Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Building A New Me

Warning...this is a long one...and could be triggering for those who don't want to hear about "diet" talk.  This is also the last time I will post a trigger warning.  If you know me, you know I talk about food and exercise.  If you aren't okay with that, this isn't the blog for you. 

I recently left a few fat acceptance/fat friendly type groups on Facebook.  I noticed that so much effort is spent on making sure certain groups aren't offended while others are completely ignored.  You can't post how happy you are that you're getting married because the singles get upset.  You can't post about how excited you are to be pregnant because those who can't have babies will be devastated.  And you certainly, most definitely cannot speak about "dieting" because that will trigger overweight people to apparently go binge eat themselves into oblivion.  Having an eating disorder myself, I kind of get it but I also feel like we all need to be in charge of our own underpants (Thanks, Ragen!) and stop spending so much time telling everyone else how to act.  There's a ton of shit that triggers me.  Other people talking about dieting and weight loss on Facebook isn't it.  (But I get that (A) not everyone feels the same way I do and (B) if someone has a group on Facebook, they are allowed to have their own rules, which is why I just left quietly.)  The word "diet" in my world plainly means the type of food I place in my face hole.  My "diet" consists of fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, etc.  Diet doesn't have to be a bad word. 

I do admit I have been talking a lot about health and diet lately.  You can catch up on some of those below:

Sugar is the Devil

Sugar and Cirrhosis of the Liver

Lowering C-Reactive Protein

CRP and Cholesterol

Calories in versus Calories out

General update on my vitamin issue

Anyway, yesterday in one of these groups, someone posted about how they wanted to be Health At Every Size friendly but felt that they personally needed to lose weight (or at least not gain weight) so that they could continue to ride horses comfortably (horses DO have a weight limit so this isn't just about fat people being able to do pretty much everything thinner people do).  I get where this girl is coming from (hellooooooo, I just had the same experience recently and was terrified the horse was going to fall over dead the minute I got into the saddle).  I see it posted every day though -- someone saying they support HAES, just not for themselves (and Ragen explaining that supporting HAES doesn't mean that you can't ever need or want to lose weight, but that it IS about listening to your body and giving it the nourishment and movement it needs).  And if I privately message most of these people, they tell me how terrified they are to state that publicly because they don't want to be burned at the stake.  We do want to believe that there are things we can do regardless of what we weigh to make ourselves healthier and happier.  Eat right.  Exercise.  Whatever.  But what I recently discovered was that when I TRULY started feeding my body properly, I lost weight.  I didn't change the number of calories I was taking in (and, in fact, if I don't eat all of "my" calories, I am really exhausted the next day, so I truly need that fuel now), I really just changed the quality and type of food. 

My highest weight post-surgery was 263 pounds last November (highest pre-surgery weight was 350, lowest post-surgery weight was 180).  I was 258.6 when I stared nutrition counseling with Ellen in May.  And I am 250 pounds today.  Anyway, I didn't mention all those numbers in my post in that Facebook group but wanted to give you a reference point.  It's not like I'm trying to say I lost 50 pounds in a month or anything.  I commented that I had changed the types of food I ate, but not my caloric intake and had lost weight.  Suddenly, people are pissed that weight loss was brought up (wasn't the point of the original post that this girl didn't want to gain anymore weight??).  Two of the girls in that thread actually privately messaged me and I sent them my calories in/calories out blog because I told them I wouldn't post it in that group and be attacked.  I believe there are way more people out there like me and those other two girls.  Sure the concept of HAES is great but I personally don't have a body that wants to weigh 350 pounds.  I don't have health at that size.  Hell, I don't have health at THIS size (as my doctor likes to remind me at almost every visit...I have the most health problems of any patient my age at his clinic), and I am working on that.  So, I left that group.  The moderator of that group has a right to police the topics of her group but if I am going to be picked on because I even mentioned the words "lost weight," then I don't need to be part of that group.  I wasn't bragging.  I wasn't posting before and after photos.  I just simply mentioned, hey I made some nutritional changes and noticed my body was ready to let go of some weight. 


My blog, my rules
I have noticed this happens a lot on Facebook (or the internet in general), and not just in fat acceptance groups.  Someone mentions they are at the gym, or they post photos of healthy foods, and other people take offense.  Maybe that post somehow makes them feel guilty because they aren't doing the same thing so they lash out.  But hey, my experiences, my posts, my life don't cheapen yours.  I can go to the gym (or not) and eat healthy (or not) and it has nothing to do with anyone else.  I don't post things like that to make people feel bad about themselves.  It's not a guilt trip or a judgment.  In case you haven't noticed, I like to chronicle my life on Facebook, and the gym and food I eat are included in that life.  People shouldn't feel so compelled to comment on any post trying to make others feel bad for wanting to do those healthy things.  My Facebook.  My rules.  Right?
Anyway, the point of this post was actually going to be more about the calories in, calories out thing.  But yesterday's experience just kind of annoyed me so I apparently felt the need to write about it.  I saw this article about "demolishing" the calories in, calories out model and wanted to share it.  You can read the whole article HERE.

Adele Hite:

“Fortunately, there’s an easy way to keep track of your calories even though you can’t see, taste, or smell them.

