Saturday, June 30

Racism in Obesity Discrimination

Most folks who have been on a lowcarb eating plan for awhile already understand that individual metabolism is, well, individual and not really predictable. But I think a lot of people wouldn't argue that a predisposition to being lean or overweight might have a genetic basis.

Think a minute about what we mean by genetic. Does that mean that some races of people might be "more" genetically prone to obesity based on the current eating habits of our world, than others?

Yes, that's what it means.

Now think about the rampant and unabashed prejudice levied against obese people culture-wide.

Let us say, just as a hypothesis, that native Americans, known to be genetically susceptible to alcoholism more than most other races, were also genetically susceptible to obesity.

So if we choose to discriminate against obesity, as a culture in a myriad of ways, what we are really doing is "cloaking" racial prejudice in our obesity prejudice, because a disproportionate number of folks from certain races will suffer compared to others.

Sure, people might (maybe) be as prejudiced against white folks who are obese, but the reality is that if someone is arbitrarily deciding whether a person is too fat to adopt or if a child is too fat to be allowed to live with their family or too fat to deserve a job, there is a whole lot of "soft" room for discrimination in there, since obesity is a nice blanket over the top of it.

When Western governments are talking about "intervention" that dramatically invades the privacy and rights of individuals and families, this becomes a radical and racial issue.

Here are some selected quotes from Dr. Jeffrey M. Friedman, head of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics at Rockefeller University.

Ira Flatow: You said that we don’t have enough data to understand why there’s been a 7 to 10 pound. weight increase. Do you have a hypothesis of your own about why this might be?

Jeffrey Friedman: What I think is happening is this. It turns out that that weight increase isn’t uniform across the population, and there’s actually really good epidemiologic evidence to suggest that. I think that a lot of the weight gain is concentrated in specific ethnic groups.

...I think that what we’re seeing now is ethnic groups that are predisposed to obesity are now getting access to unlimited calories. And I think that has a lot to do with that weight increase. And there’s some evidence to support that but it’s not definitive. Actually a lot of the epidemiologic data that you would really want to understand things like this is lacking. turns out actually that these really obese kids are concentrated in particular ethnic groups and the gene pools are different in different ethnic groups.

So eventually we'll be able to say something like, if you're Native American, your chances of being biased against even by government agencies, is ___% higher than if you were say, Romanian.

If there is a higher chance that someone native were obese than there is that someone Romanian would be obese, then if we pretend a child or parent's obesity is mostly about environment (hence they should receive family "intervention" by the government), we are saying that natives inherently less-deserve to raise their own kids, because more of them are fat than some other racial groups. (Remember this is hypothetical.)

So, if you're white enough (or whatever) to luck into thinner genes, you're probably ok, but we'll have to round up more of the kids from those darn (check one susceptible-to-obesity race)'s kids, 'cause they are just too damn fat so much more often.

Do the cultural leaders of the races most genetically predisposed to obesity realize this? Realize that not taking any issue with "obesity issues," means building-in institutionalized bias against their people?


A Big Fat Opinion

Do you ever notice that everybody has an opinion about how people get fat, and how people should lose fat? Always.

Over the last 17-18 years since I got fat, I've had the opportunity to experience quite an "up-close and personal sociological evaluation of how people react to other people who are fat." This would probably be a more pleasant study if I were not the fat person in question, of course, but it's no less interesting, despite that.

Most of us have experienced at least some of this. You may be sitting in a restaurant with several acquaintances. One of them, usually someone pointedly overweight themselves, but who is clearly delighted to observe that you are more overweight than they are, will suddenly become the Grand Vizier of Dietary Advice. (The probability of this happening is in direct proportion to their guilt about what they themselves are eating.)

They may assure you, some sincerely and some patronizingly, that you definitely should eat the junk they are eating because the entire secret of weight loss is just "portion control" and "moderation." The implied translation, of course, is: If you didn't eat like an uncontrollable pig all the time, you wouldn't be fat. They don't really mean that consciously, most would never say such a thing, but the theory underlies their advice: obviously, you're fat, so if you "ate moderately" they assume you would not be... you see where that goes.

They will assure you that if a person just gets adequate exercise, these things take care of themselves. Of course, the fact that your metabolism might require a triathalon to compensate for the dinner they want you to eat so they'll feel better about doing so themselves, escapes them. They assume that the fellow on the left who is thin and wiry despite eating enough for three people, has the identical metabolism as yourself, who is clearly fat despite eating less than everyone there.

Dr. Jeffrey M. Friedman, head of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics at Rockefeller University (and the researcher who discovered the hormone leptin, which plays a crucial role it appears in how our body regulates our weight), said about obesity:

I think in contrast to almost every other medical condition where the lay public would just leave it to the scientist to inform them about what causes it, what the nature of the problem is, and what we should do about it, obesity is a condition where absolutely everyone has an opinion. Everybody has a deeply held set of personal beliefs about what causes the problem.

Well, I think fat is like the baffling tax code (and resultant nightmares about scary amounts of money you owe).

Plenty of people are lucky just to balance their checkbooks properly. The convoluted complexity of human metabolism is more than even the experts have a grip on at the moment, let alone the laymen. And it certainly doesn't fit into the sound-bite over-simplied spoon-fed media our culture has become as addicted to as we have to carbohydrates.

Humans love to feel like they know what they're doing, and what the answers are to things. We like it when everything has a place and just WORKS. No ambiguity, no confusion, no complexity. Nothing subjective. Only WE are allowed to be subjective: the rest of the world is not. When we are subjective, it is our right, our feelings, and who we are. When anything or anyone else is subjective, if we disagree, it is probably that they are irrational. Of course. If they were sensible, they'd agree with us! :-)

We are bred from childhood to fear fat. Fat is bad. Fat is the Other. Fat brings mocking, derision, abuse, social shunning, and pity. This is culturally bred into all of us and isn't even conscious in most cases. So when the question of fat comes up, the last thing anybody wants, is to feel it's an impossibly confusing morass of unfinished science and unanswered questions; we have no real handle on it. Survival instinct alone makes us want, makes us need, to feel like we have the formula and answer to fat, so we have power over it. The fact that we don't know is irrelevent. If we feel we know, I think our subconscious fear-based psychology feels better about the whole thing.

The persistent denial of an entire culture in regards to obesity, coupled with a nearly hysterical panic about it, only emphasizes this. Research studies have had some interesting findings on this sociological subject. Some people say they'd rather be seriously injured than fat. Some college kids say they'd date a wife-beater or drug-user before they'd date someone noticeably overweight.

As a culture, our attempt to 'stamp out fat' has been even less successful than our alleged war on drugs. We supply endless quantities of alcohol, and caffeine. The ghastly long-term abuse of cocaine-level drugs such as the entire class of drugs similar to Ritalin (and worse), for children as young as 2 years old, is mind blowing. (Every 'school shooter' in the news, was a kid officially drugged by parent/government/school for years, did you know that?)

Yet despite how easy it is to give someone enough legal drugs to have them wipe out families of four on the highway, efforts continue to outlaw vitamins and herbs without prescription for being "dangerous", and if a high school girl shares Midol for monthly cramps with a friend and is seen she can be suspended. We're completely schizophrenic about the drug issue in our culture. It is a WAR on drugs. A war in which the profiteers appear to be profiting (the war on drugs helps fund the covert military operations congress will not approve or the public cannot know about), and the problem continues to get worse instead of better. With that kind of 'help', we could be at least ten times worse off within years.

And so it is with obesity. Magazines neatly couple drool-able foods with the latest diet fad and both on the front page. "Healthy recipes" in them tend to be blood sugar grenades allegedly made 'healthy' by using low-fat margarine and whole-grain flour... rather than a recipe that was more healthy by being, well, less UNhealthy. We constantly model near-impossibly skinny women as 'the ideal'. We have endless ways of enforcing both subtly and overtly the 'sin' of someone being fat and daring to show up in public, and then we wonder why people especially young women develop anorexia, binging, bulemia, and other eating disorders. If our 'war on obese people obesity' is as successful as our war on drugs has been, we can expect to have a far worse problem 5 and especially 10 years from now. The only real difference is that the diet industry is not funding black ops. We assume.

As Dr. Friedman said, everybody has an opinion. I agree. I have never met a person who openly said something like, "I have no idea how someone would get or stay thin." Everybody, but everybody, believes they know the way, and this includes nearly every obese person I ever met, every person who never had to diet in their life, and so on.

Many years ago, a research paper published in the parapsychology (psychic research) field reviewed the perceptions and opinions of scientists outside the field about the subject. (For those who don't know, many of the leading parapsychologists are/were legit reputable physicists and engineers and other hard scientists, before they dared touch the subject, which is the kiss of death to any science career: we are not allowed to ask those questions.) Pretty much all the scientists had an opinion about it (hint: it was definitely not a good one). Pretty much all the scientists believed that their opinion held scientific merit because they were a scientist, and they believed that they had enough information to have a right to opinion.

But when interviewed, it turned out that pretty much all of them were completely ignorant of the real science in the field, and their entire edifice of opinion was based on media: movies, magazines, comic books and fiction, and hokey commercial advertising. None of them knew anything about the real science, nor had they ever looked, nor did they want to know--but that did not keep them from pushing their 'expert opinion' on others with almost no provocation at all.

It is like being raised to dislike people who are a certain race or religion: You cannot reason with a belief that is not based on reason. We are bred to some prejudices, and they are constantly enforced culture-wide. Fat is one of them.

More from Dr. Friedman in the next few posts.


Friday, June 29

Too Fat for Parenthood?

