Friday, January 29, 2010

obesity and the obama kids

Michelle Obama began an official campaign against childhood obesity by discussing a warning from the First Family’s doctor that her own daughters were becoming overweight.

“In my eyes I thought my children were perfect,” Mrs Obama said at an event organised by US health officials to tackle the epidemic of childhood obesity. “I didn’t see the changes.”

The children's doctor “cautioned me that I had to look at my children’s BMI”, or body mass index. “He was concerned that something was getting off balance.”

Mrs. Obama added, "her doctor — he really monitors this type of thing — suggested we look at her diet. So we cut out juice boxes, sweets and processed foods.” These modest alterations to the lifestyle of Malia and her sister, Sasha, 8, produced the desired results.

President Obama discussed Malia's apparent weight problem in November, 2008. He described how the habits of their children had to change, because “a couple of years ago — you’d never know it by looking at her now — Malia was getting a little chubby,”

So, Mrs. Obama thought that Malia was perfect, until she gained a couple of pounds, and then she wasn't? So, can only thin children can be considered perfect in the eyes of their parents? What if the "modest alterations" hadn't worked and Malia had maintained her "chubbiness"? Would Mrs. Obama have thought less of her?

I've seen so many pictures of the girls, from babyhood on. it never once occurred to me that they were anything but absolutely nice, normal weights. And their parents are both so beautifully tall, i'm sure the girls will spring up and lose any (alleged) baby fat. And what if they don't?

As for the president. i remember how i felt when my father (frequently) told me i was fat. i can't imagine if he'd announced it to the entire nation and then it becoming a national issue.

Now the world will be watching Malia's weight as she heads toward puberty.

Readers, any thoughts?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

addiction re-dux

i was really triggered all over the place on this week's business trip. to be and feel safe, do i have to shutter myself in my house, living my life out as a hermit? (at least the frizzy hair wouldn't be an issue!)

most of you know i work for my brother, who believes that a moment without food is like human life without oxygen. each meal has to be a gourmet feast, and in between we stop at starbucks for lattes -- about 3 times a day.

we were in the south, and the food is heavy, heavy, heavy. even the water seems fried. the towns were adorable. i loved the shops and quaint restaurants over-looking the water or sitting in some historic building.

but there was just too much food. and my brother is, shall we say, loquacious. so meal times get exquisitely boring.

in the old days, wine was the answer. i'd drink it to numb out and phase out my brother's voice.

trigger alert, here, for recovering drinkers. i'm about to linger too long on my beverage of choice

Wine then kept me from eating a lot. in between bites, i'd linger long on the deep red river in my glass. i loved the look of the stem and the feel of the glass...can you tell i loved me my wine?

this was a hard week. one morning, i stopped taking my antabuse, the drug i take to keep from drinking. until then, i hadn't even considered missing a pill since i stopped drinking may 12.

without the antabuse,i started a romance in my head. the antabuse would be out of my system by about saturday. saturday, i was supposed to have coffee with a new friend. yum, wouldn't it be nice to meet for a drink, a real drink instead? and then i could see my friend joan and have a drink. she was a drinking buddy. on fridays we'd go to a favorite bar and drink wine and nibble salads. she'd flirt with the bartendars; i'd relax. i haven't seen joan since june -- we don't really have all that much in common when i'm sober. i feel guilty, but i'm trying to protect myself.

oh the dreams went on. as i sipped my third diet coke at dinner, i comforted myself knowing that on Saturday, i would have wine. on the plane, i smiled thinking about our NEXT business trip, when i'd amuse myself with cabernet as the plane ride unfolded.

what was i thinking? finally, i decided to reach out to my therapist. my brother and i were about to board a plane -- i didn't have time to call her privately. i had so much to say, so i whipped out my computer. i couldnt' connect to the internet (although my brother had no problem with his). finally, i connected and wrote the email with seconds to spare.

i texted her too even though we were supposed to turn our phones off the plane. I told her that i didn't want to be secretive, so i was confessing, but i wasn't sure what i wanted to do.

it was very important that i told her but that i realized this is my decision. in the past, if i "confessed", it always meant that i was ready to stop drinking or drugging or restricting or whatever other unfortunate behavior i act out.

but this time, i figured out that the choice is MINE, the decision is MINE. wow, that felt good.

then i took the antabuse.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

avatar and the anorexic

i'm sorry, but was anyone else triggered by Avatar? all through the movie, i kept staring at the Na'vi (the tall, skinny blue humanoids) and comparing myself most unfavorably.

some quick background if you didn't see the movie, in the film circa 2154, man with his machines and weapons comes to destroy the exquisitely beautiful land called Pandora. the Na'vi, lovely humanoid creatures, inhabit the land.

