(no subject)

Friday, 31 July 2009 07:55
earthbelow: (Default)
Dear Nightly News and The CDC,

You fail at responsible journalism and health statistics, respectively. I watched ABC Nightly News' report on "The Cost of Obesity", in which they stated that "obesity related health care" costs on the order of over a $140 billion dollars a year.

This is for the fail, and let me tell you why.

1. The CDC does not actually know which diseases are obesity-related and which are not. What they are really calculating is the cost of healthcare for obese people, and since 2/3rds of the American population classify as "overweight" or "obese" under their guidelines, they are calculating that it took $140 billion to care for 2/3rds of the population.

2. They assume that every disease an obese person gets is related to their obesity. This is patently untrue. I am not denying that there are conditions which are affected by weight. There certainly are. But there are also a lot of conditions, many of which get counted under the obesity umbrella, that medically aren't tied into a person's weight. There are also conditions caused by other factors. Smoking, for instance. If someone is obese and a smoker and has high blood pressure and cardiac problems, counting both of those strictly as "obesity-related" is stupid. There's no way to know whether it's because of the obesity or because of the six packs of Marlboros a day.

3. I don't see the CDC studying the diseases that thin people do or do not get. Is the rate of heart failure, high blood pressure, and diabetes really that much lower in the "thin" population? Because studies are not being done on thin people, only fat people. I would wager that it is not actually all that much lower, but that thin people are given access to treatments and proper medical attention that fat people are not, thus their conditions do not become chronic. Whereas a fat person with the same complaint may only be told to "go hit the treadmill, fatty" instead of being given medical treatment.

4. This report does nothing useful to help people better understand healthcare, their bodies, or obesity. Yes, the healthcare costs are high, but much of that does not actually even go towards patient treatment. Spending does not equal treatment. A lot of that money eaten up by other non-medical factors. Nor do they factor in that a lot of obese people aren't getting any medical treatment, either because they don't have access to it, or they don't get it from their doctors. I don't think that the one time I managed to get in to see a doctor who sat me down and told me how fat I was for an hour should count towards that total. Especially when the cost of that visit wasn't in treating me, it was in paying the doctor for his oh-so-unhelpful lecture. I never actually received any treatment.

5. This report does not specify who counts as obese, or as "people". Is healthcare spending on children included, because we do spend more on children's healthcare. Not due to obesity, but because people actually seem to care whether a child can see a doctor. Never mind if the parents can, or childless adults can. As long as the children can. See above: SPENDING DOES NOT EQUAL TREATMENT GIVEN.

6. This report does not specify what counts as a healthcare cost. Is it just the cost of prescriptions, treatment's, and doctor's visits or are you including the salaries of doctors and nurses as well as the cost of running hospitals. I don't think obese people should be held responsible because doctors are demanding to be paid more, have to raise prices because of malpractice insurance, and pharmaceuticals are expensive. That hikes up the cost of everyone's healthcare, and isn't caused by anyone weight. Fat people aren't making the cost of malpractice insurance rise, I promise you.

7. The cost of healthcare for thin people was never mentioned. Funny how that works. Maybe because the number isn't that much lower?

8. This report does not state who is doing this spending. Because much of that number comes from the out-of-pocket costs that fat people themselves are paying because of a lousy healthcare system that treats them as subhuman.

9. The report does not state how much of this number goes into preventative care. It should. Because I think if we saw the amazingly low amount being spent on preventing diseases through regular doctor's visits and affordable healthcare, people might not be inclined to feel that "the fatties are bringing down the healthcare system".

10. The report was inflammatory without being informative. The inclusion of "headless fatties" and mention of the number in the "struggling healthcare system" can only be meant to encourage prejudice against fat people rather than responsibly disseminate information.

In conclusion, you suck. You just added to all the prejudice, hatred, and mistreatment that fat people are getting in this country. And for what? For nothing. For a lousy two minute fluff piece.

Thanks for making things worse than they were, ABC News and the CDC. You two stay class.

No Love,
earthbelow: (Default)
The scales confirms that I am below the 230 mark, clocking in this morning at a more svelte 227. I'm not sure what the Wii will say tomorrow, but I'm hoping that it will confirm that. The Wii tends to weigh me heavier (by 5 pounds or so), but it also charts my weight, so if I'm at the same relative position, I'll know it's for real.