I'd like to relate to you a situation that examples just one of many ways that discrimination based on body weight has reached ludicrous 'official' proportions. I might add that the UK, USA and Australia share so much legislation and culture that I consider anything taken seriously in one as a potential in the other, and all have a myriad of issues with this subject.

Kylie  Lannigan of Victoria, Australia, has PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome. It can occur in girls as young as 11, and is the most common reason for women who are unable to conceive children. The list of side effects are a real bummer for the people who have it; not counting infertility, hirsutism (hair growth in annoying places), acne and other issues, one of the most common reasons we see people with this in the lowcarb world is because it tends to induce weight gain or actual obesity, usually in the torso area (the "apple" shaped figure). It can put them at "greater risk of" high blood pressure or high cholesterol or Type II Diabetes, but then, so can a zillion other factors, and the weight alone could do that, with or without PCOS.

In case you think this is rare, it is astoundingly common: About 1 in 10 women of childbearing age, is the current estimate of PCOS prevalance.

The Lannigans had fertility treatments, but alas the only result of that is, seven years ago Kylie tragically miscarried a baby girl at 22 weeks. Further attempts at IVF (in-vitro fertilization) were not successful.

Not surprisingly, couples with a PCOS woman are likely to consider adopting children, and three years ago, the Lannigans, desperate for a child, finally sought that route to parenthood.

It seemed hopeful. They owned a home, had been married for ten years, and were both employed full time: Kylie is a chef, while her husband supervises a vineyard. They wanted to begin the adoption process while she was still young enough to be considered a good candidate.

Kylie weighs 278 lbs and is about 5 foot 7 inches tall, but although technically obese, Kylie walks to work and night school every day, she had testing for heart disease and diabetes and was cleared as free of both, and so aside from the inconvenience it may give her, her body weight is not a worthy issue to adoption, nor did the people they interviewed with seem concerned about it.

The initial documentation and interviews mentioned that serious health reasons could potentially disqualify an applying adoptive parent, but although PCOS is a bummer (to understate it) for the people who have it, it's not like it means you're going to Keel Over Any Minute Now(tm). PCOS is not considered a disqualifying health issue.

If they did bias against that, they'd not only be disqualifying 1 in 10 women, but singling out the vast majority of the women most likely to want to adopt a child!

Three years later...

THREE YEARS the Lannigans have spent in the tedious, stressful, delaying bureaucracy of the application process. Kylie is 29 now, and nearing the age when she is no longer considered ideal for adopting an infant child. She and her husband went to seminars, had medical, police and finance checks and a home assessment, everything requested, everything that would give them a chance to make it happen, for years.

Finally, after all that, the Department of Human Services adoption counselors came out for yet another interview, and told them what wonderful parents they would be.

Too Fat to Adopt, AFTER three years of bureacracy, DESPITE having PCOS, a medical condition that causes weight gain but otherwise does not impede anything related to childrearing.

Except, they added, Kylie is too fat to be considered qualified to parent.

They told her she would need to lose 114 lbs to qualify for a BMI rating that would make them acceptable to adopt.

She has lost 26 lbs so far. But as she mentioned in an interview, she doesn't even have time to lose another 88 lbs to qualify for their demands. She'll be considered too old to be ideal to adopt an infant (over 30) by then, and that's even if everything went perfectly, despite her body's strong tendency to obesity, and even if, like some improbable Disney-movie ending, all the weight just fell off.

The agency, rather than 'rejecting' their application, 'suspended' it with an "unless" caveat: so severe a weight loss, with such a time limit based on standard policies, that they may as well have rejected it. In fact, all 'suspending' with that kind of requirement really does is reject it but without their having to defend in court what right they had to do that.

Kylie's weight was no secret three years ago when they began this process, but nobody thought to mention to her that "fat" on its own would disqualify her. Do you think a government agency would openly advertise, "Don't apply to adopt a child unless you are thin?" Maybe they should. It would have saved years of time and a lot of money and emotional investment on the Lannigans's part.

Thought to consider: With the US and UK medical experts recommending "intervention" including seizure of children from parents if the children are obese, this brings up an interesting alternative: If people are too fat to be good parents at her weight, and this is official enough for a government-based agency to rule on, at what weight will social services eventually decide to seize children from perfectly good parents for the parents' crime of being 'too fat'?

The first and most obvious issue is the sheer prejudice. If they had applied this prejudice based on any other factor, they'd be sued like crazy. They can't say, "Well you're Race X," or "Well you're gay," but they can say, "Well you're fat."

The obesity is nothing more than an 'increased risk factor' -- but there are many, many 'genetic markers' which qualify as risk factors and have nothing to do with body size; discrimination of any one of which would be arbitrary and biased.

The second issue is the breach of faith. This woman has a time limit because of her age and adoption policy. She has worked for three years doing everything they asked of her so she could qualify to adopt a child that needed a home. And not until the moment they were supposed to clear her for it, finally, do they mention, "Oh yeah, and you have to lose over 100 lbs."

As if this couldn't have come up three years ago, so she would have had this time to work toward that! (Not that it's any guarantee it'd work.) This point alone has several problems:

The first problem is the arbitrary application of their prejudice against her weight until the last minute.

The second problem is that the demand is so big that she'll likely age-out of the application process before she CAN do it, short of some horrible, health-destroying attempt to fill that spot in her soul that desperately wants a child. (I can just see some desperate infertile woman becoming a cocaine addict to lose enough weight fast enough to qualify for the child. Yeah, that'll help...)

The third problem is the frankly ludicrous and injust assumption that she, and by proxy anybody, can simply lose that weight. "Eat less and exercise more!," the religious mantra of Fatzism goes. The fact that some people do NOT lose weight despite that, especially with a condition that probably caused the gain in the first place, or that it may take incredibly long periods of time to do so, and that different bodies are simply, well, different, is completely ignored.

How come the diet industry's making well over 50 BILLION dollars a year, if all people have to do is eat healthy and/or eat less and exercise more?

And as one commenter noted, what if she regained the weight?
What, would they repossess the child??

Thanks to BigFatBlog for alerting me to this.

Tuesday, June 26

Obesity is a Brain Disorder?

I realized something last night. I've been reading a lot during the late-night hours over the last week or two, and it actually took a little while before my subconscious put a major "contradiction" together in the back of my brain and sent up a flare.

obesity /obes·i·ty
Pronunciation: ō-bē′si-tē

Psychology Today online: Obesity is a condition of having excess body weight. When an adult is more than 100 pounds overweight, they are considered morbidly obese.

The Free Dictionary: [Obesity is an] increase in body weight beyond the limitation of skeletal and physical requirements, as the result of excessive accumulation of body fat. Morbid obesity: the condition of weighing two or more times the ideal weight; so called because it is associated with many serious and life-threatening disorders. Obesity: Well above ones normal weight. A person has traditionally been considered to be obese if they are more than 20 percent over their ideal weight. Obesity has been more precisely defined by the National Institutes of Health (the NIH) as a BMI of 30 and above. (A BMI of 30 is about 30 pounds overweight.)

OK, now we know what it "means." Of course this says nothing about cause.

But wait, here to the rescue, in the American Journal of Psychiatry, with recommendations for the coming DSM-V manual (that's the official manual of medical-psychiatry):

Issues for DSM-V: Should Obesity Be Included as a Brain Disorder?
by Nora D. Volkow, M.D. and Charles P. O’Brien, M.D., PH.D.

Their recommendation includes the following fascinating assertion:

Obesity is characterized by compulsive consumption of food and the inability to restrain from eating despite the desire to do so.

So, you're telling me that of the MYRIAD of biochemical and metabolic reasons people gain weight or do not lose it, they have narrowed it down to the fact that fat people are just "gluttons who can't control themselves"?!

Hey, I bet getting people of size accepted is going to be easier when the official psychiatric (that's medical) field has obesity classified as a BRAIN DISORDER.

Now, I can easily see classifying binge-eating, or "compulsive eating", just like anorexia and bulemia (the latter of which is just binge-eating + self-induced purging), as a psyche condition.

I just don't see how they can "smoothly slide" this ASSUMPTION of the CAUSE of "obesity" into the official records like it's a fact. Like there is no other cause or anything else to consider.

Once this is THAT official, we no longer have a medical system that 'assumes' that, we have a medical system that thinks it 'knows' that.

I assume you realize that once obesity is a brain disorder, any doctor on behalf of government-medicine or insurance-medicine can "require" you take psychiatric drugs to deal with your mental problem before anything else.



Monday, June 25

The Theosophy of Produce

I swear.

I had this idea I wanted to do carb cycling and document the results, much like Big Daddy D and his wife have done.

But I suck at doing anything consistently, apparently. It's been like a month and I think I've actually had a proper number of calories and carbs only a few times. No, I'm not overeating, you know me, I've hardly been eating at all, which is just as much screwing up any kind of decent cycle tracking as anything else -- not to mention that since eating and frequently is what causes weight LOSS in me, I've not lost a pound the last month.

That always makes me want to use my scale to whack some "calories is what it's all about!" theorist upside the head.

Today my weight dropped back to 379, which didn't really cheer me up much, since that's what it was a month ago when I started this! My last entire month of calories ingested equals maybe a week's worth if I were eating properly. I so irk myself. Or as Pink so rightly said in a song,

I'm a hazard to myself
Don't let me get me
I'm my own worst enemy

So today we went grocery shopping, as last Friday was my payday. It was, as usual, an overly long, utterly exhausting super walmart trip and put-away project, replete with my always-pleading-for-something ten year old fashion-zombie drama-queen.

I realized while shopping that I was craving fruit. The blueberries, raspberries, strawberries. Green grapes, black grapes, and I stared at the bing cherries like they were little clusters of religious inspiration. The grapefruit and lemons and limes and mandarin oranges. My eyes rolled up in my head.

