Scott Hardie | October 21, 2004
Consider a few of our synonyms for "fat": overweight, overstuffed, overfed, overblown, overproportioned; tubby, chubby, and flubby; full-figured, pot-bellied, thick-set, big-boned, well-girthed, lard-assed, gravitationally-advantaged; abundant, copious, plentiful, and corpulent; obese and adipose, round and rotund, broad and wide, big and large, plump and stout, five-by-five and tons-of-fun; Buddha-like, shovel-fed, and super-sized; portly, chunky, pudgy, sturdy, heavy, roly-poly, weighty, stocky, paunchy, husky, porky, dumpy, fleshy, and fatty.

Obviously there's a lot to say on the subject. The floor is open.

Amy Austin | October 21, 2004
HAHAHA... Scott, you're a brave man -- I love it!

While I don't consider myself particularly fat (except inasmuch as any other woman, no matter *what* her size!), I have had it pointed out to me... by the Navy (and nowhere else) that I am, and I have been painfully self-conscious ever since. My "beef" with this topic is multi-faceted: individual, cultural/societal, and with respect to the military.

I have always been a large woman. In high school, I was a track & field/cross-country athlete. I wasn't the fastest, by any means, but I was fast enough to get my team qualified for state (that is to say, I was the fifth qualifying runner across the line when five runners were required), and I was also good for the shotput. I even did hurdles a time or two. In my family, I ate the most at every meal -- taking seconds, thirds, and sometimes even fourths or fifths. I once went to Pizza Hut with my buddy who practiced the shot with me every day after school -- a very large black guy who wound up playing football for the Citadel (practicing with the heavier guys' shot made me that much better) -- where we each ate our own large sausage/pepperoni/jalapeno pizza in one sitting. And the funny thing is that I was still smaller than my state competition by comparison (a lot of behemoth black girls with *no* form -- they just heaved the ball, and it went far).

My father used to tease me a lot about the quantities of food I ate, saying that I would "end up bigger than the side of a barn" if I didn't "watch it/myself" -- and that always hurt. Secretly, I worried that he was right, because my mother was a rather large woman, too, and I take after her very strongly.

I was still very active when I went to college and so remained somewhat svelte for my build (almost 5'7" and a size 8/10). And I ate Baskin Robbins like it was sustenance throughout. I didn't start getting more than 5-10 lbs heavier until I dropped out after 5 years. During the 4-5 year period that followed, I reached a maximum of about 185 (size 14) before deciding to go to the Navy. If you are over their standard weight limit (and I was -- about 30lbs), you have to pass a tape measure/body fat percentage test (under 33% fat for females) -- I was at 30% BFA.

At boot camp, I suffered... primarily from sleep deprivation, but also with hunger. If I wasn't tired (never), I was hungry (always) -- thinking about the next meal or bedrest was what kept me going! I realize that this sounds pathetic, but mealtime was rough -- I'm a slow eater, and the physical demands of training made me ravenous! Depending on how your RDCs ran it, you may have been able to eat as soon as you went throught the chow line, or you might have had to stand at attention in front of your meal until the whole company/division was filed/seated. Either way, you only had a matter of minutes -- ten would be a luxury -- to shovel it down, but obviously, to sit/eat right away was preferred, and to be in the back of the line sucked! I got in the habit of making PB&Js to stuff my face with and grabbed the easiest food to pocket -- whatever fruit and cookie was served -- and then immediately upon our departure, I would ask for an "emergency head call" whereupon I would devour whatever I had pilfered! And I was still starving come next mealtime. I've always wondered if I was really as sneaky as I thought I was, or if I wasn't the only one who did it and they knew...

I lost about 25-30lbs in that twelve-week period and was back at an 8/10 by the end, which pumped my esteem -- but I was also pretty wiped... like losing weight from being sick for a long time. And even though I was the slimmest I had been since high school (and most likely, the slimmest I could ever be and still be healthy), I was only a couple of pounds under standards. Right after boot camp was the only time in my 5 years that I didn't have to be taped to pass standards.

