Author Jennifer Weiner speaks up against fat shaming and bullying. 


img_3633Author Jennifer Weiner, spoke to a group of women at Franklin County Conservatory on November 2. The Jewish Federation’s women’s philanthropy group brought her to Columbus, Ohio.

Weiner, dressed in a cheerful blue dress, was friendly, compassionate, engaging, and hilarious.

This New York Times best selling author is talking to all women, but she resonates with the ones who don’t fit into a size 2.

Her first book, “Good in Bed” was all about an overly sized woman who delighted in sex.

She talked about how difficult it is to be overweight, and lonely in this society. But, she does it in a humorous way. She recalled how the first agent she interacted with wanted the character to only be 15 to 20 pounds overweight. And she wanted her to change the title because how could an obese woman be “good in bed?

Weiner also speaks to all sizes and shapes of women. ” What I like about her is her honesty .”

She was promoting her book, “Hungry Heart” that is a biography. She read excerpts from the book, which focuses on her less than perfect family.

Her grandmother, who is now 101, is a central character, and so is her mother, Francis, who discovered her true sexuality after her divorce. Getting used to her newly claimed homosexuality was difficult for the traditional family to accept.

Weiner also speaks to all sizes and shapes of women. ” What I like about her is how honest she is”, stated several avid readers.

Her fans in the audience truly love her. They thanked her for speaking up for them, being real, and honest. One woman tearfully told her how much she appreciated her speaking for her.

One questions asked was about how mothers can make sure their daughters don’t fall into the trap of hating themselves because they’re not the “perfect” shape. Wiener said she wished she had the answer for that. She thought one approach is to tell them over and over, “they’re beautiful from the inside and outside.”

“The Littlest Bookfoot,” is a children’s trilogy mixing mystery, adventure, and coming of age themes. Weiner mentioned that this book will turn into a television series or movie.

Considering it’s become socially acceptable to fat shame and bully, We all need someone like Jennifer Weiner to speak up for those made to feel less than.

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A humorous look at finding the Fountain of Youth: at the health club


Two years ago, I made a New Year’s Resolution  to exercise every day  and it’s stuck. Why? I like the high! It gets the blood to my head, releases endorphins. Half-way through I start feeling marvelous.

I look at exercise as an alternative to the FDA’s solution,  pills.

I had to find my own way until  I figured out a routine that suited me.

Seeking the Fountain of Youth at the high-priced Health Club

I’d been doing swimming aerobics at the health club pool for a while, but I thought, why not try for the heavy-duty exercise, the land exercise. Why not try a personal training group?

The first step was signing a contract, and handing over my credit card.

An extra $15o.00 plus monthly membership gave me entry into the newly formed group.

The second step was evaluating my fitness

The next day I headed up to the gym to get my fitness tested. I had to wear headgear that looked like a scuba mask to check my oxygen level on the treadmill. I carefully placed a little gizmo into my bra to record my heartbeat.

When I started by walking as fast as I could, the heart gizmo did not read my heartbeat. I went several times to a back room to put this heart monitor  closer to my heart and aging, sagging bosoms, but to no avail.

” I have another appointment coming, and you’ll just have to try tomorrow,” said the sheepish, red-faced  trainer who was about 19.

I  slowly limped out of the gym, thinking I was already a failure at land based exercise.

The next day, the gym manager, a shapely muscled 24-year old woman, figured out another way to detect my pulse. She read it off the machine somehow, or just made the whole thing up. I was glad to find out I wasn’t heartless or clinically dead.

Joining the personal training class

The next day I showed up bright and early to attend my first class. It was a variety of women of all persuasions. I was the oldest, but I wasn’t the heaviest! They all were running on the treadmills, so I joined them.

Then, the trainer rounded us all up to start our real exercise session.

The affable trainer, Greg, running the session was like a friendly drill sergeant. I furiously rowed on a rowing machine,  rapidly bounced a rubber ball off the wall,  held a plank position, and startled the entire gym when I awkwardly released the weights on a machine and sounded a loud clang.

The worst was the stair-stepper

I would only recommend the stair-stepper for people trying to get information out of a terrorist. They just have to make the thing automatically go really fast. I seriously feared for my life while on this contraption. As my heart began to jump out of my chest, I yelled,” How do I stop this damn thing.” After finding the emergency stop, I thankfully climbed off.

I did last about three months, and I did attempt things I thought I could never do again, like 100 sit ups, burpees, planks and push ups. My stomach was shrinking. I was proud of myself, but I wasn’t  looking forward to the personal training sessions. After a while,  I arrived later and later . Finally,  I didn’t come at all.

So after spending extra money, and torturing myself, I discontinued my contract.

What I needed to do was accept my age and have fun! 

I decided to try things like bike spinning, Zumba dancing, yoga,  running on the elliptical ( while I watch TV with my headphones), and lifting weights with Silver Sneaker (Medicare sponsored) exercise groups.

I also bike ride with my husband, take long walks in the woods, get down on the floor with my grandson and play like a two-year old.

