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Tag: health

Skinny bitch

Ok, don’t hate me. But I get it if you do because a month ago I would probably have thrown tomatoes at me for this post.

Moving on.

Remember that time I apparently swallowed demons? I couldn’t keep so much as water down. In that two days I lost 8 pounds. Afterward I had no appetite and lost a few more pounds. Then, I got sick again and lost four more pounds.

My appetite just hasn’t been the same.

Now, before I lost my immune system I was at my highest weight ever. When I was flying (and at my happiest weight) I was a good 15 pounds lighter. I hadn’t given in and bought many new clothes yet but putting on my jeans every morning required me to stretch them within an inch of their life. I’m not sure how the seams held out. It was so uncomfortable. Often I couldn’t even comfortably sit without unbuttoning my pants.

So attractive, I know. Down boys.

Obviously I was pretty unhappy with how I looked. In all honesty I was nowhere near being considered overweight but I hated how I felt and how my clothes fit. I have issues. Judge if you want.

Anyway, despite the fact that it wasn’t the healthiest way to get back down to my normal weight, I kind of love how I look now. Mostly. I still have issues.

The thing is, do you know how difficult it is to find cute, inexpensive clothes in small sizes? It’s the same problem with having absurdly tiny feet. There are just way fewer options, especially if you’re trying to shop in the clearance section.

The most frustrating thing though is the discrepancy in sizing. One place I can wear a size 5 and in the very. same. store. a 0 is too big. It’s just plain annoying. I get that brands want to make women feel good about themselves. Shouldn’t that be done by making great clothes that are well tailored rather than putting smaller numbers on bigger clothes?

As if someone is going to think, “Oh wow, even though my body looks no different I must be thinner because the tag has a smaller number on it.”

Personally I don’t care if I wear a size 0 or a 10. I just want to look good in my clothes. Mens clothes are so easy since it’s by waist measurement. Why don’t womens clothing do that? No guessing, no bullshit, just a standard size. You are how big you are and smaller, arbitrary numbers on tags don’t magically make you weigh less.

Can you tell I’ve been shopping a lot lately? I haven’t bought much though. Joel and I don’t have tons of extra money to spend. However, I need to look nice for my job and my winter wardrobe was sadly lacking in anything that wasn’t worn out and shabby looking. Or a t-shirt.

So, I search through Large after XL for the occasional Small or Medium. Then I take dozens of things into the dressing room (while Joel panics that I’m going to spend our entire paycheck) only to come out with 1 or 2 things that fit and look halfway decent.

Now, maybe if I shopped at more high end places I wouldn’t have this problem. I wouldn’t really know but it seems the cheaper the store, the bigger the sizes run. We just don’t have money to spend $20+ on shirts and $70+ on pants.

If I gained a little weight I’d probably be able to find clothes that fit me better. However, I’d be uncomfortable with how I looked. It shouldn’t be this difficult, I shouldn’t have to pick between ill fitting clothes or a body that I don’t love or money in the bank. There has to be a market for cheap, small clothes.

(and shoes? Nah, that’s asking too much)

Anyone out there have that problem or am I just a lone skinny bitch?

The one where I run the risk of coming off as a huge bitch

How fat is too fat to fly?

Recently I read a really great blog post by Backpacking Dad that sparked some really interesting conversations via the comments section of the article. He said that asking the question: How fat is too fat to fly? is asking the wrong question. He says:

“The real question (the one that needs to be asked of the airlines) is ‘What is it about your profit-policy that makes it different enough from… other cases of unacceptable discrimination-for-profit… that you can consider dollars ahead of dignity and exclude the overweight segment of the population from your customer base by not equipping airliners with some bigger seats?'”

His basic point is that airlines are discriminating against obese people by not providing seats they can fit in. It’s a great article, well thought out, and humorous. Unfortunately, I completely disagree.

Airlines have a simple formula when they decide how much each seat costs: It costs x to fly from point a to point b. They divide x by the number of seats on the plane and that is the price per seat. If the all the seats are larger then less fit, therefore the price per seat is more. Airlines barely break even as it is because fares are so low. The problem is not whether or not airlines provide seats to accommodate larger travelers. Almost all major airlines do provide larger seats. It’s called first class. First class seats are expensive because they take up a lot of room. The problem is whether or not people are willing/able to pay for the bigger seats. The success of low cost carriers like Southwest have proven that people are not willing to pay more for their seats. While all airlines don’t offer first class, they all offer the option of purchasing a second seat if a person won’t fit in just one seat.

