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VelvetCyberpunk 01-04-2003 12:32 AM

I have something to say!
I have been watching the weight loss, and obesity shows on Discovery Health Channel (it's that time of year) and I must say they not only upset and discourage me, but they also make me mad, and make me think.

I have noticed in the years that I have been fighting my own obesity that the more we become a society of people worried about weight, the fatter we get. I heard on one of these shows that the rate of morbid obesity has gone up 350%! Yet, if you go to book stores, and video stores the weight loss and fitness sections are huge. People have become millionaires from writing the right diet book, **** Richard Simmons has become an icon for god's sake! From my own experience I have found that just the sheer act of going on a restrictive diet only makes me feel as though I'm being deprived, and then all I do is think of food, which only makes me ea6t more. When I lost weight before I decided that I was going to eat as much as I wanted, and not worry about it. Granted, I did pig out for a couple of weeks but I noticed before long I was eating normal amounts of food. I wasn't constatnly snacking, and I stopped thinking about food all of the time. I hear from thin people all the time that they only think of food when they're hungry. Well, when I got into that mind set that was what I did, I only thought of food when I was hungry, and I lost weight. I was walking 6 days a week, and I ate only when I was hungry. Some days I ate more, some I ate less, but I was losing weight. Then when my Grandmother died I slipped into another depression and I ate because of emotion, and gained all of my weight back, then I became worried again about how much I ate, and haven't been able to lose the weight again. So, I am going back to what I did before, it's the only thing that worked for me, except I'm going to be eating leaner healthier foods.

Another thing that upsets me is that these restaurants and fast food places try to see how much food they can shove down our throats. The portions are just out of control! There is absolutely no reason to have a one pound hamburger! No one needs a 64 oz. big gulp. Thats a gallon! So, my idea is to not worry so much about what you eat. I mean if we all would stop obsessing about getting into a size 2 (alternachicks are not considered here because you are all too smart to want to starve yourselves), and just go on about the business of living we would all be a lot healthier. Well, anyway, I am just tired of people fasting, or going on 600 calorie a day diets, and then when they quit they stuff themselves til they're sick. That's no way to live, and I'm gettin' off the merry-go-round now. Thanks for the ride. It's ben real. From now on it's lots of fruit, veg, whole grains, low fat, and exercise. Ok, my long and boring rant is over.

rochemist 01-04-2003 06:45 AM

I think this society has an obsession with food as well and I have given into it. I think about it all the time, but have you ever noticed how many fast food commercials there are? Food commercials in general? Then watch some diet infomercials, people are always eating in those.

Look in every woman's magazine and there are recipes and diets side by side. It every where, and every occasion.

People cannot sit through a 90 min movie without food!

They encourage you to Powerbar or whatever before working out!

Supersizing includes your butt!

But I don't think no matter what I do I will never be normal, I think about food all the time. I have been trained to it, when I am not thinking about it I am either eating or sleeping. Maybe if there wasn't a reminder around every corner I could get away.

So now I deal with it 1 day at a time. I will suceed where I have faltered. I will write down my feelings that make me eat. I will tell someone how I feel. I am a good, beautiful person and I deserve to be about more than food. So I join you Velvet in getting off the merry-go-round and chosing to be more!

Miss Chris:cool:

Wanttolosealot 01-04-2003 08:51 AM

YOu certainly are beautiful, strong women, both of you. I applaud you both for standing up against society and its commercialism. Food is everywhere, and unfortunately we do need it to survive, unlike cigarettes, alcohol, drugs or something else we may be trying to give up. We have to eat! We just have to start making better choices is ALL! AHHHhhhhh! Not an easy task when we have food surrounding us everywhere.
We can do it though, and we will! By November 13th I intend to be at my sexy, firm goal of 145lbs. I can do it!

ellis 01-04-2003 10:33 AM

Uh huh. It's a corporate world, girls. :yes: The weight loss industry is HUGE. And so is the fast food business. And who's paying for it? The little people. Us. Just think... you're lying in the hospital having just had a massive heart attack. You're going to need by-pass surgery. Hundreds of thousands of tax dollars are going towards paying for it.
Our governments are too damned twisted to do anything about it. But they could.
What DO they do... WE put out a little flyer with the Canada Food Guide printed on it. What a joke...
"This is what you SHOULD be eating! But let us offer you something more desirable. And fast, because we know how busy life can get. A Big Mac and some fries. It's a cheap meal for you, but billions are served. We are corporate shareholders. Tomorrow's government may go to ****, but we live for today, and we are wealthy pigs."

