Why am I watching this?

Should be asleep, but I’m playing Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook and listening to “Bulging Brides” on the TV (what can I say, I just left Slice on after watching “Sheer Genius”). I just lost a game because I had to look at the TV. Judging by the way they were talking to the poor woman, I was expecting to see an extremely overweight individual. What I see instead is a very healthy-sized (139-pound, 5’4″) woman who really didn’t need to lose weight. (She did, on the other hand, need to have bought a dress that actually fit her. What is going on in brides’ heads? But I digress.) But she’s horrified at how she looks, and the two trainers do everything they can to make her feel as bad as possible about her present self.

What kind of horrible, piece of shit program is this? Like women don’t have enough body image issues that we need to have yet another TV program that tells us that carrying even 10 extra pounds makes you a fat cow. I don’t care if it’s supposed to be a boot-camp style weight loss show. I don’t care. It’s this kind of bullshit that makes young girls become bulimic or anorexic, that makes any kind of true fat acceptance in this society a pure pipe dream.

(I was despairing a little when I read the first few feedback comments on the show’s Web site, but, thankfully, there are a few sensible people who are also questioning how sensible the show is.)


Pet peeves

I watched parts of Jamie Oliver’s “Jamie’s Eat to Save Your Life” program last Sunday night on the Food Network. At first I was a little bored by it, but it was actually pretty good. (If you missed it, you can watch it on Youtube.)

It got me thinking about some of the things that non-obese people do/say to obese people that really annoy me. OK, I know that kind of list could be reeeeeeeeally long so I’ll only pick the top three annoyances (you’re welcome):

  1. “You’ll lose weight if you just eat less and exercise more”

    My sister and I are opposite sides of the food issues coin: while I binge eat, she’s an exercise addict and, at times in her life, has been a borderline anorexic. She came to visit me for a couple of weeks several years ago, at a time when her body image issues were quite obvious. After she admitted to exercising rigourously in my bathroom because she caught a glimpse of her “fat legs” in the mirror (she’s a runner so she has a runner’s muscular legs but she sees the muscle and thinks “fat”), she and I had a long discussion about eating and food issues during which she pulled out the old “You’ll lose weight if you just eat less and exercise more”. It’s an arrogant naivité. Whatever an obese person might say in public defense of themselves, we all know inside that eating less/better and exercising more will make us lose weight. We’re not stupid. But you don’t become obese without there being some underlying mental or emotional issues that need to be addressed. Just losing weight won’t make those issues go away, and in fact that’s just likely to make people switch to a different addiction. (My food addiction and my sister’s exercise addiction are both manifestations of some deep, underlying emotional issues — and neither is healthy in the long-term.)
  2. People who think they must critique your food

    My mother worries about my weight constantly and has done so since I hit puberty. Every conversation with her invariably turned turned to advice about what I could be doing to lose weight. A couple of years ago, I told her and my father that they were no longer allowed to raise the issue of my weight — if I brought it up myself, it would be to share, not to start a dialogue. They’ve been good about accepting that.

    They’re not the people I’m talking about in this peeve, though. They’re just being parents, and I understand that. I’m talking about people like this guy I used to work with who, whenever the team was out for lunch, felt he had to comment on how unhealthy whatever I’d ordered was, and offer me tips for losing weight. I eventually had to tell him to shut up.Most obese people know what they need to do — or not do — to lose weight. In fact, I suspect that many obese know a great deal more about nutrition and health-related topics than the average person. We don’t need you to preach to us, to attempt to educate us with unsolicited advice. Unless we’re eating food off your plate, it is none of your business. And unless you’re asked for your advice, keep it to yourself.*

  3. Doctors saying “I’d be happy if you just lose x pounds”

    Liars. They wouldn’t be happy. They’d be happier than they would be if you lost nothing, but the instant you reach that goal, they’ll come up with a new “Well, if you only lost x more pounds, you’d [gain this benefit]”. They won’t truly be happy until you are within the acceptable range and/or meet their criteria for ideal size/weight. Don’t get me wrong. I understand why they do it. But it’s a little hypocritical, a little patronizing, and a lot annoying.

*Just to clarify — I’m talking about one-on-one communications here, not articles, blog posts, books, etc. Advise away in your own personal space. You may reach someone open to your advise. But when you’re talking to someone specific, be they friend or acquaintance, keep it to yourself unless you’re asked for it.

