly showing off my figure. In fact, I would avoid parading at all costs. T shirt over swimsuit would be the wardrobe of the day for sure. To protect me from exposure to ultraviolet rays, of course.
Who looks good in swimsuits with built in girdles? Slender people, of course. Those iron swimsuits do little to hold in bulges and ripples of fat. And what about cottage cheese thighs and bat wing arms? The suits have no effect on those.
Do any of us actually think that wearing a WSU under our clingy clothes hides the fat? Do any of us actually think that wearing a loose fitting shirt hides the fat? Do any of us really believe that wearing black or a solid color or vertical stripes really makes a difference when you're fat?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

No resolutions

It's been so long since I posted anything that I forgot how to get to my blog! Brain dead.
No resolutions to eat less or eat better or eat more healthfully or lose weight or exercise more or live a better life. For a fleeting second last night while I was eating a plateful of ice cream, partially melted and topped with Magic Shell, I gave some thought to making a resolution or several resolutions. Nah. Why bother. I have no motivation to stick to them. What's in it for me?
When I worked at the County Health Dept. we used to use "contracts" with our clients. "I'll eat less fat". Sign here. Like that would mean anything to me at all! Oooh. So scared. I broke the contract. Not.
So I don't do well with promises or contracts or resolutions. No future plans. Today was not a good day for food. Two parties. Cookies, cupcakes, posole, chili, chips, bagels, noodle pudding. Just to name a few things that I ate. Not sure I can remember all of them even if I try. Food coma.
Tomorrow is a new day. Perhaps I shall start the day with oatmeal Wouldn't that be perfect?