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In my mother’s eyes.

In 1959 my mum took me to the Dr’s as she thought I was, “Wasting away”…..”Like two boards clapped together”. I was a 4 year old active child, playing outside all day and doing what 4 years old’s back then could do.  I am sure I was the same size as all my compatriots but to a weight obsessed mother, something needed to be done.  I can only recall being given daily iron tablets after the doctor visit, not sure whether she started feeding me more.

This was the woman who after the birth of my younger sister would lay on the bathroom floor in hospital exercising to get her figure back.   This was the woman who in my young memory was thin.  In later years we wondered whether it wasn’t okay for me (or my 2 other sisters) to be thinner than her.

At age 11 I was put on a diet as I was now too fat!  I gave up sugar in tea and coffee.  I remember dad had bought some diet aids called Aids which you took before a meal to suppress your hunger.  My memory of these were they were sweet and probably just a bit of sugar to raise your blood sugar a bit in advance of eating.  I also remember dad buying some dry bread type rolls which were like eating cardboard.  I have no idea if I lost weight (I must have) and then recall that my mum told me I couldn’t wear a much desired (by me) trouser suit as I was too fat.  I am pretty sure that by age 13 I had lost any real idea of what I was.   Bearing in mind that I had grown up during the Twiggy years, so what chance was there for me to know what was normal.

Fat, thin, all things in between…..my body was not mine, I had only my mother’s interpretation of what I was.  My body image (that internal image we all carry was of a fat girl).

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I saw this yesterday which is why today I am blogging.  It made me feel so sad that there are millions of little girls growing up being judged by their parents, society and being fed misinformation by the media.

In later years I looked back at photos of me as a young teenager and discovered I was “normal”.  My Levi 501’s looked good on me, my midriff baring tops (1970’s fashion) looked fine and my belly looked normal (not like Twiggys! but normal).  Age 15 I was probably a size 12 and when I got married aged 19 around a size 14.  I never in all this time felt normal.  I always felt that I was fat and this was reinforced by my mother and society.

At age 16 we moved away to a new home where I knew no one, too old for the youth club, too young to drive (we were 7 miles from nearest town) and as far as I was concerned life had become pretty shit.  I started getting headaches and went to the doctors where I was prescribed Lorazapam!!! FFS.  This is the same doctor who was prescribing Librium for my mother!  I guess early 70’s was a little too soon to expect a doctor to take a little bit more notice of what was going on for me.

So, what happened.  Well like all women I spent the next 3 decades trying different diets, watching what I ate, exercising, dieting, exercising,………….getting thin, getting fatter, getting thin, getting fatter and never ever feeling I got it right.  Seeing others who seemed to just be “right”.  Seeing others eating the same things I eat, not having to think about (or so it seemed) what they were eating.  Seeing others not needing to diet.  Wondering what it must be like to just be normal, to not be too thin or too fat and to not be judged by society.

After many decades of success and failure I decided to stop following any sort of diet and to just get on with my life and be me.  I am morbidly obese according to the rigged BMI scales and Obese according to the pre rigged BMI scales.  BMI scales created by an Actuarial working for a insurance company in America.  An Actuarial who knows nothing about dieting and weight but understands statistics about life expectancy.  In 1998 millions of Americans became fat overnight as the BMI table was reset.

Who’s fat?

People (those who judge me by how I look) assume I eat crap.  Assume I eat junk.  Assume I must be eating differently to them.  They will even be thinking as they read this, “I bet you do.  I bet you’re a secret eater.  I bet you eat sweets and crisps when no one is looking.”  Well I don’t.  I am sure they must do cos even I judge me and have an internal dialogue when on some occasions I am not eating healthy food.  I have my own little panel of judges sitting on my shoulder who give me a hard time.

I recall more recently being on holiday with friends who had a toddler of around 15 months old.  I can recall we’d had the meal where we’d been judged by the father (the conversation was around weight and how easily he could lose weight when he put on a few pounds).  The most shocking memory for me was when he turned to his wife and asked how soon before their daughter would be giving up her bottle of milk as she was getting a tummy on her!!  This from someone with obviously no idea about toddler abdomens and no idea about what is normal for a 15 month old, and no idea about the needs of her body.  Just plenty of twisted ideas about body image.

