Monday, May 19, 2014

Did Louie Get it Right about What Dating is Like for a Fat Girl?

Um, people act like this is a big revelation. I'm not sure I agree with every thing in the scene, but certainly it can't be a surprise to people that this might be how some women feel to date while overweight.

I'm torn. My impressions is that on both coasts, looks are a lot more important than they are out here in the Midwest. I know big beautiful women who have lots of admirers. Is it not a possibility in more cosmopolitan settings? Don't get me wrong. I know looks still count for quite a lot anywhere you go. I'm not sure what I think about this.

Time had an interesting recap of an article that talks about your "Mate Value." It basically says the more you get to know someone, the better or worse they might look in your eyes. Their value increases if they are interesting to you and decreases if they aren't. Another duh, I think.

Then again, I've been catching up on Mad Men, and in a recent episode Betty is hit on at a party after she has lost all the weight she gained after her divorce. And I kept thinking, that wouldn't have happened when she was fat. And not just because of the values of the late 60s.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Why Diets Suck

“Every weight loss program, no matter how positively it’s packaged, whispers to you that you’re not right. You’re not good enough. You’re unacceptable and you need to be fixed.”
Kim Brittingham, Read My Hips: How I Learned to Love My Body, Ditch Dieting, and Live Large    

And it's your fault if the diet fails you - they build in plausible deniability. Looks like a good book.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Super Easy Vegetable Beef Soup

Okay. Since winter is hanging on by its gnarled, frosty fingernails, I am going to defy it by enjoying my favorite soup recipes. This easy vegetable soup is courtesy of my mom. It involves browning ground beef and pouring a bunch of cans into a large stock pot. Done.

1/2 lb of hamburger, browned and drained
1 can of carrots
1 can of corn
1 can of peas
1 can of green beans
2 cans of tomato sauce or 1 large can
1 can of water or so
Spices you have on hand (Mom always used a teaspoon or so of Mrs. Dash)
Salt and pepper to taste

Add the contents of all the cans and the water to the browned hamburger and stir. Do not drain the vegetables! The liquid from each can combines with the tomato sauce to make this soup awesome. All you have to do is heat it up. It's a lot of good healthy food in a bowl (okay, except for the hamburger).

This is also great if you have some leftover veg in the fridge, but you will need to simmer it longer if you have raw vegetables, and you may need to add a can or 2 of vegetable broth to make up for the lack of liquid that would normally come from the canned vegetables. I like to add dried onion and garlic, but sometimes I add Italian seasoning, thyme, or a bay leaf. Just depends on what I have on hand.

It makes a ton and tastes just as good reheated. Sometimes my mom adds potatoes or instant rice and cooks it longer.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Flavorful Diet Recipes - Penzeys Sandwich Sprinkle for Breakfast

No longer will I eat cottage cheese and jello to lose weight! It has never worked before, and it will not work for me long term. One of my secret weapons for cooking food that tastes good is Penzeys Sandwich Sprinkle. It is a tasty mix of garlic, coarse salt, basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, and black pepper.

Love it on roasted vegetables, potatoes, sandwiches, and just about everything savory.

 My current favorite breakfast is a sandwich thin bun with 1 cooked egg, 1 slice of bacon torn in half, a piece of cheddar cheese and a generous shake or 2 of the Sandwich Sprinkle. While I'm cooking the egg, I put the bun in the microwave topped with the cheese and the cooked pieces of bacon. Takes about 20 second to melt the cheese and wake up the bacon. Then I plop the seasoned egg on top. The whole process take about 5 minutes. FYI it totals about 310 calories.

No, they don't pay me to say these things. I just love their spices in general. Their cinnamon is like sweet candy dust. MMMM. Maybe it's time for some oatmeal.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Why Don't We Want to See Lena Dunham Naked?

From The Week

"When watching Girls with a former boyfriend, he would roll his eyes when the nudity warning preceding the episode flashed across the scene. "Ugh, it's probably just Lena Dunham's butt," he said. I was annoyed by his callous and immature response, and that he didn't understand Dunham's purposeful use of her naked body. Sadly, he wasn't the only man who felt this way.
At a Girls panel at the Television Critics Association's winter conference, Tim Molloy at The Wrap asked Dunham why she appears nude so often, a fair question about her creative choices. But he did so in a fairly obnoxious way that revealed his own misunderstanding of the potential use for nudity on screen. He said to Dunham:

I don't get the purpose of all the nudity on the show. By you particularly. I feel like I'm walking into a trap where you say no one complains about the nudity on Game of Thrones, but I get why they're doing it. They're doing it to be salacious. To titillate people. And your character is often naked at random times for no reason.
Did Molloy not realize that his question would come off as him telling Dunham, "I am not sexually excited by the sight of your naked body, so why bother with it on TV?" Because that's how she, along with executive producers Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner, took it.

Dunham responded pretty curtly, suggesting she was insulted. "It's because it's a realistic expression of what it's like to be alive, I think, and I totally get it. If you are not into me, that's your problem."

