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I know what a portion size is, darnit!

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Old 01-21-2003, 07:10 PM   #1
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Default I know what a portion size is, darnit!

Ok, if you haven't read, "Good In Bed," by Jennifer Weiner, you should.

It is the BEST book I have ever read and it's about a fat girl named Cannie. In one scene, she's at a weight loss clinic and in a "group session" with a bunch of fat women and a clinical nurse. The nurse is trying to give them advice on weight loss and portion control. Hysterically, the women in the group are yelling out portion sizes before the nurse can finish a sentence. The nurse gets flustered and tries to continue explaining the basics and Cannie says this:

"Fat people aren't stupid, " I continued, "But every single weightloss program I've ever been tp treats us like we are - as if as soon as they explain that brolied chicken is better than fried, and frozen yogurt's better than ice cream, and that if you take a hot bath instead of eating pizza, we're all going to turn into Courtney Cox."

That chapter really rang home with me. I'm not an idiot. I know more about fat, calories, metabolism, sugar levels, protein levels, blood pressure, cholesterol, emotional eating, disorder eating and food, than ANY skinny person out there. In health class in high school, everyone thought I was a science geek because I knew everything about fat cells. It's not about knowledge!!

But today, CNN published this article, "Study: Americans super-sizing at home, too." And their helpful links? "Do you know your portion sizes?" or "Find out your BMI." So, I'm ranting.

When will the news, the media and the public fess up. They would rather pretend the 60% obesity rate is due to ignorance than anything else. And in some ways we buy into it!!! I mean, I KNOW I have bought at least $200 worth of books regarding diet, exercise, nutrition or fitness that did not give me any new information. Like, one day I'm going to read something and say, "Omigod, that's it!" and thinness will ensue.

I'm tired of being treated like I'm stupid!

CNN article:
http://www.cnn.com/2003/HEALTH/diet....zes/index.html
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Old 01-21-2003, 07:38 PM   #2
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i LOVED that book. it's a quality book, to be sure, but only those of us who have ever been overweight can really understand.

yep, i wholeheartedly agree with you about not being stupid. we KNOW what we need to do. we try our best. it's slow. it's HARD. our bodies and metabolism are different, each and every one of us.

from that article: "Data confirms U.S. eats big portions even when not dining out"

hm. oh wait!?!?! i'm fat because i eat too much? never would have thought of that. this article has CURED me.

but really, if there is something i can read that automatically makes me thin, hand it over!

but yes, jessica. people out there who just don't get it, yet write articles about it, piss me off.
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Old 01-21-2003, 07:46 PM   #3
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That is the best book I've read in a long time. I even told a guy who wanted to date me to read it & then get back to me.

Like you both said, we know perfectly well why we gained weight. While I reserve the right to play dumb when needed, I CANNOT STAND being treated like I'm stupid.
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Old 01-21-2003, 09:12 PM   #4
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've gotta get this book... and i've had similar experiences... including one nutritionist who said that i had to eat more than 5000 calories to maintain my weight, including 15 servings of carbs a day!!! i tossed her analysis back at her and told her i've never eaten that many calories, and there's no way i've eaten 15 carb servings [that's 7 and a half cups of rice or potato or pasta or 15 slices of bread!!!] a day!!!

and then there was another nutritionist [in the hospital] who sat next to me and simply said that there was probably not a whole lot she could tell me about portion sizes or how to eat. she could tell that i had probably tried everything simply because i was so heavy.
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Old 01-21-2003, 10:19 PM   #5
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I think that what most people forget is that under the weight is a lovely, vibrant person with honest emotions and feelings. Getting told in a store that I have a pretty face in that "what a shame voice" is not a compliment - it is demeaning!!! Being treated as though ignorance got me to my present weight does not help me - it lowers what self confidence I have and therefore I find myself turning more and more to food.

Really, even skinny people in this overly processed, quick fix, fast food world have to watch what they eat. It is no longer about just your weight - I have a friend who is only 120 pounds at 5'3" but her bmi is just under mine thanks to the plethora of junk she consumes each day. Frankly, our country conspires to keep us fat. Look at how impossible it is to use mass transit. Few cities, even big ones are not walker and biker friendly. Most grocery stores dedicate 3/4s of their square footage to processed foods and not lean meats, fruits and vegetables. Our food pyramid caters to the lobbying of the USDA. And our doctors buy into it... instead of admitting that one diet does not fit all, they are screaming low calorie, low fat ignoring that we do need some fat for daily function and that for women simple carbs and sugars are the enemy!!!!

My relatives in europe do not have the problems I have... I gained over 100 pounds when pregnant and this should never have happened. I went to Ireland in my seventh month and was put on a diet that literally saved my life and stopped me from heading down a sure path to gestational diabetes. I ate loads of fresh veggies, lean meats and no dairy or carbs my last 5 weeks. Thank god for that trip!!!! In the states, my ob/gyn kept screaming at me to "just eat less!!!". Here you see vendors selling hotdogs, chips and the like... overseas you find market vendors filled with fruits and veggies. Here there are few things truly within walking distance and even then, maintanence of roads, bike lanes and sidewalks are a low priority for most cities. Public transportation in Cleveland is a joke - I can walk three miles. It takes me 45 minutes on a bus to get that far!!!!

