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Posts Tagged ‘Obesity’

Domestic Terrorists, Serial Killers, Mass Murders, and Dieters…

August 6, 2012 Leave a comment

What gets you going in the morning?

What makes you want to keep going when you know other people would give up?

What makes you wake up one morning and just do something that forever changes your life?

What motivates people to take action?

I live in South Eastern Wisconsin.  Central Wisconsin had long been the location for one of the state’s most notorious serial killers, Ed Gein.  Between 1987 and 1991, Milwaukee played host to our most prolific serial killer, Jeffery Dahmer.  In the city of Delavan earlier this summer Ambrosio Analco shot and killed his girlfriend, two of their children (a third was shot in the chest but didn’t die), his girlfriend’s sister and a friend before killing himself, making him the latest mass murder in South Eastern Wisconsin.  And Just yesterday morning Wade Michael Page walked into the Sikh temple in Oak Creek and killed five people, including one police officer, before he was shot and killed, making him Wisconsin’s first recognized domestic terrorist.

This has gotten me wondering.  What is it that makes a person wake up one day and decide to do something?  To dramatically change their lives?  What is the motivation?

The broadest definition of motivation is a desire to do something.  That’s pretty broad and doesn’t really explain why people will seemingly one day just up and do something.  Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is still widely used to explain why people do things.  I don’t think it adequately explains why people just suddenly one day decide that today is the day.  Then again, I’m not a psychologist so I could be wrong.

Let us leave the dramatic behind though.  Murder, sometimes just can’t be explained.  Some people are broken and for them it must seem, at least in the moment, that they are making perfectly rational, logical decisions.  No, let’s talk about something perhaps more positive.

Dieters.  More specifically the person who after a lifetime of being fat suddenly one day just changes everything about their life  so that they can become the thin person people never thought they could be.  You know, the fat girl in high school who when she shows up at the 5 or 10 year reunion looks like a super model out of the pages of Vogue.  Or the fat, dumpy, nerdy guy who drops a hundred pounds, goes to the gym and gets in fantastic shape.  When asked they usually give an answer like, “One day I just woke up and decided I needed to do something about the way I looked and felt.  It was all for me.”

Was it really?

Is that what truly motivated them?

Or was there somewhere back in their mind, hidden behind all the altruism and positive self-help platitudes, a seething desire to just show the people who tormented , ignored, or belittled them that they were wrong.  And really is that such a bad motivator?

Really, isn’t it OK at times to say, “Screw You!  You didn’t think I was good enough for you when I was fat.  And now that I’ve shown you I’m not defined by my weight, now you want to be my friend?  Well screw you, we’re not friends.”  Isn’t that a valid motivational reason?

I myself am fat.  I’m working on changing that, but I’ve been thinking about what is my real motivation.  Yes, yes, health, longevity, better able to deal with moving around and all that, but is that my REAL reason?  A little history I suppose is in order.

I was a thin youth.  I mean really thin, and I suppose at that age one might have expected me to be a very attractive man as I grew older.  I had some traumatic events happen in my youth though that I guess subconsciously made me want to hide and withdraw from the world.  Well as a youth in elementary, middle, and high schools, you really can’t withdraw.  You’re going to have contact with people no matter what.  As a result though, I started to eat poorly, gain weight, and kind of let myself go.  It was never too bad, because I was still active and therefore didn’t really get to be too huge.  I was big enough though as a teen for my father, who could be verbally very cruel, tell me he was going to have to have me fitted for a bra.

I would have to say that this is one of my first “Screw You” motivators.  I have a higher fat content in my chest because I was put on an estrogen precursor in my teens as a way to deal with my eczema.  Something that I should have been on and monitored for about 3 months I was on for 4 years completely unmonitored.  Is there any wonder I looked like I was developing feminine breasts, though they really weren’t that big, I also have thick pectoral muscles under the fat because I was a wrestler and Olympic  power lifter, which can make them look much bigger than they really are.

To say I was self-conscious would be an understatement.  With the trauma that motivated me to withdraw, and my father’s less than kind and inspirational attitude toward me, I wasn’t very outgoing.  I went to college, met a girl, quit school and moved out and got a job that didn’t leave me much time for anything other than work.  Somewhere in there I decided to start working out again, just like when I was younger.  I got pretty darn buff and was even considering becoming a body builder.  Then I went back to school to finish my degree.  At first it was part-time, which meant I had to cut back on my workouts.  Then the food pyramid started to be pushed as the ultimate way to eat right by all the body building magazines, if I may say a huge fucking mistake, and I decided to go to school full-time while still working full-time.  Bad eating, little sleep, deep mental scars that hadn’t been fully explored, and lots of stress lead to giving up me gaining weight.  And I gained it quickly.  Even though I was still trying to workout at least 3 days a week I gained a hundred pounds in less than a year.  By time I finished my degree, I had stopped working out all together and my weight was over 350 pounds.