Over the course of the 5 years, the weight has slowly crept back on, and I have been at an all-time high of 190 for the last year or so. During this time, I had one cycle that they determined me to be over, and I was put on "mando" (mandatory fitness), which was actually kind of nice, because now -- instead of a lot of lip service about PT, but never being allowed the time to do it -- I was forcibly allowed the time to exercise. And... for the first time that *I* was on a ship, we had a personal trainer available, too! So, I didn't lose much weight, but I did get into pretty decent form and pass the BFA standard. The picture you have is of me on liberty in Guam during that period, and with my time of fun in the sun, I was feeling pretty good about myself when that was taken.

I've since gotten soft, but I haven't gained any more weight -- sitting solid at 185, size 14/16... which is right at the cusp of "plus size" fashion. And it's difficult for me, because I actually have a very long waist/torso and a small waist/big J-Lo booty (which many, including myself, feel is a good thing) -- so it can be hard to find clothing (i.e., pants!) to fit right. Things are usually falling off my waist for the sake of fitting my ass! And being at the top end of misses clothing means that I frequently don't find my size in clothing. The "Women's" sizes are too big, and designers seem to think that the biguns don't have any fashion sense, either.

This is just my own personal background -- I have more commentary on the social/cultural aspects of the topic, past the individual and military history -- but my very tired hubs just got in and showered and needs to get on here to do homework. And besides, this is getting really long. He thinks he may not go to bed tonight. They love to do this to you in military training...

More later. Good night!

Steve West | October 21, 2004
There was an interesting piece in the Washington Post the other day in which they reported an insurance carrier (Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Carolina I believe) will begin covering wieght-related health issues. This is apparently a seminal practice leading to nationwide recognition of the legitimacy of weight-related health claims.

Anthony Lewis | October 21, 2004
Swollen.

Or "Swole" in the black community.

I remember a skit on "In Living Color". When describing the sizes that "Fruit Of The Loom boxers" came in, David Allan Grier (as Muhammad Ali) said that they come in middleweight, heavyweight, super-heavyweight and "George Foreman".

Anthony Lewis | October 21, 2004
Women like to use "Voluptuous". I think this can be described as large, but maintaining a curvaceous figure.

Anna Gregoline | October 21, 2004
Scott, while there are many things to talk about regarding weight in this country, I don't know that the number of terms for being overweight are significant. I often notice that there are so many slang terms for everything that people are uncomfortable about - like vomiting, or sexual organs, or bathroom functions.

Lori Lancaster | October 21, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | October 21, 2004
I feel bad for really skinny girls too - they're constantly defending that they aren't anorexic, and women tend to regard them with envy and scorn. It's just their body type!

I try to be happy with my body, I really do. I always was - until this past year I gained 30 pounds, putting me at 150. This was for two reasons:

1. Jesse came to live with me. I immediately stopped eating mac and cheese and waffles for dinner and started eating right. He also is a late-night snacker, which I'm now trying to avoid.

2. Around the time he came to live with me, I finally went to see a nasal specialist as I was so sniffly all the damn time. Instead of it being allergies, as I'd thought, I found out that I had a sinus infection in all my sinuses - and it had been there for months. That cleared up, but as I said in the other thread, it caused all sorts of other health problems - a rash, yeast infections from the antibiotics, ezcema. During this time, in part because of a reaction my body had to this change, and partly because I felt sick and sad and so ate a lot (did I mention it was also the holidays?), I gained weight rapidly, almost without me noticing it.

Today, after some careful cut-backs, I've lost only a few pounds, putting me around 143. I need to start exercising more vigorously, and I think I can drop a few more. I know that I need to do it now and not later because it will only get harder as life goes on. I never thought I'd be in this position (my weight had never fluctuated before now) so it's hard to get a handle on it.

Steve West | October 21, 2004
Brobdingnagian is a word not used enough.