Of course these are all carby, though the berries less so, so I passed them by thinking, "I'll live without them."

I reached the area filled with pies, cakes (I love buttercream frosting more than sex, is that wrong?), cookies, and really more importantly to my heart, bread of every imaginable kind. Now, if I have the slightest cravings, if I am hungry, if I am vulnerable in any way, this is the section I avoid. These are the aisles I could find myself standing in like a walking coma patient, gently drooling down the chin.

Fortunately, since I don't eat carbs much, I don't really have craving problems.

Oddly, I didn't today either. I stopped in the middle of an aisle and thought about that. Why would I be craving every kind of fruit if I wasn't even blinking over the foods filled with carbs and sugar that dependably haunt me if I'm in "that mode" when I shop? That WAS odd. Usually I can be utterly sure if I crave anything whatsoever, that the high-sugar/carb foods my taste buds love most will give me insulin shock from three feet away.

I looped back into the produce dept. to get my vegetables. Some romaine lettuce, green onions, regular onions, roma tomatoes, poblano peppers, anaheim chilis, banana peppers, red bell peppers, jalapeno peppers -- you may start to suspect I like peppers -- and cilantro. I stood next to the asparagus thinking, "Mmmmm, Asparagus." (You'll have to imagine Homer Simpson's voice for that.)

I don't actually like asparagus.

Now, when I start craving foods that are (a) any shade of green, and (b) that I don't even like, I know only two possible things have happened:

1) I have reached some carb-starvation point after being out of ketosis, and have not yet transitioned back into it, and am so desperate for carbs I'm about ready to go graze on my overgrown lawn.

I don't think this is the case right now.

2) My body is deficient in God knows how many elements, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, etc. and is trying to get me to eat foods likely to have some of them.

But most those fruits are {insert theme from JAWS} CARBY! {theme from Psycho}

And everybody knows that Carby is my equivalent of Cooties. Don't want those!


After traversing half the store for everything else imaginable, from lip gloss and eye drops to 5 dozen eggs (only on lowcarb is every other week Easter!), I got to thinking about what some of my journal buddies call "Intuitive Eating."

Basically, that you work on listening to what your body is saying, and you eat that.

Generally, my body is on "no-speakies" terms with me. If I ate intuitively I'd probably starve to death. Or rather, just enough to ratchet the metabolism down yet FURTHER and gain yet more weight, sigh!

Seriously. I think if researchers could figure out my body-fat storage we could save the entire third world from starvation.

Shoulder-Angel gripes at me. "So! Now that your body is finally TALKING TO YOU, after nearly two weeks of almost zero appetite, your only response to this is to ignore all its requests and walk away?!"

Pop!-goes my Shoulder-Devil. Damn that man is ALWAYS on time.

"You'd be eating too many carbs if you had much fruit, and what you CAN have is hardly enough to count. Besides, what if you were so inspired by all that sugar that you {gasp of horror} ATE FRUIT ALL DAY?! I mean, who knows where it could lead? One minute you're eating a cherry and the next minute, bam, you're being heli-vac'd from the bread aisle floor of Super Wal-mart to the Tulsa Cardiology Unit."

Shoulder-Angel snorts. He thinks Shoulder-Devil is a ridiculous drama queen, and that even my child is entirely my own fault, merely living up to that age-old curse of all mothers: "I hope you have a child JUST LIKE YOU!" He seldom seems sympathetic to my side of things, frankly.

He makes his case. "Your eating sucks anyway. Do you honestly think it is better to do the same mostly-foodless habits that made you huge in the first place, than it is to "eat fruit all day because your body probably needs whatever healthy chemicals they may contain?" How many days do you think this could last, anyway? You compost more produce than you eat."

Hmmn. He has a point. Since he is telling me a little of what I want to hear, which happens approximately once every seven years, I'm surprised at how I seem to be on the side of all that's good for once.

SD gets that LOOK that I hear some Weight Watchers leaders get when someone weighs out heavier than last week. (That look, for the record, was the sole province of catholic school teaching nuns until 1967, when they offered franchising.) "You weigh five pounds lesssss than yessssterday," he hissed, with smug satisfaction at having discovered the deep inner core of evil in me: just as things are going well, how could I have such unholy wants, like to EAT A CHERRY?!

"You should be NOT EATING now, so as to keep up that momentum!" he dictated.

I considered it. He's right. I really should. I'm not usually hungry anyway, so why not keep those carbs REALLY low.

Yeah, he's right. I'll get protein! You know, I've been thinking of getting one of those pre-seasoned pork roasts, my kid loves those. Sure, a few carbs, but it's easy to cook in the crockpot after all. I cross the aisle and grab one off the shelf.

I turn it over and read its ingredients, which look like an only slightly abbreviated listing of the current Library of Congress catalog. I see this little fine print that says, "With up to 30% of flavoring solution."

Thirty percent! And I thought the "10%" solution in most modern packaged meats was bad enough! No wonder it felt so... er... mushy, like I was squeezing a silicone breast implant rather than a solid piece of meat.

(Not that I would have ANY idea what those feel like. I am not that kind of girl. Which seems like a real shame sometimes.)

"Ah," said SD, "But hey babe, it's protein! Carbs baaaaad. Protein gooood, right?"

SA rolls his eyes. "Don't you SEE how STUPID this is?!" he says in exasperation.


I went back to produce, bought one of nearly every kind of fruit they had, and left.

This week, I'm going to be eating fruit and greek salad and some protein -- I have tons of grass-fed organic beef in my garage chest freezer.

And if a week of eating way too many carbs because I am ingesting fruits kills me, well, it will be all my shoulder Angel's fault for the advice. I trust that if this happens, he will be forced by some kind of Culinary Karma to be my personal driver for the first several years of my time in eternity. Surely he's right. He wouldn't risk that. Would he??

Edited to Update: So I ate 'a little' carby fruit a few times that week. And the world did not end. And it didn't throw me from ketosis though it did seem to have a delayed effect in possible carb-cravings.

Sunday, June 24

The Children's Crusade

Children Fat People are the new Jews.

Fat fu has a couple great posts, "The Children's Crusade" and "More Evidence" that anybody interested in weight issues or human issues ought to read.

The Children's Crusade

More Evidence


The Web Inside: Fat Acceptance

Have you ever heard about the theory (and book) about "Six Degrees of Separation"? Wikipedia's entry on this says in part:
Six degrees of separation refers to the idea that, if a person is one "step" away from each person he or she knows and two "steps" away from each person who is known by one of the people he or she knows, then everyone is no more than six "steps" away from each person on Earth. [...] While the exact number of links between people differs depending on the population measured, it is generally found to be relatively small. Hence, six degrees of separation is somewhat synonymous with the idea of the "small world" phenomenon.

I've been feeling a bit like that lately.

6 Degrees: Everything Eventually Relates to My Fat

I started reading stuff and it just kept leading to new topics that related to my own interests, life, health, etc. in ways I hadn't thought of before. It started with Fat Acceptance, so that is this post. I'll cover other topics later.

I'm just sharing, by blogging, stuff that is running through my head. I don't really have a major politic though I may have an opinion.

Warning: not for the faint of heart. I'm pretty opinionated on social-politics! Especially when it relates to obesity.

"Fat Acceptance"

There is a lot of stuff in the 'Fat Acceptance' movement that I honestly never thought about before. I am writing this post in part to try and articulate inside myself what I've been thinking, and in part to expose other people to the subject--or my perspective of it, anyway.

The FA movement has its own problems. Like feminism, it was 'stolen' by better funded, more vocal, drastically less effective and more-harm-than-help sorts, but there are still people and groups with a closer-to-original concept.

Pretend for a moment that you are a woman (if you are not). Let us say that you found a website by a man who said he totally respected women and considered them equals and worked for women's equality right along with others who claim that.

But all his blog posts were things like, "Don't be a Sissy: ditch the stupid flowered dresses," or "Why women shouldn't be allowed to do any job that requires body-strength or weapons," or "Why Men Don't Like Fat Chicks," or whatever.

You would think, "This jerk doesn't respect women, and he doesn't consider them equals, or at least (in the case of the job) able to be competent. Rather, he is simply willing to say, 'To the degree that women act like I think they should, and to the degree that I find them physically acceptable to my completely subjective opinion, then they are ok. Outside that box, women suck.'"

And you'd be right. That guy would NOT be any benefit at all to women; he'd be the worst imaginable "friend" that any kind of women's acceptance group could imagine.


Pretend for a moment that you are a woman (if you are not). Let us say you found a website by a woman who said she was all for women's rights and so on, and worked actively toward this promotion just like many other women do.

And then you found blog posts with titles like "Why Choosing to be a Nun is A Waste of Your Body", or "Why Rape is Usually the Woman's Fault," or "Why Having Kids Instead of a Good Job is a Dead End", or whatever.

You would think, "This jerk doesn't respect women, and she is not interested in women's rights. Rather, she is simply willing to say, 'To the degree that women are choosing to act less like women, then I will conditionally support a woman's right to exist.'"

And you'd be right. That gal would NOT be any benefit at all to women; she'd be the worst imaginable "friend" that any kind of women's rights group could imagine.

All People Are Equal (but thin people are more equal than others)

Well, the 'Fat Acceptance' movement faces that, with others "claiming" to be part of it and being almost the opposite.

Ironically, the biggest problems come from seemingly positive things: all things "diet" and "fitness."

Diets by their very nature are anti-fat. If ya thought it was ok if someone was fat, why would ya recommend they diet?

Fitness isn't anti-fat, but if it implies that not being able to run five miles is a "problem", then it probably is. The problem is not the action, of course. The problem is the attitude that it rides in on.