Why BMI Isn’t The Best Measure for Weight (or Health)

The weight loss industry if it worked would be out of business.  If diets worked, there would be no more diets.  If losing weight worked, we’d only need to do it once.  There is something wrong here and something still unknown about why some people can eat, can eat crap and stay slim and some people eat and eat healthy food and get fat.

I cannot count how many times I have been judged and found guilty by one of those people who have been slim or within “normal” limits their whole lives.  I have been judged by people who put on a few pounds on holiday or for some other reason and then lose it when they return to their normal lifestyle.  Yet all of those people are not nearly as powerful as my mother and the mother in my head and the mother on my panel of judges.  They’ve been there since I was a young girl and I will always be too fat whatever size I am and however much I weight.

I blogged this in June 2013.  I think the photo of the little girl standing on the scales reminded me of this.  Read this if you are a mother of young girls.

Passing on body hatred.

What we need to be passing on is love and acceptance.  Giving our daughters unconditional love and letting them know that they can be whoever and whatever they want to be however they look.

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Breakfast – why?

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I haven’t had breakfast today.  I didn’t have breakfast on Tuesday either.  We’re back on the 5:2 regime and this is the only was I can do it.  Nothing to eat until around 4pm and then Cauliflower Pizza which is very scrummy.

For as long as I can remember we’ve been told that we should/must eat breakfast to get our metabolism working. Apparently if we don’t we will not perform tasks as well, we’ll have no energy and we’ll feel sluggish.  So, for years I have followed advice and always made sure I had breakfast (whether or not I was hungry) and low and behold within 2 hours I was hungry.  It didn’t matter what I ate, porridge didn’t stay longer in my stomach, higher protein didn’t make a lot of difference and my usual toasted Rye bread with butter and Marmite also only lasts a couple of hours.

I discovered last year, when I previously did the 5:2 regime, that not having breakfast or anything to eat for as long as I could on a fasting day worked far better for me.  I noticed higher energy if anything (I guess my body wasn’t having to work on digesting food) and felt far less hungry than when I eat breakfast.  I found that once I’d had my mid morning coffee, I lost that “I haven’t had breakfast feeling” and was coffee time.

So, what are others saying about this?

Do we really need to eat breakfast?

When I tell patients this, many of them agree, saying that a good breakfast “anchors” them for the rest of the day, and prevents indiscriminate eating later on. Others insist that, if they eat breakfast, it kindles their appetites, and they’re off to the races with their food cravings. The latter group often says: “I’m fine until I eat, then it’s downhill for the rest of the day.”

Recently, some counter-think has been introduced into the breakfast debate. With the popularity of Intermittent Fasting, some argue that the longer we go without eating, the better it is for us. During the long period between an early dinner and a late brunch—sometimes up to 18 hours—the digestive apparatus rests, and ketosis is induced; ketosis is a metabolic state in which the body cannibalizes its own fat stores. Restricting eating to a narrow window of say, eight hours per day is a modified and do-able form of fasting.

Advocates of Intermittent Fasting say it reduces insulin resistance, combats inflammation, and even helps mood and memory because blood sugar is stabilized and the brain fuels itself with short chain fatty acids instead of glucose.

7 reasons why you should not eat breakfast.

Breakfast – Not the most important meal after all.

Contrary to popular belief, breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. In fact, omitting breakfast, as part of an intermittent fasting schedule, can have many important health benefits, from improving your insulin/leptin sensitivity to helping your body more effectively burn fat for fuel.

Longer bouts of fasting have also been shown to have potent health benefits, including the regeneration of your immune system, as demonstrated in recent research.

Many people find that eating breakfast leads to feeling hungry again soon thereafter, which can lead to unnecessary snacking. This is reflected in another recent study4 into the metabolic effects of eating or skipping breakfast.