Amy Austin | October 21, 2004
Well, Anthony... "thick" is the word that I've heard thrown around in your community -- I've heard more than one black man use it to describe me -- and it seems to me that they actually really like it. Is this true? Do you prefer "thick" or "voluptuous" or... "swollen" women??? I can tell you this much -- I know I've been checked out quite a bit by the "brotha"s... they make no secret about it or attempts to try and hide it. If someone's laser-beam stare could heat into flames, my ass'd have caught fire and burned up a hundred times over! At first, I found this pretty disconcerting... but I've just come to accept that "Amy Got Back" and to take it as a compliment over the years.

Steve West | October 22, 2004
Reubenesque, zaftig...Back in the North Carolina hills where my father has his roots, they prefer their women "sturdy".

Todd Brotsch | October 22, 2004
I'm Thin.

James Chiappone | October 22, 2004
I don't know, I think I'm pretty sexy. I've been told I look good naked, I often stand in front of the mirror naked and rub lard on myself to see what I'd look like if I joined a sorority. Man, I hate those fat bitches.

Amy Austin | October 22, 2004
That really disturbing scene in "Silence of the Lambs" comes to mind...

"It puts the lard in the basket, or else it gets the hose again... PUT THE LARD IN THE FUCKING BASKET!!!"

Lori Lancaster | October 22, 2004
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Scott Hardie | October 22, 2004
Shit... I screwed up. I was trying to start a discussion about obesity in general, not trying to get people to submit more synonyms for "fat." That was just my creative way of opening the discussion. :-)

More to say soon...

Lori Lancaster | October 22, 2004
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Amy Austin | October 22, 2004
I was trying to get there eventually, Scott -- but all the other stuff sidetracked me (so disappointed about no chuckles for my response to James, too!)... and besides, my set-up made me feel a little long-winded (and about myself -- double yuck!) -- but I was headed back to the territory you wanted to explore...

I'm really interested to hear what *you* have to say about it first, though. Not in that way that everyone in high school history class turns and looks at the *one* black guy in the class when they get to the chapters on slavery! Just want to hear your thoughts and get a good springboard besides my own wordy one -- I have a lot to say on the subject, as I'm sure you do!!! Let 'er rip!

Anthony Lewis | October 27, 2004
Amy....

Yes. In general, it seems as though black males like "Thickness". To be mild about it, I think it's because they like something to hold onto.

To then get fairly graphic about it: They like a thick pair of legs wrapped around their waist when doing the deed. They like full breasts in their face, and a booty to grab onto.

I remember the Real World Hawaii season. Kaia once remarked that she gravitates towards black men because of their acceptance of her body. While I wouldn't call her voluptuous, she was fairly curvy. She said that white guys would say "You're fat." Black men would say "You're perfect".

Steve Dunn | October 27, 2004
I believe in personal ads, "Reubenesque" is the code word for fat.

Anthony, I like the ladies boomin' but not swole. Brickhouse.

Kris Weberg | October 27, 2004
I've got to say, the valorization of thinness has really become a clearly microcultural thing -- it seems to belong primarily to urban middle-to-upper class Caucasians more than to anyone else. Certainly African-American, Latino, and arguably even suburban and rural standards of beauty are very differen.

Of course, mass media tends to be owned by, produced by, and targetted towards either upper-to-middle class urbanites or our fantasies about them, so the thinness standard remains 'dominant" in terms of cultural presentation.

Scott Hardie | October 28, 2004
I've been putting off writing comments in this discussion because the subject depresses me. That same denial and procrastination is the same reason why I'm fat today, because it's incredibly difficult to accept how fat you are when you're that big; you do everything you can to ignore it and laugh it off. It's because no matter how fat you get or how long you've been fat, you still think somewhere in the back of your mind that you're going to be thin someday. People who lose a limb or a loved one know they're never going to get it back, so they grieve and get over it and move on with their lives. People who lose their figure, even those who recognize they don't have the discipline ever to diet successfully, never truly accept that it's gone for good. I've been fat for approximately 20 of my 26 years of age, and yet I still can't convince myself that I will not someday be thin like everyone else; I'm beginning to think it's a fundamental need of my psyche not to identify myself as fat. In a similar way, I suspect that atheists with even the tiniest religious bone in their body have a hard time convincing themselves there isn't really a peaceful afterlife waiting for them; they may consciously deny it, but the belief persists no matter how much they try to stomp it out, because the underlying psyche needs to believe in that paradigm in order to function even if the person chooses to forego it. (Then again, I'm only speaking for myself here.)