These ideas, websites, blogs etc. are not problems merely because they exist; they're as welcome to exist as labradors and french fries and people who think navel piercing is cool. But usually their existence, and their philosophy, nearly always comes stapled to the rejection-slip of "should".

You SHOULD diet, you SHOULD be thin, you SHOULD exercise more, "should"... which is just another way for saying, You aren't good enough, and your choices aren't really yours to make; if you don't make the choices we think are right, you're unacceptable.

I lost weight. Yay me! Now I'm 100 lbs less evil more acceptable closer to counting lighter!

Now if someone like me who has lost weight mentions it, the same way we would mention rain, or having learned to Tango, that's no big deal. But if every time I see a fat person I want to go 'save them' by telling them how lowcarb is the answer, or whatever, then I'd be practicing the same discrimination. If every fat person I talked to about where to find cute fat-size clothes, instantly brought up diet options, that'd be the same bias.

Because it is the assumption that fat is bad, and the assumption that everybody and anybody CAN lose tons of weight, the assumption that anybody SHOULD, the assumption that unlike every other issue in life people don't have the right to choose what they do or how they are, that is at issue.

Now apply the examples above to fat and you understand why the FA people are sensitive about diet/fitness efforts seeming just as biased as outright I-hate-fat-people efforts.

Pretend for a moment that you are fat (if you are not). Let us say that you find websites, books and blogs, by people who claim to truly accept people as they are and to want to empower all people to make their life whatever they want.

But they are surrounded by articles like, "Fat Should Be Fit: Training for Marathons," also known as, "Well being fat is somewhat ok IF you are "fit" by my standards but otherwise is totally unacceptable."

Or, "The 10 Best Diets," also known as, "Being fat is SO not ok we expect you to be changing that immediately!"

Or, "Fat: Large Size (14-20) Fashion" also known as, "Well there is a LIMIT to what is acceptable; 30 lbs maybe, but not 200 extra lbs!"

In a nutshell it comes down to, "Fat is only conditionally ok, depending on whether you fit my personal criteria of acceptable."

Which is really just saying it ain't ok, period.

"I liked ya till I saw yer cellulite!"

As long as it's not ok for someone to weigh 300 pounds and still be treated like a human being, even if they are NOT dieting nor interested in it, even if they are wearing bright yellow sexy clothes that make some people aghast, even if they are NOT "fit" by whomever's standards, then it is never going to be truly ok for people to be who they are at other weights.

If it's not ok to be 300 lbs overweight, then it's really not ok to be 30 lbs overweight either; as long as the criteria is arbitrary and subjective, it is going to be exclusionary to someone. Every socially accepted bias based on weight sets a precedent for why someone has the right to judge someone else. Or in short: it institutionalizes outright prejudice.

True equality and acceptance is not measured by whether you are considered attractive by someone's arbitrary personal standard. No man (or woman) should have to want to have sex with someone in order for them to be considered an equal human.

I'm guilty.

I hate this, but it's true: I have biases myself. I don't judge people who are huge, but you know what? When I see someone who is 40 lbs overweight, walking past looking just fine except this huge belly-fat hanging over their way-too-tight hip-hugger pants, I think to myself, "WTF are they doing wearing that? What, they can't afford clothes that fit? They actually think that looks good? Geez, that's like white-trash fashion."

That's a prejudice, and it's wrong. It's none of my damn business what other people wear. And hell, some people probably DO think it looks good. These people didn't ask for and don't need my permission to be what they are and wear what they want. What gall! Am I saying they should wear baggies and dark colors because they're overweight? Maybe I am subtly implying that -- my own prejudice against myself, and my fat, and by proxy all fat.
And I think it's bad to lock women in veils? What is the assumption that fat women should dress conservatively, other than veil-psychology applied in a western way to a select group of people?

I want to be a better person, and I don't want to be like that, and now that I've been made conscious of it, I'm going to work on improving myself.

In our world today, you can parade through Jewish neighborhoods with Swastika signs because it's your right to opinion, or parade about with communist and fascist and terrorist sympathy signs, and nobody is expected to complain lest it infringe on your 'rights'.

You can build golf clubs and exclude women because it's your right to preference, and nobody is expected to complain lest it infringe on your 'rights' (to ensure all major business deals and positions of power are men-only, and white-men-only generally as well).

Be All That You Can Be Others Think You Should Be

But you cannot be fat: that's not really ok. Well sure, you can BE fat, you can be happy about it, but you're likely to suffer more abuse than a Rastafarian mom in a Skinhead school PTA meeting.

You can jog to the sound of moooo's from guys driving by who want to remind you how you're a cow (my favorite experience when I first gained a lot of weight and went walking one evening). You can be more excluded from church, PTA and other social gatherings than as if you were the 4-eyed-fatso in 4th grade at age 9. You can have trash or food thrown at you in angry outbursts from people driving by who can't abide having suffered the trauma of looking at you: it's ok for them to treat fat people almost like skinheads treat gays or blacks, because hey, you're FAT!--and everyone knows that is just NOT OK.

You can be denied jobs, promotions, transfers, raises, and all kinds of other things, for what "a bad example" you set.

But here's the real crux of it: the only thing worse than being fat, is if you dare actually CHOOSE to ACCEPT being fat. Don'tcha know it's only almost-ok to be fat if you are desperately trying not to be?!

So I guess, if you admit you totally suck as you are, then you'll be almost-accepted in good faith that eventually you'll be more like others and that'll make you ok.

There is merely a margin of potential-acceptance-maybe-IF. Rather like snotty seniors in an exclusive fraternity who patronize the desperate freshmen that want in; good boy, pat on the head, keep trying, maybe eventually you'll be acceptable.

Your reasons for not dieting are irrelevant. The world figures if you didn't eat 412 bonbons a day you wouldn't be so damn fat, and if you'd just QUIT THAT the problem would easily and instantly resolve!

As if the diet industry would be making tens of billions annually if that was really all there was to it. My god. What lack of critical thinking must be present in our population to actually believe this?

Pounds for Points!
It comes from within the ranks of the fat, too.

Dieters cheer each other on despite that historically and on the overall, diets and weight loss surgery have probably done more destruction to human life than the Inquisition ever did. I swear, we cheer each other like those people in the ritual circle on Logan's Run, hoping to Go-To-God at age 30 in a blazing flash of laser light.

On the fantastic youtube "Fat Rant" of Joy Nash (a must-watch!), she points out:

The International Journal of Obesity says that 95 to 98 percent of dieters who lose 75 pounds or more, gain back every single pound within three years. Two-thirds of them do it within that first year. Ninety-five to ninety-eight percent is ALL OF THEM. Success is practically a freak occurrence!

Seriously, watch this little video, she is beautiful and positive and right:

Now, as someone working on losing weight, and as someone with examples of people who have succeeded in losing a lot of it, and gaining muscle, and keeping the weight off, and having their life vastly improved -- I HATE THOSE STATISTICS.

I want them to be untrue. Or, like everybody, "I want MY eating plan to be the exception!"

Sure, there's lots of food religions, but only lowcarbers go to skinny heaven. Haha.

(I know, yeah, yeah. "It isn't a diet, it's an eating plan." Yeah. Until you go off it, then it was a diet retroactively wasn't it? Rather like you can quit smoking for 2 years, but if you restart you never quit, you just 'paused'.)

Some of it almost made my brain hurt. I'm facing the dichotomy of WANTING to be truly non-prejudiced, wanting DESPERATELY for fat-acceptance to happen, yet having biases myself.

I spent days thinking about all the stuff I read on these blogs.

I am pointedly dieting, so I guess if I really thought being fat was ok I probably wouldn't be. For now, I'm willing to sacrifice those logic brownie points for the slim chance of being in the 2-5% who succeed, and living longer for my little girl.

But plenty of people 'have been there, done that' with diets, way more than me. Why should they have to diet and get fatter, as most do? Why should they have to do anything others think they "should"?

My cousin should quit living on pizza and beer too, but nobody's in HIS face about it, since he's skinny. The issue shouldn't be poundage, it should be the right of a human being to make their own decisions and to be whatever they truly are without hiding, apologizing, caveating, etc.

Weight-Loss Evangelism

Is highly public dieting (like this blog) anti-fat-acceptance? Well, some feel it is, even if unintentional or indirectly.

NOT because one chooses to diet -- that's a personal choice I have the right to make. But, if there is ANY assumption that any other people, no matter what size or weight, "should" diet, then maybe (maybe) the fat dieter is just as big a problem for the social-cause of fat people being treated like human beings, as fat-hating sorts are.

In both cases, it is implying (or outright saying) that "It is not ok to be fat, and anybody who is, should be doing everything in their power to FIX that."

Or: "Sure, it's perfectly fine to be fat, but oh my god I'm trying so hard not to be you know?!" Er.... yeah. Perfectly fine by me, riiiight.
OK, let's not even pretend that I can truly say I consider fat just fine at the same moment I'm desperately trying to dig myself out of it.

But... fat is a fat person's problem. It is not the business or problem of the people looking on. Nobody was ever injured by observing someone who was fat, any more than they are injured by observing someone who is short, or blonde, or black, or catholic. People just are what they are.

A common FA issue is people claiming to believe in fat rights, but then attaching "conditional" acceptance: I will accept this human being, Jane, as an equal with a right to her own decisions, only if she falls within parameters I am willing to accept.

  • Sorta fat: ok. Huge: not ok.

  • Fat but can go jogging: ok. Fat and not fit: not ok.

  • Fat but beautiful anyway: ok. Fat and I don't like him/her: not ok.

  • Fat but trying not to be: ok. Fat and cool with it: not ok!

How could any of this be construed as truly accepting a human being for what they are? Conditional acceptance is not acceptance at all.