Getting my degree eased the stress somewhat and my weight gain slowed.  It didn’t stop, but it slowed.  Six years later when we were getting ready to adopt our daughter, I was closing in on 400 pounds and I wasn’t happy.  My weight stayed steady for several years, I guess the stress was easing, or I had hit the point where my body just wouldn’t let me gain any more.  In those years though I got some I guess I have to say odd information directed at me.

We had a friend visit us.  I don’t know what she was expecting.  I’m not sure at that point and especially at this point in my life I really care what she expected.  But at some point in the week she confided in my wife (the very cute girl who somehow took a shine to me in college) that I wasn’t the kind of guy she was looking for.  That’s OK, I wasn’t even thinking along those lines anyway, but nice to know.

A few years later at a party, I was talking to a female friend and her then boyfriend, now fiance, soon to be husband, and she said something very similar.  She added that it was specifically because of my weight.  Once again, nice to know, but I wasn’t really interested in her that way either.

It’s now a couple of years later.  I’ve since lost about 70 pounds, but I’m still just over 300 and finding it hard to stay motivated to do the right things.  My major downfalls right now are working out and getting enough sleep.  I do eat much better.  No longer do I bother indulging in fast food, and I use to adore Burger King.  I’ve given up wheat and breads pretty much completely except for our once a week pizza night.  I had gone gluten-free for a while, but I really didn’t like the substitutes.  So six days a week I’m completely paleo and Friday night we have pizza.  For over a year I’ve been struggling with breaking that 300 mark so we’ve joined a gym and are now trying to get  back into the habit of working out at least 3 days a week.  We haven’t made a full week of it yet, but we will.

Anyway, this all leads me back to my main point.  Motivation.  Is Screw You a good motivator?  I think in my world it just might be.  Yes I know all the reasons why I should lose weight and get in shape.  But when it comes right down to it I really want to tell (metaphorically) those people who put me where I am or told me I wasn’t good enough for them the way I am, “Screw You!”

I Can’t Say This Any Better…

March 21, 2012 Leave a comment

So I’ll just post the whole thing here. I’m sure they won’t mind me helping to get the word out.

 

The science is clear. BPA is dangerous. It’s time for FDA to stop allowing BPA to be used in our food packaging. Send a message to the FDA before its March 31st decision.

The FDA decides on March 31st if it will ban BPA in food packaging.
Dear Friend,

The toxic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) was recently banned in California from being used in baby bottles and sippy cups.

But thanks to the lobbying of the American Chemistry Council and other chemical manufacturers, BPA continues to be allowed in food and beverage packaging including the lining in most canned food and soup.

The FDA can put a stop to it. The agency will decide on March 31st whether or not to continue allowing bisphenol A (BPA) to be used in food packaging. It needs to stand up to industry pressure and protect us from this dangerous chemical.

Tell the FDA: No BPA in food packaging!
BPA is a hormone disruptor that has been linked to a long list of serious health issues, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, early puberty, miscarriages and brain and heart disorders.1

It’s so ubiquitous, it’s even used in things like store receipts and plastic bags, and it is estimated that BPA can be found in 90% of our bodies.2

FDA’s deadline comes in response to a formal petition filed in 2008 by the Natural Resources Defence Council. FDA failed to respond, and finally in December, a federal judge said it must make a final decision on BPA in food packaging by March 31st.3

Early last year, FDA admitted that BPA use raised “some concern,” reversing a long maintained position that BPA was safe in low doses, as evidence mounted rapidly of BPA’s health risks, which in addition to increased propensity for some diseases, include infertility and behavioral problems in children.

The science on BPA is clear, and its health impacts are far reaching, and deeply concerning. BPA isn’t safe to be used in food packaging and the FDA needs to take action to protect us from BPA:

Take Action Now

Thank you for fighting to keep us safe from toxic chemicals.

Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

New Research Every Day…

January 6, 2012 Leave a comment

On a daily basis I read articles, see news stories, hear pundits, experts and crackpots, telling me what to eat.

Eat these five foods to prevent cancer.

Foods to eat now to jump start your weightloss.

End obesity now, eat this.

Prevent heart disease by eating more of this.

New foods high in antioxidants.