One good thing about the movie "Identity" last year is that it gave me a vocabulary for explaining what it's like not to believe I'm fat. (Spoilers ahead.) In the middle of one scene with John Cusack, a mirror is held up to his face, and he is startled to see Pruitt Taylor Vince staring back at him. He had forgotten what he actually looked like and had developed an entirely different mental identity, and the movie was told from his unreliable perspective up to that point. While I don't believe I look as good as John Cusack, I do imagine myself with his figure; it is an unshakable fact of my psyche's worldview that I am fit and healthy, a fact that it believes on a fundamental level like "day is bright" and "the ground is down." It is only when I catch myself in a mirror that I realize how humongous I actually am (about 400 pounds), and the sight of me never fails to cause me a moment of cognitive dissonance before I remember my true size.

After saying what I've said above, is it any surprise that I've never been able to stay on a diet for long? I can swear to you up and down that I'm fat and it will kill me someday and I need to get lose the weight, but it never registers deep enough because fat is not a part of my identity. It's not so much a lack of self-discipline (though that's a big problem), it's that each diet never really feels like anything other than an academic exercise, instead of something that I vitally need. For example, I have a hard time gambling because I feel no need for adrenaline, and needlessly wagering money offends my sense of logic, so I resist. Dieting is the same; it doesn't seem true to me on any level that I need to lose weight, so every diet fizzles out quickly without any struggle or disappointment on my part. Step one of AA is to admit that you have a problem, but it's not you who must admit it; it's your id, it's that inner child who wants, wants, wants. You can't win the war with your psyche until you find a way to quiet that inner child, and I have never found a way, though not for lack of trying.

So that's why I can't lose weight. What is it like to be this fat? I used to say it was a thousand little inconveniences, but I have since upgraded that number to a million. A few off the top of my head: You have to ask for "a table, please" in a restaurant because you probably won't fit in their booths. You have to sleep with your mattress and box spring on the floor because the bedframe will warp and eventually snap beneath you. More skin means more places that itch, more places to wash when you bathe, more sweat and lint traps and acne. You can't climb a single flight of stairs without breathing heavily; two flights leave you gasping for dear life. You can't clip your toenails without contorting yourself painfully on the bed. When you sit in wooden chairs, you have to sit on the edge and support yourself with your legs so that you don't break them; sitting on lawn chairs is totally out of the question. You spill food on your shirt at most meals because your belly creates a distance between you and your plate and then fills that distance. You feel a twinge of anxiety every time you approach a narrow opening or a crowded hallway. Your groin hurts when you sit in an ordinary chair because it has your gut and two thighs crushing it from all directions. You have to be careful how you step in fragile bathtubs, lest you crack the surface while showering and leak water to your downstairs neighbors or building firmament; taking an actual bath is out of the question because you can't fit enough water in the bathtub with you nor reach enough places on your body while confined in that small space. Like most number systems, clothing gets less and less size-accurate the higher you go, so that your 3XL t-shirt is loose while your 4XL button-down shirt pinches you, and your 56W pants fit your waist snugly while your belt of the same size is ready to drop for the floor at a moment's notice even when fastened on its tightest notch; you walk around holding your pants up with one hand like a hobo. Some people won't look at you no matter how many times you cross paths regularly; they avert their eyes and make a wide berth when going the way you're coming. You hope nobody asks you to drive their car because power steering loses its effect when the low end of the wheel rubs against your outstretched belly the entire time. Buying an airplane ticket is an act of reckless bravery, and being told you have to purchase two tickets because of your fat ass is an insult from airlines when even normal-sized people complain about the sardine-can sensation on a flight. When dining out, companions assume you'll want to finish eating what they can't; you notice they don't offer their plates to the fit people at the table. Though legroom isn't a real problem in back seats, you're secretly happy when the group gives you shotgun, because you can almost never fasten the seat belts back there. Your body plays a concert all by itself: The rolling percussion of your footsteps shaking the floor, the alarming creak of every chair as you shift your weight, the continuous, never-ending gurgling of your belly no matter what you ate nor when. You avoid futons because you look like a clown trying to climb out of them; you never sit on the floor itself because your legs fall asleep immediately whether folded or straight. When you spot a coin on the ground, you usually let it go, because it's not worth the strain and balancing act of reaching for it. You bristle (but hide it) when people give you unsolicited weight-loss advice, especially when it amounts to old wives' tales with no scientific support (such as the oft-suggested drinking of eight glasses of water a day to flush out your system) or something so foolishly simple (like "just eat less") that it should have occurred to the speaker that nobody would be fat if it were so easy. You never live a full life because you necessarily deny yourself certain kinds of happiness that others pursue freely. Even though it's largely not your fault, you still hate yourself for being unable to change. You hate the way that your intellect, on which you otherwise pride yourself, is powerless against a relatively simple thing like your id. Your accomplishments mean little, because you have tried and failed so many times to accomplish something more crucial. You never feel truly happy, perfect, or complete, because as long as you're fat, you're defective. It is maddening to realize that you're killing yourself and cannot stop, and so you do everything you can to look away.