To be truthful, I was never admired for my svelte figure. But I do believe the Fountain of Youth resides within yourself. The right exercise for you, and attitude are important parts of it.

I do have great blood pressure, and an athletic pulse. I have a lot of energy and feel great. Okay, I’m not at an ideal weight, but it’s been worse.

Taking those extra steps makes it possible not to keep 30 or 40 pills organized.

The 600 pound woman on TLC: She ate herself to death.


My Neighbour Is A Big Fat Ugly Pig

My Neighbour Is A Big Fat Ugly Pig (Photo credit: ♥♥peppersmom♥♥)

Today is Day 4 of mindful eating. I guess that’s what you’d call what I’m doing.  So far, I’ve been doing fine.

I realize it’s boredom that causes me to eat. Boredom causes a lot of people to overeat. I am also addicted to food.

Last night I caught the TLC series about the 600 woman, who must have been really bored.  She was not a native to the USA. When she came to the USA (Florida)  she was a normal size.  Fast food really turned her on. In between having her six children, she kept gaining weight. It finally got too much for her husband and he left.

By the time she got to 600 + pounds she took to her bed. Somehow she got her daughters to cook and feed her a terrible diet. They also got her food to go. She couldn’t even sit up.

She was willful and it probably caused her death

She begs someone to help her, and finds a doctor that will do the surgery. She promises that she will go to a Rehabilitation Center after the surgery, and follow all the instructions.

Finally, the 600 pound woman goes in the operating room to have the bypass surgery. She has so much fat that they can’t find a vein to attach the IV to; it takes a long time.  It’s layers  upon layers of fat. Miraculously, the surgeon finds her stomach and does the surgery.

She is not happy during recovery. She is in pain, and doesn’t like that. Then, she doesn’t like rehab where she has to do some exercise. She is so irritated about the whole thing that she calls an ambulance to take her home. The doctor is incredulous. Now that she checked herself out of the rehab center what’s going to happen?

The next thing we know, we’re at her funeral. The question is whether the operation caused her death, her heavy weight, or it was a natural scheme of things. It’s just not healthy to be 600 pounds.

A Nation of Obese People

It’s frightening that there are more and more people at these weights. There are enough people to produce various shows about them.

It’s  like watching a freak show, but pretty soon it won’t be so freakish because there will be so many people to feature in these shows. Pretty soon, they’ll  have to audition.

McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, Tim Horton, Sonic, Dairy Queen and Jolly Pirate Donuts are all within one mile of my house. Not to mention all the pizza places, so numerous I can’t think of all the names.  They are all within one mile of my house.  I can still walk to all of them, but if I regularly indulge I probably will have to drive.  Once in a while the temptation is too much, and I do go inside.

There is only one vegetarian restaurant in the little city where I live.

Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

No wonder we’re all getting so fat!

What do you think?  I would welcome your comments!

Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition…Nyla’s Story


Nyla

I  like the “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition.  Chris Powell,  the trainer, actually seems interested in making transformations among people.

But, there is something nosy and wrong  about watching extremely obese people begin to work out. They sweat, pant, grown, and look like they’re about to die.

But, it is great to watch them make progress, and “transform.”

Nyla, the recent episode struck a chord with me. I like watching strong women succeed.

This woman started out at 438 pounds. There is no doubt that she got this big because she has emotional problems.

It all stems from the fact that she was abandoned by her father when she was very little. Now, she can’t remember him, and he doesn’t really know her. Somehow, she’s found his loss so hurtful that she’s eaten to make up for it. ( It seemed hard to believe that missing someone you never really knew would upset you, but who’s to say what hurts other people. )

At first, she is really happy that Chris is going to help her. But what she finds out how hard it’s going to be, she gives up. More than once. She seems to be afraid to face her fears. She gets to a point, then gives up. She is afraid of failure.

One of the things Chris has her do to face her fears is to move the opposite way up a down escalator. To me, this seems a little, well….extreme.

She refuses to do it.

More than one time they butt heads. I like Nyla because she is a strong-minded woman. She’s not a mealy-mouthed type.

Everything is going up and down, until Chris hires a private investigator to find her family. Although her father is dead, she gets to meet the rest of his family. This closes the chapter on her feeling awful about the whole thing, and she gets a new family.

My favorite part is when she gets a dance lesson from one of the instructors from “Dancing With the Stars.” Being able to move rhythmically has nothing to do with being overweight!

Without ruining the whole show, let’s just say that she looks pretty good at the end although she can stand to lose some more weight.

Somehow, you’re pretty sure she’s going to succeed.

I Used to be Fat: TV Review


I Used to Be Fat

I Used to Be Fat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes, I really like to watch those weight TV shows. They seem to motivate me. I really would like to take off some pounds. Like everything else, you have to work at it.

I watched a teenage oriented show on MTV entitled I used to be Fat. The young woman on it had been fat all her life.

When we meet her parents, and family we understand why. Although I do believe some people have a tendency to put on weight, the environment plays just as big a role.