The Me Project 2.0: reboot

Other than slowly working on stage 2 of the decluttering/dehoarding, I’ve entirely lost track of the Me Project. I’ve forgotten to take my supplements (meaning any inroads I was making on the Koilonychia, are gone), I’ve bitten all my nails (and fingers, which hurt), my sleep pattern is completely messed up. In short, I’m right back where I started.

Well, almost right back. I’ve lost about 7 pounds since the start a few months ago, which at least is a downward trend. And I’ve actually christened my five-year-old oven. But it still doesn’t make up for all of the ground that I’ve lost. Part of it seems to be a side effect of the situation I mentioned in my previous post, but most of it is just the usual backsliding, years of bad habits and emotional crutches resisting a new world order.

So, time for a reboot, a “do over”, with a pledge to myself to write an update at least once a week — failing to keep up with the blogging last time meant less “public” accountability and an easier slope to slide down. So, while today would technically be day 93 in old counting (aka the Me Project 1.0), it’s now going to be a new day 1. The Pizza Gods seem to approve, since they’ve been ensuring that I haven’t been able to successfully order pizza for the last couple of days, long enough for me to come to my senses. 😉

Sensa Weight-loss System

The “On TV Today” section of the Shopping Channel’s home page lists some of the products they were selling today. One of today’s hot items was Sensa, a weight loss system that urges you to “Use your sense of taste and smell to help you lose weight”. I had to look.

The claims are that Sensa, with “patent-pending Tastant Technology”, makes your food smell and taste better so that your brain thinks it’s full. From the information on TSC’s pages:

“By enhancing flavor (sensory input), Sensa Tastants help to enable the brain-stomach connection and trigger the “feel full” signal. Essentially, Sensa works to assist you with your weight loss goals by eliminating the restrictions and drawbacks of dieting. With Sensa, you can eat all the foods that satisfy your senses. Because there are no food restrictions, you don’t have to deal with any intense food cravings or feelings of starvation.”

“When you first start on the Sensa program, the Tastants do all the work. Over time, you will begin to intuitively understand portion control and develop healthier eating habits, without having to give up any of your favorite foods.”

“You won’t feel jittery or anxious, there are no sugar, calories or MSG added, and less than 1mg of sodium.”

Riiight. According to the TSC site, the sprinkles in the shakers contain maltodextrin (a starch sweetener that is in some artificial sweeteners, including Splenda), tricalcium phosphate (an anti-caking agent?), silica (yummy indigestible powder, which presumably serves as filler), natural and artificial flavors (um, it isn’t supposed to have a flavour), FD&C Yellow 5 (why, if the product is white?), and carmine (a red food dye made from insects — not sure how that figures into white sprinkles either). The label also says it “contains Soy and milk ingredients”. Unless they’re hiding ingredients, one presumes that the maltodextrin is the Holy Grail, the ingredient that is supposed to lessen your appetite. Weird, that, especially since maltodextrin apparently frequently includes MSG.

It all sets my Spidey senses tingling. In general, I have problems with appetite suppressant products, not just because I don’t overeat when I’m hungry and not helped by having my appetite suppressed but because appetite suppressants, if they work for you, just become another crutch to lean on. They don’t teach you how to eat properly or how to take care of yourself well, and they don’t help you resolve the mental and emotional reasons for your obesity. Morbid obesity doesn’t happen just because people can’t control their hunger.

Continue reading “Sensa Weight-loss System”

The Me Project: Day 15

Still sleeping weird patterns. Still haven’t cleaned out the fridge, so still haven’t bought groceries, and still haven’t stopped buying the fast and easy junk food.

Doesn’t help that I’m feeling the omgihavetogetajobreallyreallyREALLYsoon panic building — and panic makes me eat. EI is taking the full 28 days to make a decision about restarting my previous claim. I have no idea why. It’s not complicated, but they did the same thing last time. I have to call them tomorrow morning (Monday). My request to get a lump sum transfer value of my unlocked-in pension is also straggling — turns out that, despite my having mailed it in 3 months ago, it never actually hit someone’s desk until my call lit a fire under someone’s butt; and it also turns out that they were waiting for a copy of my birth certificate. I have to call them later on this week to see what else they’re waiting for. Once they have everything from my old HR department, Superannuation has up to 45 days to issue the payment. (If they’re anything like EI, they’ll make sure they take the full 45 days — after all, why make it easy for the punter.) *sigh*

I may not have been doing a lot of weight-loss related stuff over the last couple of days, but I have been doing a lot of thinking (in between the O’Henry chocolate bars). I’m a little bit closer to knowing what I want to do, where I want to go, so it hasn’t been a completely unproductive weekend. I’m going to go try to get some normal sleep and then start my December by (a) getting at least my kitchen cleaned and (b) getting stuck back into some contract work I’d let slide while I was working (they may have given up on me).