I hope I didn't go on too long. That kind of thinking is a long way down a dead-end street, discussion-wise, and I don't blame you if you didn't read it or don't have anything to say about it. This is not my favorite subject in the world to discuss.

Anna Gregoline | October 28, 2004
Scott.

My god, that sounds just awful. It truly sounds like all those daily inconveniences add up to a total hellish experience. I wish I could help you in some way, and I know that there's no real way to do so.
These things are sensitive subjects and there's also no real advice to give. Argh.

What would it take to really accept something like this? Have you considered going into therapy with the goal of losing weight? I'm sure there are people out there that could work with you to construct a real program to help you along.

And I don't think you're in any way defective, even if the world makes you feel that way sometimes.

I love you, and I worry about your health.

Scott Hardie | October 28, 2004
Thank you. The last time I blew my Big Diet Plan, I begrudgingly accepted that I will need professional help to succeed. I generally like to do big things by myself, but when it comes to watching my weight, I'm a fox guarding the henhouse. Anyway, I haven't tried since then (summer), so my next attempt (winter) will be with professional assistance and possibly also psychotherapy. I also need to check what, if anything, my health insurance would cover along these lines; I would think most insurers would see weight-loss counseling as preventative medicine that, if successful, winds up being much cheaper in the long run.

Todd Brotsch | October 28, 2004
Hey man, I know how you feel. You've seen the picture of me with the...ahem..creature. So aside from the obvious 'weight' issues that come with being that heavy, I can appreciate the rest. The comments, the clothes problems, the doorway situations., couch size, bed size. Yet the last two aren't for weight capacity, but length obviously. Whereas for some odd reason it's not considered rude for anyone to ask how tall you are, where as it is for me to go up to some hot chick and ask how big her tataas are. Odd.

Anyway, I've developed a rather jovial attitude to creativley not answering peoples questions, usually asking some of my own, or talking about something else. Have to have a quick witt to do that sort of thing, Mitz can describe better what I do to be sure.

Besides anyone gives you grief, call down the thunder that is due from a man in your station. Sledge hammer to the head style.

Erik Bates | October 28, 2004
Scott, I've never been able to put the experience into words, but you have done it for me. I read every word of what you said up there, and it felt like you were describing me.

Anna Gregoline | October 28, 2004
Asking a woman what size her tits are would be like someone coming up to you and asking what size your dick was, so that's not odd in the least.

Todd Brotsch | October 28, 2004
I get that too baby. Big shoes, big crank.

It's the exact same thing, How much do you weigh, how tall are you, how big are your shoes, tits, dick. It's all rude

Anna Gregoline | October 28, 2004
Yes, it is.

