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Food and Weight

This is a rant, about food, diets, advertisements, stupidity and lies. Do not read if any of these are triggering.
Yes, I'm fat, maybe even "obese", but the entire fucking diet industry has never done anything but make me fatter, and more neurotic. I know a lot of people who push the latest dieting fad with evangelical religious zeal, only to weigh even more two years later.

I really, really, really loathe "diet" food and "diet" ads. I am developing a similar distaste for food labelled "healthy". Like "Lean Quisine" entres: low calorie, but high sodium, and low mass. Not healthy, just small and deceptive. The thing says it's one "serving". Bullshit. More like a small snack loaded with sodium to make your arteries explode.

My measure of nutritional value of a food is calories, fat, sodium, etc per Ounce, not per frigging serving, not per stupid gram. If food a has 10 calories per ounce, it's lower calorie than something that has 20. But both will say "only 40 calories per serving", and have different serving sizes. At least now they have to tell you how much a "serving" weighs.

But at least the "per ounce" measure isn't subjective, twisted by whatever an advertising department decides is a serving today. So stop with the "servings", already.

Then there's the BMI - body mass index. A straight, arbitrary measure of weight to heaight. Nevermind that muscle weights more than fat, and nevermind that some people have denser bones and/or heavier skeletons than others, not just based on gender. But apparently some people are basing hiring and firing decisions on this bogus measurement.

A lot of people base their assessment of "health" purely on "weight". Doctors are the worst at this. I can still remember going in for an annual checkup, and having the nurse say to me "Oh, you're fat, your blood pressure will be high", then meauring it and finding out is was low normal. Then she said "Well, your probably have high cholesterol anyway". The results came back: low normal.

Some people I know get refused treatment for very real, distressing conditions by doctors who say they are not "cooperating", or "complying" (like it was some sort of court order), on the "weight loss program" - essentially, they won't treat a "fat" person for anything else until after they lose weight. A roomate of mine died of a heart attack because of this attitude. Nevermind that she literally couldn't lose weight because of her fucked up metabolism and cardiac problems. She was under 40, but all the fucking quacks saw was a "fat girl", and never looked farther.

Then there's the whole disability and weight thing. Guess what? When you are mobility impaired, exercise becomes a difficult proposition. Also, preparing really healthy meals instead of canned or frozen gut bombs is nearly impossible. But the weight loss industry and their lackeys in medicine tout the "health food and vigorous exercise" regimen as essential to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (or at least sex).

Would it be too much to ask that the packaged food industry leave out some of the nasty crap that kills people? Sure, the MSG and partially hydrogenated soybean oil may make it taste better without increasing the calories per "serving", but that crap is brutal on your system. I swear, the only frozen food that I can trust to not have hidden time bombs in it is frozen vegetables (no sauces, no "side dishes") and frozen pure meat (unbreaded - the breading that most do is a gross chemical stew.) Canned stuff is even worse - the preservatives they add, in spite of high pressure canning techniques, is just fucking astounding!!

Hell, I even have to read labels on dried pasta nowadays, because they add soybean crap to anything in the world. If you try to sell me plain spaghetti noodles that are anything but flour and water, get stuffed.

Sodas are the worst for empty calories or chemical poisoning. Can't they finally come up with a substitute sweetener for them that isn't a slow poison? As it is, I have to chose between stuff sweetened by "corn syrup" or by "artifical sweeteners" like nutrasweet. The first is a recipe for diabetes, the second for neurological problems. Thanks. Oh, and why don't they make canned unsweetened iced tea?? Not "artifically sweetened" with nutrasweet, saccharine or splenda, but honest tea with no sweetener? It would eliminate me needing to buy carbonated stuff almost completely, but still enable me to have packaged drinks for convenience.

Finally, we have deserts. You know, those things that we allow ourselves to have as treats sometimes. Why in the hell do they put partially hydrogenated soybean oil in a desert?? Do they really think that a bit of plastic margarine will suddenly make a confection, comprised mostly of refined sugar, healthy?? Get real. People who bake with margarine should be force fed the stuff until they puke. If you're gonna make cookies and pie, don't skimp and pretend you're being "healthy", use real butter! (The only exception is for the lactose intolerant, IMO, and then they have to swap a lot of stuff.)

Speaking of fake, there's the vegetablerian thing of fake meat. Sorry folks, it may "taste like chicken" to you, but it's not even close to me. While I happen to like the Gardenburgers as vegetable burgers, they aren't meat, they don't taste like meat, so don't try to claim they do. TVP is just gross - it's fake, and has so many chemicals to try to taste more like meat that it's just plastic.