There are many similarities to the white man usurping the world of the American Indians. Like the Indians, The Na'vi are in harmony with nature, they use bow and arrows, pray to spirits and clothe themselves with things found in nature. But while they may both wear paint on their bodies, the bodies themselves are very different.

The Na'vi are approximately ten feet tall, so of course they have long glorious legs. They all have high cheekbones on lean faces. in fact, every body-part in pandora is lean -- i couldn't ascertain one ounce of fat in the whole damn land.

the Navi males have big pumped-up chests but teeny, tiny waists and you can count each and every rib between, tapering to slim hips and a small butt.

The Na'vi females have flat, gently muscled stomachs with the smallest of small waists which lead to perfectly rounded hips and adorable pert butts. the breasts are small and perky. the whole effect is skinny, yet shapely. how does that happen?

i tried -- i did, but i couldn't help wanting to have one of those bodies. "what if i skip lunch tomorrow", i thought as the 3-D women romped past? i seriously found myself wondering what those ladies consume each day. they couldn't eat a lot, right? yet how do they stay sooo skinny and have so much energy? how can i do that?

like i said, everyone in Pandora is thin, so when sigourney weaver's character, Grace, leaves the human world and enters her Avatar (the Na'vi-like body she uses when she transports to Pandora), she loses a LOT of weight. (who wants LESS sigourney weaver??!!!) and equally offensive, not only does she lose numerous dress sizes, she also loses many years. suddenly, she's wearing tiny tops, showing off that three inch waist. her little midriff shirt says "Stanford" so perhaps she's regressed to college-age? why must she lose so many pounds and years? are there no elders in Na'vi? well, evidently only two. the parents of the love interest are, to my eyes the only two older folks, of the thousands we see in Pandora.

once again, we get the message -- we are best if young and very thin.

am i making too much of this; reading too much into the movie? perhaps, but clearly it was a big, big deal for me, because i obsessed on it during the (three hour) movie and long after.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Bump on the Head.

i guess when i made my grand fall at macy's (see prior post), i kind of hit my head a couple of times. seems i got a mild concussion, so i'm pretty headachey. evidently, i'll be fine soon. just need to rest.

in the mean time, i truly needed a root canal, which i had today, so the overall effect is a little........ i don't the word, but i'm just going to bed.

i wanted to thank everyone for all your kind responses to my last blog AND apologize if i'm not responsive in blog world for a little bit -- i hope to be snoozing.

i did postpone my colonoscopy (which was supposed to be tomorrow). enough is enough. see ya later.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pride Goeth Before the Fall....really

you may know that i've been poking around for new job opportunities. (at the new age of 46, it feels a little different. but that's another post.)

in my quest, i started thinking about things i really like. like hair and make-up, for example. so, i've talked to folks at beauty schools, i'll be chatting with an acquaintance who's a make-up artist tomorrow , i'm reading karen's blog,the pitfalls of life, (she's a fabulous stylist in florida. if you live there, go see her!), to follow stories about the world of hair salons.

recently, i started shmoozing the ladies at the make-up counters at a couple of different macy's. i've made friends at Lancone, Elizabeth Arden and Estee Lauder thus far. turns out they get salary, commission AND benefits when they work full-time. there's also part-time -- if i wanted to see if i like it, that could be an option.

i'm actually a little proud of myself (and that's something for me.) i'm networking and calling and gently asking for help. people have been, in general, very, very nice and helpful. it's exciting.

recently, i looked at myself and thought -- isn't it amazing that just a little over two years ago i was living at my brothers, lying on his couch, too anxious and shaking to even dial the phone. now, i realize -- i can be a make-up artist; my hands don't shake!!!!

in all of this job-hunting, i've felt -- fearless.

until yesterday.

yesterday, i went to Macy's to visit my new friend Evelyn at Estee Lauder. We were having a lovely conversation, and i found myself chatting up her manager and asking about how to join the Estee Lauder team, after all i have tons of sales experience, blah, blah, blah.

wow, i was the textbook interviewee -- outgoing, friendly, selling myself subtly. everyone was talking to me.

did i mention it was hot in macy's last night? did i mention i had on long underwear, a big turtleneck, a leather blazer AND my coat (it's been 20 degrees here!). have i written that i had a really bad, heavy period and i was even wondering if i'm a little anemic. or that i was getting very excited about the possibilities?

i was talking to evelyn and she's chatting away in her fabulous italian accent, telling me she has a really good feeling about me. and her big boss will be in next week -- why don't i come in and she'll introduce me.

she looked me right in the eye and said, "i'll get you in here". but then she wasn't looking me in the eye anymore, because i had fainted dead away.....