I’ve always believed that food is good medicine, but this is taking it way too far.  The way some of these read you would expect that the FDA to have them classified as drugs.  Some of them, if the claims are to be believed, should require a prescription.  Other ones you would think should be illegal, classified as a drug.  Wouldn’t be funny to see the police busting down doors and hauling people away for having an ounce of pomegranate seeds.

The biggest problem I see with all these kind of articles and stories is that they all seem to espouse the same thing.  Eat more fruits and vegetables.  Eat even more whole grain foods because these are the magic foods that will make you thin, live forever, and keep you from having any kind of cancer.  While I can get behind the eating of more vegetables, I can’t agree with eating more grain.

You see, the plagues of the modern age, heart disease, cancer, obesity, began long ago when man started farming and domesticated grains.  And its only gotten worse through genetic manipulation of grain plants, making the yield greater.   Dr. William Davis, discussed this in his book Wheat Belly.  He says that there is a certain physical shape, that of the belly being distended and bloated, that he sees in his practice that indicated a diet high in wheat and grain products.  Dr. Davis, is a cardiologist by the way.  His patients are predominantly over weight, heart disease sufferers.  I, like he, see the correlation between a diet high in grains, whole or otherwise, and obesity and heart disease.  Yet the USDA and FDA still push the company line that grain is good.

The best advise I can give for people wanting to lose weight, prevent heart disease, and all the problems of aging.  Don’t eat grains.

Pizza Is A Vegetable …

December 5, 2011 1 comment

That’s what the news media would like you to believe about the Childhood Nutrition Act of 2011.  The truth is congress just upheld the Reagan era nutrition guidelines that declared 2 tablespoons of tomato based sauce (Ketchup) a serving of vegetable.  First, let me just dispel the first and most obvious problem with this, tomatoes aren’t a vegetable, they’re a fruit.  So to be most accurate, it should count as a serving of fruit.  I guess that it really doesn’t matter since the food pyramid (in use during the Reagan era) counts fruits and vegetables as equal.  Ok, so I guess for the Reagan era we can let it stand the way they wrote it.

The original bill for 2011 wanted to have the quantity of tomato based sauces raised from 2 tablespoons up to 1/2 cup in order to be considered a serving.  That seems like a reasonable amount of tomato sauce to be included as a vegetable.  It would force schools to stop counting 2 packets of ketchup that accompanies the french fries as a vegetable to meet the federal guidelines so they could get their government funding.  It would also mean that they would have to serve additional fruits or vegetables on spaghetti day since the sauce would no longer meet the guideline.  As far as it goes for tomato based sauces, the original bill, making a half cup of sauce equal a serving of vegetables, does more to look out for the health and nutrition of our children than what was signed into law.

This is what Michelle Obama says is a step in the right direction to end childhood obesity.  Its not just the tomato sauce issue that makes this bill a horrible mess for childhood nutrition though.  Its not even that the bill continues to place nutritional guideline development in the hands of the USDA that makes this bill bad.  What makes this bill bad is that it allows the food producers and the industry lobbyists set the agenda on what is nutritionally sound for children.  Of course the industry wants to sell their products, and they want to be able to sell their cheapest products for top dollar.  The lobbyists want to make sure that they have the government’s blessing for their food producer clients.  The USDA of course wants to promote US farm products to the world, and by extension the American public.  And again Mrs. Obama praises this bill.

There is some good that this bill does though.  First it makes school meals available to more children.  With the economy the way it is  right now and families living right on the edge, kids need to be given a chance.  School breakfast and/or lunch, for some children, are the only meals they get during the week.  I won’t even get into how deplorable that situation is given the place the United States holds in the world.

Second, the bill opens the way for garden to table lunch programs.  That means that schools could plant and tend their own garden THEN serve the vegetables in the lunchroom.  That’s one thing that until now they couldn’t do because gardens wouldn’t pass health inspections for commercial produce.

Really!?!

I think that this portion of the bill was helped along by the number of commercial fruit and vegetable producers who have had recalls because of contaminated foods.  In recent years there have been recalls on peanuts, lettuce, eggs, and cantaloupe, that I can recall off the top of my head.  Food Safety News gives a good overview of the number and type of commercial food problems in the Obama era.  This with the USDA overseeing farmland food safety?

So this is a good thing.  Schools can now grow some of their own food and not only make it a classroom experience, but also a lunchroom one.

Unfortunately, that’s about all the good that comes out of this bill.  And rather than take the real stand that she should have, the first lady praised it.  NO!  IF your want to do something about childhood obesity Michelle, take a stand.  Tell them what parts of this bill are doing more damage to children than help and make them fix it.

