Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Taking chances

Last year, I presented at the PCA/ACA conference. I'm thinking of doing this again, but I think that I'm going to work on doing something a little more radical this time.

I want to do something fun, something creative. But it's a little outside of my comfort zone. And I sometimes don't think that I'm really that creative. Hmmmm....

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"Why don't she write?"

I haven't written on this blog for awhile. Last year at this time, I really wasn't feeling well. My partner had gone crazy (midlife crisis, anyone?!), my stomach had gone sour, and I was just not feeling well.

Well, my partner has leveled out somewhat. I found out that I can't eat gluten. And I think I'm in perimenopause. In other words, I feel more focused, but boy do I get angry sometimes.

I've been using my facebook account as an outlet and will continue with that, but I also want somewhere else on the web that I can just rant. I want to have a little more anonymonity than I do on facebook.

So I'm back. And I think I'll have some things to say on a fairly consistent basis. Yay! for me.

Monday, March 17, 2008


I work with dialysis patients. It is a very difficult environment to work in regarding weight. Introducing a concept of Health at Every Size is HARD! (yes, it had to be capitalized)

But today I felt greatly saddened. A patient of mine told me that she had been told, many years ago by a docter, that her kidneys were failing because she'd been fat for so long. I wanted to weep.

Obesity is not a cause of kidney failure. There is a correlation between obesity and Diabetes or Hypertension, the two leading causes of kidney failure, but being fat has never been shown to cause someone's kidneys to stop working.

And this is what a doctor told this patient.

I often go back to my family when I am writing this blog. They are a good example of teh fat peeples. They live in the midwest and are from tall Scandanavian stock (I'm the shortest at 5'6"). My dad's side of the family is all fat. Not just a little fat, either. These are big people. I got this gene.

But here's the thing...there is no history of kidney failure among this family. They have heart disease, sure. There is stroke as they age. And in one part of the family there is a rare bone disease that is unrelated to size. But in general, they tend to die of the things that most people eventually die of and usually pretty late in life (one great-great-aunt lived to 104).

In reality the predisposition for many of these diseases is genetic: diabetes is often seen in families, as is (in my case) hypertension. If this is true of your family, it is important to be screened for this stuff because it can cause kidney failure. But, unless we learn something we haven't yet about the kidney, you won't have a doctor writing obesity as a reason for dialysis any time soon.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Feeding Frenzy

It sometimes feels, watching the ads pop up on my computer or in other media, like I'm swimming in the midst of weight loss sharks. The images of emaciated or overly buff bodies is more frightening than reassuring. And there are the ones with the sneak attacks (like Slim Fast) who pepper their adds with beautiful smiling full-figured women.

These images, and the words that accompany them, eat away at my will. Because there are days, even though I know that such activities suck the soul out of me and make me unhappy, that I give in the seductive idea that this time I will be the one to beat the odds, lose the weight, and keep it off forever.

But mostly, this constant bombardment eats away at my patience. I want to hurl these little models into a vat of donuts, and close them away until they are a healthy weight. I want to screech at the woman with the washboard abs that she really needs to get a life outside the gym. And I want to shake someone, somewhere, and make them understand that all this money spent on ads would be better used to feed children healthy foods - we don't even have to look to Africa to find malnourished children...they live here in this country, too.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


So I’m a therapist. I want to build my practice working with men and women around the model of Health at Every Size. What I’m looking for is help from the types of people who would get excited about working with a therapist in this way.

You see, I spent part of my sick day yesterday looking at therapy websites, and, frankly, I started to zone out after the 2nd or 3rd. They all seem to say the same thing or are in language that a non-therapist might find off-putting.

So what would you want to see in a therapist’s website that was targeted to you? Go ahead and e-mail me or leave a comment. In particular, I’m wondering if there is language or images that would catch your eye, although suggestions on the content you would want to see in a fat positive therapist are also helpful.

Thanks, so much for your help, ahead of time.


I get so incredibly frustrated with our incredible blindness to the past. I do it. I am a historian to a degree, and I know that I read about the past with rose colored glasses sometimes. But the incredible, blind spot that seems to overtake people when it comes to health and diet is just absolutely amazing.

We consistently hear that our diets are to blame for grave unhealthiness in this country, which of course is "caused" by obesity. It is true that our diets are more plentiful than they ever have been. But here are other truths:

1. We have a more varied diet than at any time in the history of the planet. My people were farmers 100 years ago. They did not have olive oil (which is so heart healthy). They did not eat greens (jello when it came along was a salad). They ate corn and white flour. Their fruits and veggies were primarily canned for most of the year in sugar and salt. They used lard consistently and drank milk straight from the cow.

2. There was no consistent refrigeration, yet, during the summer which meant that meat went bad more often, and people would sometimes still eat it (why do you think the French came up with so many heavy sauces?). Fish, unless your creek or river was stocked, was rare.

3. Water was not purified very well. Most people got water from wells on their land. Since they also had their livestock and their outhouses on the same land, imagine how nummy that must have been. Water born illnesses killed a lot of people before modern water sanitation services.

None of this was helpful to the overall health of people, indeed the life expectancy was about 58 in 1900, whereas today it's 77 years. That seems to speak for itself.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


I've had a recurring dream lately.

In the dream, I'm going up into this room in a tree house. It's a room I've been in before, but now the staircase is much harder to navigate and it becomes clear that I'm going to have trouble getting up around the stairwell.

Last night, In my dream, I tried and got stuck. I didn't push too hard because I didn't want to end up like Pooh in the picture above: half-in and half-out.

I'm sure that there is a deeper level to my dream, but the surface message is that I feel too big. I'm the biggest I've ever been and this time I've gained it around my stomach and arms and in my thighs (why does it never go to my breasts where I might be able to move up to a bigger cup...you see I can rarely find a 42B or 42C, but if I could just get to a D cup, then I'd have no problems finding a 42D).

Clothes fit not so well and I don't like to wear uncomfortable clothes. I confessed to S that I was worried that he was not attracted to me anymore. This is patently silly, since he really has not changed his behavior. But I think what I was saying is that I don't think I'm attractive and I can't imagine him doing so either.

I want to find myself attractive. Because I'm really not willing to diet anymore. There is too much evidence I'm finding that leads me to believe that dieting does dreadful things to our bodies and can cause us to get fatter in the long run. I want to learn this intuitive eating bit and really embrace my body. But it is so hard to do. I feel stuck. Can anyone unstuck me?