Friday, May 30, 2008

Living for the Day

This post was so awesome it bears repeating in it's entirety ......from PJ at Divine Low Carb

Living for the Day

I knew I needed to get up and do some raking and mow part of the backyard lawn, and maybe all of the front again. It's spring, the rain makes it grow like crazy. I was procrastinating. Just as I decided to do it, the phone rang. And a good thing I was lazy, because I wouldn't have heard it or answered it while mowing.

I yelled to the kid and she and I ran to the car, speeding five blocks away to my parents' house. Moments after we arrived, the local siren started screaming (signifying a twister has been seen within or from the city limits). Then we spent the next while underground, watching out the top of an open tornado shelter as clouds raced across the sky at truly incredible rates and the siren keened.

In the end, it missed us by just a few miles, literally annihilating the tiny town right next door (Picher), as part of a 1/2 mile wide, 90 mile long swath of destruction.

Which meant I didn't get the damn lawn mowed.

Which is really pretty insignificant next to the damage, injuries and deaths all around, obviously.

It's a little surreal when you see stuff on the national news that you just drove by on Tuesday and you realize "Hey, that small pile of boards was the school," or, "Hey, that big block of nothingness seen from the helicopter was the housing tract where Jim lives. Er, lived."

Rather like the winter ice storm that destroyed nearly every tree at about 18 feet and higher, making the whole town look like a war zone somehow, this has a weird psychological effect on the local onlookers. Me, at least.


I was browsing one of the lowcarb forums recently, and one thread was talking about things we don't do because we're fat. No, I don't mean because we can't do them, I mean because we're embarrassed to do them -- to be seen. The social horror is a more potent threat to stay inside for many than an armed curfew guard in a war zone.

Since I lost down to 400# (375 if LC, about 390 when not -- water weight), my perception of myself has changed a little. Sure, I'm still ashamed to exist in some social respects, because having been brainwashed by the same skinny-white culturally retarded meme as the rest of North America, the reptilian part of my little tiny brain thinks that's what I should be. I'm neither skinny (at all) nor white (much) so it's pretty irritating that my brain got washed with that just as well as anybody else's.

But on the whole, my willingness to be seen has increased slightly, recently. This is in part because for the first time ever, after lowcarbing and losing some weight, I:

1. Got shoes. Don't laugh; I'd been wearing generally house slippers or thongs for years, zero foot support for a person who desperately needs it more than most, because I couldn't find shoes I fit into. The ladies in my LC journal told me that men's shoes have a 'wider toe-box' than women's and to try that, and what do you know--I had my first pair of tennis shoes ever. Lost weight, and more weight, and now I can go to payless and slip on a pair of size 10. (I'm 8 1/2 US when normal weight.) I like the VANS-style slip-on shoes and mostly wear those. Call it stupid, but actually being able to walk comfortably has made a big difference for me.

2. Got pants. I hadn't been able to fit in any form of pants for years, and wore skirts, usually 2-3 of them layered, instead. Skirts are no fun in wet weather, in sub-freezing weather (especially if you don't have underwear that fit...)--I think you get the idea--or when mowing a high lawn filled with bugs... sigh. But I was able to get into a 6x, and then--less gracefully, but they stretch a bit and become loose and work fine, into a 5x--of Junonia's "cargo pants", which are almost, not quite, like "real" pants, something I hadn't seen since on my hips since my early 20's.

3. Had a day where I was unusually, deeply humiliated on the very busy street I live on. To begin with, I was already horribly embarrassed to be outside without my normal long-tent-shirt. These go from neck to knees like a giant bag preventing any onlooker from the ghastly spectre of any possible detail of my obesity. On top of that, I was trying to start a pull-cord lawnmower, which means I was also bent over with my back end sticking out and my whole body shaking wildly from the effort. I'm relatively certain it was a horrible sight to behold, and there may be passing drivers still waking up in a cold sweat from the memory. My mortification at this only added to my rage that I couldn't get it started. But as a bizarre side effect, later on, I felt rather like I'd had the worst possible exposure issue AND SURVIVED.

And suddenly I just cared a whole lot less. I actually wore pants WITHOUT the tent-shirt to the store. And then to another store.