As reported by Time Magazine:5 

“…contrary to popular belief, having breakfast every day was not tied to an improvement in metabolism. Prior thought—supported by research—has shown that eating early in the day can prevent people from overeating later out of hunger, and it boosts their metabolism early. The new study which examined causal links between breakfast habits and energy balance couldn’t prove that.”

The study found that eating breakfast was linked to a greater overall dietary energy intake. And again, the type of foods you eat for breakfast may be the key ingredient that is being overlooked in this type of research—both past and present. Typically, you will find that eating a carbohydrate-rich breakfast will tend to make you hungry again far sooner than a low-carb, high-fat breakfast will. The reason for this is because if your body is using sugar as its primary fuel, it will need a “refill” at regular intervals, as sugar is a very fast-burning fuel.

 

Myths surround breakfast and weight.

“Eating a healthy breakfast is a good way to start the day,” according to the Web site of the United States surgeon general, “and may be important in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.”

But new research shows that despite the conventional weight-loss wisdom, the idea that eating breakfast helps you lose weight stems largely from misconstrued studies.

Only a handful of rigorous, carefully controlled trials have tested the claim, the new report, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found. And generally they conclude that missing breakfast has either little or no effect on weight gain, or that people who eat breakfast end up consuming more daily calories than those who skip it.

So, here I am not feeling hungry despite being up 4 hours and only having one cup of tea and one black coffee. (Black because I refer black, not for purposes of weight loss).

I think in the hyperbole of the 5:2 debut, the idea was that you could do this and eat what you like in the other days. I also know now that it is better to maintain some control and healthy eating plan during the 5 eating days, so during the interim of the Fasting Days we’ve decided to be very low carb which is one of my favourite, healthy ways to eat. We haven’t eaten normal bread, any potatoes, or pasta, or rice since Sunday.  I have recently discovered Chick Pea pasta which is great and high protein.  So, if and when I  would normally make pasta, this is what we have.  You really only need a little, it’s incredibly filling.  We’re not talking Atkins, or Dukan.  I am still having my Rye Toast on those days, but other meals are more or less carb free.

We are both Morbidly Obese and do wish that people would try not to point it out to us the plainly obvious.  One day I am going to have to answer back.  The other night we were out for the evening and after the short film there were “aperos” (drinks and nibbles).  I picked up a drink and a small wafer biscuit.  My petite (and I suspect pretty much naturally so) friend looked at me and said, “You’re not eating again!” in horror.  There was a distraction, so no time for me to have to answer, which is just as well, as it is humiliating when you discover that even your friends judge you on your size. My answer might have been, “I’m sorry, are these for just to look at.”   I often come across people who let stuff slip from their lips when really it would be better if they kept what they were thinking in their heads.  I am sure they don’t think we see what they see.

I wanted to write about the breakfast myth and thought I’d mention what we’re up do and hope that people allow us to get on with it and not tell us about their ideas re diet, regimes and eating plans.  We’re 60 and 67 and have been there, done that and have many diet T shirts.  We know what works, we know why they don’t all work and we know why we’re fat.  We know it’s in our hands and we know that fads, shakes, special diet meals that cost £££’s is not the answer.

So, thanks for reading, thanks for listening and thanks in advance for not teaching an old dog new tricks.

Anyway, the gates are closed and we plan for them to remain so for some time!

 

Dear David Cameron re Eugenics.

Dear David Cameron,

I note that you have been taking advice from an old leader about how to rid society of those who drain the economy, look nasty, and generally mess up the place by not fitting in.

David Cameron calls on obese to accept help or risk losing benefits.

Under proposals that are likely to be met with resistance from charities and some medics, the Conservatives will consider whether to reduce payments worth about £100 a week for those they consider could do more to help themselves by going on medical programmes designed to make them to lose weight, stop taking drugs or give up alcohol.

I know you know that you’re not the first to have ideas on how to clean up society by targetting the vulnerable.  I am sure you won’t be the last.  I am pretty sure (as a relatively intelligent fat woman) that Hitler wasn’t the first with these ideas, however he is an ideal example when making comparisons.