Child Abuse, Know It Alls, Welfare and Obesity…

July 18, 2011 1 comment

By now you’ve all read or heard about the article written by Dr. David Ludwig, an obesity specialist at Harvard-affiliated Children’s Hospital Boston, where in he claims that parents of obese children are guilty of child abuse.  He’s calling for state intervention and removal of the child to foster care because in his opinion its obvious that the parents are incapable of caring for their child.  Of course he tempers his statement by saying that “State intervention ‘ideally will support not just the child but the whole family, with the goal of reuniting child and family as soon as possible. That may require instruction on parenting,’.”

What the hell?  This guy thinks that parents are what, shoving crappy food down their kid’s throats?  Let’s be perfectly honest.  This learned man, this professor, this doctor, has a bias, a prejudice if you will, against people on welfare, against the poor and underprivileged.  After all, those are the people who’s children are obese.  Those are the people who can’t, don’t, or refuse to feed their children good healthy food.

Ok, I’ll be honest about myself.  I have ranted about the poor feeding their kids crap food.  I’ve ranted about people claiming they can’t feed their families good healthy meals on the money they get from social services every month.  An article several months ago set me off because the woman interviewed said she couldn’t feed her family a healthy diet on $600 a month.  I figured out in short order how to do it.  But I also understand that most of these parents are trying their best with the information they have.

I mean really, this doctor is missing the disease because like the rest of his profession he’s more focused on the symptoms.  Guess what!?!  You can’t cure anything if you just treat the symptoms.

The problem isn’t the children.

The problem isn’t the parents.

The problem isn’t even the social services system.

So, what do I see that this doctor is missing?

What I see is really simple and yet largely complex.

As for those poor people that “abuse” their children, the people that Dr. Ludwig dislikes so much that he advocates taking the children away and breaking up families thereby emotionally scaring the children even more regarding their weight.  Those children are handicapped by the fact that their one “nutritionally sound” meal a day is provided by the school.  WAIT A MOMENT!   I’ve talked about this before.  The “nutritionally sound” meals offered by the schools is utter crap provided by companies like Sodexo.  The same company that provides food for prisons.  A typical lunch in my daughter’s school is something like; chicken nuggets, french fries, chocolate, strawberry, or plain milk, and some canned fruit. Nothing fresh, all prepackaged.  I asked the principal when I saw the salad bar setup, and she told me they offer salad bar 2 or 3 times a month.  Pancakes or waffles and sausage are another common lunch choice in the schools and guess what, this is offered more often than that salad bar every month.

AND THIS IS THE WAY IT IS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY!

But what got us these crap lunches in schools?  I talked about that before when I wrote about the lie of the food pyramid.  And now they’ve changed that to be a plate showing that we should eat certain portions of food groups.  Its the same information, in the same proportions, just laid out in a different way.  And its put out by the same USDA that put out the food pyramid.  And they are lying to us.

Next, ask any 2 year old what the golden arches are and they’ll know right away.  Ask a 4 year old who are Trix for.  They’ll be able to tell you.  Somehow, even kids who are never exposed to television know these things.  This is a MAJOR PLAGUE on our children.  Look at this one Doctor Ludwig.  The advertising and public relations parasites who are promoting the poisoning of our nation are a huge part of the obesity problem.

Here is the true face of the evil afflicting our children

Julio Iglesia and Ronald McDonald

No, not Julio Iglesia, Ronald McDonald.  From Ron’s Wikipedia page:

“The smile known around the world,” Ronald McDonald is second only to Santa Claus in terms of recognition. (According to one survey, 96% of all school kids in the United States of America recognize Ronald (stunning-stuff.com)).”

And they have been using this clown to push their crap in ever larger portions down our throats for the past 48 years!  No wonder people think clowns are scary.  They are, but the killer clowns don’t come from outer space.

Then there’s my other most hated figure.

Chester Cheeta:      

 

 

Does he remind you of anyone?   

 

Yea, just put a cigarette in Chester’s mouth and we can kill our children in two ways. Hey, why not put a martini in his hand and cover all our bases.  Why is it that parents were so outraged that the cigarette industry should turn to a cartoon character for advertising but could care less that junk food, fast food crap, and high sugar cereals are advertised to their children with cartoons and freaking clowns!  And it is everywhere.  From the breakfast table to the dinner table.  You could literally serve kids all day on cartoon characters!

Breakfast?  The Trix rabbit, or Lucky Charms Leprechaun.

Lunch?   How about the cartoon kids on the Oscar Mayer Lunchables box.

Snacks?  Let’s hear it for Chester.