I think it is time for us to call a spade a spade... write your city councilman reminding them of the environmental and health reasons for good public and mass transportation. Refuse to buy from stores that do not stock a plethora of veggies and fruits. Remember that the food pyramid is not the end all, be all. I hope all of you check out Newsweek this week about the modified pyramid proposed!!!

And lastly, get out there and live. I hid at home for two years ashamed of the fat and got fatter!!! My pretty face and fat body are out there for the world to see now!!!

Good luck to you all and sorry about the soapbox speech! This got me all riled up!!
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Old 01-22-2003, 12:13 AM   #6
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GO MISSY!!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!!
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start: 506 [Sept 2001]
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Old 01-22-2003, 02:09 AM   #7
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You know why "they" hide behind the idea that we are stupid, because I firmly believe "they" do not know why we keep getting fatter. Its all supposition and a combination of factors which I believe is changing our genes making it easier with each generation. So when we go to "them" for help there is only pat answers and regurgitated information.

Eat Less!
Feed yourself healthy (good example Fractured Miss)!
Move more!!!!!!!!!!

Wish it they realized knowing and doing are different struggles. I am so glad I found this place and the support it offers is helping me rummage through my mental reasons for being fat.
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Old 01-22-2003, 09:40 AM   #8
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Default i loved that book!

I really loved that book, and that specific passage. I hate it when people think overweight people are too dumb to figure out portion sizes..I know more about nutrition than many skinny people I"m friends with or work with. I hate it when it's assumed that fat people live on junk food. I haven't had Mc Donalds or Burger King in FOURTEEN YEARS!!! About three or four times a year I eat at Wendy's (chicken sandwich). I don't eat any red meat, and eat plenty of soy and whole grains, fruits and vegetables. I never eat donuts or pastry for breakfast-even when I"m not "on program" I eat whole wheat toast with low fat cottage cheese, or oatmeal. I look around the lunchroom at work, and I"m there with a lowfat turkey sandwich, fruit and carrot sticks...and all these thin people are eating burgers, fries and regular soda, and donuts or eggs and fried potatoes for breakfast. Every day! I bet my cholesterol and blood sugar are much healthier than theirs, but of course who would think that. You're just looked at that you're fat and it's assumed that you have high cholesterol and high blood sugar and blood pressure.

I had a jerk OB in the practice I went to when I was pregnant . She kind of made some little side comment about my weight and she made me write down what I was eating every day for a few days to make sure I wouldn't develop gestational diabetes or high blood pressure, and that I was eating healthy . I only gained 17 pounds with my pregnancy, and ten pounds of it was Matthew! (he was a BIG baby). I never had high blood pressure or gestational diabetes.

Sorry to rant, that just brought back memories of that awful doctor. I told her she hurt my feelings with her weight comment-she asked what I weighed at birth, and I was very premature (three months premature) and weighed less than three pounds. She said, "oh, you've made up for it since then." which made me cry. I wouldn't go back to her, and when my son was due, I was counting the days of which doctor was on duty praying that she wouldn't be the one to deliver matthew. Thank goodness she wasn't!

sherry
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Old 01-22-2003, 12:57 PM   #9
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This all reminds me so much of an experience I had about a year ago at the Mayo Clinic.

I was there for my rheumatoid arthritis (misdiagnosed). I was talking to the head of rheumatology and I was telling him all of my symptoms. I've been to thousands of doctors, so I know not to leave any symptoms out - things can be related whether they appear to be or not. I told him in addition to my other physical symptoms, my metabolism seemed to have slowed to a halt in the past couple of years.

I can't lose weight, I said, no matter how much I try. After the first five pounds, it stops.

This doctor started to explain slowly, as if I couldn't understand, that we gain weight because we eat more than we burn. He began to draw a chart.

If you consume 3000 calories and burn 2000, the extra 1000 is going to store on your body as fat. He started to explain the pyramid to me and I stopped him.

I was so angry! Forget I said anything about the metabolism, I said. Let's just talk about everything else.

My husband, who is very understanding most of the time, didn't get why I was mad.

It was humiliating.

Jessica, I'm going to buy that book!

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Old 01-22-2003, 12:57 PM   #10
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I'll have to remember to read that book.

You know I read the other day that millions perhaps even billions of dollars are spent by the government and health care companies on disorders related to obesity each year. So this had me thinking, why do hmo's/ppo's charge extra for their weight loss programs? Wouldn't they rather to encourage their patients to lose weight by offering it at the same price as a doctors visit?

Why doesn't the government fund real research into finding out the real reasons of obesity and how to fix them? Why doesn't the government have weight loss programs to help us lose weight? Why are we left to the money hungry vultures that dominate the weight loss industry? We abuse ourselves trying to find the perfect answer to how to lose weight easily because every day a new expert pops onto the scene. People even have died because of trying to lose weight.

