I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Health At Every Size: Thoughts V.1


I bought Linda Bacon’s book “Health At Every Size” a few months ago, but only recently cracked it open for some reading. I admit that I have not read a book in quite a long time. I used to read everyday, now I read the internet & magazines and little else (I mean, catalogs don’t count, right?). Of course I’d heard nothing but rave reviews from all over the FA/SA community, but it still took some self-urging to not only buy it, but read it. I plan on doing a series of posts about the book and my thoughts on certain things therein. I’m only up to the fourth chapter, but some things in chapter three really made me stop and think and reflect on my own life and I have to tell you, I’m floored!

Here is the first part that truly made me stop and think about my life:

“In one very interesting experiment, scientists subjected mice to stress by locking them in a case with a more aggressive mouse. Some of the mice were given standard feed, and the others were fed the mouse equivalent of a processed food diet. The stressed mice eating the processed foods gained a significant amount of weight, much more than the stressed mice fed the standard feed. They also gained significantly more weight than mice consuming the same processed food diet that were not subject to stress. If this translates to himans, it suggests that it’s not just the stress, but the combination of stress and a nutrient-poor diet, that does you in.”

So, full disclosure here: I grew up poor. We didn’t have a lot of food in the house and when we did have food it was generic, yellow boxes of processed things. Fresh fruits and veggies just didn’t occur on a regular basis. I’ve mentioned in a  previous post how I would look forward to our Sunday dinners at my Grandma’s house due to her crisp green salads. Hello? Malnutrition? Yeah, hi! We know each other, remember?!  Wow!
Then when I was 14, I met a guy who turned out to be an abuser. I spent the next five years, basically as a hostage. He beat me up a lot. I didn’t start gaining weight until I was about 15 or 16 years old. I was eating less, exercising more, yet somehow also putting on weight. WTF?! (I never really dieted. I did slim fast a couple of times, but it always made me barf and so I would stop after a day or two.) Can you say STRESSSSSS?! Ha-ha! (Yes, I can laugh about it now, it’s been 13 years.)
So you can understand why that paragraph about the mice really struck a chord with me. Like, whoa!

The book also mentions mothers who diet during pregnancy leading to adults who are “overweight.”  Yeah, my mom struggled with her weight as long as I can remember, so she probably also dieted while pregnant. Just an assumption, but I believe a fair one. And here I am. I have lived exactly the opposite lifestyle as my mother (haven’t seen her since I was 15) and yet I have her hips/ass/boobs/etc. Genetics are some strange things, man.

Also, there are three paragraphs on sleep and sleep deprivation. I won’t recount them here, but I’ve struggled with insomnia since I was 12. I have had some pretty horrible times due to this. You can imagine how enough sleepless nights can affect ones life. Yep! While I have it mostly under control now, it’s never too far away, either. Linda Bacon specifically points to weight gain and sleep deprivation. WOW! You can imagine how much sleep I got during those five years of terrible, right? Barely any! It’s as though those five years of emotional and physical terror were also compounded with my insomnia and poor nutrition. Yikes!

While this may be full of obvious for some, this combination had never occurred to me before reading it. I am in awe of this book. The amount of facts and medical information is astounding. When I mention to a friend how dieting can mess with your brain chemistry so that you no longer hear/respond to your body’s natural hunger/fullness cues, I get the dear-in-the-headlights look.

To top things off there was a couple pages about weight loss surgery. And the facts, side effects, complications, mortality rates and everything else were so much worse than I already knew. What really scares me now is that my dad is being urged by Kaiser (hospital & insurance provider) to get the lap band surgery. While I have a very strained relationship with him and can’t simply say, “OH MY GAWD DON’T DO IT! PLEASE DON’T FUCKING DO IT!” I did ask him if he’s done any research on the subject. He said yes and that he feels the risks are nothing to worry about. And as I’m reading this book, and turn each page to read the next, all I can think about is possibly losing my dad because of a stupid insurance company’s urging him to get this dangerous procedure. UGH! I want to give him this book, but I’m not even sure he’ll read it.

