Law & Disorder

Who’s in favor of the fat tax? Don’t you want to pay a surcharge for fattening foods or beverages?

As if some of the legal aspects of this country weren’t crazy enough (ahem…Casey Anthony anyone?) – here are some of the ridiculous, yet slightly humorous statutes from a few states in the US.

  • Arkansas:  No person shall drive a motor vehicle onto the premises of a drive-in restaurant and leave the premises without parking such motor vehicle, unless there is no unoccupied parking space available on the premises. – So does that make it unlawful to go through a drive-thru?
  • California: In Los Angeles, It is not legal to bathe two babies at the same time in the same tub. – Ummm…has Octomom been arrested yet?
  • California: In Riverside, Kissing on the lips, unless both parties wipe their lips with carbonized rose water, is against the local health ordinance.- Oh yeah…I’m sure this happens.
  • Illinois: A state law requires that a man’s female companion shall call him “master” while out on a date. The law does not apply to married couples. – Alright girls…make sure to call him master. Until you get married that is.
  • Illinois: It is illegal for anyone to give cats, dogs, or other domesticated animals a lighted cigar. – Is this a problem in their state?
  • Indiana: It is illegal to make a monkey smoke a cigarette. – Well maybe they can have cigars since my cat can’t.
  • Kansas: In Topeka, Servers are forbidden to serve wine in teacups. – I’ve never had wine in a teacup…think I might try that.
  • Maryland: In Baltimore, It is illegal to take a lion to the movies. – Thank goodness I can still take my tiger!
  • New York: It is against the law to throw a ball at someone’s head for fun. – Can’t baseball technically be considered a violation of this law?
  • New York:  A man cannot be seen in public while wearing a jacket and pants that do not match. – Thank goodness! Although NY strikes me as one of the last places you’d have to worry about this…Greensboro needs this law.
  • New York:  You may only water your lawn if the hose is held in your hand. – As opposed to your feet?
  • North Carolina: It is illegal to hold more than two sessions of bingo per week, and those sessions may not exceed 5 hours each session. – Nursing homes, pay attention!
  • Ohio: It is unlawful for a woman to appear in public while unshaven. This includes legs and face. – Remind me not to move to Ohio in the winter!
  • Oklahoma: It Is Illegal To Have A sleeping Donkey In Your Bathtub After 7pm – Good thing my donkey is awake in the bathtub after 7pm.
  • West Virginia: You may not profanely curse or swear or get drunk in public, or you shall be fined by a justice one dollar for each offense. – Well hell…I’d be broke.
  • Wisconsin: The serving of colored oleomargarine or margarine at a public eating place as a substitute for table butter is prohibited. – Only in Wisconsin!
  • Wisconsin: No rider of a bicycle shall remove both hands from the handlebars or practice any trick or fancy riding in any street in the city. – Look, mom! No Hands! Now look! I’m in jail!

You know what else should be illegal?! My freaking weight gain this week!!

 

And here’s where the ‘disorder’ comes in….I’m struggling a bit with something that I thought had hibernated for good.

No, my stomach isn’t hurting…and I’m not having digestive issues. But that’s exactly the problem. I’m not having any issues with eating at all. So why is this an issue?…well…because I’m wanting to eat everything in sight!!!

I cannot remember the last time that I have felt this good. I thought that it was normal to feel like you were turning inside out after eating. So I didn’t do it as much when I was at my sickest. Now that all of that’s gone, my small appetite has gone with it. Thankfully, I can’t eat like I used to. Can’t just raid the pantry or the fridge…can’t run through the drive-thru at McDonald’s….can’t destroy a bucket of fried chicken. I’m too scared of cross-contamination to gorge myself on Mexican food. Having to eat gluten-free has greatly reduced what I can pig out on. I have managed to destroy any popcorn or cheese that has come through the threshold of my house!  Red meat – come to mama! Cool Whip – I’ve annihilated it! All of it!

My food infatuations of late haven’t been all bad…I’m currently on a ridiculous garbanzo bean dependence. At least those are good for me!  If it could be delivered via IV…I’d be first in line. Ok, maybe not. But I have eaten them at every meal the last few days. Here are a few of the scrumptious, gluten-free culinary creations I’ve indulged in….

Don’t those dishes look delicious! They tasted amazing too! And to answer the question you’re currently asking yourself…yes, I will cook for you anytime!