Nobody fainted in the produce aisle. Small children did not wail in fear. The devil-child cheerleaders of high school did not manifest like the Ghosts of my Social Outcast Past to mock me for my Levi 501's, let alone for the current size of my butt (you never know when those cute blonde horrors are going to crop up in some public place to test your coronary health).

And after a few days I realized that instead of wearing sandles and 2 skirts, I was wearing comfortable shoes and pants. And instead of wearing sleeves and multiple layers on hot days, or skirts and sandles on snow days, I'm actually dressed sanely for the climate.

It's really astounding how much more willing to MOVE I am, and to spontaneously do things like run out to the backyard to do a little weeding for ten minutes, or run to the store for something, or run out to the car to get the book I forgot, or grab a rake and work on the front yard while I happen to be out on the front porch anyway, when I am physically comfortable and don't feel quite so mortified as I did before. I feel as if I am getting so much more exercise in a million small ways.

Do people still look at me with that "don't- look- at- her- it's- rude" evasion or the "good- god- imagine- how- many- bonbons- she- must- eat- to- be- that- fat" response? Absolutely. Do I care? Not nearly as much as I did.

You know what? I'm fat. There is no hiding it. There is no clothing, no careful posing position, no tent-like covering, that is going to fool anybody within 2 states of me into thinking I am a normal size. No matter how many layers or tents I wear, no matter how many bland and dark colors I wear, nobody is ever, not for an instant, going to NOT NOTICE that I am ABSOLUTELY HUGE.

So get the hell over it, you know? Ya don't like it, don't look.

While I'm not to the bathing suit in public without something over me stage yet, I am at least to the "pants and tank top while mowing on a busy street" stage. I am going out in public dressed like -- I mean, acting like -- I mean, ALMOST like -- Gasp! --

A normal person.


I think I've lost count years ago of the things I would have liked to have done with my little girl but didn't, because I was embarrassed; because people would look at me that way, with that revulsion, rejection, disgust, avoidance, etc.

So we didn't go bowling, or to the pool, or any number of other things we could have done. If I couldn't sit in the car or lurk on a bench (replete in 3 skirts and a tent...), I didn't do it.

She's nearly 12 now. We still have a great relationship, but she is heading into the teenage years. How much longer will my little girl trust me implicitly? How much longer will she want to go bowling with mom? She isn't a "little" girl anymore.

Today I was thinking, and then what?

What if I'd been killed by a tornado, by anything from an act of god to an act of stupidity to a side effect of a lifetime of lousy eating? If I died tomorrow, what brave adventures would I have lived? And how would my kid remember me?

I was the person not courageous enough to do any number of things because I worried about what people would say or how they would look at me or even treat me.

I was the person who sat in too many clothes in a hot car in the sun watching while my kid swam because there was no place to sit in the pool area and I couldn't go in.

I was the person who sat around with a computer rather than doing any number of things with the people around me I loved, because they would require being around other people I didn't love who would look at me wrong.

You know, you, me... anyone could walk out of here and get killed by some drunk in a pickup. I could slip in the shower and break my neck. When your number's up, it's up.
from "The Zero Effect"

It used to be that black people had to sit at the back of the bus. But you know, severely fat people can't even get on the damn bus. They don't or barely fit in the seats, they can't or barely (sideways) fit down the aisles, and there's not even a contingent of their own people at the back, at least, waiting to welcome them as one of them: they're just the social pariahs of a thin-for-sex- obsessed culture, and are treated poorly by every gender, age, race, and economic class.

There is no Cheers bar "where everybody knows your name;" there's no pub where your fellows recognize and accept you for no better reason than your stubborn nose and fiery hair prove you're one from the clans. Just about the only place to find people likely to accept you as you are is on the internet, a virtual world apart, where people on forums gather to talk like normal people to other seemingly normal people without the horrifying social-filter that in-person relations often provide.

Bizarrely enough, in a world seriously overstuffed (no pun intended) with fat people, somehow most of us manage to be alone with it. We are outcasts in our culture and sometimes even our families, and don't have any bonding-place for our commonality aside from online.