But damn, it feels good to finally meet a goal that I've been fighting to get to since April.

So, after weighing in, a nice five mile walk/jog and a nectarine for breakfast and heaping big glass of ice water to replace the buckets I sweated, we're off to the races.

And no, I don't know why that song (the one I reference in the title, for those who have seen Office Space) popped into my head when I got the good news on the scale this morning but it did, and I liked it.
earthbelow: (pensive statue)
I found this article on possibly "curing" obesity with cancer drugs, and I expected it to be a lot more insulting than it was.

While I'm sketchy on the science, and I'm not sure I like the idea of someone coming up with a drug that could have such severe side effects that could "cure" obesity, because I think a lot of obese people who are perfectly healthy and happy with themselves would be pressured into doing something risky in order to fit in.

I know that since the advent of weight loss surgery commercials on TV, I've had family members ask me why I haven't considered and undergone it. Never mind that I can neither afford it nor want it. They want to know why I'm not running to the table to have my digestive tract surgically rearranged. And that hurts, because it's more than clearly implied that I must be defective, lazy, or willfully fat if I'm not rushing to have that done so I can fit in with society's norms.

Because god forbid I should take the slow and steady route and exercise and eat healthy and let my body decide where it naturally needs to be.

Still, aside from that, this article did contain some actual common sense and scientific thinking, such as this gem:

"Conventional wisdom is that people become obese because they overeat," says Hughes. "But the fact is that in an environment where people are exposed to the same food supply and lifestyle, some will gain weight and others will not."

*gasp*. You mean, maybe, just maybe, the fat people aren't all that much lazier or overindulgent than the thin people? Are you trying to tell me that the thin people aren't harder working or healthier or better, that maybe they're just...*gasp*...luckier? But that's ludicruous! That would mean we'd have to use science and treat people with compassion and that we'd have to do tests and examinations and use our doctor learnings before we could judge them instead of being able to diagnose them at a glance! We'd have to use ACTUAL SCIENCE!

Oh, I can't bear the thought. *swoons*.

Okay, my sarcasm aside, I have to say that the idea of finally treating obesity as what it is - a physical attribute, not an infallible indicator of lifestyle or personality - strikes me as the real breakthrough in this article. Drugs that try to make people eat less don't concentrate on the fact that if overeating were really the problem, then we'd either have far more obese people or far less, depending on what you believe about the American diet. I think if obesity had a straight, 1 to 1 correlation with eating and exercise levels? Then 90% of America would be obese.

Yes, you can lose weight by just not eating. It's called starving yourself. It does, after a fashion, work. But unless you do it all the time, it's effectiveness as a long term solution doesn't work very well. And while, yes, looking at your dietary intake with close scrutiny and cutting down or cutting out unhealthy foods is always a good idea, not to mention that getting exercise is a good idea - there does come a point when all that still might not suffice.

Adipose tissue is not a moral indicator light. It's a physical attribute. And yes, I do believe there is such a thing as having too much adipose tissue, but I don't think that number should be set strictly based on just height and gender. I think a determination of health should be made based on whether that adipose tissue is actually affecting your health. As in, with empirical evidence, not just some doctor saying, "Well, you have diabetes, it must be because you're fat!"

One day we're going to discover (and by discover, I mean some scientist is finally going to make that almighty proclamation from the mount that gets doctors to change their tune) that a lot of obesity is actually the symptom, not the cause, of a bigger root disease that we're not seeing, and that we've really been misdiagnosing and mistreating folks due to their size. I think sometimes, saying "diabetes causes heart disease, diabetes, cancer, zomg!" is like saying that coughing too much causes your sinuses to clog up and your body to feel tired and your temperature to spike. The coughing is not the cause, it's a symptom. You're tired, achey, clogged, and feverish because you have a fucking sinus infection and you need medicine, not because you chose to cough too much.