Backpacking Dad’s assertion is that making a profit is less important than doing the “right thing”. According to him the “right thing” is accommodating obese travelers by replacing current seats with bigger ones on all aircraft. He paints it as a human rights issue, akin to segregation. While I agree that human rights are always more important than any company’s bottom line, my question is, is it really a human rights issue? Is it discriminatory to not reconfigure a product to fit a specialized group?

Personally I don’t think airlines should have to reconfigure all their fleets to conform to America’s growing waistlines. They sell a product. Their product is a seat that gets from point a to b. Sometimes that includes a drink, sometimes a meal and sometimes a lot more depending on how much you paid. When airlines design the inside of the their aircraft they take safety, cost and comfort into consideration, in that order. Their goal is to transport people as safely as possible while making a profit so they can, ya know, stay in business.

If airlines did decide (out of some of some sense of ethical responsibility) that they were going to make all or even some of their economy class seats bigger somebody would have to pay for it. Who would that have to be? The obese person? If so then wouldn’t that still be discrimination? Should they divide it between all of the passengers? That wouldn’t really be fair to the average sized person if all fares were more expensive because of a select few. Should the government subsidize the airlines? That would require some sort of tax which is ultimately passed onto not only average sized fliers but all tax paying Americans, some of whom have never been on an airplane in their lives. That certainly wouldn’t be right either.

I believe all human rights should be fought for no matter what it costs. I just don’t agree that obese people are being discriminated against in general. Extreme cases, like that of Kevin Smith and others, are a different story. He met the guidelines laid out by the airline so there was no reason he should have been pulled off that flight. Of course, there are two sides to every story and it’s unclear why exactly he was singled out. No matter what, I believe the way he was treated was unacceptable. However, I’m not talking about those who fit in the seats.

Businesses should have to make reasonable accommodations. Handicapped ramps and stalls for example. These cost a minimal amount up front and don’t hurt their business. In my opinion, reasonable accommodations are already being made for obese people. Obese people who don’t fit in one seat have several options: lose weight, buy a first class seat, buy two economy class seats or find a different way to get where they’d like to go. I believe airlines could do more by providing clearer information about the maximum size that can fit in each seat in the same place they list luggage limitations. Until they make those changes though seat information can be found on Seat Guru.

What it comes down to is being obese isn’t something that is completely uncontrollable like the color of your skin or sexual preference. People make life decisions. In other countries this may not be the case but in America every person has the choice to purchase and consume healthy or unhealthy food every day. They choose whether or not they consume liters of soda pop or pounds of sweets. Every person has the choice to exercise daily or to sit on their butt and do nothing. Yes, being healthy is hard work. Yes, choosing to put down that doughnut or bag of chips takes self control. Yes, it sucks to have to go to the gym or for a walk after a long day at work. There are all kinds of things that get in the way. But ultimately it comes down to what is important to each individual person.

I hope that all I’m saying does not paint me as a hateful person. I don’t expect everyone to look the same and I don’t have a problem with big people. I have a problem with people blaming the airline for the fact that they can’t fit in a seat. People come in all shapes and sizes and curvy people are as beautiful as thin people. However, those that choose to be extremely overweight are hurting themselves. It doesn’t mean they’re not wonderful people, it means they’ve made bad choices about their health. To say it’s not a choice demeans all the hard work that people like FaintStarLite, JewliaGoulia, ExHotGirl, LosingWaist and countless others have put in. I’ve followed their journeys and watched them have awesome victories and frustrating defeats. But they keep going. Day after day they put in the hard work that is necessary to achieve their goals. I’m betting every one of them would tell you it’s totally worth it. And I’ll be here cheering them on.

The choices that got someone to the point of being obese may or may not have been theirs. They may have been fed fattening, processed foods growing up. They may not have had all the information or been taught how to make healthy choices. But today is a new day. Every single day each individual gets up and make a choice whether they are going to live in a way that is good for them and brings them closer to their goals or if they’re going to make choices that keep them where they are or push them further away from their goals. I make choices every day, I know that everyone else can too.

In a perfect world everyone would be able to travel the world in their own emission free private jet whenever they wanted. We would all have whatever our idea was of a perfect body. We wouldn’t have to worry about money, everyone would get along and things would be all sunshine and rainbows. Unfortunately the world is not perfect. Those that cannot afford their own private jets have to find other ways to travel and for some that means buying more than one seat.