Amy Austin | October 28, 2004
Wow. Now we're goin' places...

Scott -- I, too, read every word of what you said... and I believe that most everybody else here would, too. And, like Anna, I am also finding it a little bit hard to know just what to say. I have experienced a smidgen of the things on your list, but I must say... that, even for a person who prides herself on her ability to observe and empathize with others, I was blown away by some of the others that never would have come to mind. The weight-limits of chairs, for instance -- that always seemed like a bad joke to me... kind of like in the movie "Shallow Hal" (an excellent movie, as well as "School House Rock" -- I think Jack Black can really relate to some of these issues as well... and this touches on the whole Hollywood mentality, too) -- things like this really make you think... and I really like that about you a lot, Scott (movin' on up my list, man ;D)

And though I almost certainly cannot bear the idea of being one of those annoying little heads who thinks that they are offering up to you some bit of previously unconsidered enlightenment, I must still ask this (sort of along the lines of the liposuction question/joke, but also seriously)... have you ever considered gastric bypass surgery? I have only ever known one person to do this (and indirectly, at that -- the wife of a Jack Sprat shipmate in the Navy... he was her complete physical opposite!), but I did see the results... phenomenal. Of course, a certain amount of discipline is still required in this situation, but I wonder if the medical necessity for it makes a big difference? It's too hard for me to say, because what she underwent sounded absolutely hellish from the point of view of someone who also lacks that kind of discipline.

I also know just what you mean about never believing that you've permanently lost your "thin self", too -- this really spoke to me. It is the same hope that keeps women with fluctuating figures (like myself and a very close friend of mine in FL) forever holding onto the "thin jeans" -- sometimes entire boxes of "thin clothes", in fact, but *always* at least one pair of jeans or other magical, mythical item of clothing that once fit and supremely flattered that now-elusive body that you used to belong to -- with the tenacious thought that you will once again be that "thin"... one day. But one day never comes on its own -- that much is true. It took boot camp for me to have that day again, and now that I am a female in that 30-something (not even post-natal!) metabolic slump, I am too afraid of what it will take for it to come again. I realize that one of two things must happen: either I do what it takes for "one day" to come, or I change my way of thinking about it. I have worked fairly hard on the latter -- accepting my body for what it is, but also taking care of it to the extent that I am capable without sacrificing all of my life's pleasures. I think Emme would be proud of me.

Lori Lancaster | October 28, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | October 28, 2004
Shallow Hal is like Shrek in that it's message of accepting someone for who they are is undercut sharply by it's constant fat jokes. Blah.

Gastric bypass surgery does work for some, but I would be extremely cautious in considering it as an option. First of all, the surgery itself is dangerous - I've heard of people dying under anthnesia. Also, it forever alters your diet. I read something the other day that was talking about the poor nutrition people suffer under with the diet - it's almost impossible to get the correct amount of nutrients to keep you healthy under the new size of your stomach. Thirdly, keep in mind that the gastric surgery also entails other surgeries down the road - with the rapid weight loss, your loose skin will have to be tidied up with future cosmetic surgeries.

I don't want to scare you, but if that's an option for you, weigh (no pun intended) the risks carefully.

I saw another operation that was similar but was much better (wish I could remember the name of it) - they put this donut-shaped thing around your stomach or esophogus (I don't remember which) and fill it with saline. It tightens and restricts the amount you can eat. The good part about it is that with a simple office visit and an injection or reduction of saline into the device, you can alter how much food you are allowed to eat. The other great thing is that it's completely reversable, unlike gastric bypass. I wish I could remember what it's called, but it's escaping me.

It still entails surgery for the initial implant though, which is terrifying.

If I'm being more scary than helpful, let me know, I'll stop!

Lori Lancaster | October 28, 2004
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Amy Austin | October 28, 2004
Stomach staples = gastric bypass, Lori. Never heard of the other procedure, but it does sound interesting and possibly quite safer. *Any* surgery that requires anesthesia carries the risk of death, Anna -- even a tonsillectomy! The possibility of dying is an inherent risk to general anesthesia, which is what (along with the idea of being cut open!) makes any kind of surgery requiring it terrifying. And the possible need for cosmetic surgery is also always there with dramatic weight loss, rapid or otherwise. Your most valid points are about the initial dietary restrictions and lifelong adjustments... but it does get better with the passage of time and weight loss.

