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An ode to diets

29 Nov

(Heather’s Perspective)

I thought that during my countdown to my surgery date (on the 6th December)… (just a mere week away)… that I would celebrate my exit from the World-of-Diets by documenting just a few of my awful dieting experiences on this blog.  I’m pretty sure that Soo will have much to contribute towards this topic too, since she has also embarked upon dodgy diets too numerous to mention, in order to stay thin!

I have been on, literally, hundreds of different diets during the 30 years that I have struggled with my eating disorder… but I will mention only the most… uh… colourful… in the next couple of blogs.

First… let’s start with that staple dieting classic:  The Milkshake Diet.

Soo documented her take here.

Where can I obtain these Diet Milkshakes?

There are a number of variants of Milkshake Diet.  You get ready-made shakes in a can (like Slim-Fast)…  or you can buy powdered versions (like Shape)…all readily available on the shelves of your local supermarket or pharmacy. However, you may want to sample the pyramid scheme versions (from bright, eager salespeople in your suburb) – like the Herbalife shake.

How will I spot a Milkshake Diet?

Milkshake diets are all marketed in the same way… with images of creamy shakes (almost always in chocolate and strawberry flavour – but sometimes, if you’re lucky, you get banana too!).  These creamy-looking shakes are always displayed in large parfait glasses, usually embellished with a display of fresh strawberries propped neatly next to the glass (or blocks of chocolate, or slices of fresh banana – depending on your flavour choice).  A candy-striped straw is usually propped up in the glass too (upright, so the ‘thickness’ of the milkshake seems appealing).

The manufacturers of said diet-milkshakes always promise that the shakes are “delicious”… and “creamy”… and that they are filling and satisfying… and wholesome… and healthy… and that the milkshake diet is easy-to-follow.

What are the Rules of Milkshake Dieting?

Oh, easy-peasy!  (apparently).  You simply swap 2 meals per day for the shake… and you eat a 3rd, moderated diet meal (usually skinless chicken breast with a few lettuce leaves and a cocktail tomato).  Weight is thus bound to come off quick-quick!

What are Heather’s experiences of the milkshake diet?

Well firstly…  FACT # 1: The milkshake diets NEVER-EVER-EVER taste “creamy and delicious” (like REAL milkshakes taste!).  The best way to describe them?  Vile, grainy, watery concoctions!

This is the type of image you'll see on milkshake diet advertising and packaging!

This, however, is more of an accurate depiction.

The worst would probably be the Herbalife version.  You don’t mix it with milk, you mix it with water – and the powder doesn’t dissolve.  I remember retching every time I drank it.  It also had a very off-putting smell:  the smell of your burp after you’ve taken a multi-vitamin on an empty stomach.

FACT # 2: You are never “full” or “satisfied” on a milkshake diet.  Ever.  Soo will testify to this.  You are continually starving.  From day 1.  You continually feel hungry… deprived… depressed.

FACT # 3: The longest I’ve managed to stick to a milkshake diet (due to the above factors) is probably 6 days.  A milkshake diet might work for thin people (like Soo) to shift 1 – 3 stubborn kilograms in a short period of time.  But I don’t see any evidence… anywhere… of ANY obese person… who has managed to stay on a milkshake diet indefinitely!!!  I also haven’t seen any evidence… anywhere… of seriously overweight people who have lost weight on a milkshake diet – and who have kept that weight off long-term!

Verdict of Milkshake Diet? Fail!

It is with enormous relief and pleasure that I can state today:  I shall NEVER embark upon another Milkshake Diet… EVER in my life… or sniff again the contents of another tin of Herbalife!

the fat debate

18 Aug

Listen carefully at the end and you hear someone yell “eat something”.  Flip it over folks.. flip it over.  If you want more people to empathize with you.. lay off ripping into others for the way they look.. “skinny mini’s” or not.

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a bit of monkey-business…

5 Aug

“Presenting” in Primates: “The act of directing the hindquarters toward another individual, either in sexual solicitation or as a gesture of appeasement derived from sexual presenting.” (Estes, 1991)

how do these images make you feel?

Is it time that women started to think a little bit more about how they “present” themselves to men, and society?

Is this our only claim, our only way to attract attention and solicit desire?

Do we have nothing else to offer?

and

When was the last time you saw a man point his butt at you, and peer coyly over his shoulder?

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REAL women have curves?

20 Jul

Suzannes Perspective

I recently came across a support group for women struggling with self esteem issues, called ‘REAL Women Have Curves’ (unrelated to the film, starring America Ferrera, with the same name).

I have a couple of questions.

What the ferking hell is a REAL woman?

If your answer is “dem ones that have curves!” then I can only assume flat chested athletes are fake women.  I could also assume fat men are real women, as they have curves too.  A fake woman can become real by getting fake tits I suppose.  How nice.

And how about that word “curves”?  Don’t you love a lame euphemism?  Fat people generally get round, past a certain point of weight gain, and most curves are eliminated.  Instead of boobs going out, waist going in, and butt going out, it all pretty much goes out.  So maybe “curve” would have been better than “curves”.  Unless of course, you deliberately wanted to exclude the extra supersize large fatties from the self esteem class.  Only Anna Nicole porny looking curvy types please.  No round people or flat people because they surely aren’t real women either.  Yucky!  Send them away!

