fat man exercising

Weight Science from Linda Bacon’s Body Respect – HAES Book Summary

We are constantly warned about the dangers of obesity and urged to manage our weight. These messages come from all directions, including authorities we trust and peers who judge us. But consider for a moment that our accepted assumptions may not represent fully what we know from scientific evidence.

To begin with, the following facts are from Body Respect by Linda Bacon, and you can confirm them in the peer-reviewed article at http://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-10-9

  • People who are categorized as overweight or moderately obese have shown time and time again to live as long as or longer than people with weight in the normal category (confirmed even by the CDC)
  • BMI standards were written by the pharmaceutical industry to increase weight loss drug profits, ignoring that health decrement hasn’t shown to occur until a BMI of 40 (they funded the international obesity task force that determined the WHO’s standards and therefore the U.S. standards)
  • Larger people are more likely to develop several diseases but fatness is not the cause – there are many confounding factors like fitness, stress from discrimination, and inflammation from calorie-restriction dieting and weight cycling – “blaming fatness for heart disease is a lot like blaming yellow teeth for lung cancer”
  • “There has never been a research study that has demonstrated long-term maintenance of weight loss from lifestyle change for any but a small minority” – the rare person who does maintain weight loss is as lucky as the smoker who lives to be ninety
  • Health can improve when diet and/or exercise improve – not as a result of weight loss – yet at the same time, health behaviours account for less than 1/4 of differences in health outcomes, while social differences (i.e. poverty and discrimination) are the main determinants (again confirmed by the CDC)

If you’re like me, you’re probably tempted to object to the above sample of facts because we fear fat so strongly. However, ignorance has hurt us through lifetime yo-yo dieting, obsession with food and body, disordered eating, weight discrimination, and even poor health, the very thing we think we’re helping by stigmatizing fatness.

Honestly, though… even if I can be healthy at my current weight, I still deep down really want to look the way I did when I was slimmer. In the past I was able to lose weight by manipulating calories – if only I’d just tried harder and longer! Mind you, I’m still stuck with these feelings years after I learned exactly why the belief that I can just force a caloric deficit long-term is, well, unfounded. So let’s forgive each other for not being without bias and just open ourselves up a little more to the possibility that there may be a better way than constantly forcing an attempt to lose weight.

Weight-Loss

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Entitlement for Progress? Ask Gen Y HR

At this year’s Canada’s Top 100 Employers summit, one of the speakers made a comment that stuck with me in the weeks since. A senior executive, laughing like we’re all think the same thing, stated how “interesting” it is that Gen Y employees expect their employers to take some responsibility for their health and well-being – and yet they’re the generation known for not staying long in one place! He all but said the word I hear all too often regarding my generation: entitled.

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Movie Snack Pairings – Mid-life Crisis

In the same way people pair wine to food, I pair food to movies. It’s a very special combination that delivers on so many levels, from entertainment to comfort. For this post, my theme is mid-life crisis. Not always technically mid-life, each of these movies still centre around a American Beautyreevaluation of the protagonist’s life and ultimately a changed course. Everything featured here is available on Netflix.

American Beauty instantly became my favourite movie at the time. Kevin Spacey’s character lets go and frees himself in a way that is both funny and inspiring. A classic in my mind, I pair it with a twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie: soft warm oatmeal chocolate chip cwhile were youngookies and a spoonful of vanilla ice with every bite.

While We’re Young is a newer movie with Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts. They befriend a younger cooler couple and lose themselves in the process. Because it’s about youth, I suggest a trip to the local bulk food store to bag uTiny Furniturep candies you loved as a kid: sour patch kids, fuzzy peaches, etc. Continue reading

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Health Motivation from Spiegleworld’s Empire acrobatic show

Last night, I was brought to react-out-loud awe of the human body potential. My boyfriend surprised me with Spiegelworld’s Empire show, described to me as erotic acrobats. It also happened to be hilarious.

Between moments of “wow!” and “oh!” I found myself reflecting a few times that these people are not only physically beautiful but the way they move is extraordinary – meanwhile, I was shifting in my seat uncomfortable near the end of the show. I can’t even sit while these people are balancing and twirling in impossible ways.

Up until now, I’ve been walking for physical and mental health with the occasional bodyweight strength session. I’ve focused more on food because I believed including something unhealthy was worse that excluding something healthy. This show was a bit of a reality check on how out of shape I really let myself get these past few years, and how detrimental that’s really become.

Today, I’ve got my Fitbit on and sweat through Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis level 2 on top of a healthy breakfast and lunch. I was settling for “good enough” but I realize now that’s actually not good enough for me. I have renewed motivation to be comfortable and strong. And sexy😉

Introvert-Birthday

Introvert Birthday Survival

My mother always said the birthday party isn’t for the person celebrating the birthday – it’s for all the guests. My brother hated birthday cake but she served cake for everyone else. So for many years, I trudged through overwhelming parties plastered with a smile, counting down the minutes until I could be alone again.

As an adult, I finally gained control and a new perspective: birthdays are an excuse to be selfish. Our society encourages it and I’m happy about having a “me” day as long as it doesn’t mean everyone’s looking at me. I’m fast approaching a milestone birthday, the big 3-0, and I’m happy to report the loved ones in my life know just how to make it special.

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