So, one answer to Molloy's question about why Dunham is naked if not for the purpose of being sexually arousing is because the show is committed to a certain realism. And as Apatow later stated, "I have people naked when they're willing to do it." Not all the actresses on Girls are willing to be naked, but when they are, the show uses nudity to bring that extra touch of reality to their interactions.
But there is another layer to Dunahm's nudity. Some narrow-minded critics suggest that Dunham's body doesn't meet the conventional standards of hotness defined by the ladies of Game of Thrones, and as a result, she is the one who needs to justify why she appears naked.
But by appearing naked so frequently and so confidently — or better yet, nonchalantly — Dunham is making a huge statement to viewers who struggle with her nudity because they don't find it attractive. She isn't challenging them to change their notions of attractiveness, but as Tracie Egan Morrissey at Jezebel pointed out, she is challenging them to question the way they use attractiveness to view a woman's behavior and what she deserves in life.

Link to the rest at The Week

I find it disturbing how annoyed people are with Lena Dunham's nudity. The fact that she's okay with her body seems to be a sin in the eyes of many. They are unwilling to see her if she doesn't meet their standard of beauty. She is defying the natural order - put your clothes on because we don't want to see how comfortable you are in your own skin. If we don't think you're sexy, then there is no point to your nudity. Your body should only be seen if we approve of it because it is for us to decide if you are beautiful - not you.

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Campaign for Real Profile Pictures

Saw this article on mamapedia called I Hide When the Camera Comes Out. Ouch, did it strike a chord. So of course I'm guilty of this, and a lot of women I know are also. But we have good reason. The world has imprinted on us this dislike for our bodies, pressing it on us until we bear it like a fossil of all the women who came before us, women who were valued only if they were beautiful.

In fact, I would argue that it is socially unacceptable to be okay with having your picture taken if you are a woman. You are supposed to protest and hem and haw about how awful you look. It takes courage to just stand still and let someone snap the picture.

Like the author of the article, I have a mother who doesn't want her picture taken. And as she does, I grieve for the photographs of her that I lose because the world tells her to be ashamed of how she looks. I understand how she feels, and I do not blame her for it. I have felt the same way.

But beyond losing just pictures, I mourn because I don't want to just see images of my mother. I want to see her. Her warmth, her humor, her silly personality.  In many of her pictures, she simply looks blank or uncomfortable. She may have a forced smile at best. I long to see who she really is so that I can have it always.

So for myself, my children, and all the women who come after me, not only will I stop avoiding pictures, I will mug for the camera. I will laugh and scowl and wink, and I won't try to arrange my face into an expression that is least objectionable.

They will see me in sweats, with my hair askew, without makeup. I will not hide behind people or large objects. I will smile even if it makes my cheeks chubbier and my chin wobble. I will have an expression on my face! I will proudly take selfies. I will show myself. I don't want to just accept being photographed, I want to revel in it. The world should know my weirdness.

I don't expect it to be easy. I have a lifetime of inhibitions to overcome. But I'm kinda looking forward to breaking through the discomfort and seeing who I really am through the lens of a camera.

My son is graduating from high school this year, and I want to be in as many pictures as I can. Maybe I will photobomb the graduating class. I just want to be remembered for who I was instead of as another woman stunned into a painful expression by a camera.

P.S. I will also be changing my carefully selected, when-I-weighed-about 50-pounds-less profile picture into something that more reflects the real me. I also am starting The Campaign for Real Profile Pictures. If you are tired of avoiding the camera, I challenge you to put up a photo that reflects the real you. It doesn't have to be your best or your worst picture, it just has to be you on that day - peaceful, angry, smirking, sad, playful, hysterical, laughing - just make it one that you look at and recognize yourself.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Chocolate is Not My Enemy

As most of you know, the initial days of trying to eat better are hard. When you haven't been paying attention to nutrition for awhile, the first time you bump your head on the idea of eating more consciously, it's uncomfortable.

But going on the third day of the year, its getting easier more quickly than I thought it would. I'm rather pleasantly surprised. Losing weight is no longer a life or death struggle. The consequence are not dire if I eat something unhealthy. I have not failed in life. I have just had a piece of junk food. I don't know why this makes it easier to resist said junk food, but it does.

So my first dilemma in the new year was what to do all the Christmas candy I still have at work. The company I work for gifts every employee a stocking full of treats for the holiday, and I still had a drawer full of stuff. My first instinct was to throw everything away because I'm on a "diet" now.

But then I thought about it. Do I intend to give up chocolate for the rest of my life? Perish the thought! Can I eat just one mini candy bar a day and not binge? Yep. I can stop with one. Is it the healthiest option? No. But for me deprivation leads to an ugly chocolate ring around my mouth and a pile of empty wrappers.

So the candy is still in my drawer. And I'm okay with that. So far, I'm not constantly thinking about the chocolate and looking forward to the next piece. I actually forget that I have candy. I am not obsessed by it. It didn't used to be this way. Part of this shift is because I'm more relaxed than I have ever been about changing my eating. Food is not the most important part of my life, so I don't focus on it. And I want to work on keeping it that way.