Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Fat and the Skinny on Healthy Living, Obesity, Supplements and Agribusiness

These are organic herbs like rosemary, lemon thyme and others that are grown at Stone Barnes Agricultural Center in Pocantico Hills in Westchester. The farm is a non profit and it boasts organic produce and free range poultry and eggs.

 Thanks to Google, word gets out, especially when it's about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Recently, I posted some tips about how the disabled can stay healthy and it was noted by Raghavendra Purohit, author of the book Healthy Choices-Smart Choices for Healthy Living and blogger of the site, Healthy Choices which has since been taken down, an ominous development. Together we completed a five part interview about subjects close to my heart and close to the hearts of millions around the globe as corporations promote products and lifestyles that are unhealthy, environmentally unsound and generally counter to human wellness. The interview links were posted for a season and have been taken down. However, the following information is permanent and immemorial.
Can you guess how many calories would be in this much meat and cheese? No carbs, though, no buns.
 In the US we are enthralled by the corporate tidal wave of fast food, processed food and fast food restaurants that have ensnared us in unhealthy lifestyles and a less than perfect appearance. Yet, paradoxically, paragon images of skinny and buff female and male beauty have bludgeoned us into hating our ugliness, overweight and unsightly aging bodies. Daily we are reminded of our shameless appearance and need for cosmetic enhancement in pervasive media marketing.  It has escalated to the point that there isn't a woman in this country who hasn't been concerned about  aging appearance and weight; there isn't a teen or tween who doesn't look in the mirror and fear becoming fat or who just doesn't look in the mirror because he or she KNOWS THEY ARE TOO FAT to fit in with the cultural ethos of beauty and buff fitness.
An anorexic teen afraid of the fats.
Taken from the Georgia obesity campaign of a few years ago. A tween unhappy with her weight.
In the last four decades, our anxiety about weight has multiplied exponentially as we have gotten fatter. Much of our stress has been fueled by corporate motivation for profits. The trillion dollar weight loss industry, medical industrial complex and fashion and entertainment industry have been gleefully rubbing our noses in our physical deficiencies via marketing and the media. To salve our tensions against the humiliation of being fat, ugly and unworthy, the food industrial complex captivates us with the immediacy and convenience of comfort foods (think about the consequences later). Of course, the chips, chocolate bars, nuts, breads, pastries, donuts, burgers and fries taste fabulous loaded with excessive amounts of salt, sugar and or butter/oil/fat. Food scientists have made them irresistible so we go back for more, remembering the luscious tastes. The highly caloric and dangerous elements and the accumulation of additives, chemicals, etc. of these toxic foods create havoc with our bodies. How? They foster an acidic environment that is ripe for disease. They insinuate an emotional dependence weakening our will, self-respect and self-discipline. Inevitably, our futile attempts to relieve and palliate our stress with such consolation treats propel us into the savior arms of doctors, nutritionists and weight loss gurus.
     Have you weighed yourself recently? When I feel weight gain, I avoid the scale. Too much reality.
The impact of genetically engineered crops is unknown, but it could explain the reports of huge increases in allergies, wheat sensitivities in addition to celiac disease, weight gain and altering our hormones. No long range studies have been done to assess any of this. Meanwhile millions have been spent on lobbyists to prevent labeling of GM products. Why?
The cycle begins all over again and escalates with Yo-yo dieting, useless gym memberships,wasted exercise equipment, surgeries, lap bands, etc. It is a lose-lose lifestyle and we feel ashamed, spineless, funked out. The emotional strain over our health failures often leaches into our personal and familial relationships. Our life is a misery that must be escaped once more with food, alcohol and prescription or over-the-counter drugs. The cycle escalates; weight is lost and gained again and again, diseases worsen and become entrenched. The meds' side effects tax our immune systems and our bodies are on chemical, toxic overload. Those who prey off our physical and emotional breakdowns, the locust and canker worm corporates, gurus, "doctors," druggists, fashionistas, etc., become engorged with our blood profits.
 I am reminded of the words to "All Along the Watchtower" by Bob Dylan.

"There must be some way out of here," said the joker to the thief,
"There's too much confusion, I can't get no relief." 

This was in Capri in 2006. I weighed 190. Then I gained it back by 2008 and weighed 220, a chronic yo-yo.

This was taken in Florida. My BMI is 21 at 5'5.6"
 As a watchperson with years of experience battling my own weight issues and the industries that promulgated them with my acceptance and participation, I offer some wisdom that can be summed up in a few sentences.
  • Meditate, find quiet time with yourself to work through emotional issues which most likely are causing stressful eating. Weight gain is an emotional and psychological issue that must be confronted.
  • Drink water, preferably clean and assume you are thirsty when "hunger pangs" strike.
  • Confront food cravings and work through them by breathing deeply first then reaching for something to drink, preferably water or a non sugary, non diet drink.
  • Create your own plans if you wish to lose weight. Don't stress over them if you don't. Your plan is the best. It comes from you and will empower and strengthen your will.
  • Weight maintenance and lifestyle change is lifelong. Be your own best advocate and don't worry.


Weigh yourself weekly or daily, whichever works best, once you have lost your weight and achieved your target goal. BEWARE FAT ATTACKS! Click here to read about MINE.

This was in the midst of a full blown FAT ATTACK I am still trying to overcome. BMI 21. (I was down to 19).


jacquie said...

Carol, this was nicely done. I agree that the labeling issue is stupid. Why are the food companies so set on keeping this from us? And it's a little scary to know that there is a whole industry devoted to putting ingredients into foods that make us want more of that food.

Carole Di Tosti said...

Yes, totally agree. If scientists can spend millions on the addictive taste factor, can't they spend millions on an addictive health factor? Make foods taste yummy and have them be nutritious and healthy? They are scientists, after all...hummmmm.