And today I realized:


Tina is digging through the rubble for baby clothes or anything she can salvage from the trash heap that used to be her house. One woman found two sons dead. An entire town just vanished off the map. With stuff like this going on in the world every day, going on nearly in your own neighborhood, how can obsessing on the LITTLE STUFF like how other people treat you, seem to matter in the slightest anymore?

The whole "comparative scale of what matters" suddenly seems different to me. My God. The "social rejection" of me for being fat seems so utterly absurd all the sudden.

Why does some bozo who doesn't even KNOW me, looking at me with "that look", matter more than me spending time doing something with my kid, for myself, whatever?

How many fat people get vastly less exercise because they're too socially mortified to leave the house, or the environ doesn't "fit" them to allow them basic things people need (chairs they fit in. bathrooms they can fit in. etc.), or they haven't got the decent or comfortable clothing any smaller-sized person would to allow it?

I see people, normal sized, going out to kids baseball games. They drag out a lawn chair and they sit and drink beer and soda, use the restroom, or climb up on the bleachers. When you can't climb, when you're wearing skirts, when it's freezing and you've only thongs or it's wet and you've only slippers, when you don't fit in a lawn chair, yet you need to sit vastly more than those people do given your size, you don't go to those baseball games. Or you watch from the car 500 yards away. "Yeah, I saw you baby! That was great!" yeah... sure.


But who wants to die un-lived? Who wants to be remembered by their kids as the big fat woman who hid in the car or under neutral or dark colored tents?

Worse, who wants to regret what they didn't do with their kids due to cowardice?

Why does being fat not only mean all the misery that comes with it physically, but such a social nightmare that we restrict our OWN lives?

Why the hell am I wearing tents? What, am I morally obligated to spare every other person the possible fright of seeing my fat jiggle?

Who needs some evil cultural conscience acting like the guard, telling you that jews negroes fat people aren't allowed in this store or pool or bowling alley, if YOUR OWN BRAIN is acting out that damning voice?

Clarissa Pinkola Estes is a psychologist who wrote the book "Women Who Run With the Wolves." She talked about the voices that we "internalize" until eventually we have the negative, punishing, demeaning judge and jury inside our own heads, even without our parents or schoolmates or social peers for that role. (I was surprised that I liked the book, but I did.)

People die every day all around us. Nobody knows how much life they've got left in this focus-reality. All we know is we are here, now. The people we love are here, now. We may not be later. They may not be later.

Maybe it's time I quit caring so much what other people think. Maybe it's time I did the fun things I want to do, those I can do.

It's one thing to not be physically capable. It's another to be a coward.

I wake up each day and say, "Thank you God, for my life."

Maybe I should start with that, and then actually GO LIVE IT.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

2010 Dietary Guidelines Committee

From Nutrition & Metabolism Society:

As you probably know, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) shapes the contents of the food pyramid. They are currently in the process of developing plans for the 2010 Food Pyramid and selecting experts for the committee.

This panel should reasonably include scientists or nutritionists who have experience with diets low in carbohydrates and, understand their impact on health.

In the past, the USDA has not included such researchers on their panels.

We're reaching out to you to ask for your help in communicating to the USDA the importance of including viewpoints like Dr.'s Feinman, Volek, Westman and Lustig on the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. Your encouragement will help ensure that the Committee has a balanced view of diet and nutrition.

Following is a sample template letter to the USDA ( Please customize with your own personal story, (Be sure to cc: NMS and your Congressional Represenative and Senators). The dead line for nominations is May 23 so please take the time to do this now.

Personal stories about results of lowering carbohydrates in your diet will send a powerful message to the USDA. Let them know you have valuable input and a voice that will be heard.

For a list of qualified candidates, please consider NMS Scientific Board Members.

Thank you.


Sample Letter

Nutrition Promotion Staff Director
Co-Executive Secretary of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee
Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
US Department of Agriculture
3101 Park Center Drive, Room 1034
Alexandria, VA 22302

Dear Ms. Davis:

I am writing you about the recent announcement about the establishment of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee for the 2010 Food Pyramid. I understand that the selection process is currently underway to determine what voices will be part of the discussion about the framework for the American diet. Some aspects of the current food pyramid are not a reflection of the needs that most Americans like myself have in order to maintain health. I encourage you to ensure that researchers who have performed extensive studies on the benefits of adjusting variables in the diet, like Dr. ___________ be included on the panel.