Taking the analogy further, handing out nothing more than cough drops and bad advice to chronic coughers is useless, because cough drops do not cure a sinus infection. Whether or not you stop the coughing is irrelevant, you haven't cured the disease. Unless you either give them antibiotics or their body fights off the infection, it just gets worse and worse until a sinus infection becomes an upper respiratory infection which becomes pneumonia which becomes death.

And to quote House? "In case any of you missed that class in med school, that one's untreatable."

I think it's the same with obesity. A lot of the "obesity epidemic" is probably an underlying public health crisis that is going unexplored because the fat is more visible and more socially stigmatized. It's just easier to say that people are lazy. Because then we don't have to treat them or care about them or respect their humanity - and unfortunately, it's human nature to find any excuse not to give a shit about other people whenever possible.
earthbelow: (satchel)
I think I may owe my fat ass an apology for my last entry.

The scales today show neither a gain nor a loss, and considering what I ate over the weekend, that's better than I ever could have hoped for. Also? It gives me hopes that I'll see a continuing downward trend this week.

Discussion of weight and why I'm talking about it so much lately. )

Which is why I need to talk about this subject a lot. And if it's getting bothersome for folks, or triggering anyone who may have eating disorders (I know a couple of people on my list have struggled with anorexia/bulimia), or if it's just plain old annoying, let me know and I'll filter it for anyone who wants in. Because I don't want this to become overwhelming.

I promise, I'm doing other things in my life! It's just that my writing is over at [livejournal.com profile] fiction_theory and all my fannish stuff is over at [livejournal.com profile] sage_theory and since I'm still unemployed (*grumble grumble fuckin' economy*), this is the big Personal Life Issue for me right now.

But I just want you to know that I'm okay. Or, well, I will be. And your support definitely helps a lot, and knowing that people out there are willing to listen and comment and even just say, "Good luck" or "keep trying!" really does do a world of good.

(no subject)

Friday, 22 May 2009 09:34
earthbelow: (kitteh_iz_ded)
I'd love to go out and get my morning exercise. But that would require me to be able to breathe, which I can't do. I'm not sure what it is in the air that's making my sinuses launch a revolt, but I wish it would stop.

Also? I once read one of those Tylenol ads on the subway that said that pollen is worst from 5am to 10am in the morning, and that's bullshit. Because I get this stuff in the afternoons and at night, too. In fact, this current bout of allergies started at, as usual, three am.

There must be some kind of grass or flower that emits some kind of super pollen at 3am and wafts in through our window, because this now makes several nights where at precisely that time, I get up with my sinuses in overdrive.

So I guess I'll just have to settle for only getting an hour of exercise instead of an hour and a half like I've been doing.

On the plus side, the scales seem to indicate that there is less of me to go around. That's always good news.

Spring Glee!

Wednesday, 29 April 2009 17:07
earthbelow: (Default)
5 Things That Were Good About Today

1. The weather finally back down. I am not looking forward to summer.
2. New Lost tonight! All my favorite people on my favorite mysterious island!
3. Got to take a brief nap
4. My sinuses are beginning to clear! Yay for breathing!
5. Quantum of Solace (my birthday prezzie from Andrew) waiting to be watched.

3 Things I Did Well

1. Cleaned things
2. Got back to the writing I need to do
3. Exercised and ate reasonably well (I have to take off the four pounds I gained because of that fucking cake and the wine tasting and the chicken sandwich I ate on my birthday).

2 Things I Look Forward To

1. Exercising and continuing to lose weight!
2. Getting more writing done
earthbelow: (Default)
Okay, I'd like the opinion of my very learned, very wise f-list about this article here, because I happen to think that this woman is not so much writing about the neurological/genetic causes of anorexia and the impact it's had on her life as she is bragging about the fact that she's thin and can eat whatever she wants.

I also think her article is chock full of contradictions. She says:

For example, I am absolutely positive that the physiques of Kate Moss, Posh Spice, or any other convenient scapegoat had no more than a kernel’s worth of influence over my decision to live on raw broccoli and Swedish crispbread for most of my college years. This is what we’ve always been taught—Barbie makes us hate our bodies as girls, and some unholy alliance between the worlds of fashion, Hollywood, and advertising keep feeding the furnace well into womanhood, until we’re supposedly too old to care.