It's not ok to be black only if you're working sincerely on becoming whiter, for example. If that's the criteria, then clearly, it's just not ok at all.

(Although the bizarre lightening of skin in the case of black celebrities (and let's not even start on Michael Jackson!) almost seems to dispute this.)

Barbie Comes In Colors

The awesomely talented artists winning awards today, like Halle Berry and Tyra Banks and Denzel Washington, though they are (at the least, if not moreso) as talented as others in their position, one has to admit that their facial features are a lot closer to most the white folks I know than the black folks. (Actually, Africa has every imaginable feature set. But for the blacks inside the USA, it does seem the aqualine features are less common.)

So in reality our society already has an example of "conditional" acceptance: it's ok to be black if you sorta look like a sensual white with a deeply tropical tan. Oprah wouldn't be on the cover of many magazines at my Wal-Mart aisle if she didn't own the magazine (and some percentage of North America) AND have the highest public recognition factor in the country. She wouldn't be on the covers--because she's black? No. Because she doesn't look like a skinny white chick who had a color filter applied. Her features are not really inside the comfort borders of the Hollywood mold, except by the proxy of her money and success.

Politically almost nobody is "prejudiced" anymore. Sounds good on paper doesn't it? But the reality is that there is a "conditional acceptance" on a good deal of racial acceptance too, and you've only got to look around to see it. You see it in some women's issues as well, some differently-abled issues, some gay/lesbian issues, pretty much any group of people that faces bias, gets the alleged-friends Of The Movement that will say, "I'm on your side! I totally accept your people -- if you do this, and that, and with this condition, and that caveat, and..."

"I'm On YOUR Side"

Out of an entire culture that literally despises, mocks, is disgusted by, is rejective of, fat people (the more fat, the moreso), there is a fairly small contingent of people who will say, "I'm not prejudiced."

But when those same people can't seem to get over trying to foist diets off on fat people, when they argue 'for' fat-acceptance 'only' under arbitrary conditions, then they're just pulling that same just-get-whiter logic.

Here's a typical issue: "it's ok if you're fat but only if you keep it very quiet": not more than 50 lbs overweight; wear dark colors; and god almighty, please don't wear a bathing suit, as your getting sun or exercise would do actual injury to people near you forced to look on, just like white women having to share a restroom with black women 60 years ago was considered an unacceptable trauma to white folk.

(My god, is it that recent?! If life on earth is the scope, we've been about 3.2% civilized for about .00000007 seconds at this point. Nowhere to go but up I guess.)

OK, so we go and congratulate people for losing weight. I've lost 100 lbs, though that varies about 10 lbs either way lately, a whole lot more if you count my previous lowcarb phases. I'm working on it, and people are very supportive, and that rocks. But the Fat Acceptance people would say: Is the congratulations because you are less fat than you were yesterday? If it is merely "I have a goal, and a challenge, and this is my accomplishment," then that is awesome. That is what it should be. If it is instead, "That's great that you are 100 lbs less-fat than you used to be!" then technically, that's a bias. Because there shouldn't really be the assumption that a person "must or should" be thin, that fat on its own is 'bad'.

Fat just IS what it IS. For most people it's unhealthy, but for most people, survey says it may be healthier than their chronic failing diet attempts.

Do I feel the right to intrude on my neighbor's drinking with this logic? No. Then why do I automatically feel a sense of near PANIC at the idea of a fat person simply deciding they were fat, that's the way they are, and too freakin bad if others don't like it? Cultural programming??

And this is part of the bias I fought, reading this stuff.

My mind keeps going, "No, no! They must be thinner because it's miserable and unhealthy to be fat!"


The self-appointed Gods of Thin

Now in today's world, we have the ultimate do-gooder invasion of rights and invalidation of others: the "for your own good" theory. Also known as, "But I'm just so concerned for your health!"

"My" should be the key word there. My parents and child and others who love me can use that line. Not strangers.

Research and reality are making clear that most people who diet end up simply doing more harm to their weight and health by the act of dieting itself. So that's quite a damning situation, if you "must" diet. Kinda like being thrown in the lake with rocks around your ankles and if you drown you were innocent, but if you float they burn you at the stake as a witch instead! For the vast majority of the population, it's a lose-lose medical situation.

My friend chooses to smoke cigarettes. We've now banned smoking from a good portion of the USA, but we haven't yet gone so far as to actually invade their privacy, kidnap their children, force drugs or surgery on them, or other attack-methods for bringing them into the "popular considered-norm" with the excuse, "It's just because we are all SO CONCERNED FOR YOU!"


Since the dawn of time human nature has seen control-issues and governing forces trying to forcefully pound other humans into whatever shape they feel is most like themselves. "It's for the children," or, "It's for their own good/health," is in fact one of the brilliant reasonings used in every tyranny throughout history -- Nazi propaganda often had exactly this kind of 'excuse' for why anything was ok. More utter disasters and hideous cruelty and destruction of basic human rights have been perpetuated in the name of "for their own good" than pretty much any other excuse.

I have a friend who chooses to not take his medications. That's dangerous to him. Another friend chooses to live in bad neighborhoods that already nearly got him killed. Another friend chooses to engage in sports that could leave him paralyzed or dead. I have friends and family who are skinny (not just lean, I mean SKINNY--they cannot gain weight even when they try), who live dominantly on whiskey. Or live on McDonalds and Dr. Pepper, as do their children, who like them are skinny, so their likely health issues are completely invisible until they'll come down with something shortly after adulthood--IF it waits that long. These people are either seriously "risking" themselves or quite literally killing themselves gradually, every single day.

But for the most part, nobody gives a flying pig about how unhealthy they are, except in academic meetings about medical statistics. It's ok if they are unhealthy, it's ok if they are even self-destructive -- as long as they aren't fat.

'Cause you know, if you are fat, any issues -- real or assumed -- about your health and your "fitness" become the whole world's business to pass judgement on.

Does this Bikini come in 6x?

Maybe Jane and John don't choose to diet -- not even with lowcarb. Maybe Jane thinks she looks great in that size 4x halter top and shorts. Who sets the god-like standards for these things?

Where on the "spectrum" between my cousin, who is literally dying of lack of bodyfat, hospitalized more than once, eating everything she can and unable to gain -- vs me, weighing around 400 pounds, clearly suffering movement problems stemming from the weight, often eating almost nothing and when I do, it's low calorie and lowcarb, yet I only occasionally lose weight and not very fast after the first few months -- where on that spectrum is the decision made about what's ok, who is ok?

And who's making it? And whose RIGHT is it to make that decision? And what science are they choosing to make it based on, since plenty of science demonstrates the complexity and difficulty and unique-per-body nature of this subject?

The New Orphans of Saint Skinny

If my child kicks butt in karate but is chubby, according to the trend in western culture and currently under debate in Great Britain, she should be kidnapped from her parents, institutionalized, force-fed a low-fat high-carb diet (the worst imaginable thing for her genetics and likely to result in her starving, panicked, developing an eating disorder, feeling horrible, and getting fatter), and if that doesn't work, suffer surgical destruction of her body to FORCE it.

The fact that even adults DIE of this (Die! People who were alive are now DEAD ON THE OPERATING TABLE!) during surgery, is bad enough. If we decide someone's fat and kill 'em in a surgery to 'fix them', we just did them waaaay, waaaaay, waaaaay more harm than their fat did them.

The fact that most people seem to gain the weight back plus more is bad enough. The stats really don't look good for this working well for adults, never mind children. The biggest issue is profound nutrient deficiencies (no matter the supplements) and it just so happens children's bodies have vastly more demands on that score than adult bodies do as they are growing, so imagine for kids it's likely to be worse.

The brits proposing this travesty say openly that golly, they just don't have time for any actual medical evidence to show up for why this would be a good idea. That one line ought to have made every onlooker stop the conversation and walk away on the spot, and go back to "intro to ethics" where you don't take crap you really don't know anything about and force it on people.

That is doing nothing but test-research on an entire population. You want your kid to be the lab rat?

The fact that a huge number of folks with weight-loss surgery suffer horrible side effects after anywhere from a month to a couple years, and that the lifespan/health past 5 years is SO horrible a statistic that all official agencies officially refuse to admit tracking it AT ALL doesn't matter, I guess! ("Sorry, we aren't keeping track of that, heh!")

If the issue is FAT, all bets are off, all rights are void.

Drive-through Gastric Bypass

All the research that relates to nutrient deficiencies and protein or autoimmune sensitivities and more, that tie deeply into why people (especially children) can become obese, is considered irrelevant. I never and I mean NEVER heard of people doing all these tests prior to deciding to basically starve someone on a low-fat high-carb diet -- or recommend surgery. Fatsos should be taken from their incompetent parents, forced into the Official Popular Diet, and if that doesn't work, gut 'em.

Ya know, even in the days of slavery you couldn't just do that to a person on a whim to make 'em look different, even when you "owned" them. But apparently in our enlightened age, children have fewer rights than even the slaves of old.

So if my cousin has skinny kids, no matter that they may eat 10x as badly as my child, all that matters to her rights, and their rights, is that THEY ARE NOT FAT.

I Cast You Out, Demon Fat!

Fat is the modern projection of evil. Assignment of it comes with all kinds of social side effects, as if being fat also makes you slightly retarded, depraved and immoral, uncontrolled and untrustworthy as well.

The Fat Acceptance Movement -- the real threads of it, not the hijacking efforts of "It's ok to be fat IF you're fit AND you're not TOO fat AND you eat whole grains AND you're trying to lose weight AND..." version -- basically seems to see the issue of fat as not a great deal different than race or gender.

At one time, I would have disagreed with that.