Anna Gregoline | October 28, 2004
Yes, it certainly does. But obesity surgery has higher risks because it's more dangerous for a person of size to go under anesthesia, which is why I mentioned it.

I think all my points are valid, otherwise I wouldn't make them.

Lori Lancaster | October 28, 2004
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Lori Lancaster | October 28, 2004
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Amy Austin | October 29, 2004
I think it's always a good idea, Lori, for anyone with severe weight issues to have their hormones checked. However, it isn't always so simple -- I present with about 80-90% of the symptoms of a person with hypothyroidism, but some doctors (esp. military ones!) just won't be convinced without the support of "conclusive" lab tests... mine are pretty normal. *Not* normal, however, are chronic cold intolerance, often accompanied by paresthesia (tingling & numbness in the extremities -- also a possible sign of diabetes), deep pustular acne (that's never been a problem in my life before), and -- most disconcerting of all! -- losing copious amounts of hair every time I shower or brush it... and that's just a handful of the symptoms. Difficulty losing weight or slow/steady weight gain is yet another. But since my bloodwork doesn't seem worrisome to anyone, I "must be fine". This is a very common problem for people with subclinical hypothyroidism or Wilson's thyroid syndrome (something of a controversy among endocrinologists -- a split vote, to be sure), but since I can't afford a private endocrinologist who might be willing to explore further, I am a little stuck right now.

Compounding my belief that this is my problem is the fact that my mother was diagnosed as such in *high school* -- something I only recently learned from my father after telling him of what I suspect -- but I never knew this, since apparently, she never continued with any treatment that I was ever aware of! Long-term untreated, this can lead to dementia... something that I believe is a legitimate concern for my mother (who, by her own doing, has not talked to me in over 5 years). I worry about her from time to time, since I have no idea where she is or how she's doing, and I very much fear following in her footsteps, as I feel that I am -- we are so much alike, and I am experiencing so many of the same problems that I watched her have before losing touch. Doctors frustrate me to no end, and it's very unfortunate what it takes sometimes to get their attention and get it good.

Perhaps Anna & I would get along better in person, Lori -- but I just don't know. Seems to me that she is frequently incited by things that aren't meant to be. For instance, I said "your most valid points"... from which she somehow inferred, "your *only* valid points" -- but... whatever. As long as everyone else here understands what I'm saying, then it's mostly good... I really hate to argue semantics.

Anna Gregoline | October 29, 2004
I'm right here you know...

I bristled at your comments here because I was only trying to help Scott, and felt like my comments/advice were being invalidated as being not worth mentioning.

I AM touchy lately. The election is driving me mad, and I think I'll be a lot nicer afterwards, whatever the outcome. I have to say, it doesn't help that new people came onto the site, started posting a lot, and I can't even see what they look like! It's frustrating, it's like, who ARE you? I would suggest to Scott that new members have to wait until he gets their pictures up or something, or maybe that's just my own bizarre preference.

But I don't want to get into anything because all I care about on this thread is getting Scott some help because I care about him very much.

Lori Lancaster | October 29, 2004
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Scott Hardie | November 2, 2004
Thanks for the support and advice.

I'm glad stomach-stapling and other surgical solutions work for some people, but I couldn't go through with one. It just seems so, I don't know, unnecessary: Once you have the procedure, you have to eat very little because if you don't, your stomach will rupture and you could die. In the process of eating so little, you lose your weight. Well, what in the hell is keeping you from eating so little without having the surgery at all? If that's the route for me, I'd sooner to go a hypnotist to tell me I had the operation and that I'll die if I overeat, than have the physical procedure itself, which comes with dire side effects. It's almost literally "fitness or bust."