Nazi eugenics

In other words, a society could achieve positive outcomes – like increased productivity or reductions in crime – if it removed unhealthy or ‘undesirable’ genetic elements. Many governments had experimented with eugenics-driven policies long before the Nazis came to power. More than 64,000 Americans with mental illnesses were forcibly sterilised between the 1890s and 1924. Other countries – such as Japan, Canada, Australia, Sweden, France and Switzerland – also dabbled in eugenics-based policies in the 1920s and 1930s. – See more at: http://alphahistory.com/nazigermany/nazi-eugenics/#sthash.UsYHy9dW.dpuf

‘Life unworthy of living’

The final, most drastic phase of the Nazi eugenics program was euthanasia. Killing the unhealthy to protect public health had been proposed as early as 1920, by two German writers: psychiatrist Alfred Hoche and philosopher Karl Binding. The mentally disabled, Hoche and Binding argued, possessed only lebensunwertem lebens (‘life unworthy of living’); legalised euthanasia would end the “burden for society and their families”. While many Nazis supported introducing euthanasia, Hitler was wary, because he knew approving the medical killing of the disabled would generate considerable public opposition. In 1936 Hitler told his inner circle that euthanasia was a policy that would have to wait until wartime, when it could be introduced with less fuss

– See more at: http://alphahistory.com/nazigermany/nazi-eugenics/#sthash.UsYHy9dW.dpuf

Have read the above, I am wondering whether you should just move to Plan B and kill off all those who are not worthy.  I can imagine it will be far cheaper than wasting time paying buereacrats to administer yet another “scheme”.  I am sure G4S  and /or ATOS will be able to offer you a cheap all inclusive package.  You could probably get them to deal with all prison inmates at the same time in a job lot.  How much nicer society will be then!

Of course your eugenics programme is not new.  You  started with my disabled friends sometime ago.

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No more benefits for fatties, says Cameron, while fat cats remain his bestest chums.

“It is not fair to ask hardworking taxpayers to fund the benefits of people who refuse to accept the support and treatment that could help them get back to a life of work,” the Prime Minister said. “While it’s perfectly fair to force hardworking taxpayers to bail out banks and my friends in the City because massively high-stakes gambling with money that isn’t yours is an addiction that we Tories cherish and support one hundred per cent.

He then hurried away saying he had to meet his friend Eric Pickles for a drink and “something chocolatey and naughty” in one of the Houses of Parliament bars which are subsidised by the taxpayer at a cost of six million pounds a year.”

As you can see, some people think your ideas are beyond belief.  I do really wonder whether you really are getting your ideas from Hitler!  How can you sleep at night?  If only you could step back and look at yourself in the mirror and see what we see.

You may have missed this Horizon programme,

Why Are Thin People Not Fat?

“Most of the studies on obesity and weight loss have been done on subjects who are overweight to begin with. A BBC Horizon documentary titled Why are thin people not fat? looked at the obesity problem from a different angle. They chose subjects who were naturally thin and stuffed them with excess calories. None of the participants had watched their food intake before, but their weight had remained roughly the same for years.”

The problem is that according to our current understanding, the number of fat cells can only be increased, never decreased. This means that any new fat cells produced as a result of (prolonged) overeating will always stay with you. What’s worse, as the purpose of fat cells is precisely to store energy, the body will now send more signals of hunger to your brain to keep those fat cells filled up. Obviously this makes following diets that rely only on cutting back on calories very difficult.”

The overall message of the documentary is that being naturally thin is a combination of many factors, some of which are genetically determined and some a result of the environment. Of course, individual choice also plays a role, but the studies on small children given unlimited candy show that even before we have the capability to think rationally about our food choices (kids will eat as much candy as they desire), there are differences among people.”

So you see David, those people you are suggesting you sanction are not just fat through lack of will power.  I am not fat due to lack of willpower.   Fat people spend their whole lives being told they’re fat and the person telling them is,

  • Doing them a favour
  • Telling them something they didn’t already know
  • Is being cruel to be kind
  • Wants to help them
  • Is no longer allowed to be racist, so fatist will do

When you look in the mirror do you see a fat guy?

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So, let perhaps begin higher up the food chain a sanction some bankers.

Tax dodgers

 

Do that and you’d get my vote.