When I was thin. When I believed the Great Calorie Lie. When I honestly thought, when I saw someone really fat, that it must be some staggering amount of sloth and laziness and face-stuffing that arranged it -- even though, to the contrary, I had the evidence of a family of women dieting daily in one fashion or another for 20-40 years and never, ever, being thin during all that, as a counterpoint. I would have said, "People can't choose their parents but they can choose their diet and exercise."

But really, it's the same equation. Your genetics set your baseline, your environment till now hugely contributes, and you can work in the present, but you probably can't use a magic wand to reverse all metabolic damage/changes done over time.

Everybody knows someone who can eat astounding amounts of junk and never get fat. Doesn't that just suggest that the opposite probably also exists? And prove that bodies are different?

Problem Puzzle Pieces

Much research seems to suggest endocrine issues as primary; some genetic, some from other causes. Drs. Michael and Mary Eades talk about various health issues on their blogs. As one example, Dr. Mike recently talked about the biochemical Leptin. About how it is (related: Everybody's Different) radically different in people, and how its quantity and/or absorption can have a huge effect on the fat storage of an individual, no pun intended. That's only one example; he's covered a whole lot of biochem topics before.

Insufficient chemical X. Overabundance of chemical Y. Under efficiency of thyroid or other gland Z. Over-efficiency of starvation-response metabolic reduction. Notice that nowhere in that paragraph did "Sits around eating donuts all day" show up.

Research seems to be bearing out that the vast majority of weight loss attempts either fail or regress, and that the best thing anybody can do for getting thin is 'choose naturally thin parents.' Get real.

Sure, people who starve themselves often end up binging (I have many friends who fight this). People who don't eat enough often end up storing as fat what they do finally eat no matter what it is (my primary problem). People who are overweight usually have an innate hormonal drive to eat the calories to support their present body weight, which is more for some than others and more than a skinny person would eat, sure. But that does not mean their initial weight gain, or their maintenance of their weight overall, is solely due to eating 4000 calories a day.

And so what if it was?? It's their life.
Get real! Do you have ANY IDEA how many calories it "allegedly" takes to maintain my weight (that I'm not eating)? For me to intake this (let alone without noticing?!), I'd literally have to EAT A COW, MAN.

If people can drink bourbon, smoke cigarettes, practice unsafe sex, eat dangerous foods, participate in dangerous sports, refuse to take medications, refuse to exercise, and that is PERFECTLY OK WITH THE WORLD for the most part, then why is a fat person choosing NOT to further-screw their metabolism with dieting that they may already know doesn't work for them, unacceptable?

Just for the record, I'm not building myself an alibi with this. I choose to diet. I choose to lose weight and I believe I can. (Of course, so do the 95-98% of the people it doesn't work for.)

My point is, it's a choice. There are people who do not choose to do this. And they have just as much right to make their choice as I do mine.

Fat Acceptance in reality is no different than other issues, in that you can't accept it only halfway or conditionally, or you completely invalidate the point of accepting it at all.

  • It's not ok to be black only if you have aqualine features;

  • it's not ok to be handicapped only if it's not more than two limbs and happened in a war;

  • it's not ok to be asian only if you have an advanced degree;

  • it's not ok to be gay only if you act straight so nobody knows (don't ask, don't tell!);

  • it's not ok to be female only if you reject femininity and family... ;

  • you get the idea.

If any of those things are discussing "another human being," and it looks like they all are, then the only thing that is ok is the WHOLE spectrum and ALL human beings.

You don't have to choose a behavior or situation for yourself, you don't have to agree philosophically or religiously or politically, but that doesn't mean that in an environment of democracy, in a philosophy based on freedom and the fundamental equality of mankind, that any group should be rejected or invaded.

Fat Acceptance is, philosophically, a lot less about fat than it is about the personal freedom of a human being to be whatever they are.

The minute you put ANY 'condition' on that, you've just nullified the whole point of it. That means acceptance without:
officially encouraged,
... media-blitzed,
... ... culturally-enforced,
... ... ... politically-manipulated,
... ... ... ... institutionalized hate
of a given class of people.

In this case, of people who are fat.

Which, as a last note, is not an insult. I'm hugely fat. So?

Fat, fat, FAT.

It is a descriptive, not an epithet.

(With thanks to Joy, who made that fabulous point worth repeating.)

P.S. Humor for the day: I had this cartoon in my head -- how I wish I could draw! I've often thought to be realistic, retail stores should put two vertical lines outside the door, as if it were a ride at a theme park: BUYERS MUST FIT BETWEEN THESE LINES. Haha!

P.S. And on a MORE POSITIVE NOTE, the fabulous MIKA's third single, delighting in big women, has taken youtube by storm:

If you like Mika, this video is a live song (pop), followed by a live interview with him. He sings a lot of falsetto. The music companies didn't wanna have much to do with him but he put his videos on the internet and it exploded. Kinda nice to see someone get popular because of popularity and not because some giant evil empire funded their becoming so!

Friday, June 22

The Reverse Garden

As any good organic gardener knows, the best produce begins with quality soil. Soil created by composting many natural elements, for the largest possible mix of nutrients and trace elements. From this wellspring of potential springs healthy, colorful stuff worth eating.

As any lazy cook (or lazy eater) knows, most produce from any source, especially from the store, if it overripens, is promptly much closer to being quality soil than it is to being dinner. Plenty of people like me could substitute the "crisper drawers" phrase with "the compost drawers" and be at least half-accurate.

The other day I threw out broccoli, bell peppers, tomatoes, and kiwis from the fridge, and apples and limes from the baskets. Bummer! Sometimes the only thing available in the store isn't very fresh and if it isn't eaten immediately it's history. I knuckled down and made myself eat all the big jalapenos which were just verging on going soft. I just couldn't stomach the other things though.

Under Shelf Basket at Amazon.comI have less trouble with things that are not refrigerated. I use these baskets, which come in various sizes, that are hooked on cupboard shelves, to store things at room temp so they can breathe, such as onions, garlic, and especially avocados, which I buy unripe. They ripen promptly kept this way and as long as I don't buy more than a few at a time, they are always perfect when I want them. I don't have much counter or kitchen space so these are great. (The picture is from, not my kitchen.)

Gardening is not meant to be done in reverse... and it's not meant to be done in the refrigerator. A recent article I read said that studies show Americans throw away 25% of their produce because it goes bad. Some of this can be avoided with a little knowledge. Of course, then you'd have to apply it, which I don't always do. But at least you'd know!

One of my fave blogs (Half of Me) linked to a great article that tells you what veggies should and should not be refrigerated, which should not be kept together, and which go bad faster than others. It's useful info I bookmarked and thought others might benefit from as well:

Spoiled Rotten: How to Make Your Fruits and Vegetables Last

Here's to keeping compost in the garden, and house food edible!


Wednesday, June 20

[update] Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek"

Entire post updated and revised to say:

I fell madly in love with a song I heard on a TV show many months ago. Turns out it's quite famous, has been in several TV shows, and has a ton of blog posts around the internet waxing on about it. I thought it was the most amazingly precise, blended acapella I'd ever heard but it turns out it's more an electronic thing; my dad has the equipment that allows programming vocal tracks with auto-chording, but I never heard it sound as good as this.

I'd first captured it from the video, but I managed to capture it from the official website so there isn't the TV audio track mixed in. It's called "Hide and Seek" and it's by Imogen Heap. Most her stuff is pop techno. She's also part of the group Frou Frou that had a hit song on the recent Shrek 2 album. She also had a number on the Narnia sound track that is very beautiful.

>> The song is HERE <<

I hope if you like it you buy her album so I won't feel too guilty about pirating it for my readers.

Monday, June 18

Food and Love

I often hear people refer to their "relationship with food." Lately I've been thinking a lot more about that subject.

My relationship with food often verges on nun-like: as in, close to "none". I have to force myself to eat most of the time just to be sure I eat at least once or twice a day, and since my eating plan demands 5-6 eating times a day, that's really a problem. I have a truly successful day about a couple days a month.

I'm half convinced that severe obesity of the sort caused by starvation-response and then later finally eating, is some kind of half-anorexia, an eating disorder with opposite body-result but from a similar cause.

In the rare event that I start eating a lot more food, a lot more often, weight starts falling off me. So far, that's pretty well trackable. And the only time I make a point to eat is when I'm lowcarb. Though this last cycle, I'm doing pretty badly with this, and I'm guessing my lack of much weight loss relates to that.

It's almost like an inverse of the theory that if you are generous with giving away money you will attract more to yourself in some metaphysical way: when I'm generous with eating, fat falls off me, rather similar to how drinking a lot of water will get rid of water weight.

Now, bodybuilding coaches say this is the way it is: that if you eat protein regularly, and don't over-calorie, fat should reduce. They are all pretty clear that if you don't eat regularly, especially if you're eating too few calories, you'll reduce metabolism and end up gaining fat even on that small amount of calories. They emphasize heavily that if you want to save calories, don't skip the food, increase the exercise instead. I'm inspired that this is a no-brainer for so many, and I sure wish I'd known all this nearly 20 years ago. But, ok, I know now.

So why the hell is it so hard for me? I know now. So? Why not just do it?


Today I had 2.5 eggs and 2oz soyrizo at 8:30am. I was supposed to eat again at 11:30am. Instead I didn't make myself until like 3:30pm, even though I knew I was supposed to and had time. Nothing except the knowing my best friend would be disappointed in me if I didn't make some effort finally moved me.

And then, putting together something to eat, I was putting pork and green chili stuff in a little bowl for nuking, and wondering how little I could get away with and still get protein; is this at least 4oz of meat, I wondered? I think so, ok, that's plenty. As I put the container back in the fridge, I thought, how weird is this? Most people want to eat as much as they can, yet I'm the opposite.