Does anybody ever read Adbusters magazine? Their website is excellent...

Oh, just by the way. You DO know that when you're buying Kraft, you're supporting the largest tobacco company in the world? Don't get me started...

Shall we start up our own little pro-active group? :D

choci 01-04-2003 11:36 AM

Bravo, Velvet! Nicely done. I am very admittedly obsessed with food -- in fact, I was just telling my mom this yesterday when we had lunch at Olive Garden. I was ADMIRING the pictures of desserts!

I do love food, I admit it. What is there not to love, right? Fortunately, like everything else, there are good apples and bad apples (literally and figuratively, in food's case!), and I have been choosing (mostly) to admire the good stuff. But, I guess pictures, and even recipes, of fat-laden and who knows what else-laden foods have become porn to me! Yikes!

One of my goals as I make my way through this journey is to see food in a different light. To not be obsessed. I am sure that will come with time. I am making lots of adjustments in my life, and I think in order to stay in control while I am adjusting does require a certain amount of obsession. However, I do very much applaud you, Velvet, and the others who have chosen to get off the carnival ride NOW. I'll be joining you sooner, hopefully, than later.

Lidian 01-04-2003 11:40 AM

I couldn't agree more with all three of you! I am so tired of seeing magazines with size-0 models followed by high calorie recipes followed by diet-plan-of-the-month interspersed with ads for more FOOD! And yes, food is everywhere on TV - like if you stop thinking about it for a minute, they want to make you think about it again. And again. And again.

It is a good thing I grew up in the 60s and 70s when this was so much less of a problem...what kind of world is this for children growing up knowing only this sort of pressure, especially for girls? It makes me really mad when I think of the pressures just waiting for my 2 beautiful, normal-sized girls. When they are adolescents I won't be able to protect them from commercials and magazines - so far only one of their friends has been on a diet (of sorts) and after we talked about being sensible, and eating healthy things and exercise, DD did not give it much thought. But who knows what they will feel as they get older...

It also makes me mad how painfully THIN women in movies and TV are nowadays, as if we are ALL supposed to aim fot that - what kind of world is it where a size 10 is considered BIG? Size 10 (and up) is great - whatever your natural size is, whatever YOU want to be, is fine! Why is there even a size 0 anyway! Will there be negative sizes next?:lol:

Women's sizes are a relatively new thing - only since about the 1930s. Used to be the dressmaker would just make the dresses for the individual - very sensible, except for corsetting - which even my mother wore in the 50s (merry widows they were called I think - jolly uncomfortable looking things too). So maybe we should go back to Jane Austen's day, no corsets, comfortable dresses that look gorgeous - yeah, that's it, that's the era for me! (Especially if it included Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, but that's another matter!)


dentrassi 01-04-2003 02:45 PM

I agree with ALL of you!! Giving up on that 95 lb goal was the best thing I have ever done(and that was considered REASONABLE for my build!!) I still need to lose weight for health reasons, but I no longer hate myself!! We are sent mixed messages every day from the media. How often have you seen some size 0 model in an ad cramming food in her mouth? I always think "She must be spitting it out between takes or going into the bathroom to puke." I have stopped buying fashion magazines because they are MADE to make us feel inferior. Any time an ad comes on that starts making me feel that way i change the channel. We don't HAVE to live what THEY say is the perfect life. Especially since they are selling it to us to make themselves rich. This is NOT about health or beauty or good living, it is about corporate earnings.

GEEZ!! Even IF I managed to starve myself to a tiny person I would NOT fit that Hollywood image. Even at 95 lbs (yes I weighed that once!) I had a rounded tummy and breasts. JUST NOT FASHIONABLE!! (And of course I'm MUCH too short!!) Are we going to punish ourselves for the rest of our lives for just being ourselves? I say NO!! We simply need to be ourselves, and love ourselves. Yes, we want to lose weight/shape up/get healthy, but it is to be the best versions of OURSELVES that we can be. I mean I want to be a leaner, meaner dentrassi machine, NOT Callista Flockhart!!!

barefootgrrrl 01-04-2003 07:17 PM

I believe the problem in the U.S. is exacerbated by the fact that the U.S. Dept of Agriculture is in bed with the food lobbies.

Harvard Medical School has come out with all sorts of research in the past few years which shows the Govt's beloved food pyramid is actually dangerous to our collective health.

Furthermore, the thinking person might question why the Agriculture Dept. would publish food guidelines as opposed to the National Institutes of Health.............things that make you go hmmm.

but I won't get started, there are so many other things to think about today.

