BMI Classifications and Emotional Eating - POSTED ON: Aug 29, 2015
I've only paid attention to the BMI and its classifications during the past ten years or so ... after I began spending lots of time on the internet.
My BMI ignorance happened despite the fact that I've spent over 60 years of my life dieting, which has included - from the 1960's through the present date - reading hundreds and hundreds of diet books as soon as they were published.
I didn't need the BMI to tell me I was fat, because our culture gave me that information in thousands of other ways.
It was only when I had lost a great deal of weight, and was setting my ultimate weight "goal" that BMI Classifications got my attention. I then learned that - for my BMI - a "normal" weight is between 95 and 127 pounds.
Since I spent the majority of my life - at a height of 5' 0" - around and above 200 pounds - with a high of 271 pounds, for me to reach a weight of 129 was a fantastic success bordering on the incredible. Therefore, I was not happy to learn that at this 129 number I was still considered "overweight". ... and needed to lose more... and more... and that my goal should be to have a body with less and less substance. In fact, I've sometimes thought that what our culture (including the medical profession) really wants in general, is for me to get small enough, and light enough, to disappear entirely.
I may write more about this at some future time, but for now, I'll share the following article:
How BMI affects emotional eating
by Isabel Foxen Duke
How to Not Eat Cake
...really fast, standing up, when nobody's looking.
I recently made a passing comment to a colleague…something along the lines of “BMI is bullshit.”
In the slightly patronizing manner that only an older, male, health professional can assume, he said to me: “I would be careful to make blanket statements like that…you don’t know all of the different ways that BMI is used…”
I immediately re-analyzed my statement.
Can I fully stand by the blanket statement “BMI is bullshit” in all cases?
What about when evaluating the health of starving children in Africa?
What about when evaluating the health of different demographic populations?
I thought about it deeply…
and my answer was a resounding YES,
because BMI as a concept is founded upon the assumption that there exists a specific weight range that is healthful for everyone, and that all human bodies, are essentially, the same. It assumes that humans are no different than iPhone 6’s — that my body at 5’6 should look roughly the same as your body at 5’6 — and that our health can be effectively evaluated based on how we compare to the general population “average” rather than how we compare to our own natural, individual, setpoint weight. BMI as a concept FAILS, in all circumstances, by virtue of the fact that it denies the existence of body diversity, by definition.
(and I can think of much more effective ways to figure out if humans are starving to death, but that’s for another time).
You may be wondering, why am I bringing this up? How does this relate to your food/binge-eating/emotional-eating woes?
It relates a lot.
Because most women enter into the diet-binge cycle assuming there is a weight they should be, that is different than what they are, based on these population averages, rather than based on where their own, unique, individual bodies land naturally when they take care of themselves.
Every emotional / binge-eater / crazy-around-food person on the planet, got that way because they messed with their food in an attempt to manipulate their size through force and control.
To be clear, they did not get that way by trying to eat more vegetables for the sake of health,
they got that way by trying to literally fit into a physical mold predetermined for them by a society that thinks we should all look the same: thin. And thin within a relatively narrow band.
Until we as a society begin to embrace the fact that body diversity exists — that we are not iPhone 6’s all meant to look exactly the same — dysfunctional food behaviors, on the restrictive and rebellious sides, will continue to exist. Period.
Keep Your CONCERN to Yourself - POSTED ON: Aug 27, 2015
pseudo-concern about the bodies of others.
This is not a Tree.
I am not a Kitten.
Keep Your Concern to Yourself
by Ragen Chastain of Dances With Fat
Reader Sara told me about some food-shaming dishes. Some of the plates are:
1. “It’s hard to be around you when you eat like this."
2. "Did you really need that second helping?."
3. "Please stop eating, we’re worried about you."
4. "For the love of God, stop eating.”
Let’s start with my answers in order:
1. "See ya."
2. "No, but at this point if I stop eating with this fork I’m going to stab you with it; so bring on a third helping, or get some gauze for compression."
3. "I can’t stop you from worrying, but I can stop you from talking to me about it."
4. "For the love of God, mind your own business."
We’ve already talked about the total bullshit that is the “Do you need to eat that” question. But of course it goes beyond that.