I weigh between 380 and 390 lbs. My body should be screaming for 4,000+ calories a day according to Official Theory. I have plenty of days I'm lucky to get 800 calories if that, and I shouldn't admit that because my friends are going to beat up on me for my own good now, but I'm really having a problem eating enough to lose weight, as bizarre as that must sound. I can force myself to eat an avocado at noon and feel like that's just fine for the day.

But that's not fine. There is something wrong with that. On some level, my intellectual brain can see that this is just not... normal.

I just don't have any appetite. And even when I do have an appetite, I don't really "feel like" eating. I can feel that it is some kind of psychological thing at base, because it has that same subtle feeling that I have about situations and people that I don't feel like having anything to do with. This is subtle. I don't think I would be aware of this if I wasn't really paying attention and trying to understand.

If someone drops food in front of me, and I don't dislike it, I'll eat it. In fact, if anything I have almost no internal measure of sanity on that count: whether they could give me 3 bites or 3 meals worth, if it's sitting there and I like the taste of it, I'll contentedly eat it without any body-recognition of what is appropriate; my body doesn't say, "You need more calories," or, "You've had enough." It doesn't say, "You need steak instead of chocolate" or whatever either. The first time we made chili verde, which was low-carb, I ate 4oz servings of it for like 32 meals in a row. How many people could do that, let alone would voluntarily do so? Because food means almost nothing to me. If I'm ok with the taste, and it's in front of me, then fine, I'll eat it, who cares.

My body really doesn't have anything to say about food at all, except, "I'm not eating it if I don't like the taste of it." There's been times I've been feeling like I was starving, and surrounded by food, but if I didn't "feel like" eating what was available, I'd just walk away hungry.


I'm starting to think maybe it is a dissociative effect. I don't seem to have a direct associative-connect between the sense of hunger or fullness, and the subject of food. It's almost like they have little to do with each other.

So, for the last 15 years or so, I ate when it was convenient, if something I liked the taste of (read: carbs or sugar) was easy and fast. If it would take 45 minutes to cook I wouldn't eat. Why should I? If I was hungry I wanted it now, and if I was willing to wait that long for my food then I wasn't hungry enough to bother eating. It's a hilarious and pitiful kind of food-laziness that resulted in an entire diet of fast food and occasionally pasta or pizza.

I'd have been fat on that diet anyway, it's just that the seldom-eating, carb sensitivity, food sensitivities, stress and sleep deprivation and extreme sedentary lifestyle and so on aggravated the issue by a couple hundred extra pounds. If I didn't have those issues, I'd still be struggling with my weight I think, it just would have started nearer 300# than 500#.


But now I know. I know what it takes to lose weight. I know what caused the gain and what will help heal my metabolism. I have the power, for the first time in my life, to truly control my body and my life and my future.

So why is it SO HARD? Why does it take immense self discipline just to take 10 bites of something I like the taste of? I had food prepared ahead of time today. All I had to do was drop a couple things in a bowl and nuke it for 60 seconds. How hard is that? Yet it took guilt and love to finally move me enough to do it -- 4 hours late.

I would seriously think I need therapy for this, but the only eating disorder I know of that comes close to this is anorexia, and I suspect if I walked into a therapist's office and told them, at nearly 400 lbs, that I thought I was half-anorexic, that they'd just laugh and think I was in some bizarre kind of denial.

I can't afford therapy anyway. I might make up a self-hypnosis regimen but I'm not sure how to focus that. I'm not certain what core problem is sponsoring this 'behavior issue' with the food. I don't lack money, or time, or food, or knowledge. I don't lack a desire to lose fat as far as I know. I have a positive attitude about all this. And I like food -- I love yummy things!

But I'm just off work here today, it's nearly dinner time, and I've managed to ingest about 800 or so calories so far today, and that was with major effort. How much time do I really have to 'make up for' that and get a sufficient amount of protein and nutrition in my day? I find myself sitting here most nights thinking, "I shouldn't eat more than 40g protein at a time, but I need 3+ more meals today to get my protein in... well if I stay up till 2am maybe..."

I don't know what I'm going to do with myself. I wish I could sit in on another body for awhile so I could come kick my butt in aggravation.


I don't tend to be real open about 'allowing vulnerability' with other people, as a general rule. Is this my "food and love" issue? If I were more a touchy-feely sort that fell in love monthly, instead of a nearly nun-like semi-loner, would I have these eating issues?

I guess I'll never know. I just wonder if they are related. Maybe a self-hypnosis regimen working on the opening-to-love issue would have some food side-effect if so.

Friday, June 15

Who Your Fat Is

The other day I felt as if I were suddenly dealing with 101 internal demons of emotion, loose and flowing about my mood like 'free radicals' of the mind. It wasn't time for PMS, yet the "turbulence inside me" was severe.

It occurred to me that maybe I was underestimating the effect of doing something that causes the fat cells to empty.

Fat cells store toxins. Which can be internally generated biochemicals that simply did not fully vent as necessary -- which sums up most emotion in today's high stress world. Biogram Theory suggests we store biochemical under the myelin sheath of the nerves, and that could also be affected by changes in fat cells in a given area.

Every fat cell that empties into the bloodstream is reading aloud, inside us, a tiny chapter of a story to us, a story of who we were at the moment we stored that fat.

And who might that be? What emotion might that come with? And what if we lose not just one fat cell at a time, but a whole avalanche of them once in awhile?

Emotion inside the body is biochemical. If we can't vent it, we store it. Storing emotion in fat, if this indirectly is so, suggests that we might not really be ridding ourselves of it, but merely burying it, till the time we finally use those fat cells... and the ghosts of our emotion come back to haunt us, processing "through" us to be vented, as they should have been in the first place.

After thinking of it that way, I spent the night feeling as if a thousand little elements of me over the last 20 years were weaving through me, like energy motes looking for a doorway out, one denied them for who knows how long. In retrospect I think I should have dived into the turbulence and cried if possible, to help 'vent' some of that. Instead, by the time I finally decided to meditate on it, it knocked me out (nothing like sleep=denial) and woke up yesterday in a 'flatline' mode of no emotion whatever, not even normal amounts, which is just as much its own issue.

I go into 'flatline' and barely eat, breathe, or live: this is my own dysfunction. Some people go into the turbulence and binge themselves sick. Some people go into the turbulence and starve themselves sick. Maintaining balance of food and behavior while losing weight might in fact be more of a challenge than doing so while not losing weight. I haven't heard this addressed anywhere before. Probably because there's little if any research on it.

I suspect in some people, this variance in biochemical probably has an even greater effect on their mood. As if while they are working on the new person they want to be, elements of that old person are quite literally flowing through them in the present, sparking or carrying the same emotions that made them gain the fat in the first place.

Who is our fat? Are we ready not just to 'deal with the fat', but to 'deal with' the emotion it carries, and the toxins that cause current-emotional responses?

Is it losing a part of ourselves... literally? As literally as cleaning out a house is losing all the things we give away and throw away? Is part of the resistance to this change because our overall body/psychology know that it is literally a "loss"?

My grandmother believed in karma. I mean in the very literal balance of the universe kind of way. She believed if you stole a nickel, you would pay that nickel back most certainly. In a sort of funny way this almost struck me like an emotional version of her take on karma: like we cannot get away with denying ourselves, our feelings; that sooner or later, unless the storage contributes to killing us, we are going to have to deal with those feelings; what we don't vent one day, we will face again when we lose the fat that biochemical stored itself in.

It also makes me wonder if, just like people vary radically in how much insulin they produce, maybe emotional biochemical quantity varies that much too. And if so, if maybe some people 'need' to store more fat in order to 'deal with' that biochemical that the person is not willing or able to process, than others.

It does sort of give a new way of looking at the idea of Reich's fat as 'Body Armor' theory, yes? That one is not merely protecting themselves from the world; but that the fat storage is quite literally physical protection, via biochemical storage in fat cells rather than having it flow through the body and be experienced and hence vented.

[edited to add: D reminded me, Reich's theory is about muscle tension (stress); it's work based on his theory since then that suggests that fat is a form of body armor.]

high-carb plan: 6/16/07

My rule for my once per two weeks high carb day is that I have to plan what I eat in advance.

I have decided to remove rules on quantity of carbs beyond '150 minimum'.

I want to have a bowl of oatmeal with some milk;
a glass of fresh squeezed citrus juice;
and outback's pumpernickel bread.

Not at the same time, obviously. :-) I'll have lots of protein at the same time as each, eat them in fairly small portions at a time, and add fat and fiber where I can as well, to slow the insulin response a bit. It's also eating gluten, so I will be bloated and yucky for a couple days after, but we'll see if I can just revert and restore Ketosis in a reasonable period.

Aside from that, I intend to have:

Outback sirloin steak, salad with blue cheese, sauteed mushrooms, and broccoli.

I'm not going to eat the baked potato, or the chocolate dessert, or the sweet strawberry drink, even though I 'could'. I want my high carb days to be treats and carb-ups -- not total binging.

OK it's now officially declared. Damn I can't wait till tomorrow. :-)

Wednesday, June 13

Everybody's Different

This morning I got the book 'Shape Up by Jonny Bowden' which my friend Sara recommended. So far it seems pretty sane. It is less a love-fest of any given kind of food, than a focus on the individual and what might work, or not work, for them.

I loved his examples from the works of biochemist Dr. Roger Williams, who wrote Biochemical Individuality, and others in that field. Just the few examples Bowden gave were so impressive that I want to quote the little section of chapter 2 here for others to see and consider.