So, in conclusion, I have to say that the american public would be a lot healthier, and a lot thinner, if we stopped the lies and deceptions in the "diet"/"healthy" food industry and the medical profession. If you want to be thin, do it sensibly, avoid any packaged "diet" or "plan" like the plague, chose your food based on calories and fats per ounce, and expend more calories than you consume.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 13th, 2006 10:31 pm (UTC)
> [doctors and lack of treatment ]
> Then there's the whole disability and weight thing.

Sounds like my last back injury.
Them: Um, your weight is up, lose weight and it'll stop hurting.
Me: Um, sudden onset, yanno, lifting injury?

Them: Do you exercise?
Me: Not really

Them: Ah, well, exercise will help
Me: Um, major pain...??

Other than taking my money and reinjuring me in physical therapy they didnt do much; except raise my blood pressure.

In the flavored drink department, I dont know where you live but you could try the Mexican and Indian grocery stores. Mexican soft drinks are still made with sugar (at least Jarritos is). And the Indian stores carry fruit juice drinks made with sugar (at least Rubicon out of Canada was).
Jul. 14th, 2006 03:06 pm (UTC)
Some people I know get refused treatment for very real, distressing conditions by doctors who say they are not "cooperating", or "complying" (like it was some sort of court order), on the "weight loss program" - essentially, they won't treat a "fat" person for anything else until after they lose weight.

I went in for an exam with my doctor, Gretchen Mello, at Kaiser here in Oakland. I gave her a brief medical history, although I was really there fot heel pain.

"Okay, so how do you feel about your weight?"

I was, frankly, shocked that she was that circumspect and polite about it. Amazing! Someone who gets that you might have a better chance of convincing someone if you don't start with an attack!

"Well, doctor, I happy with the shape I'm in right now, but if that changes I'll be sure to let you know."

"Oh. Okay. Well, there are some flyers about our programs back there, for if you ever change your mind."

And that was it. Contrast to the gynecologist I had five years ago, who had quite a row with me over it--granted, that's "quite a row" by California communications standards; given that he was from New York and still talked like it, and had thrown me into a matching mode, by his lights it was probably "a reasonable conversation".

Re: Per ounce: Of course they don't want to, but otoh fat, sugar, and protein all have a set number of kilocalories per ounce. Not that anyone wants to take a calculator to the grocery, but from the labels that already exist, one could derive this data.

Oh, and why don't they make canned unsweetened iced tea??

They do, but the brand that springs most immediately to mind is Tejava. On the bright side, this is always available at Trader Joe's.

-- Lorrie
Jul. 15th, 2006 04:25 am (UTC)
ummmm yeah, trying to eat healthier these days. Of course loosing weight due to the "my teeth hurt to bad to eat" diet seems to be working out the best. Actually, if I eat meats, cheeses, eggs, and vegies, dried fruits, and the like, I can eat with relatively little pain. Anything with sugar or much bread, like a sandwich, sends my teeth and the whole left side of my face into searing pain. I can still eat anything with jalapenos so I'm good there. LOL Oh, and dratted little with much oil or old oil so I have to watch which chineese place I eat at. And I love chineese.
My friend has a hernia, in severe pain, but they won't operate. He's too fat they say . Exercise. but he can hardly move. Another friend bought him a truss so he can at least walk around a bit. So unfair. If they'd fix the hernia, he could properly exercise and loose the weight. He'd be able to walk more, feel better, hold down a real job so he could afford more healthful food. Oh no, can't do that. Must loose weight first. Stupid fucks.
Jul. 15th, 2006 06:01 pm (UTC)
He needs to get a new doctor, IMO. The "leave you in pain until you lose weight" thing is a form of torture - "hurt you until you bend to our will" type of crap.
Jul. 16th, 2006 01:26 am (UTC)
I hear you ... and that's AFTER losing close to 80 pounds since October 2004.

I'm doing Weight Watchers and moderate exercise (I go swimming; twice a week, if I can manage it, and it's continuous laps for a whole hour; no breaks OR talking!); sure, it's slow, but it's working for me. My blood pressure is normal, cholesterol is good, no sign of diabetes -- what more do I want?

WEll, to be honest, to lose the same amount of weight again, because for my height/age/build, I'm still 80 pounds overweight. But at least I've left "morbidly obese" behind. I think. :)

And yet, my doctor wants me to switch from a healthy, balanced diet that I like and can live normally with each day to low-carb or a variation of Atkins, which I neither like nor want to. It's too complicated, I LIKE vegetables and unlimited serving sizes of pasta and/or potatoes, and I'm also not out to lose weight in record time. I knew when I started that I couldn't just snip my fingers and be slim (but wouldn't THAT be great?*sigh*); after all, it took me years to GAIN the weight.

My only health problem right now are varicose veins; I've known for 8 years that I need them operated on. At the time, I'd also lost around 90 pounds (regained them later) -- and the frelling specialist told me he'd consider performing the operation after I'd lost some MORE weight. Grrr.

Anyway. Good luck, and a happy belated birthday!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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