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.