From the Atlas of Human Anatomy, he reproduces illustrations of nineteen different laboratory speciman human stomachs of dramatically different shape and size and does the same for seventeen different livers. He reports on differences--dramatic differences--among normal healthy infants in leukocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, lymphocytes and monocytes. He reports on huge differences in the musculature of the pectoralis minor muscle and on the variations in the amount of islet tissue in the pancrease. He suggests that the potential rate of production for insulin alone probably varies throughout a ten-fold or greater range, and that the number of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas varies from 200,000 to 2.5 million. This, by the way, in normal people. The thyroid gland in normal people varies from a weight of 8 grams to 50 grams. Pepsin, a digestive enzyme produced by the stomach and one of the two most important functional constituents of gastric juice, varies in the normal stomach by a thousand-fold. [...]

"The particular insertion of a muscle in the back of a hand can make the difference between a concert pianist and a person who's all thumbs," stated Dr. Alexander Ballin, in a lecture about biochemical individuality and vitamin needs. Twenty-two percent of people have differences in the structure of this muscle; 13 percent don't have the muscle at all; 1 percent have two muscles.

...I'll ... sum it all up for you in two words: Everybody's different.

He took on early another topic I consider in need of a voodoo doll and pins:

In 1980, when Consumers Guide published "Rating the Diets," there were well over 100 diet books for their consideration. With few exceptions, the underlying concept was always this: Eat less. Whatever gimmick the authors sold, they were all buying the same underlying theory: Excess calories make you fat.

[...] During the 1980s and 90s, all manner of low-fat diets prevailed. Fat was the new demon ... Pasta and bagels, solely on the basis of their having virtually no fat content, became touted as health foods, which is a little like promoting the Godfather as a role model because he liked to play with his grandkids. [...]

If you're reading this book, chances are very good that that very diet made you fat or is preventing you from losing weight. And it's almost certainly not making you any healthier.

[...] [Chemists] now had an objective measure of energy input from food, plus an objective measure of energy output from exercise and activity.

And the tyranny of the calorie equation was born.

He doesn't discount calories at all, but he points out the (in my opinion vastly) more important issue on the "energy in vs. out" question, with an example and an analogy:

When I taught personal training at New York's Equinox Fitness Clubs, we had an exercise physiology lab that contained an apparatus called a metabolic cart. You would get on a treadmill and put on a mask attached to a computer that would measure your oxygen intake and your carbon dioxide output at different levels of exercise intensity. Then the computer would calculate your caloric expenditure as you exercised. The individual variations were absolutely astonishing, and they would often vary enormously from what the standard equations would predict.

Suppose I rented a car in Los Angeles and wanted to buy just enough gas to get to San Diego. The distance is 120 miles. If I fill the tank and only use 1/3 of it, there's no refund and I will have wasted money, so I want to get an idea of how much gas to buy. Think about it for a minute and see if you can guess the answer to this question: How many gallons should I purchase?

...There's no correct answer unless you have one missing critical piece of information, which I didn't give you. Before you can answer the question of how many gallons of gas I need, you have to answer another question: What kind of car did I rent?

If I rented a jeep I met get only ten miles to the gallon, but if I rented a Volkswagon I might get thirty. And it's the same thing with calories. ... we are all metabolically unique.

It's about damn time someone pointed this out. I understand that science has already demonstrated sufficient research to support the point, but even many scientists just don't seem to get it. If someone who weighs around 400 lbs can eat fewer calories than someone who weighs 130 lbs should, and not lose weight (or at any rate remotely resembling the math), then obviously anybody who thinks that the whole weight gain/maintenance/loss equation is a matter of those numbers is misinformed.

As the saying goes, it only takes one white crow to disprove the theory that all crows are black. There are plenty of people with metabolisms like mine who put the lie to the 'calorie theory'. There isn't any doubt what a calorie is going in; but how that food is processed inside the body, and how many calories the body needs to use for its own maintenance, obviously varies so radically, that the calories-in numbers become almost "not applicable" to the answer: because we don't know enough about the individual body's processing to even know the real question.

Anyway that's about as far as I got in the book. I recommend it so far.


Saturday, June 9

A Few Little Things

Here's a few little things I've made recently that some folks might like. This doesn't have nutrition on it and most are loose concept recipes you can mess with however you like.

Eggs & Mushrooms

I made this in the morning and the kid and I agree it's ridiculously good. It's one of those no-brainer recipes I feel stupid for even writing down, but I never tried it before so maybe someone else hasn't either.

* couple TBSP saved bacon grease (I make bacon just to save the grease for eggs)
* couple TBSP butter (use all butter if you don't have bacon grease.)
* some diced onion or scallion
* a few minced cloves of garlic
* a couple ounces mushrooms, cleaned/de-stem'd and sliced thin
* a few eggs
* optionally, a little cream or half&half or milk (or just water is fine)
* some finely shredded cheese, any kind you like (we used colby-jack mix)
* beef broth or french onion soup

I put the bacon grease and garlic in a frying pan and let it get hot and start to cook. I added the butter and melted it, then poured in the onion and cooked for a couple minutes, then poured in the sliced mushrooms and a few ounces of either beef broth/stock or french onion soup (I used the soup as it was all I had), and sauteed it all together for awhile until it seemed cooked through. Turned off heat.

In a cup or bowl crack a few eggs into it and add some salt&pepper or whatever seasoning you like, add a little liquid (the cream/water whatever) and use a stick blender to make it frothy. (Optional of course.) In a separate tiny frying pan, spray it and make it hot then pour the egg batter in there. I let it cook, lifting up the sides to tilt the liquid under so it cooks like an 'egg pie'. You could do this as a quiche if you preferred.

Turn the heat back on the mushroom mix so it gets hot again.

Cut the egg pie into however many pieces you need for the folks eating, and put each on a plate. Sprinkle some shredded cheese on the egg-pie-slice and then on the plate just around it. Then dump some amount of your mushroom mix on top of the egg-pie-slice and the plate around it. The heat will melt the cheese into it.

Obviously your quantity of all ingredients needs to be "eyeballed". The mushroom mix should end up very wet at least. You could add thickNthin to make it a little thicker if you need to (that is a lowcarb replacement for cornstarch or other thickeners, see for it I think), or just add more 'stuff' to it (you could add chopped peppers for example).

It was yummy! As variation, I think I could have added a little bit of cream cheese or sour cream to the mushroom mix; and I could have added some finely shredded parmesan to the top if I were presenting it to guests.

Cocoa Coconut Bits

Some folks want to get coconut oil into their diet on purpose, and in my case I'm always desperate to add calories that don't have too many carbs, as my weight means my caloric intake needs to be decent to avoid the starvation response that is the primary cause of my fat to begin with, but usually getting that many calories, unless I'm living on bacon and mayo or something, is hard work.

This is a slightly modified recipe a friend gave me. I made this in a silicon baking pan and I'm not sure how well it would come out in anything else; if you don't have silicon, I recommend using the wax paper in a pie or cake pan method instead.

* 1/3 cup coconut oil (or 2/3 cup if you don't have the cream below)
* 1/3 cup coconut cream concentrate ( has the pure coconut stuff of all kinds)
* 2 TBSP cocoa (I recommend 24% butterfat dutched)
* 1 tsp vanilla extract (artificial is much lower carb)
* 1/2 tsp cinnamon (or any spice you prefer)
* optionally, other spices or extracts (citrus peel/extract might be nice too)
* sweetener of some kind. I used a lot of sweetzfree. For me usually chocolate is 1 part cocoa to 4 parts sweetener to work; I think I used about 20 drops.

In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil. Low heat, it doesn't take much. Add in the coconut cream and melt that with it. Add the vanilla and spice(s) and stir well, then stir in the cocoa.

Nonstick spray a silicon pan (I used a mini-donut pan, but a mini-muffin or even plain muffin pan would work), or, put wax paper inside a pie or cake pan. Pour the mix (it is really a thin liquid) into it and stick it in the fridge to chill. Because coconut oil is solid at 75 degrees or so, it'll usually only take about 15-20 minutes to make these chilled (depends on thickness). When fully chilled through, if you used a pie/cake pan, take it out and break it into pieces. If you used a silicon pan, turn each little piece out. I stored all the little mini-donut shapes (quite cute really!) in a ziploc.

My kid thinks this is revolting by the way. She said, "It tastes like it is almost pure coconut oil, bleagh!" Yes... because it is. But, it's a cocoa flavored coconut oil which makes it pretty decent tasting to me, much like a candy of sorts. Once in awhile if I feel like eating something but it's not food time, I'll just have one of these. They are rich enough that you don't want to eat lots, but they have lots of good fat so they are satiating. Deals with my occasional chocolate longing as well. And I bet I could just stir a little ring into my coffee and have a cocoa mocha!

Pesto Chicken Salad

Spice wimps can replace the jalapenos with diced green bell pepper. :-)

* 4-6oz diced or chopped cooked chicken (this is great for leftover chicken!)
* 1/4 cup pesto
* 2 oz cream cheese, very softened or melted slightly
* some diced scallions (green onions have fewer carbs than bulb onions) I used 4
* some diced jalapeno (the more the hotter, obviously!) I used 2 medium ones
* optionally, some finely grated cheese, any kind you like but pepper jack would be good

Mix the pesto into the supersoft cream cheese. Mix in the chicken, scallions and pepper. Nuke for about a minute which melts the cheese(s) further, then mix well.

You can put this on any kind of breadish, wrap it in a protein crepe, or eat it plain with a fork -- it's good cold from the fridge as well as hot. I could almost live on this stuff and what I like best is that I can make a lot of it thanks to crockpotting some chicken, keep it in the fridge in separate little half-cup Glad plastic containers, and when it's time to eat I can just eat it or nuke it so it's hot and eat it... insta-food, real food, high protein low carb.