*Sniff, Sniff*

Joel and I have both been suffering from colds for the last couple days. Tonight Joel has the headache from hell that I had the other day. *sad face* I’ve now progressed to occasional stuffiness with a good amount of the sneezes thrown in. At least it’s progressing. Hopefully both of our colds will be gone in the next couple days and we can go back to our normal non-scrunchy selves.

Side note: I have a funny sneeze. In fact I have made strangers laugh out loud when they hear me sneeze. It’s not my fault though, it’s genetic. My dad sneezes like the big bad wolf, you’d think it would blow the house down. My mom on the other hand has much more normal sneeze, at least at first. The funny part is the end. Some people call it a backfire. Some have said it sounds like a cat meowing. It’s like “achoo, hew!” Lucky me got a mix of both so it’s something like “AAHCHOO, hew!”

Anyway, I consider myself a fairly healthy person. The last time I got majorly sick was about five years ago, and the time before that was almost ten years ago. I do however find myself with the occasional common cold. Sneezy, stuffy, phlegmy (is that a word?) grossness. Since it is called the common cold I assume some of you suffer from it from time to time. Here’s how I generally survive mine.*

First of all, the minute I feel like I’m getting a cold, you know, that little itch in the back of your throat, I start taking tons of vitamins. Usually vitamin C and echinacea three times a day. I’ve tried Cold-Eeze before but it didn’t seem to do much and it leaves a very strange, bitter aftertaste in my mouth. Also, I’ve tried gargling lime juice and salt which is also iffy on how well it works. No word on whether adding tequila is more or less affective.

While it seems the above are helpful, I have yet to find something that actually prevents a cold from coming every time. Usually my colds are much shorter than the average person’s though so I like to think they at least help.

Once I have a cold the most important thing I take care of is my nose. I always make sure I some kind of tissue that has lotion in it. There is nothing worse to me than feeling miserable only add to it by rubbing my nose raw by using cheap tissues.

Even with great tissues I still inevitably end up with a rudolph nose. To take care of that I slather Desitin on my nose right before I fall asleep. I know it sounds weird using diaper rash ointment on your face but trust me, it works. You have to use it at night though because it doesn’t soak in quickly. So, unless you think walking around with a gooey, white nose is better than a red one, I’d wait until you go to bed.

So there you have it. Possibly a little weird but they work for me and make my colds way more bearable. What about you? What are your best tips on surviving a cold?

*disclaimer: I don’t have a medical degree of any kind. If you’re really sick, see a doctor.

My addiction

bowlofpopcornI have a problem. I am addicted to popcorn. I love the stuff a ridiculous amount. If I’m home, I eat it every day. I’ll eat almost any kind of popcorn (except kettle corn, because ew) but the majority of what I eat I make at home with my own little air popper. I pour a half cup of kernels, melt a tablespoon or two of butter to drizzle on, sprinkle on some salt and I am a happy, happy girl. Until recently I was proud of my snack choice. I don’t eat the microwave wave kind that is drenched in oil and fake junk. What I make at home is basically a bowl of vegetables. I mean, it’s corn that is popped. Healthy! I do use butter but a tablespoon only has a hundred calories so it’s not that bad. The thing is, I noticed that after several days of eating an entire batch of popcorn by myself, my clothes started fitting a little tighter. Hm… I looked on the back of the jar of kernels and it said there are 31 calories in a cup of popcorn. I only use half a cup so that can’t possibly be the problem, right? It did seem awfully low though so I did a little research with the help of my friend Google. Oh! That’s 31 calories for a cup of popped popcorn. That’s different. Well how many cups can there really be in a batch? I decided to measure just to make myself feel better.

One, (Wow, not much fits in a cup!)

two,

three,

four,(Maybe it meant for me to pack this popcorn in the cup because there’s not much of a dent in this bowl yet.)

five,

six….

twenty.

Twenty cups of popcorn in a batch. Oh boy. That’s not hard math, 31 x 20 = 620 calories in my “healthy” snack. That’s not even counting the butter which adds a nice hundred calories or two. So, in total I have been eating 720-800 calories every day as a snack. Dear lord, it’s a wonder I fit into my clothes at all!

Now, those of you who know more about calories and nutrition are probably laughing at my naivety. I probably should have known better since something that big and delicious couldn’t possibly have been a low calorie snack. It was fun while it lasted. I’m still going to enjoy the occasional bowl of popcorn because it’s way too good to give up altogether. However, I have learned once again that everything is good in moderation. Even a “vegetable” like popcorn.

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