Keira was so grateful the hollywood magic men could make her into a "real" woman...

We need to consider the way we talk about how people look, in order to make a point.  If you are dissing the opposite of those you seek to build up, you are doing it wrong.  Let me give a few examples of statements I found on the web this evening :

“American men actually prefer a woman who is somewhat meaty over the anorexic bimbo types”

It doesn’t sound too bad at first glance.  Its motives are sympathetic, and it is written in the same tone as one might use when telling a child “don’t worry about those silly bullies”, when they return home from school with a black eye. The writer is attempting to make an overweight blogger feel better, by letting her know that not every man is looking for the thinner physical ideal.  I get that.  But then SAY THAT.  It is not necessary to use insult to comfort, even if you feel as though insulting the “lucky” or “privileged’ (the Thin) can’t really be considered an insult.

Consider flipping this statement to :

“American men actually prefer a woman who is somewhat boney over the bingeing moron types”

Can you see where the line was crossed?  If my adapted quote had been posted anywhere by anyone, it would have been flamed by several horrified respondents.  Interestingly, the real comment didn’t manage to solicit a single response from anyone who felt strongly enough to leap to the defense of the underweight.  Attaching personality traits and intelligence levels to physical characteristics is offensive.  You do not get a free pass because you are ripping off thin people.

Beth Ditto - a certain recording artist?

Here’s another quote I found :

“Study after study has shown that men prefer women who have meat on their bones to those who resemble a certain hotel heiress”

How do you feel about this flip :

“Study after study has shown that men prefer women who have more muscle than flab to those who resemble a certain recording artist”

Why is it necessary to make other people feel inferior, in order to feel good about ourselves?

I would like to point out to the creators of groups like “REAL women have Curves” that there is NOT a big pot of self esteem somewhere, that we all have to share, and which isn’t quite big enough to provide us each with a decent ration.  Me having a bit,  does not deprive you of the chance to have any.  It really isn’t necessary for you to beat me over the head to try to grab mine.  Look in your pocket.  DON’T ARGUE WITH ME. Look in your pocket!  See it?? Yes exactly.  You have your own self esteem.  Same as me.  You just have to take it out of your pocket, and pin it on your chest.

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The joys of shopping for Fat Clothes!

7 Jul

(Heather’s perspective)

As you may have already gathered, I don’t fit into normal sized, normal clothes that normal people are able to buy from the normal shops.  No, I have to buy my clothes from the very special shops… with very special clothes… for very special super-sized ladies (insert condescending company tag-line and jingle here).  Now normally, I wouldn’t have a problem with this – at least there are options available to me and places where I can actually buy clothes that fit me.  The problem I have with the fat-lady stores isn’t that they sell clothes for fat ladies…. it’s rather the collection of utterly vile clothes that’s on offer at said stores!

Penny C (a part of the Edgars group) is one such brand.  The brand, named after ex-Miss-Universe… Penny Coelen-Rey… (who, ironically, has never had a fat day in her life) offers overweight women an ‘exciting’ collection of floral ‘blouses’, jeans embellished with enough studs and sequins to make Dolly Parton proud, nylon granny pants in flattering shades of lilac with a crease ironed down the middle of each leg… and denim skirts with tiers of frills, edged with white lace (Think I’m exaggerating?  Ask my thin sister who accompanied me on one of my dreaded clothes-hunting trips!)

Donna Claire (part of the Foschini group) is not much better.  There seems to be a belief amongst the buyers, and indeed makers, of plus-sized garments that fat women are:

  • Definitely 45 years old or over – so there’s no ‘young’ or remotely trendy clothes to be found (on the contrary, lilac and florals abound!)
  • Fat women are ‘jolly’ and ‘loud ‘n proud’ and would like the loudest most garish clothes possible.  Therefore… each and every item has 2 or more of the following:  sequins, studs, bows, frills, iron-on prints of something cheesy, lace, fake leather strips, fake gold clasps and many more delightful options.
  • Fat women surely don’t have sex.  Therefore, why make anything decadent or luxurious in satin?  (Like maybe a simple black satin nightie with a matching gown…?)… Oh no, instead – we are offered cutesy, children’s pajamas and nighties… embellished with teddy-bear prints, cupids, hearts, fluffy pinkness and printed with sayings like: “Cute and Cuddly”.  Oh, goody-gum-drops!

Here’s some photographic evidence (photos taken by my sister in dressing rooms of the abovementioned stores)….

Beetle Juice jersey with flared denim skirt, anybody?

Clingy, shiny, pixelated-TV-pattern shirt with stomach bow... and flared office skirt.

And... my personal favourite: Pale pink crimpelene, camel-hoof creating pants... with ironed seam down the leg... with delightful, matching, magenta blousss with giraffe-skin pattern, bejeweled neckline and flared sleeve. Yeah, baby!

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Weight. The Final Frontier. These are the voyagers of the starship supersize.

6 Jul

Suzannes Perspective (this rant originally posted on Facebook)

It is the nature of human beings, to find a friendlier face, for our socially unacceptable afflictions.