"kerplunk" on the floor.

I'M FINE NOW. but my pride's quite bruised.

they say it's a good thing to be memorable on a job interview. well, there isn't a person in macys last night who won't remember me!

Monday, January 18, 2010

something gets done

there are so many crummy messages out there that encourage the skinny/diet crazy. it get overwhelming, and i worry there's no chance to change things.

i was heartened when i got this response to my post (two posts ago) about cvs advertising laxatives in the weight loss section. good to know someone's watching. here's what i got:

Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt said...
We're glad this product (mis)placement triggered your concern, as our concern was also triggered! By highlighting this product as part of the "shape up & save" category, CVS inadvertently suggested that using laxatives is an appropriate and healthy way to lose weight. While we doubt CVS's intention was to support, or suggest, eating disorder behaviors and tendencies, we feel that compaines have an obligation to understand what their marketing practicies are suggesting to their companies.

We reached out to CVS about this issue, in hopes that harmful ads such as this will be removed from circulation and a dialogue can be started around responsible retail actions as they relate to eating disorder prevention, awareness and treatment.

now i have to figure out what i can do.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Whale or Mermaid?

my fiance sent this to me (kudos to him!!!!) i really liked what it said -- now, i have to work on taking it in.

Recently, in a large city in Australia ,
a poster featuring a young, thin and tan woman appeared in the window of a gym.
It said, "This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?"

A middle-aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match those of the woman on the poster,responded publicly to the question posed by the gym.

To Whom It May Concern,
Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans.)They have an active sex life, get pregnant and have adorable baby whales.
They have a wonderful time with dolphins stuffing themselves with shrimp.
They play and swim in the seas, seeing wonderful places like Patagonia ,
the Bering Sea and the coral reefs of Polynesia .
Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs.
They are incredible creatures and virtually have no predators
other than humans. They are loved, protected and admired
by almost everyone in the world.

Mermaids don't exist.
If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the offices
of Argentinean psychoanalysts due to identity crisis. Fish or human?
They don't have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them, not to mention how could they have sex? Just look at them ... where is IT?
Therefore, they don't have kids either. Not to mention,
who wants to get close to a girl who smells like a fish store?

The choice is perfectly clear to me:
I want to be a whale.

P..S. We are in an age when media puts into our heads
the idea that only skinny people are beautiful, but I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with my kids, a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver, and a piece of chocolate with my friends.

With time, we gain weight
because we accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads
that when there is no more room, it distributes out to the rest of our bodies.
So we aren't heavy,we are enormously cultured, educated and happy.
Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think, ¨Good grief, look how smart I am!¨

Amen to that sister!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

laxatives as a weight loss product

"CVS Pharmacy mistakenly included a laxative product in the “Shape up & save” section of an advertising circular.... Last week's advertisement for MiraLAX appeared with other products that have been marketed as weight loss aids, including Mega-T Green Tea, Slim Shots and Special K cereal."

Laxatives in the weight loss section.

i don't really know what else to say.

i have a colonoscopy next week. CVS is my pharmacy. do i now have to find my prep kit in the diet section?

hope i'm not triggering anyone. i still can't believe any of us can get triggered by a discussion of colon blow, right? but i do.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


i just watched the local NBC New York 11 pm news, with Chuck Scarborough and Sue Simmons on NBC. Here's what I saw:

The first segment was dedicated to Sue, as this marked her 30th year on the program. I saw pictures of her first show and a nice montage of highlights over the years. I learned that Sue is semi-famous for her spot-on imitation of a groundhog, which she demonstrates every Feb. 2. she was generous enough to show it off this evening as well

The second feature was about Michael Jackson, his doctor, the old charges of pedophilia, etc. After the segment, Sue again received congratulations from the news team.

After the next commercial, we heard about the investigation into Brittany Murphy's death. Then the weather guy came on, gave kudos to Sue, and highlighted what we'd see about weather after the commercial breat.

before the show ended, we got weather, sports, more hosannas to Sue and "goodnight, the tonight show with conan o'brien is next."

