Planning some radical changes

…to my relationship with food. Does that sound over-dramatic? (so unlike me, I know!)

I am indebted to Michael Pollan, particularly his book Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, and to a slew of documentaries, including Forks over Knives, Fed Up, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, and others I am probably not remembering right now.

I don’t know how quickly I will do this, or whether I will jump in with both feet or make changes gradually, but here is what I want:

I want to be done with simple sugars, too much sodium, artificial ingredients, processed food.

I want to cut down – or perhaps eliminate completely – my meat consumption.

I want to train my body and taste buds to crave what is healthy. I want to explore ways to make *real* food exciting.

I want to be healthy. I want to have the energy to do the things I hope to do in the next twenty, thirty, or forty years that I have on this earth.

So much will have to change. I am already pondering how and when to say a final “good-bye” to a seemingly unending list of favorite foods…Krispy Kreme, Reese’s, cheesecake, newly-discovered chicken from a place that is (inexplicably) called Pizza Ranch (the pizza is meh, but the chicken!!!!!).I find myself trying to figure out how to plan a funeral/good-bye ceremony for each of these.

I am embracing the idea that my addiction to crappy food is as much (or more so) a physiological issue as an emotional one.

I am trying to imagine my life with these radically different food choices…what it will mean for my socializing over restaurant meals, my day-to-day food preparation, and so on.

This will be really, really hard. But I’m determined. Baby steps or big leaps, two steps forward, one step back, or spectacular failures followed by eventual success…I don’t know what it will look like…but I’m certain that it will be an adventure.

Stay tuned…

the sleep study (not just for fat chicks!)

So for those of you who have been waiting with baited breath, here are some highlights (and photos, of course!) of the sleep study . . .

now THAT’S attractive . . .

best moment: the technician telling me, “so if you need help relaxing, there’s a vibrator over there.” My immediate thought: “EIUEW!” and then, “BUT SHE JUST TOLD ME THERE’S A CAMERA IN THE CEILING!”

Seriously, it took me a minute to register the fact that she was pointing to a remote control and that what she meant is that the BED had a vibrating mechanism. wow.

she was sooooo nice . . . so if I get a survey in the mail, do I even mention the fact that she might want to consider a new choice of words? she was young . . . and married . . . so of course I’m sure it didn’t occur to her!

most annoying moment: mentioning to the afore-mentioned technician that I had overheard the anesthesiologist at my surgery say something about, “her sats kept dropping” (not my test scores, my oxygen saturation levels, for those of you who are possibly less cyberchondriacal than I am . . . ) and the tech immediately said, “So that was probably a big part of the reason why you were referred.” and all I could think was, “nice. too bad I referred my OWN self, and nobody there said anything to me.” AND I requested my records from the surgery, and nothing was said there either. (I think there was one sentence about them needing to switch from partial to full anesthesia, but nothing like, “hmm. she doesn’t breathe well when she’s asleep. perhaps we should suggest that she get a sleep study.”)

so you see, cyberchondria does have its benefits!

worst choice of media: there were “movies on demand”, so after watching Reality Bites on the cable channel (true story, that was seriously on!) I put on Hairspray, which probably wasn’t the most relaxing choice for me, between the toe-tapping songs and the themes of racial injustice. (I was so wired up and I wondered if my brain waves and heart started freaking out every time they said something that had to do with racism . . . it’s so weird knowing that you are being not only “watched” but monitored in terms of your heart rate and brain waves . . . kind of hard not to submit to the paranoia of “what if they can read your mind?”

biggest epiphany: the next morning, searching YouTube for sleep apnea videos, (the one they showed at the hospital was painfully corny and I was telling the tech that they could’ve made it way funnier) I came across this video (below the fold) of Rosie O’Donnell on The View talking about her own diagnosis and treatment. (If you can deal with Rosie talking about being in bed with her girlfriend) She talks about the shame surrounding her reluctance to be tested for sleep apnea . . . which hit home with me . . . as much as I try to preach size acceptance, there was obviously no denying that this is a disease that is common to (though not exclusive to) fat folks. But I also recognize what I keep hearing, which is that sleep apnea can actually CAUSE more weight gain, and that the resultant daytime sleepiness can make it harder to be able to exercise . . . so the whole “correlation does not prove causation” mantra that was such a part of my undergrad experience is something I need to keep in mind . . .

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Size acceptance vs. Fat Activism

so I was wandering the internet, and came across this blogger’s set of questions, which I thought were worth answering here . . . (WAS worth answering here?! grammar police, are you out there?)  

anyway, here’s her list:

So tell me:
1. What is your definition of a Fat Activist?
2. What qualities give a Fat Activist the capital letters in that title?
3. How is a Fat Activist different from a Fat-Acceptance Supporter?

And my answers . . .

1) I would define it as being someone who is willing to (and does) speak out against false information and stereotypes about fatness and fat people . . . I used to refer to myself as a “size acceptance activist”, which seems to fit in better with the whole concept of HAES.

2) I’m not going to quibble about capital letters, but I think it’s about being true to it and consistently acting/speaking out about what you believe. But I also wonder if this is a case of self-identification, and I’m not sure that any of us gets to decide who is and isn’t a Fat Activist with a capital “FA” . . .

3) “Activist” versus “Supporter” to me is about doing/speaking out versus merely saying, “sure, I believe in that”. In some ways, there’s not really a cost to being a supporter in the same way that there is a cost to being an “activist”. For example, I’m passionate about fighting racism, and I would say that there are probably a lot of people who would say they “support” fighting racism, but the cost to these people is nothing like the cost of people who are really in the trenches, working to fight against racism. If you’ll permit me the analogy, I feel like it’s the same thing with being a size acceptance activist. You take the risk. You speak out when it’s not popular.

Anything else, and you’re just a supporter . . .