Alcoholism has become a disease, which means the victims now include those who hold the bottle, instead of just those who hide from those who hold the bottle. Promiscuity is the manifestation of a tragic childhood, instead of just a love of sex and attention and a lack of interest in the consequences. Violence is the fault of TV, pc games and plastic guns, instead of twisted being what twisted does.   We molest, because we were molested. Tossed about by circumstances and genetic predispositions – we are molded into the beasts we are – like so much helpless clay.

“You did the best you could.. considering”.

Give a fucked up person an excuse, and they will grab it with both hands. Give a fat person a pie, and they will grab it with both hands.

google search for "funny fat girl" - result 1

This is one socially unacceptable affliction that doesn’t get to have a friendlier face – by its very nature, obesity is stuck with the chubby face that it’s got. You are fat. Who to blame that on though. Hmmm. Can we perhaps attribute your problem to a syndrome or a disease? Well, not really, because you Sir, have a thin twin sister, and you Ma’am, had a perfect childhood. Your own fist lifted it to your mouth.. we all agree on that, so there isn’t an imaginary stranger to blame that on. You didn’t do it? Yeah right. You wear the evidence on your hips.

It’s not even “cool”, like bulimia or anorexia, which although tragic, hold in their grip victims who seem rather brave and noble, and jeez.. pretty flippen disciplined ey?   We want to hear all about it, in endless magazine articles and made for TV movies. We want to see pics of bony asses and hear about the clever ins and outs of how they did it. “Karen, after being rejected by a modeling agency, starves herself into a hospital bed, before finding the strength to overcome”. We can’t get enough of that shit. I don’t see all that many made for TV movies about “Sarah, after being rejected by a boy in high school, ate her way into type 2 diabetes and size 26 pants, before finding the strength to attend a water aerobics class with normal size girls”. Who would want to watch that? What’s so impressive about that “battle”?.. just don’t lift your paw to your mouth you fat pig.. all the regular people yell in unison.. “less food, more exercise!”

Google search for "funny fat girl" - result 2

An anorexic or bulimic is never the monster a fat person is. We all know that anorexics are type A personalities – overachievers. Fat people? Dim witted simpletons. Silly creatures with no self control. Lazy people. The difference has something to do with how society views “greed” (picture the marshmallow monster from ghost busters, blubbering down the road), in contrast to how it views “self control” (virginal, dainty creature says no to pies AND cigarettes!) – even the extremes of which, we can’t help admiring the virtue in.

But here’s the thing.

A fat person ruins their OWN life (a new take on the expression “biting the hand that feeds you”?).  As far as bad habits go, it’s a one victim crime. If you grew up in a home with an alcoholic, all the explanations in the world as to how the drinker in your life was a victim “of the disease” don’t help all that much to patch up the damage done by having them as part of your life, or for the terror and verbal abuse inflicted on you. Did you have a slaggy mom or a violent dad? Great that they get to weep in therapy about their traumatic childhoods, after robbing you of yours. You can love them, you can move on, when you see that they are trying to beat it? Right? Shame? Right?

So.. did a fat person ever chase you down the street and steal your ice-cream? Did the extra biscuits your mom ate in front of the TV cause you trauma?

Not so much?

Google search for "funny fat girl" - result 3

But yet we are ashamed to admit we are related to very fat people. We disown them, we shame them, and we laugh at them. We can’t respect them.

Here’s where I am heading with this : Would you walk into a room of alcoholics and point and laugh? Would you post pictures of their red noses on Facebook, their clammy complexions and little booze paunches? Pics of their diseased livers? I wonder why that isn’t funny. It’s not though. Not a total scream like a pic of a fat chick lying on a bed.. you know. Looking fat. Ha ha! Hilarious! *point point, weeping with joy*

If the only person a fat person is hurting is themselves, why do we have to get on at them so much? Is it just because “we don’t want to have to look at it?” Well, I suppose, in the same way we don’t want to have all those homo’s loving each other in our faces. They can do it if they really have to, behind closed doors, but we just “don’t want to have to look at it”? That’s tricky for fat people, as they have to make their way through the world in their bodies, and they can’t zip them off like a wetsuit, just so that they don’t offend thin folks. I am pretty sure they would be happy to do that for you, if they could.

What they probably won’t do, is have the courage to agree with this post, or even acknowledge they have read it. I noticed an echoing silence from anyone even a single kg over their goal weight when I posted a link to a horrifying article about how some men sexually pursue fat women “for sport”. It’s called “Hogging”.

The only fat woman comfortable responding was my sister (and no.. I don’t need to use a euphemism, she would prefer I said “fat”, not “large”.. not “curvy”). Heather knows who and what she is, and is confident enough to defend her personal boundaries. If it gives her away as being fat? Hell. Denial is a door that is going to smack you in the face sooner or later right?

So… let me raise my glass to every other woman of a certain size.. who will never read this, who would have gawped at the title and assumed my intentions were the regular kind. I think I get it. Gotta pretend that they are cool with it.. got to keep up that happy jolly façade all the time.. gotta do that.

That’s probably the only way to survive.

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