Conan's monologue covered a lot more news then i'd seen in the previous 35 minutes with Chuck and Sue.

Much as I've always enjoyed kooky Sue Simmons, does anyone know there's a war going on? there must be something more important in New York to report than a lovely reel of sue's hairdos over the last 30 years?

Maybe the anchors could just read to us directly from People magazine.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

weight in the workplace

what is it with all these office weight loss competitions? every time i visit a client, there's some posting on the wall about shedding pounds as an office event (an eating disorder nightmare, if you ask little ole me.)

blogger friends write of the torment of watching their colleagues quite publicly obsessed with weight. i can't imagine a work place where everyone's counting calories, inches, fat grams, carbs, servings..........

is this a healthy thing? is there doctor supervision?

what happens if someone who's already really thin wants to sign up for the inhouse Big Loser project. does anyone worry that it's not such a good idea?

we know a lot of women suffer some for of disordered eating. even if they don't join, how does it effect them? don't they start thinking they should be dieting too, restricting along with their peers, exercising exhuberantly to burn those extra ounces?

what happens to the gal who gains weight one week? is she ostrasized? who factors in that men lose weight so much faster than women, let alone a menopausal woman. what happens when the pounds creep back, as they so often do? is this a frequent office bonding event throughout the year, i dare to ask?

i passionately believe in the separation of church and state. i feel the same about weight watchers and the workplace.

i have a few other weight rants today:

speaking of the Bigger Loser, that sadist Jillian Michael, BL trainer, has some product out that claims to burn fat. does that sound right? isn't she supposed to be all about healthy diet and exercise? i'd like to strap a harness on HER (has anyone seen how she does this to contestants? it freaks me out.)

it's post new years and EVERYTHING seems all about weight loss. i went to my little neighborhood barnes and nobles today. usually, the first table is for new arrivals (yummy). but not now. oh no, the whole front section was diet books! and when i finally found the new arrivals table, nearly half the books were about getting thin.


moving on. when i work from home i occasionally (cough, cough) flip on morning talk shows. the today show had ways to dress 10 pounds thinner. the view hosted a variety of doctors, all recommending a different weight loss plan. the bonnie hunt show had a best-selling author who hypnotizes people thin (he was her ONLY guest that day.) rachel ray featured some guy who talked all about cleanses.


apparently i'm one of the healthy ones. i'm not on a diet. i don't dress to slim. i would NEVER do a cleanse. i'm reading a world history book. although everyone else in my office is on the southbeach diet, i'm eating my sandwich alone.

when i'm the gal who's demonstrating the best mental health, we need to re-think what we're doing.

Monday, January 4, 2010

everything is fine right now

i've been telling myself all day, "everything is fine right now." i tend to obsess about the future and stress-out about the present.

woke up this morning and got on the scale after not weighing myself for a week (big accomplishment.) i've gained five pounds.

usually, i'd suffer all day but instead, i told myself that my body is perfect right now. i said it over and over throughout the day. the truth is -- the extra five pounds make me a better weight for me. five pounds less is a struggle. although i love that weight, IT'S NOT GOOD FOR ME. my body is perfect right now. wow.

anxiety hit me today. although this felt weird, i actually talked to the anxiety and asked what was going on. (i know this sounds weird.) the response was that i'm not working hard enough at work and i'm scared that my brother/boss will really notice. i don't want to do the work i'm doing -- i hate sales!!! i haven't filled out grad school applications. what am i going to do with the rest of my life.

"talking" to my anxiety actually worked out well. we did breathing exercises (i know this sounds weird) and laughed together that they only kind of worked.

so what did i do after the exchange? i did some work, i made an appointment to sit down with my brother and go over accounts, i emailed two people to see if they'd write my references for schools. i reached out to a literary agent i know and asked if and/or his office needs anyone to read manuscripts. i love, love, love to read. i made a dentist appointment that i really need. i scheduled a colonoscopy, which i really need.

this was all so great, but i did work myself up a bit. i get anxious when i'm excited (not about the dentist or colonoscopy.)

you know what, though, everything is fine right now.

for everyone who read and commented on my last post, thank you, thank you, thank you. your support supported me in every way.

i did reach out to my friend, ted. we made a date to meet, and he seemed happy to do it. when we get together, i will talk to him about what i'm feeling. he is my dearest friend.

time for me to get back to "the real world." i'm a little revved up. why DO we get anxious when we're happy and excited?

breathe. breathe out. everything is fine right now, including my weight