I have the most debilitating fear of falling back into the wrath of my compulsive overeating disorder. I’m not at that point…And I don’t think I’m near that point, but I’m so afraid that because I’m not doubled over in pain after eating something that I won’t be able to stop once I start. Unlike the past, I am very aware of this fear. Perhaps this is the time that I finally persevere through something that clouded so much of my adult life, and led to so much self-loathing.

Despite my weight gain (dammit!) this week, I am not discouraged. I finally realize that food and body obsession rob women (and men) of their power. If we are so focused on what we look like, our attention can’t be invested in more important endeavors: contributing in meaningful ways to the healing of ourselves, our communities, our world. Conversely, moving away from food and body obsession provides the perfect training ground for learning the skills we need to take back our lives and develop our power in the world.

This whole journey is not about just losing weight. It’s about finding an incredibly vital, loving, wise spirit within me as I, patiently and sometimes trembling with uncertainty, strip away years of self-rejection and self-contempt. I am starting to peel the pain away by taking care of myself: eating the foods I want to eat, standing up for myself when I need to, and letting myself grieve for the waste of life that the connection between being “skinny” and “loved” has meant for me, and I’m sure many others going through the same struggle.

The fear of failure has been high, but the risk for personal freedom is worth it. I feel it is a crucial step in learning self-acceptance – identifying who I am, what I feel; rewriting my internal rule book; challenging what I have learned about what a woman should be, about my body, my appetites, my needs, and wants. Learning to accept what I think and feel as being okay – as being the “norm” for my world – has been nothing short of miraculous. It hasn’t been an easy road, but it is certainly worth every minute.

 

“When I was in grade school, they told me to write down what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down happy. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, I told them they didn’t understand life.”

Supersize This!

I’m not currently a member of Weight Watchers, but have been in the past…After seeing a really cheesy commercial for it, I decided to come up with the Things You’d Really Like to Say in Your Weight Watchers Meeting: 
  • “Weight Watcher’s frozen pizza is delicious… if you like fake-cheesy cardboard.”
  • “This is what I get for losing 25 pounds? I’ve won better stuff playing Skee-Ball.”
  • “I believe that scale needs to be re-calibrated and I should know because I’m a full-time scale calibration technician.”
  • “Dip my fork in salad dressing? Lady, that’s just crazy-talk.”
  • “Is there a Weight Watchers iPhone app that shocks you when you try to eat pie?”
  • “Yes, that’s a five-pound gain, but I have a good excuse: there was a weekend in there.”
  • “A Big Mac only has fourteen points? Let’s ride!”
  • “That’s right… this week I’ll be using my ‘Get Out of Weigh-In Free’ Card.”
  • “I suppose it’s just a coincidence that “leader” rhymes with “eater.”
  • “We’re watching a movie at this week’s meeting: ‘Diethard with a Vengeance.’”
  • “Weight Watchers yogurt is fantastic… for grouting tile.”
  • “I can’t have gained weight! I haven’t eaten in 96 hours…”
  • “Order a pizza with no cheese? What kind of sick maniac are you?”
  • “No, I didn’t track all my points, but I did DVR every episode of ‘Top Chef’.”
  • “DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND? EVERYTHING’S SO DAMN DELICIOUS!”
  • “My family really let me down. They just sat there and watched me eat that can of Crisco.”
  • “I just don’t think “rice cakes” should be allowed to use the word ‘cake’ in their name.”
  • “Let’s ditch this bitch and go get some ice cream.”

Kind of a blah week weight loss wise….

I know…having consumed a zillion ounces of adult beverage this weekend probably didn’t help.

I do have one particular gripe this week…well 2 but they’re similar…

What in the world is wrong with society?!  I irritates the crap out of me that people blame places like McDonalds for their obesity. That children are fat because McDonalds doesn’t have healthy options. I’m sorry, but when did children start driving themselves to McDonalds?!  That theory is like blaming a bullet for someone being shot…there’s a person involved that has to complete the action. If you go through the drive thru 6 nights a week and get chicken nuggets, fries and a coke and then you shouldn’t wonder why your child is larger than average.  Trust me…I’ve eaten fast food plenty of times in my life.  But I have NEVER ordered a Big Mac, large fry and a Coke and thought “This is good for me!”

Now people sue these fast food places because of their obesity? Seriously?!  It’s not like it’s the only option for lunch or dinner. Is it faster than cooking something at home? Yeah, sometimes.  But that all boils down to poor planning in my opinion.  I’m fat because I ate poorly for too long…Ate poorly by choice – not by requirement. I chose the crappy food, and now have the crappy physique.