I think its a shame that this epidemic we have become apart of seems to be ignored. All I ever wanted was a chance to be at a healthy weight and unfortunately, I've never had it.
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Old 01-22-2003, 01:22 PM   #11
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I definitely need to check out this book, it sounds like a great read. I'm not stupid. Like many here I've read and been to classes about nutrition, calories, portion control, etc, etc.

But, I let's face it portion sizes are growing out of control (that doesn't mean WE are eating out of control). BUT ... if restaurants and TV ads for fast food places continue to show those huge sizes, people get a distorted vision of a 'normal portion'. For people who haven't been overweight for years and who aren't aware of portion sizes ... this is where a lot of those 'surprise' pounds come from. Those articles aren't written for us, they're written for those folks who don't have 'fat history' who suddenly find themselves 30 or 40 pound overweight with no clue as to how they got there. And like those skinnies who don't know what a vegetable is ... this kind of fast-food eating often catches up with them.

In the late 70's, while in school, I waitressed in a donut shop. (And believe it or not the physical activity and the over-exposure to sweets (became a real turn-off) helped me LOSE weight -- lol!) We had coffee in two sizes: small (8oz) and large (12oz). At the time some customers commented on how 'big' the small coffee was, Dunkin' Donuts' small coffee was still SIX ounces. When you measure ground coffee or water for your coffee maker, a 'cup of coffee' is considered 6 ounces.

When was the last time you had a SIX ounce beverage of any sort?!?! The smallest soda at McD's is the 8oz beverage that comes w/ a Happy Meal. When we are 'on the road' I carry straw-bottles for my kids cuz if you stop for a snack or meal, you end up w/ a 16 oz bottle of water or milk. Very few places sell the 8oz cartons these days. Can you buy "juice glasses" any more ... what were those, 4 ounces? Vending machines selling 12oz beverage cans are rare, now-a-days many sell 20 oz bottles. DD sells a 32oz cup of coffee. How can 32 ounces of coffee be healthy for anybody?!?! How big is 7-11's 'Big Gulp'?

So you see what I mean ... and that's just beverages ... there's lots more ... ever try to buy a 1lb pkg of ground beef at the grocery store I usually end up w/ 1 1/2 pounds? What about a 'snack size' bag of chips, if you don't buy them in a 10 pack, you can't get one ... it's "the big grab" or whatever. And the list can go on forever and ever.

Most Americans were taught not to waste food. So if somebody opened a 1/2 oz bag of chips he/she ate it. But now, those same people are opening a 1.5oz bag of chips and eating the whole thing.

So you see, for the uneducated, portion control IS an issue. And if we let our kids watch TV or use their allowance to buy a snack on occassion, they will DEFINITELY have a hard time identifying a proper portion size if we aren't diligent about teaching them.

OK ... I've said enough, I'll step down now.
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Old 01-22-2003, 01:53 PM   #12
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Steph, you make an excellent point.
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Old 01-22-2003, 02:08 PM   #13
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another thing i'd like to say to the people who haven't read the book -- it's not JUST about weight loss. it's got a romance. it's got comedy. it's a good read for everyone. this isn't a self help book, but it ends up making you feel great anyways.
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Old 01-22-2003, 02:10 PM   #14
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I have to throw in my 2 cents here.. because although I DO agree that I know what a portion size is, I will be the first to confess that even though I have a scale, a million scoops measures, head knowledge as to "guesstimate" portion sizes...

MY biggest issue is putting that to good use. I never eat just ONE portion. Its usually 3-4. So maybe they are trying to hammer that into us, but instead of pointing out "You ate 3 servings" when looking at our journals or whatever, they say "portion size is......"

I must say that most of the people out there that I've talked to... although they may be WELL aware of what the portion size SHOULD be, alter the portion to suit what they want.

Sorry to play devil's advocate here, but I had to. I agree with Steph, but I have to say that most of the time, when I don't lose, it is ABSOLUTELY because I've eaten out of control.
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Old 01-22-2003, 05:38 PM   #15
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I have to say for myself, that I thought I knew the portion sizes, but sometimes found I was surprised to find that what I thought was one portion was different from what was listed on the package for a portion.

Cereals were a surprise ~ the servings are like 1/2 cup. When I pour out into a bowl, I was pouring out a bowl ( a regular cereal bowl) of cereal thinking it was one serving until I read the box and was surprised to see that one serving was only 1/2 cup. 1/2 cup in a bowl doesn't look like much.

Another thing that surprised me was the muffins you can buy ~ I thought one muffin would be a serving, but the serving size listed on the back of the package was 1/2 muffin.

Sometimes in order to try to have some control over how much I eat ~ especially snack type things. I would buy the snack in a small package ~ thinking that it was a single serving size. Some of those were a surprise ~ listed on the back it said that one serving was only 1/2 the package.

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