Terri - overwhelmed

barefootgrrrl 01-04-2003 07:23 PM

Den - I can so relate!

My thinnest adult weight ever - at 5' 6" was 132 lbs and I did maintain there quite awhile, although that's hard to believe now!

While I would love to weigh 132 now, back then I still felt heavy - why? because I still had larger breasts and a broader frame than most of my friends who weighed even more than I did.

Personally, I think Emme, the so-called "large" model is beautiful and she really has been the forerunner in helping to reshape (if you will pardon the pun) attitudes about women's bodies.


VelvetCyberpunk 01-04-2003 09:20 PM

Right on sisters!
You are all right on target! I am just sick to death of the conflicting messages we get from the media. I mean we are supposed to be wraith thin, and yet we are bombarded with commercials from not only restaurants, and fast food places, but from all of the good grocery store foods you can buy. Even in diet and fitness magazines there are ads for fattening foods. I have said it many times and I'm going to say it again. Hollywood, and the fashion industry are full of mysoginists. I mean look at David Kelly! Is it a coincedence that his leading ladies are all just skeletons with some skin stretched over? Of course everyone brings up Cameron Manheim, well yeah one chubby girl out two or three tv shows is kind of pathetic. Courtney Thorne-Smith left Ally MacBeal because she felt the pressure to be so thin was hurting her health. Look at the "Friends" girls, when they started that show they looked really good, and now they are way too thin. I was reading a story about Jennifer Aniston and the writer of the piece said something to the effect that Jennifer was chubby when she went on the show but now she has slimmed down to a beauty. What!?!?! She was a stick! She is 5'5" and weighed 122 lbs. when she started, and Courtney Cox is the same height and weighed 117 lbs. They both lost about 15 lbs. and personally I think they look awful so thin. All bones and no shape.

I also get tired of people saying Marilyn Monroe was chubby, she wore a size 14. Ya know what? In the late 60s or early 70s the industry changed the sizing charts, what was a 14 is now a size 6, a size 16 is now a size 8. It's just ridiculous. I also find it sad that people have so much compassion for a drug addict, or an alcoholic, but none for a fat person who obviously has a problem with food. I was watching the show about obesity and there was a man there who weighed about 1200 lbs. He almost had to die to get help! What kind of society is that? My mom tried to get Xenical to help her lose weight, and her insurance said no. but they will pay for her diabetes medication.

I also was listening to NPR, and they had this man on there who was saying that the poor people of this country were way over fed, because look at how fat they are. I always hear this when I don't have a phone available! Of course another panelist told him (quite tersley too) that the reason poor people in the U.S. are so fat is because all they can afford is high fat, and sugary foods. I know this is true because when I was selling plasma to eat, I could only afford pasta, margarine, canned tomatoes, and fatty hamburger. No wonder people get so fat! I have to stop now before I burst an artery! LOL!

So, as for protecting our daughters, and in some cases sons, we can only love them, teach them to love themselves, and try to teach them to eat well, NOT to diet, and to be more active and not to sit in front of a TV or computer all the time.

Coming to this forum always makes me feel better. You are all such wonderful beautiful, and damned sexy women, and I always feel hopeful when I post here. Thanks for letting me vent.

dentrassi 01-04-2003 11:06 PM

HEY!! You vent for ALL of us!!!

Barefoot-YUP!! I thought I was fat at 95 pounds!! Was considering getting into the 80s just to flatten my stomach and to be able to SAY "I weigh 87 pounds." Thanks goodness I got sick and started gaining some of the weight back!!! I may be obese now, but I like myself more than I have at any other time in my life, and THAT is what is MOST important.

mauvaisroux 01-05-2003 01:08 PM

Not only are we subjected to a constant barrage of fast food commercials apparently the average person is subjected to sexual images in advertising once every five minutes. These images are mostly of ultra thin, boob enhanced or pectorally enhanced, perfectly lacquered people. Is it any wonder that a lot of people have poor self image and a false notion of what is beautiful?

The old adage of "sex sells" is in full force in the media.
Do we really need a full nude body shot of a woman to sell us hand cream?

From what we see only thin "beautiful" people buy cars, clothes, jewellery, invetments (banks do it too), etc., etc. but who buys these products -the average person. These companies are selling a fantasy lifestyle-which I guess we as a society are buying into or they would be out of business.

Also whenever they are selling products for the home ie. washing detergent, household cleaning products, garbage bages, etc. they use more normal looking women or mom stereotypes. Guess the"beautiful" people don't take their own trash out.