But then she goes on to say:

As a small child, I remember telling my mother that when I grew up I wanted to weigh 110 pounds, which was what the National Enquirer said Princess Diana weighed at her thinnest.

Am I the only one who thinks that this is completely illogical of her to claim? That she wasn't influenced by media culture and their obsession with utterly unrealistic bodies?

More under the cut, and some musings about the lack of education about health and nutrition in the United States. )

I'd also like to note how suspicious I find it that my comments on the article have mysteriously gotten lost but other comments were approved. Hmm. Maybe I should have read the invisible "No Fatties Allowed" sign before I commented.
earthbelow: (Default)
I'm really getting sick and tired of people (notably thin people who think they know everything about health and weight loss) who feel the need to pressure us larger types into considering/getting weight loss surgery as though it's somehow really easy just to pop into a doctor's office and get that little obesity problem fixed right up.

Even with systems like the LapBand, it's still fucking surgery, which comes with additional risks the larger you are, due to anesthesia and other factors. And if you have diabetes, heart problems or other health issues, surgery becomes even riskier.

It's also not a guaranteed fix. Yes, you lose weight on that system, but you can gain it back as well. Not to mention that it requires a rather radical shift in lifestyle and how you eat.

We won't talk about the side effects of it, or how things can go permanently bad. With any surgery, death is a risk.

I'm not saying that surgeries like that are bad, or that people are wrong to get them. I think that for some people who have health concerns and reasons to take weight off quickly and can't diet and exercise (or for whom it is demonstrably not effective), having a surgery like that is life saving. If you're 700 pounds, can't get out of bed, are severely diabetic, and facing the loss of life and limb, and surgery can save your life, go for it.

But only if it's the best choice for you, not because people convinced you that you weren't getting skinny fast enough.

I wish people who say, "Oh, why don't you just get weight loss surgery?" would realize what they're saying. You're asking for me to have my body invaded and an organ surgically altered because you don't think I'm where I should be on your Scale of Fitness.

I'm sorry if I'm not shedding these pounds fast enough for you, Oh Thin One, but I'd like to keep attempting something short of having my digestive tract rearranged with surgical tools, thanks. And I think you should help yourself to nice fat glass of Shut The Fuck Up.
earthbelow: (mood: sad/blah)
I would just like it known that I really, really fucking hate my body. I hate that I have to work out for an hour a day, eating no more than 1200 calories per day (most of that fruit and veggies) just to peel off one measely pound.

But should I dare to eat Easter dinner, I instantly gain three pounds back.

I am so fucking tired of my body. I am tired of how lousy it works. I am tired of how hideous it looks. I'm tired of the fact that it doesn't do anything right. I'm tired of how much maintenance it is, and how little that maintenance seems to mean in the long run. I'm tired of being told by my own sister that I should look into the lapband surgery because I'm so fat.

Come on. I've been working out for an hour a day for two weeks and then one weekend screws that completely up? You've got to be kidding me. That's not fair. How is that even right?

How is that these people on magazines say they can lose half their body weight just by walking thirty minutes a day, but I exercise for a goddamn hour and nothing. I'm eating nothing but salads and fruits and I'm getting really frustrated and I'm not sure what to do about it.
earthbelow: (kitteh_iz_ded)
I'm having one of those frustrating kind of days. First, because now it seems like apparently all the medical experts have decided that the 30 minutes a days for 4-5 days a week isn't enough. Now you need an hour of exercise per day to lose weight.

The idea of having to exercise for an hour kind of scares me. It's enough that my back and thighs are still functioning after the 40 minutes I'm already doing!

Meg and the Fat That Wouldn't Go Away. Part the Millionth. Cut because I'm sure my attempt to be less fat are probably boring the sweet lovely gobs off you by now. )

I gotta go do dishes before the Boy gets home. And I should actually post some of my gleeposts instead of just writing them down.
earthbelow: (kitteh_iz_ded)
We got our Wii fit yesterday from Amazon, and I'm psyched about it!

My adventures in Wii Fit Land, let me show you thems. Or: How I went from being 44 to 25 in ONE SINGLE DAY. Cut for people who could care less. )
earthbelow: (mood: sad/blah)
I've been working out with the Wii and my weights since the weather lately has not been conducive to my usual morning/walk jog, plus I wasn't getting the results I wanted.