Dinner?  Kid Cuisine and ConAgra’s, umm, penguin, I think.

Dessert?  Welcome the Keebler Elves

Here’s an idea.  NEVER SERVE ANYTHING WITH A CARTOON CHARACTER OR CLOWN ASSOCIATED WITH IT.

Dr. Ludwig get your head out of your ass and stop blaming the victims.  Put the blame where the blame is due.  Yes the parents COULD do better, but no one ever taught them how to eat properly.  Doctor, you and your ilk, are also part of the problem.  You find it so easy to blame the victims, to look only at the symptoms, to see only the surface of the problem, that nothing you ever do or say on the subject will ever make a difference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sugar Isn’t Just Sugar…

June 13, 2011 2 comments

The High Fructose Corn Sweetener groups have been advertising that their product is the same as sugar.  They’ve gone to the extent to petition the USDA and FDA to allow them to change the name of the product to sugar.  Simply sugar.  Making no distinction as to the source of the product, nor alluding at all to the chemical manipulation that corn sugars undergo to concentrate the fructose component making it far sweeter than the raw corn sugar.

Technically, they’re right.

Table sugar; be it labeled cane, beet, or corn; are all chemically very similar.  After all, there’s a reason we don’t often see the distinction between them on the grocery store shelf.  Of course, there is one notable exception which labels their product “Pure Cane Sugar.”  That’s really just a marketing ploy though.

So, what is sugar?

Do we really need it?

I’ll answer the second question first.  Yes, we need sugar in our bodies in the form of glucose.  Every cell in the body uses glucose as fuel.  Our brains would completely cease to function without glucose.  Glucose though is the very simplest form of sugar and the only one our bodies can actually make use of.  So yes, we need a sugar, but our bodies produce that sugar, glucose, from the foods we eat.  So, no, we don’t need to eat sugar in our diet in any form.

Now, let’s delve into just what we mean by sugar.

Let’s define table sugar first.  Table sugar is any crystalline form of sucrose and/or fructose.   You can buy refined fructose, which is highly refined fruit sugar and nothing else.  You actually use about half as much because of how highly refined it is.  But table sugar is really a combination of fructose, glucose and other compounds.  The difference between cane, beet, and corn sugar and high fructose corn syrup is the ratio of fructose in the sugar.  Regular sugars are 50% fructose and high fructose corn syrup is 55% fructose.  Like I said, the HFCS people are technically correct, there’s no real difference between their product and what is currently known as sugar.

So what is so bad about High Fructose Corn Syrup?  And by extension, sugar?

The real culprit here is the fructose.

“But John, doesn’t fruit have fructose in it?”

Yes, it does.  Its the primary sugar in fruit.  But there is also a ton of other nutrients, not to mention the fiber which helps to move the sugar through your system.  You see, fructose is difficult for the body to break down, so if you have the fiber to help it move along, you don’t actually absorb much of it.

So, how is fructose in sugar so bad for you?  Refined fructose does get processed in the body though.  It just doesn’t process very nicely.  It actually messes up your body pretty profoundly while it breaks down.  Unlike other sugars that are broken down in the stomach and intestines, fructose can only be processed by the liver.  Because of this, the break down of fructose causes the liver to produce very-low-density lipoprotein (really bad cholesterol), which is even worse for you than low density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol).  This raises your triglyceride level and thus your risk of heart attack.

If heart attack isn’t enough for you, fructose also changes the way your brain recognizes your consumption of other foods.  Fructose changes the way your brain reacts to leptin, which is a protein hormone that regulates your energy intake and expenditure.  What happens is that fructose changes the way the brain reacts, and instead of feeling full, you keep eating because the brain doesn’t get the signal to stop.  One of the tips they always give to dieters is that they should drink 8 ounces of water about 20 minutes before a meal to help the dieter feel full.  Now, if you drink 8 ounces of soda made with HFCS 20 minutes before a meal you actually won’t get that full feeling that signals you to stop eating.  Your brain doesn’t recognize leptin, you don’t get the signal you’re full, you continue to eat, you get fat.  Its a rather simple connection, and it starts with fructose.

The biggest plagues to modern man, coronary artery disease and obesity, can both be attributed to high fructose corn syrup.   The more refined the food, the higher the HFCS content, the more deadly it is.  Oh, and here’s a tip, low fat foods need something to make up for the loss of flavor and texture.  What’s used to replace that flavor and texture? High Fructose Corn Syrup.  Its cheap and plentiful.  Besides, sweet foods taste better than anything else.

Yea, if you happen to be a 3 year old…