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The Me Project: Day…what day is it again?

Just kidding. It’s day 13.

I know. I’ve missed a few days. The last week has been what can only be described as “blah”. Did nothing. Thought about nothing of any import (as you can tell from my posts here LOL). Started new Me Project posts each day, but realized I had nothing to say about things. Battled a fruit fly plague. (Isn’t that one of the signs of the Apocalypse?) Watched a hella lot of TV. Ate too much junk food. (Still haven’t cleaned my fridge.) Went offroad in my head. But I’m veering back onto the track now.

My scale tells me that I lost 2 pounds, but it’s a pathological liar and I don’t believe it. And I’m ignoring the siren call of my nails. (“You know you wanna.”)

Applied for a very short-term freelance job. Looked kind of interesting for a couple of days work, but who knows. Started properly looking at job postings. I need to get out of the house — I’m going stir crazy. Saw a contract for an HTML Converter. It pays less than my usual rate, but it might be nice, mild work for awhile. So I’m waffling over whether or not to apply for it. (It doesn’t say how long the contract is.)

Continue reading “The Me Project: Day…what day is it again?”

The Me Project: Day 4 – Decide

Hair driving me nuts. Finally had to put it back in the hair band, which defeats the purpose of the new haircut. Having an emotional roller coaster of a day, all over the map. That was reflected in the fact that I pretty much slipped back into old eating habits. Didn’t eat quite as much as I probably would ordinarily, but it was all the wrong stuff — chocolate, Pringles, Pizza Pockets — and I feel ill for having eaten it. It’s certainly not helping the mood swings.

Need a break from my computer. Spending too much time online: surfing, reading, arguing, buying. Losing huge amounts of time and energy to it all, not to mention money that I don’t really have.

Musique du jour:

$&*%#ing Tokio Hotel. Get out of my head. 😉

Word of the day:


which mean crappy or screwed up in Yiddish. Kind of fits how I am feeling about myself today. Other less rude Jewish words can be found in The Yiddish Handbook: 40 Words You Should Know.

Continue reading “The Me Project: Day 4 – Decide”

The Me Project: Day 3

Still stuck on this weird semi night shift sleep pattern. Today’s goal was to actually stay awake long enough to go to bed at a proper time (10 or 11pm). That didn’t happen — ended up taking a nap before I went out today, but that might have been a good thing as I might actually make it to 10pm.

Got my hair cut today. It’s similar to what I had before, spiky at the back with a bang/fringe at the front. We left the front longer so that I can push it back if I want, but she parted it on the wrong side and I’ve spent the rest of the day trying to keep the hair from blocking both eyes. I like it, but I really need to colour it. Not sure I’m a happy medium brown, though — I miss my old dark brown, and I miss my 80s streaks. (Streaks and highlights are hard to maintain when you’re also covering grey, unless you can afford to go to a salon regularly.) Started talking wistfully about having perms and my favourite hair stylist tells me perms are coming back. Then she mentions beehives and we go off on a tangent about Amy Winehouse and the perils of being rich and famous. We decided that lottery winnings would be wasted on us as we’d blow the money chartering a private jet to Paris for lunch or to Italy for a weekend shopping trip, slumming it in $3000 a night hotels, rather than helping the less fortunate. We were being silly about it in the extreme, but I actually wish I could afford to take frequent long weekend trips away — I love hotels but I’m not particularly happy away from home for very long periods of time. I know. It’s seems like a waste, all that money on airfare for a couple of days, but if the only other option is to go nowhere at all and you can afford it, then why not? Mind you, I hate travelling alone so I’d need a companion.

Bought new headphones, as well, so that I can least use my portable CD player for walks until I find my MP3 player. Was going to buy groceries but my back was killing me so I came home instead. Will get them tomorrow instead. Besides, I still haven’t cleaned the fridge and it’s been giving me the evil eye. Brought Subway home for supper. Not a good choice all things considered, but it sure tasted good.

Musique du jour:

Still all Tokio Hotel, all the time…with the odd bit of Cyndi Lauper, Katy Perry, and Live thrown in like a palate-cleansing sorbet. Danced in the dark, with only the iTunes visualizer for light, to “Into the Nightlife”.