I guess the best way to fight back is to not buy these magazines that have ridiculous articles on how to find a man, make luscious desserts but still lose 20 lbs in 10 days, have articles on self acceptance and then two pages later provide a detailed article on plastic surgery, and that basically undermine women on a mental level. We can also make conscious decisions on what we buy and who the companies we are supporting are (that was a good one that Ellis pointed out).

I decided while researching diet plans that the one that suited me best was the one that championed eating normal healthy food that you prepared yourself that came from simple fresh ingredients that you found in your grocery store and no counting of calories, fat or carbs. I have since banished any prefab food, power bars, instant drinks or dietary frozen foods from my home. I feel healthier and happier and less stressed out about dieting. As Velvet pointed out getting off the merry-go-round is probably the best thing you can do for yourself.

barefootgrrrl 01-05-2003 03:23 PM

I can't stand those commercials either. I remember a couple that were particularly offensive to me.

In one, the hubby wakes up with a bad cough in the middle of the night and he wakes up his wife to take care of him. WTF can she do for him that he can't do for himself? Sure, it's nice to have your partner take care of you - but why do we never see commercials of women asking men to help with night time flu medicine?

Result: one sandal thrown at the TV screen

In the other, a man is looking down into the toilet bowl. He then yells " Hon, toilet bowl sure needs cleaning!" WTF? why tell her? clean it yourself Bubba!!!

Result: two sandals thrown at the TV screen

Now you know one of the reasons they call me barefoot


Sojourner 01-05-2003 05:25 PM

Oh don't get me started...
Advertising makes me wild. Can anyone think of commercials advertising food or household items that are targeted to men? Its always wifey making dinner and serving her smiling and waiting family. Wifey mopping the floor, wifey confused about the best way to clean the floor/toilet/oven/sink/dishes/furniture, wifey handing her busy kids and husband a processed refined sugar laden breakfast bar as they rush out the door to their fulfilling lives OR wifey preparing pancakes, bacon, home made hash browns, and freshly squeezed orange juice in her sparkling, organized, oh don't you wish you were as perfect as me kitchen. Or how about the slender, beautiful woman smiling in her new sleeveless, clingy red party dress... and to think she only had to eat this certain breakfast cereal to look this way. Or the very healthy weight women standing in her towel on her scale crying out "go away... don't look at the scale...".

And even more insulting are the latest commercials that target easy cleaning supplies or fast type food to men either as a joke or because it is assumed that for some reason a real man is completely incapable of feeding himself or cleaning up after himself.

How about fitness magazines that constantly talk about loving your body just as it is and then only show skinny models or sculpted athletes, publishing articles about plastic surgery, or promising toned thighs in three simple moves :lol:. It is enough to make me crazy.

Advertisers and white men in business suits are earning incredible wealth by creating a consumer society that can only be based on targeting our insecurities. In other words, the less adequate we feel about our looks, bodies, homes, families, lifestyle, posessions, relationships, sex life, and age... the more likely we are to buy whatever product is being toted as the latest and greatest miracle cure. So advertisers use stereotypes of women, men, and children to create this black and white world of the "expected ideal" versus "your inadequate life".

Ok, I will momentarily stop ranting. :D

mauvaisroux 01-05-2003 07:07 PM

Speaking of stereotyping...

I walk by a flower shop on my way home from work everyday and they recently stuck a sign on an easel outside.

The sign is a picture of three bouquets of flowers, each one progressively getting bigger. The caption underneath reads "exactly how mad is she?"

Not only is this sexist but to me this implies that men only buy women flowers for an occasion or when they are in the doghouse. This also implies that women will accept this lame offering as an apology and it makes a lovely bandaid to put on whatever is really wrong with your relationship and that the distraction of a gift will make the woman forget about the argument you had last night. Sheesh. Every time I see the sign I feel like going in and telling them that it insults my intelligence and I am offended buy it :mad:

I would love to see a sign with a big bunch of flowers saying you bought them because you were thinking of your partner and just felt like it or "because you love her and you don't need an occasion to prove it".

I also hate advertising that stereotypes men as being stupid or helpless. The one I really can't stand is the one where the husband and the son are in the bathroom staring at the empty toilet roll holder like they can't figure out what it is or what to do and Mom has to show up and save the day with a new roll or toilet paper :rolleyes: Come on, men are not that dumb. Maybe some of them forget or can't be bothered replacing the TP but they are not clueless. I don't think men bashing is the way to sell products either.

Terri-I have seen both those adds that you describe and yes they are sooooo annoying!:bomb:

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