Sorry. I get a bit swept up in these realizations. I probably think too much and too intently on certain things. But damn! I just cannot believe that this is the world we live in. I want it all to go the hell away, like NOW! *sigh* But I get up every day and do what must be done and take care of business. And we all do. We have to. If we let this shit get to us we’ll freak out and that’s no good. Might end up in the hospital for the freak-out and end up getting involuntary WLS! Okay, wow, sorry…carried away! But I also don’t think I’m too far off base here either.

I just don’t understand how anyone thinks it’s okay for health professionals to recommend such things.

But that is our society. Our culture has been usurped by this nonsense. These lies. And it is up to us to try to reverse the damage.

Thank you for reading.

10 Comments to

“Health At Every Size: Thoughts V.1”

  1. On August 19th, 2010 at 11:17 am KW Says:

    Thank YOU for posting this. Seriously.

  2. On August 19th, 2010 at 11:18 am Not Blue at All Says:

    You’re welcome. Thanks for the comment. =0)

  3. On August 19th, 2010 at 11:58 am Linda Bacon Says:

    I’m honored. Thanks for the kind words about my book. Glad it’s having its impact. One thing I’ve tried to do in the book and elsewhere is arm people with info they can use to educate and help others. Perhaps it would be helpful to give your dad a copy of this “Message for People Considering Bariatric Surgery”: And if that doesn’t threaten him too much and you want to follow up with more info, you can download that excerpt about bariatric surgery from the book at the bottom of this page: Perhaps you can find some other helpful tools on that page also.

    Great reflection on your blog! Glad to see it.

    Rock on…

  4. On August 19th, 2010 at 12:33 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Well, now I am honored that you’ve read my blog! I mean, I should say, I’m in awe! I know I’m not the speediest of readers and have been so crazy-busy with my cafe, but your book is rocking my socks. Thank you for that! And for the links. Hopefully my dad will reconsider. Thanks for commenting, too! =0)

  5. On August 19th, 2010 at 12:33 pm Twistie Says:

    You may or may not be able to get your father to read the ugly facts around lap band surgery, but you could recommend the book (or some of the great articles about WLS at Junk Food Science and other FA blogs). From there, it’s his decision to inform himself or not.

    It’s not a perfect answer, certainly, but at least you’ll know you did what you could to help him see the other side of the coin before he makes his decision.

    I look forward to reading your series.

  6. On August 19th, 2010 at 12:39 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    I appreciate your encouragement. And thank you for reading & commenting. =0)

  7. On August 19th, 2010 at 12:53 pm Atchka! Says:

    Ya know what you should do? Start selling a few books in your coffeeshop. There’s a coffeeshop in my town (The Abbey) that has a little shelf with just a few books on it. You could include a few books you like and then sneak in Health at Every Size and other FA standards. That would be an excellent way to spread the message without getting preachy. 🙂


  8. On August 19th, 2010 at 1:16 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Hey Shannon! Always with the bright ideas! I love it. Actually, I already have some fatcast flyers out so it wouldn’t be so out there for me to have the book. My issue is space, as always. I have all of 400 square feet to work with and believe me, it’s never enough. Ha-ha! Thanks for your support, as always! =0)

  9. On August 21st, 2010 at 8:29 am j. Says:

    Yup, sleep is where everything falls apart! When you get a good night’s rest, it resets your body’s metabolism “clock” or “switch” or something. So if you are constantly missing that time frame, that “clock” doesn’t know where the numbers are going and it’s just a mess.
    So, get some sleep.

  10. On September 3rd, 2010 at 5:02 am Sleep-Deprived Teens May Pay A Hefty Price | Living ~400lbs Says:

    […] between sleep dep and weight gain has been noted before.  (So’s the correlation between weight gain and stress.  And sleep deprivation is also linked to stress.)   Whether it’s the 2.2% increase in fat […]

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