Word of the Day:


Defined in Wikipedia as “a form of propaganda whose techniques usually consist of a few people attempting to give the impression that mass numbers of enthusiasts advocate some specific cause.”

Comes to mind after watching a documentary about how to write a romance novel. Amazon’s book pages and message boards are fertile grounds for several examples of ongoing astroturfing campaigns by several authors (including Robert Stanek, who is often held up as a classic example of astroturfing in the world of science fiction and fantasy and whose efforts I came across personally several years ago). David Louis Edelman offers a good post about ethical self-promotion for authors.

Continue reading “The Me Project: Day 3”

The Apron, revisited

As I wrote before, one of my biggest worries about losing weight is being left with empty folds of skin all over the place, especially from the dreaded apron of fat or panniculus. I wouldn’t hesitate to have surgery to remove any excess skin, you understand, but I would much prefer to not have to risk surgery or spend that kind of money if there’s anything I can do to prevent it in the first place. (Yes, I know…the best prevention would have been not gaining weight in the first place but that’s obviously not a place I can go back to.)

Janice Elizabeth Small, the weight loss coach I mentioned in that earlier post, has a number of sites, including Think Slim and her Q&A blog, http://www.dietingstop.com/blog. I”m trying to keep things as simple for myself right now so I’m avoiding reading too much about weight loss right now — experience tells me that if I start delving too deeply, I get overwhelmed and discouraged and that’s the one thing I can’t afford to have happen right now — but the Q&A blog in particular has a number of interesting posts related to obesity and the issues of loose skin.

The article I’d mentioned in that previous post is How to Avoid Loose Skin Problems After Weight Loss. Other interesting posts from Janice include:

15 Simple Metabolism Boosting Secrets, which suggests that you

1 Eat little and often
2. Eat breakfast
3. Eat enough
4. Eat Lean Protein
5. Eat Fibre
6. Spice up your food
7. Drink Coffee
8. Drink Green Tea
9. Get active
10. Walk it off
11. Build those muscles
12. Go hot or cold
13. Drink Iced Water
14. Watch the alcohol
15. Take up yoga

(Read the full post on her blog for explanations of why each of those tips helps boost your metabolism.)

The Me Project: Day 2 begins

Have to stop this waking up at 1:30 am rut I seem to be stuck in. It gets my internal clock all messed up.

Was going to go for a little walk this morning, but hate to walk without music and can’t find my MP3 player. Then realized I still haven’t cleaned my fridge or kitchen cupboards so that can be my workout for the day.

As I wrote before, one of my biggest worries about losing weight is being left with empty folds of skin all over the place, especially from the dreaded apron of fat or panniculus. I wouldn’t hesitate to have surgery to remove any excess skin, you understand, but I would much prefer to not have to risk surgery or spend that kind of money if there’s anything I can do to prevent it in the first place. (Yes, I know…the best prevention would have been not gaining weight in the first place but that’s obviously not a place I can go back to.)

I’m trying to keep things as simple for myself right now so I’m avoiding reading too much about weight loss right now — experience tells me that if I start delving too deeply, I get overwhelmed and discouraged and that’s the one thing I can’t afford to have happen right now. I might as well start out as I mean to go on, though, and reread those articles I’d mentioned in that post. Additionally, Janice Elizabeth Small, the weight loss coach I mentioned in that earlier post, has a post called 15 Simple Metabolism Boosting Secrets that suggests some things you can do to boost your metabolism and make weight loss a little bit easier.

Off topic: A couple of days ago, I changed the theme on this blog. I’m not as fond of this theme as I was of ChaoticSoul but this one at least has next post and previous post links on each post, which is the reason for the switch. I’m annoyed that you can’t customize WordPress blogs a great deal unless you install a copy of WordPress on your own site, but that’s the price you pay for a free blog.

Musique du jour:

Who am I kidding? I’ve been listening to Tokio Hotel’s “Durch Den Monsun” on autorepeat for about five hours now. Crazy, I know. But it’s occupying that part of my brain that wants to go have a nap. I’m nearing saturation point on it, though.

Word of the day:

The Urban Dictionary defines it well: “To muck about, wasting time doing something not necessary.” As in “I’ve been faffing about so much that I’ve accomplished nothing in the last two years.”

Continue reading “The Me Project: Day 2 begins”