I mean, when you only eat 1000-1200 calories and walk/jog three miles each morning and you're not losing a single pound, then you can rest assured that something isn't working.

But I'm not sure I'm getting the most out of my weights. I feel like the exercises I do with them (bicep curls, lunges, etc) aren't being done right, or maybe I'm not doing them enough. I'm not sure. I can't seem to find any references on the internet for weightlifting that aren't geared towards steroidally enhanced Ahnold wannabes.

If anyone knows of a good place to get information on this, please fire off a comment.

And now for the gnashing of teeth. It burns twenty calories and strengthens your jaw muscles. )

In conclusion: I need more help and information, but don't know where to get it and people who want to wrap everybody's weight issues up with a neat little bow of their intolerance and ignorance and come right over here and get my fat ass up their foot.
earthbelow: (kitteh_iz_ded)
I'm finally back home after being in Tennessee with my dad and stepmom and grandmother for a few days. Oddly enough, I had a better time with my father than my mother this year. Those who know my family situation will find this as strange as I do.

I'm done traveling for a while, thank goodness.

So Happy (Already Begun) New Year's! I hope that 2009 will be a spectacular year for all of you that brings the things you hope for and then a little extra.

As far as New Year's Resolutions, mine are pretty straightforward. Though I did achieve most of the resolutions I made last year )

Resolutions For 2009 and the ways I intend to achieve them )
earthbelow: (kitteh_iz_ded)
It's been raining all day, thus putting the kabosh on my morning exercise routine, which is outdoors.

Is it wrong that I'm more sweaty/out of breath from 35 minutes of vigorous exercise doing Wii Boxing and Wii Bowling than I usually am from my morning routine? Maybe I should step up my walk.

Actually, maybe I should. I'm not where I want to be, jogging wise. I still have a hard time going for any real length without stopping because for some reason, when I try to run, I'm fine for the first few feet, and then I start feeling exponentially heavier as I go along until I feel like I weight ten tons and almost can't carry my own weight and have to stop and resume walking.

I try to push myself farther, but sometimes it really does feel physically impossible. Do other people face this or is it just me?

Still, going for over ten rounds in the Wii Boxing game and only losing once is an accomplishment. I still haven't figured out how the hitting and punching works, so I basically just swing and move around a lot until the other guy goes down on the screen.

It's not very graceful, but it burns calories.
earthbelow: (pensive statue)
Dear People Who Make Sugar Free Things,

When you make an item that is sugar free, please try not to make it taste like crap. I know you may think you're doing good by having foods like that at all, but you're not.

It's actually really hard to adjust to having to eat different and have different medical concerns than normal, completely healthy people. It's overwhelming, depressing, and makes you feel like God hates you and wants you to be miserable as long as you live.

And you know what doesn't help? Having the food that's supposed to be for you taste like backwashed horse manure or worse. That's like you're saying, "Here you go, here's your punishment for having insulin issues. Enjoy the inflated price and the diarrhea afterwards!"

Nothing convinces diabetics and others who need sugar-free food to just give up and stop eating healthy like having nothing but shitty sugar free substitutes to look forward to for the rest of their lives. It's hard enough when you get a diagnosis that your body is doing the wacky, it's even harder when it's a diagnosis that comes with a lot of stigma and scorn from doctors who basically tell you, "It's your own fault, you stupid obese person. I despise you, why did you even come in for treatment that you don't deserve? Why can't you just stop being a fat slob and get skinny? STFU and die already, kthnxbai." And yes, I've gotten that treatment from doctors before, as have many others, I wager.

So, maybe, when you make a sugar free product that's designed for people who are facing this sort of thing, try to have something people would actually want to put in their mouths.

Kind of Tired,

PS - Splenda does not taste like sugar. At all. It tastes like an artificial sugar substitute because it is an artificial sugar substitute. Please quit trying to convince me that my tastebuds are wrong. Nothing tastes like sugar but sugar. Maybe keeping this in mind when you make your reduced sugar/sugar free food will help you to make things that are better tasting.
earthbelow: (switchable2)
I suppose it must be a bit wonky for everyone who's getting back to the daily grind after Thanksgiving. Although, it must be the one week of the year that retail people are glad it's Monday and not Friday.