I’ve heard people suggest that it’s their moral obligation to tell fat people that we “need to lose weight”, exercise more, or that if someone sees a fat child they need to say something to the caregiver. I’ve been part of any number of conversations where people who had no business or permission to talk to me about my weight did so.
I asked some friends on Facebook who had spoken to them about their weight inappropriate. The answers included:
Strangers, Dermatologist, Psychic, Coworker, Father, Sister, Gynecologist, Cop (while giving a speeding ticket), Grocery Store Checker, Dentist, Restaurant Owner, Airport Staffer, MY MOTHER (emphasis by the original author), Grandmother, Girl Scout Leaders, ER Doctor, Coworkers, Waiters/Waitresses, Gym teacher, Nutrition Professor, Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig Employees (when I wasn’t enrolled in services), Softball Coach, Friend’s Parents, ROTC Leaders, Bagel Shop Employee, Other Kids Parents, Palm Reader, Obstetrician, Anesthesiologist, Photography Professor, Dermatologist, Chiropractor, Boss, Boyfriend’s Family, Dress Shop Employee, Massage Therapist.
Whoa. That’s a lot of people who think that it’s their right to say something to us about our bodies.
I won’t speak for anyone but me, but my response to this is No. No no no. World of no. Galaxy of no. Universe of no. No.
First of all, how grossly over-exaggerated does your sense of self-importance have to be, and how big of a rock do you have to live under, to talk to me as if I’ve never heard the opinion that I should lose weight.
Do you think I never see TV commercials? Listen to the radio? Look the hell around? By my count I get about 386,170 messages a year that my body is wrong. So how about you trust me when I tell you that the three-hundred-eighty-six-thousand, one-hundred seventy-first time is NOT the charm.
I think that when someone feels this strong of a need to “save a fatty”, it’s often really much more about their own ego than the person they are supposedly so concerned about. Like an ambitious relief pitcher, they want to get credit for the save. I call this “Pulling a Jillian” as in Jillian Michaels, ego maniac from The Biggest Loser, who can’t stop talking about how she’s saving lives and she’s making people healthy, she’s doing this and she’s doing that blah blah blah. Newsflash Jillian, if you really cared about people, we would be hearing a whole lot less about you.
I am a grown ass woman making choices. That is my right. Just like other people get to make choices for themselves. You can decide that you want to eat a raw foods diet, or fast food every day, or anything in between. I don’t get to decide how you live, it’s not my business. I get to make choices for my body and you have no right to question those choices.
You are allowed to be concerned about whatever you want, you are NOT allowed to share your concern with me unless I ask. The bottom line here is very simple: This is not a tree, and I am not a kitten, so you can put your ladder away.
If I had Millions of Dollars .... - POSTED ON: Aug 25, 2015
Plan vs. Reality - POSTED ON: Aug 23, 2015
Over my lifetime I've set a great many goals,
and I reached the majority of them.
This taught me that while a Plan will help direct my path,
the Reality of my journey will always be very different from my Plan.
Life just tends to always work that way.
Ten Steps to Eating Perfectly - POSTED ON: Aug 21, 2015
to Eating Perfectly
by Alden Wicker
1. They said that fast food executives were turning fat profits by making us fat, so I stopped eating fast food.
2. They said that killing animals was wrong, so I became a vegetarian.
3. They said that fertilizer run-off from industrial farming is killing the Gulf of Mexico, the pesticides are killing honeybees, so I started only eating organic.
4. They said that shipped food is too carbon intensive and not as fresh, so I started eating only local, in-season food.
5. They said that it was wrong to punish a cow by milking it twice a day, or to steal a chicken’s eggs, so I became a vegan.
6. They said that the paleo diet would restore my body and make my teeth healthy, so I stopped eating anything cultivated.
7. They said that cooking food destroys its nutrients, so I starting eating only raw food.
8. They said that following a macrobiotic regimen would prevent cancer, so I followed it.
9. They said that I should follow a zero-waste diet, so I stopped buying anything with packaging.
10. Then, when I showed up at the farmers market in December with my reusable bag looking for local, certified-organic, vegan, unprocessed, uncooked, uncultivated, whole foods, without packaging, that would fit into my macrobiotic diet, I realized that the best thing for the planet, the animals, and my health would be to just stop eating altogether.
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