Jackie Mason | November 2, 2004
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Scott Hardie | November 2, 2004
It might be. It doesn't matter to me all that much what the cause is; it's not like I'm beating myself up for causing it. Whether it's generic or not, it's still going to take a great deal of work to overcome it.

Scott Horowitz | January 20, 2005
Just bringing this thread back on. My father had the bariatric surgery last week. (link) He needs to lose weight for health. He has tried dieting and nothing has worked. He was operated on Thursday, and by Saturday was home. It was a laproscopic procedure.

As for me, I'm proud to say that since the first week of November I have lost 24 lbs. I am doing Weight Watchers. I have found this to be the best diet to do. You don't cut out any foods, you just limit how much you eat. If anyone is interested in losing weight, I highly reccomend it.

Anna Gregoline | January 20, 2005
Congrats, Scott! That's totally awesome!

I'm currently considering the South Beach diet, as Jesse's parents did it and lost tons of weight. My mom just started, and already lost 4 pounds! I'm not sure I want to do it yet, but I'm trying to do better - for example, for lunch I'm bringing carrots and hummus and jello for a dessert (since it has only 10 calories). It's actually going ok so far, but I'm scared to check the scale and see!

Scott Horowitz | January 21, 2005
I don't particularly like diets such as Atkins or South Beach, because they seem to be short term fixes. You can drop 25~50 quickly, but the second you reintroduce the "forbidden" foods back into your diet you gain all the weight you lost back. With Weight Watchers, it's a change of lifestyle altogether, learning how to control your portions, eat healthier meals, and even being able to cheat once in a while.

Anna Gregoline | January 21, 2005
Jesse's parents haven't gained one pound back on the South Beach - you re-introduce foods slowly, and some stuff is still way off-limits. Sounds the same as you describe Weight Watchers, really. It seems a lot more balanced than the Atkins or some other ones out there. There is still the two-week "initial" phase where you supposedly lose the weight the fastest - people just need to understand that when the two weeks are up, that doesn't mean you go back to old habits.

Lori Lancaster | January 21, 2005
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Erik Bates | January 21, 2005
What people usually don't understand is that the Atkins plan doesn't say that you can never have carbs. You drastically cut them back (20 per day for the first 3 weeks), then re-introduce them slowly. By the time you hit the maintenance phase of the plan, you're having probably 100 carbs a day, if not more. Overall, the plan keeps you eating healthier, because you're cutting out on all the excess junk food that you shouldn't have been eating so much of in the first place.

My uncle has lost 65 pounds with Atkins, and the lifestyle doesn't bother him at all. He still goes carb-crazy sometimes, but it doesn't kill the diet because he's moved into the phase where your body knows how to handle the carbs and doesn't retaliate by screwing up your weight loss.

Jackie Mason | January 21, 2005
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Anna Gregoline | January 21, 2005
I'm 5'4" and 148 pounds right now. I USED to be 130 until my boyfriend moved in and started pampering me with food.

I'm trying to lose weight. I'll be happy if I lose ten pounds, honestly. It's so hard! I've never struggled with weight before, so it's really disheartening now.

John E Gunter | January 21, 2005
Not trying to put a downer on anyone, but as you get older, there is a tendance to gain weight and it's much harder to take it off. I know it's generally not something anyone wants to hear, but it's a fact of nature.

A good thing you can do to control your weight is pay attention to not only what you eat, but how much you eat as well. We Americans have a tendancy to eat a lot more than we really need to, so...

Course, having a medical problem like mine, I have a tendancy to keep the weight off due to the fact that if I stuff myself, I suffer discomfort from the reflux. But, paying attention to what and how much you're eating goes a long way to keeping weight off.

Course, some people are more prone to weight gain than others, but if you pay attention to what's happening with your body, that helps alot!

John

Jackie Mason | January 21, 2005
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Kris Weberg | January 21, 2005
I used to be about 5'8" and 120 lbs, but since then, I've gotten up to 5'9" and 155 lbs. It really is metabolic, too -- I haven't chnaged my eating habits much, but after I turned 23, I started gaining weight like mad.


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