I found the best new thing for my whole Be Less Out of Shape thing that I'm trying to do. MapMyRun.com. Basically it uses Google Maps to help you see a route to run (or walk in my case, mostly) and tells you how far it is.

I didn't realize that I'd actually been doing a smidge over two and a half miles every morning. I thought I was barely up to a mile. My ability to judge distances is completely shot.

I feel proud of this, but I also sort of want to keep it under my hat. Because last time I went home and was proud of myself for doing a mile every morning when I'd just started this whole exercising gig, my sister's immediate response was, "You need to do two miles".

In her defense, she's got a degree in Physical Therapy and does exercise for a living right now, so she probably was right, but it's a little disheartening to find out that what you thought was a big accomplishment actually isn't.

So I'm sort of afraid that if I dare to say how proud I am that I get up at 6:40am and drag my butt out of the house to go walking/jogging two and a half miles, my sister will then say, "You need to do five miles".

I also discovered that if I take the long way to the grocery store nearest my house, I can do a mile easy.

I'll make no secret of the fact that it would be really nice to go home to Florida and be a few pounds slimmer, especially since the scale is sort of scaring me. It says that I've put on around six pounds, which is completely terrifying.

I keep telling myself that it's just because I was off my meds for a month and my hormones got wacky and caused weight gain, and that now that I'm on my meds and I'm being a good girl after a fantastically decadent Thanksgiving, I'll be okay.
earthbelow: (Default)
Because it was a nice nippy forty degrees this morning, I exercised for an entire hour. Of course, I sort of needed to because I ate oreos for breakfast. Not my fault, Andrew brought them home and they were delicious and chocolate-y and I haven't had oreos since the last time he brought back the little mini-packs of them from the last blood drive.

Although, weirdly enough, it seemed to help. Maybe my blood sugar needs to be a little higher before I go out walking and jogging. I didn't feel nearly as sluggish this morning. Usually I get up, do my exercise, and then eat breakfast.

The new route I tried was quite nice. I shall have to tinker with it to get it just right.

Also? I've discovered that the operation of a simple tea kettle may be too much for me to handle, especially one that doesn't whistle. At least there was still water left in the kettle this time.

One time I left the kettle on for three hours accidentally and it sort of burned off part of the ceramic bottom leaving just the metal. But we will speak no more of this.

And in case you've been wondering why the lack of updates, it's because my life is a big cake of boring with boring flavored icing and boring colored sprinkles on top. And I figure nobody needs the empty calories.
earthbelow: (happy)
I ran down the street!

I know this sounds completely trivial, but for those of you who have never been overweight, it's a big deal when you realize that you've taken off enough weight to run.

Okay, it was down our street (and it's not a long street), but there was a time when I really could not have run that far without wheezing my big behind off and pleading for mercy. Now? I can do it and okay, I'm panting a bit when I get to the door, but dude - I did it!

I've come to realize I really do like exercise in the same way I like cleaning. I hate when other people tell me how to do it, but I feel the need for it on my own terms.

I also hate doing it with other people, because it feels like a measure of control is taken away when I'm with other people. Not to mention, I like my alone time.

But I've found that when I get my iPod cranked up and I'm alone, I can exercise all day long.

It explains why I cannot stand gyms. My mom tried to drag me to one, and I dreaded going every single day. It's enough that I'm overweight and I feel ashamed of my body on a daily basis.

But having to display my big, sweating, tub-of-lard body in a place where these ultra-toned gym sluts women are walking around in basically elastic bras and panties and these steroid guzzlers men are lifting huge weights to dance remixes of J.Lo? Does not work for me.

I should not have to feel ashamed for doing the one thing I probably most need to be doing in a place designed for doing it. And I have gotten some cocked eyebrows and some looks from people at the gym before, believe you me.

But lucky for me, I don't need a gym. I have New York City. And New York City is actually an ideal city for walking, because it's basically designed with pedestrians in mind. Which is very awesome.


earthbelow: (Default)

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