I have many reasons for wanting to make sure that the panel includes experts on the science behind different kinds of diets, such as diets low in carbohydrates. [insert your own personal story - 1 or 2 paragraphs - about the results you have achieved by lowering the carbohydrates in your diet. Write about how these results have made you feel. What health effects have you seen?]

Facts about the science of low-carb diets are important to the discussion about the new food pyramid. I urge you to make sure the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee includes scientists who are well-informed about these issues.

[Your name]

(your senator)
(your congress person)

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Toot you own horn....

In catching up with my blog reading for the past couple of weeks, I ran across an awesome post by Rachel at The F-Word. Now Rachel has some pretty awesome posts most all the time on her blog...but this one just spoke to me. So thought I would share part of it here.

Our culture is one that largely discourages narcissism. The nation’s Protestant values frown upon vanity and materialism; excessive pride in oneself is seen as a character flaw, a moral and personal failing. Indeed pride is one of the seven deadly sins. I’m not saying that we should all become a nation of Dorian Grays, but rather having a high self-esteem and confidence in oneself isn’t tantamount to narcissism, either. In fact, I think we all need a healthy dose of constructive self-pride.

Andy Warhol once opined that everyone will have their own 15 minutes of fame. I am a firm believer that everyone should also have at least one positive piece on them in a newspaper. If a newspaper were to write on you, what would the article read? Are you a single mom who’s struggling to get a college degree? Do you go on mission trips or perform community service? Have you overcome depression or an eating disorder or a difficult childhood? Are you a positive role model for a child? Do you enjoy a healthy body image?

C’mon… this is the place to toot your own horn. What are some of the fabulous things you’re doing both on a micro and macro level?

So what do you say....use the comments to Toot your own horn. Share something about yourself.

Friday, May 16, 2008





Yesterday (April 14/08), I received information from a member of Kimkins about a 17-year-old girl who, in her first post, admitted she had an eating disorder.

In an effort to reach out to this young girl, I attempted to enlist the assistance of Kimkins members, Dee/DEEDLYNN/DEEDLYNN22, who has recently been posting on Low Carb Friends, and Patti, one of the current KK cover girls, to intervene.

Below is a copy of my e-mail to Patti:

"Medusa to patti
show details May 14 (1 day ago)

Patti, I have grave concerns regarding a member of KK and would like to pass on some info to you in the hopes that you may be willing to intervene.

Not having Dee/DEEDLYNN/DEEDLYNN22's e-mail address, I left a comment on her blog and asked her to contact me. Here is the screen shot of my comment to her:

Dee quickly replied to my post with this:

"DeAnna XXX to me
show details May 14 (1 day ago)

Here is my email address. I'd be happy to help you if I can.


I then forwarded the following e-mail to Dee:

"...There is a new member of Kimkins, XXX, who has a serious eating disorder. A
member of Kimkins copied XXX's post and sent it to me. Her KK username is XXX.
The text of her post is at the bottom of this e-mail.

I've been advised that no one at KK has responded to her posts, and I was wondering if you could perhaps contact her and suggest that she contact one of the following eating-disorder helplines:

Bulimia/Anorexia Self Help Hotline: 800-
Eating Disorders Hotline: 800- 448-4663
Anorexia Nervosa and
Associate Disorders 847-831-3438
Youth Crisis Line: 800- HIT-HOME
Thursday's Child National Call Center for at Risk Youth: 800-USA-KIDS
Boys and girls Town National Hotline: 800- 448-3000
Kids Help Phone
(Canada): 800-668-6868
The Eating Distress Helpline (Ireland):011-44-2600366
Referrals to Eating Disorder specialists (US and Canada) 800-736-3739
The National Mental Health Association Information Center: 800-969-NMHA

The phone numbers above are from the blog Weighing the Facts, which is a wonderful resource blog for those who are suffering from bulimia, anorexia, and other eating disorders.

My blog, as well, has information on eating disorders (

I'm hoping that, with encouragement, she will seek help.

Many thanks, Dee. I really appreciate any assistance you're able to give this girl. She is in serious trouble.

All the best,

XXX's post on Kimkins:

"Alrighty then, I'm a mess-up.