Marion Nestle says that the best way to measure calories is to step on a scale. So, lessee. I stepped on the scale and I weigh 160 pounds. If I’m 55% water (hooray, no calories there!), and 4% minerals (wait, does calcium have calories?), and then 13% protein (4 calories), 24% fat (9 calories) and 4% carbohydrate (4 calories), well then, hmm multiply by and convert and carry the one and—got it!—
I’m exactly 194766.884I’m exactly 206112.371 calories.

That means if I decrease my calorie intake by 500 calories a day (this where all that helpful calorie information on the side of the box of low-fat, high-fiber, individually calorie-control portion food comes in handy) and increase my activity by 500 calories a day (which I understand I can do simply through insanity, which—according to my children—should not be much of a stretch), that means that on November 10, 2012, sometime around noon, I will disappear altogether because all my calories will be gone. See how easy that is.”

^ That's some funny shit. 

Dr. David Ludwig and Mark Freedman:

"The more calories we lock away in fat tissue, the fewer there are circulating in the bloodstream to satisfy the body’s requirements. If we look at it this way, it’s a distribution problem: We have an abundance of calories, but they’re in the wrong place. As a result, the body needs to increase its intake. We get hungrier because we’re getting fatter."

Gary Taubes:

"Francis Benedict reported this in 1936, when he fasted a strain of obese mice. They lost 60 percent of their body fat before they died of starvation, but still had five times as much body fat as lean mice (!!!!!!)* that were allowed to eat as much as they desired.
*[bolded font and exclamation points are mine!!!!!]"
 
Dr. Mark Hyman:
 
"The vast majority of conventional nutritionists and doctors have it mostly wrong when it comes to weight loss. Let’s face it: If their advice were good and doable, we would all be thin and healthy by now. But as a general rule, it’s not. And the mainstream media messages often confuse things even more. It is based on many 'food lies'.
And the biggest lie of them all is this: All calories are created equal."
 
Tom Naughton:
 
"[An] official from the U.K. health system floated the idea that doctors need to stop pussyfooting around with the language and just tell fat patients that they’re too fat. A professor of ethics in the U.S. stepped it up a notch and insisted we need to start shaming fat people.
 
Riiiiiiiight. Because fat people don’t know they’re fat and aren’t properly ashamed of themselves. If we just shame them enough, they’ll develop some character and stop eating too much. It’s not as if appetite and energy balance at the cellular level figure into this or anything.
 
I’ve got news for both of these dunces: fat people know they’re fat, and most of them hate it. Most of them have tried over and over to lose weight, but failed because they were given bad advice on how to do it. To put it in terms of my last post, they expended plenty of effort, but the effort wasn’t effective.
 
If we start shaming them, we won’t end up with fewer fat people … but we will end up with more fat people who are depressed or neurotic. Fewer of them will visit doctors for checkups or to find out what that funny-looking lump is. They’ll avoid doctors to avoid the lectures and the shaming. That already happens, in fact. And by the way, raising their cortisol levels by shaming them won’t help the weight-loss efforts one bit."
 
Sam Feltham:
 
"The only way to to stop accumulating biochemical ‘limescale’ is to not eat fake foods, whether that be refined and sugary carbs or hydrogenated fat. Plus the only way to get rid of the biochemical ‘limescale’ that’s stopping your body from using your body fat stores for energy is to EAT REAL FOOD, and the ‘limescale’ will wash away."
 
Richard Feinman and Eugene Fine:
 
"The idea that 'a calorie is a calorie' comes from a misunderstanding of the laws of thermodynamics. There are two laws of thermodynamics…The second law is a dissipation law [which] says that variation of efficiency for different metabolic pathways is to be expected. Thus, ironically the dictum that a 'calorie is a calorie' violates the second law of thermodynamics, as a matter of principle….Attacking the obesity epidemic will involve giving up many old ideas that have not been productive. 'A calorie is a calorie' might be a good place to start."
 
J. Stanton:
 
"The concept of the 'calorie', as applied to nutrition, is an oversimplification so extreme as to be untrue in practice… the problem with 'calories in, calories out' should be obvious:
The fate of a 'calorie' of food depends completely on its specific molecular composition, the composition of the foods accompanying it, and how those molecules interact with our current metabolic and nutritional state."

Bill Lagakos:

"Counting calories to lose weight does not work for the majority of dieters. This happens, in part, because the calories in food are not the same as those expended by the body."
 
Jonathan Bailor:
 
"We value science. We celebrate innovation & progress. We seek to be in the know. So why are we following fat loss, eating, & exercise advice from the 50s?"
 
*****
 
So there you go.  More "evidence" that a calorie isn't just a calorie.  It certainly seems that more people are getting the memo.  Of course, talking about calories and "dieting" isn't the same as talking about being overweight and Health At Every Size (this was kind of a two-faced blog).  All people deserve to be treated as humans.  I don't think that bullies have the right to talk down to fat people or throw eggs and milkshakes out the car window at them.  That isn't ok to do to anyone, no matter their size.  But I am also tired that many people take the HAES message and almost end up turning it around to do their own shaming.  It is unfortunate but I guess that is kind of the nature of the beast when dealing with other humans.  My journey is my journey.  I won't apologize for it and won't let anyone else tell me what I should say or how I should feel.  And neither should you.
 

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