They have all the creamy bad stuff in their pantry and refrigerator. Several different types of pancake mix, creamy stuff, and generally bad. They all put it in a big sack to give to the food pantry. (I suppose it’s not okay for them, but okay for the poor.)

Anyway, this young girl has a trainer who is merciless on her. The first day she is running across the football field. When she’s done with that, she’s going up and down the stairs of the stadium. ( I think he could have just had her run back and forth across the football field on her first day.)

Her father, who is overweight himself, tried to motivate her. He obviously cares about her, and that’s a good thing. I think it’s the case of the pot calling the kettle black. I think it would really motivate her  more if he was earnestly trying to take off some of his bulk. It looks like he’s making a half hearted attempt.  Her mother seems to be out of the picture. She does take responsibility for her kids being overweight.

The trainer and father point out that losing weight is a mental exercise. She keeps saying she can’t, can’t, and can’t. Finally she starts saying, “yes, I can.” (Sound familiar).

There is one scene where she goes to a restaurant with her brother and friend. They order all that bad stuff that they serve in restaurants:  hamburgers, french fries, and fried food. They seem to enjoy taunting her with it. She orders a salad, but you know those restaurant salads, some of them are loaded with hidden calories. At least she’s trying.

Finally, she manages to run a marathon, and succeeds. She goes off to college, and after about 3 more months she’s lost 79 pounds, and looks like a different person. (She could’ve picked a more flattering outfit to show off her good points.)

Her parents at the reveal still look pretty overweight. That was a disappointment. It means she’ll go back to the same lousy food environment when she comes home.

This program reminded me that losing weight is such a mental exercise, and that negative self talk is such a defeating thing. If you can find some determination, you can change things for yourself. (Even if you’re over 60)

Even thought this show was about a teenager, I still found it full of good information. It’s things I knew, but needed to be reminded about.

 

 

How to keep off 20 pounds: Move more!


Gym

Gym (Photo credit: ivywoodavenue)

Although I go up and down in my weight, I have managed to keep off 20 pounds in the last few years. Okay, I need to lose 40 more. I have started a weight loss blog. Here is an example of one of my posts! If you want to get to it, it’s barbaralynnabel.wordpress.com. It’s called Losing the Last 40 Pounds. I may have to rename it because there’s about 40, 000 blogs with the same title!

I do talk about some of my emotional issues which has a lot to do with being overweight.

Elliptical machine: I love this machine. It’s great. You can adjust it to as hard as you want, you can keep track of your heartbeat, and there’s several workouts you can choose. I just listen to my I-Pod and let it rip.

arm and leg machines: if you belong to a gym, go to the basic machines. Put it on the lowest pounds, or where you feel comfortable, to start. Do 2 sets of 12 on arms, and 3 sets of 15 on legs. Ask the exercise guys and girls to help. That’s what they’re getting paid for. (Although they would like to personal train you.) Most gyms give you a complimentary workout to start! If you’ve got the $$, use the personal trainers. At least do it once or twice, so you really learn how to properly use the machines.

yoga classes: almost anyone can do something in yoga. They emphasize not to compete against others.

spinning: that’s a stationary bike class, and I love it. You can set the bike anywhere you want it, and they usually listen to music. One time, I watched an entire movie while spinning.

I also have a bike I bought a couple of years ago. I named it “Freedom”. I still get on it and tool around the neighborhood. It’s a good way to start the day. Sometimes I’ll go 4 or 5 miles, and sometimes less. I think I may look very entertaining going through the neighborhood.

Water aerobics has become my favorite because I’m a little older, and it can really get the heartbeat up. I think it works great. Lift those weights too. It does wonders for a lot of people. Just because it’s not torture doesn’t mean it’s not working.

I do have a tendency to get down-in-the-dumps, and exercise really nips this in the bud. Maybe, that’s why I like it so much!  I might feel crummy when I start my exercise session, but never do when I’m finished. This only takes me about an hour to feel the relief. It releases those endorphins— feel good chemicals in your brain.

Try it, you’ll like it!

Tell me some of your favorite activities.

Obesity is linked to Autism: Give me a break!


I just watched a report on The Huffington Post that links obese mothers with having Autistic children. They better have proof of this because that’s adding another stigma to obesity.  Isn’t it tough enough already?

I would bet the higher rate of autism has to do with other things that make us stay skinny: like aspartame in everything, and how about the pink slime in McDonald’s Hamburgers? Then, there’s always high fructose corn syrup.

How about all the Ritalin we hand out like candy, or the antidepressants everyone takes?

How about all the unhealthy meat we eat from the corporate farms, or the chickens who are literally cooped up?

Last year they were convinced autism was caused by vaccinations and now that’s been dismissed.  Meanwhile, there’s a whole lot of kids running around who are going to get things like whooping-cough because their mothers are afraid to vaccinate them. I suspect that’s why a lot of people are homeschooling their kids.

I hope they figure this autism thing out soon. It’s pretty scary, but do we have to blame it on being obese?

Don’t obese people have enough to feel guilty about?

MEGA MAC jp-1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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