I suppose it depends on how you look at it. I'm 17 years old, I am a Jr. at
Pepperdine University and I go there on a scholarship, I'm pre-medicine, I
love to read and write... and I have this tricky little thing called an eating disorder.

It's bothered me for a long, long time. I have screamed at God, I have screamed at my parents, I have screamed at myself. I have cut myself. I have contemplated suicide.

One day, I asked myself why it is better to commit suicide than to change my life. Even if changing my life was the most difficult thing imaginable, I do believe that I would be happier once I'd done it - so clearly, taking a difficult step towards happiness is far wiser than taking a selfish step towards oblivion. And so, here I am. For the millionth time, in one way or another.

But I love to write, so I thought - maybe a blog ill help. Where yes, I talk about how much I weigh today and how the elliptical felt on my gracilis muscle, but also about Ayn Rand's purpose behind discussing selfishness in The Fountainhead, and where we can discuss the implications behind bio-engineering, and where we can consider the incredible theories behind Newtonian physics and Nietzschean philosophy.

So that's what I'm asking - because, for my entire life, I have been overwhelmed by the realization that very few people that I'm friends with are really interested in
all the things I listed above. I'll be honest - I don't care about Jamie Lynn Spears. I don't. I don't care about 24 or CSI, but I deeply care about the starving people of North Korea and the importance of love in marriage.

So that's my first topic: love. My last boyfriend was completely in love with me. I don't say this in a vain way, but I know it was true. I broke up with him because I was not in love with him - and it broke his heart. And so now I have come to the realization that I don't want to even consider dating someone until I feel the possibility that he could become someone I could never live without. For me, this seems so unlikely that I don't think I'll ever get married - and here is why. When you read a great piece of literature, you fall in love with a multi-faceted thing which is greater than you are. Words on a page, in my opinion, truly can overcome reality. And so it is that I love this - this depth, this power, this beauty which not even the author could fully grasp - so much that I don't believe it is possible to love something which is tangible quite as much. The tangible cannot be as beautiful. The thing I love about literature is it wields a power greater than any one human being.

The only way I can see of falling in love with someone is if he joined me in that same love. But I have not met anyone who is like that yet. That is partly why I'm here - to assure myself that such people do exist. But here is my question - I am young and people here have more life experience: have you honestly met someone that you love so much that you cannot imagine life without them? Because that is what I want. I love my dad so much that I cannot begin to consider life without him - but I was born loving him that much. Have you actually MET someone who took this place of importance in your life?

P.S. I weigh 184 pounds. I'm 5'8''. I work out every day. haha I forgot that's why I'm here.

Okay, so....
I've definitely got some issues. I'm 17 years old and I'm a Jr. at Pepperdine University. When I was 12 I had anorexia and since then I have developed a pretty clean case of Binge Eating Disorder. (it does exist... it's not just made up). So, I\'m here to change that and change myself. I'll be honest - there is a boy I like and I think he could like me too. But we're off school for the summer and I want to become a different person.

However, I want this blog to be about more than that - I love philosophy, literature, science - really anything that makes you think. My favorite books would be The Catcher in the Rye, Atlas Shrugged or The Plague. My favorite movies - Scanner Darkly or Shawshank Re "

I then received this response from Patti:

"Patti Larsen to me May 14 (1 day ago)

Screw off. I'm a healthy woman making the right choices for myself who happens to eat three times a day, thank you very much. You should be ashamed.Thoughts are things. Make every thought count."

I immediately followed with this response to Patti:

"Medusa to Patti
show details 10:01 AM (33 minutes ago)
Patti, I was contacted by a member of Kimkins who is asking for help in assisting a very young girl who has admitted in her posts on Kimkins to having a very serious eating disorder.
My only purpose in writing you was to ask if you might reply to this young girl's post on Kimkins and direct her to some eating disorder helplines."

Then 30 minutes later, this arrived from Patti:

Patti Larsen to me
show details 10:31 AM (4 minutes ago)

I am not interested in your games. Not sure how you got my personal email, nor do I care, except that you must have a fake profile on Kimkins, which makes you dispicable. Just so you know, I've reported you to the Kimkins organizers. People like you blame the world for your problems when the only one who can really make a change is you.
I hope this ficticious girl finds her own path.
DO NOT email me again or I will report you as a spammer.
Thoughts are things. Make every thought count."

How sad.

Late yesterday, the 17-year-old girl posted this on Kimkins:

"hey! I want to join this group.. I am kind of disappointed because so far, no one has responded to any of my posts on this site.
I currently weight 182.5 pounds... I want to be about 135-140.
I have had 3 cheat free days so far."

Having not heard back from Dee/DEEDLYNN/DEEDLYNN22, I sent her another e-mail this morning:

"Medusa to DeAnna show details 8:28 AM (7 hours ago)

Good morning, Dee :^) Were you able to get in touch with XXX ? "

As of 3:37 today, I have heard nothing back from Dee/DEEDLYNN/DEEDLYNN22. I guess she is too busy reading Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution, posting on LCF, and PMing Heidi.

Shame on you Heidi, Dee, and Patti. Your lack of concern for this young girl is despicable.

Head over to Medusa's blog to follow the coments from some more heartless people.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Statistics on Weight Discrimination:

Statistics on Weight Discrimination:
A Waste of Talent

Workers who are heavier than average are paid $1.25 less an hour. Over a 40-year career, they will earn up to $100,000 less before taxes than their thinner counterparts (Baum, 2004).

Slightly heavy women make about 6% less in wages than standard weight women. Very heavy women make 24% less. Men experience significant wage penalties only at the highest weight levels. (Roehling, 1999)

Heavier workers are not given raises as often as thinner workers. In a study of over 2000 women and men, wage growth rates were 6% lower in a three-year period for heavier workers. (Loh, 1993)

Young women (18 to 25) employees are especially penalized if they are larger than average, earning 12% less than their thinner counterparts (Register, 1990) and being more likely to be found in low-paying jobs (Pagan, 1997). Other factors were ruled out, and the reason for the difference was found to be social bias and discrimination. (Gortmaker, 1996; Stunkard, 1993).

Of people who were 50% or more above their “ideal” weight on the height-weight charts, 26% reported they were denied benefits such as health insurance because of their weight, and 17% reported being fired or being pressured to resign because of their weight (Rothblum, 1990).

Hiring prejudice against larger people has been demonstrated consistently in studies using written descriptions, photographs, videotape, and actors. Larger and smaller job applicants were matched for equal qualifications, equal references, and similar personalities. Hiring staff usually chose the thinner applicants with equal qualifications, and made unfounded assumptions about the larger applicants--such as that they were too aggressive, difficult to work with, lacking in self-discipline, less productive, or less determined--even if they had never met or spoken to the applicants. One study, using photographs, showed that prejudice against heavier applicants was found even when faces were obscured, ruling out the factor of facial attractiveness (Pingitore, 1994; Klassen, 1993; Klesges, 1990; Rothblum, 1988; Decker, 1987; Larkin, 1979).

Hire the best person for the job

Job applicants and workers who are larger than average face discrimination and prejudice in every aspect of employment. This discrimination is worse for women, who experience discrimination even if they are just slightly larger than average. Employers are passing over qualified applicants and choosing to hire, promote, and maintain workers who are less qualified simply because of their appearance, and specifically because of their weight. This is resulting in a tremendous waste of worker talent.

If hiring managers and corporate decision-makers could see past false stereotypes and overcome their own biases, they would hire, promote, and maintain the best people for the job, based on qualifications and job performance. Their businesses would benefit greatly from policies that reward job qualifications and performance rather than body size.

Council on Size and Weight Discrimination - Statistics on Weight Discrimination

Monday, May 5, 2008

New Eating Disorders Feed and Group

If your blog addresses eating disorders (it need not be dedicated to eating disorders) and you want to be added to the feed, submit your feed address below. If you’d like to embed the feed on your page, feed addresses are below.

Feedburner feed
(recommended, platform independent)

Google feed (prettier to read)

Rachel has also set up a yahoo group......called Eating Disorder Studies for activists at all levels to discuss the medical, social, and cultural studies on eating disorders, and to provide a place of support and recovery.

Head over to her site and leave your blogs URL in the comment section and she will add it to the feed.