And my other gripe deals with our backwards society as well.  We’ve got a debt crisis, crazy unemployment, phone hacking scandal, Carmegeddon, and Casey Anthony is free…and what was the media worried about last week…What Michelle Obama ate at the Shake Shack.  The woman is absolutely beautiful. She’s in shape, she’s fit…yes she runs a campaign to fight childhood obesity – but who cares if she consumed a meal consisting of 1700 calories. Moderation is key to every diet. One meal doesn’t lead to obesity.  An occasional indulgence should be fine, and is what keeps most people on track with their diet.  The problem is that most Americans do this more than “occasionally.”  Eating should be about balance, not perfection.

If she wanted a cheeseburger, fries, a chocolate shake and a diet coke, by god I think she should be allowed to have it without it being broadcast on every news program in the United States. What’s next? Are they going to say that she holds her cell phone too close to her head or is she going to be vilified because she buys non-biodegradable tampons?  She’s the wife of one of the most powerful men in the world…in my opinion, it makes her more relatable to know that she’s not only eating a small salad with no dressing.  Everyone needs a little Shake Shack in their life. You can’t diet on lettuce alone, with or without the balsamic vinaigrette. Well, you can, but it probably won’t last very long.

Afterall…as the first lady reportedly once said, “Life would be boring without a burger and fries.” And I agree…as long as it’s infrequent…and gluten-free.

“Be moderate in order to taste the joys of life in abundance.”  ~Epicurus

Head in the Clouds

So, tomorrow is supposed to be the hottest day of the year. Joy. Nothing like a heat index of 110 and humidity that suffocates. Makes me wish I was sitting on the beach. Toes in the sand. Scandalous Danielle Steele book in hand. Adult beverage in the cooler. Oh vacation…

And in honor of my wishful thinking….Here are the Top 10 Signs You Need A Vacation:

10.) You find yourself so consumed with your work and other commitments that you can’t actually remember the last time you washed your hair…although you’re pretty sure it was a Thursday. This Thursday? Maybe.

9.) You believe Harry Potter is real.

8.) No matter where you are you tell people that what happens there stays there.

7.) Your alarm clock is broken. Your cell phone is in pieces across your bedroom. Your iHome is covered in Band-aids. Why? Because you have literally beaten the crap out of every instrument that attempts to wake you up in an orderly fashion — including your roommate, who is less than pleased.

6.) Your day planner went missing for approximately 15 minutes, after you left it at your last caffeine-refuel location, and you almost combusted. There was hair-pulling, cursing, lip-biting, foot-stomping, jumping up and down, slam-dancing, and of course frantic phone calls to anyone who might have a clue where exactly your BFF might be.

5.) Your only route to survival has been the cat naps you’ve been able to squeeze in throughout the day in 10 minute intervals. They seemed like a great idea at first, until you realized you hadn’t been in your bed in more than a week, and your body left a permanent imprint on your brand new couches.

4.) Between meetings, conference calls, and work, you haven’t really been outside in days. You find yourself having to wear sunglasses when checking the mail simply because your eyes have forgotten how to respond to natural light.

3.) You hospitalized the last person who criticized your choice of fonts.

2.) The pizza delivery man tells you he misses you after a three day period of not showing up on your doorstep. You’re almost too guilty to let him know that you have had Chinese food his absence. It’s better he doesn’t know about the other men in your life.

1.) You realize you actually spent your sole snippet of free time writing a blog entry about what it’s like to not have free time…

But all for a good cause, right?!

Hooray for another loss last week!

 

Now if only my brain would reconnect itself.

As I mentioned last week, the only residual symptom of Celiac Disease that I’m still experiencing is brain fog.  According to my doctor, the idea is that antibodies generated by ingesting gluten proteins for so long can attack brain function. Neurological issues can also result from nutritional deficiencies (iron, folate, B-vitamins and fatty acids-omega 3) as a result of malabsorption with Celiacs. Neurotransmitters like dopamine and seratonin are also greatly impacted. There are many medical articles written on this connection to gluten acting as a “neuro-toxin”.

I’ve been told to expect to see neurological issues for up to six months after going completely gluten free. Well I’m 2.5 months in…not sure if I’ll make it another 3.5!!!  It reminds me of the movie Joe Vs. the Volcano and the particular scene where Meg Ryan says, “You didn’t get a second opinion for something called a “brain cloud?”

 

I cannot even begin to describe how obnoxious and uncontrollable it is. Not to mention it’s gotten a little scary at times. Imagine yourself after you’ve taken a double dose of sleeping pills and you fight to stay awake. That weird fuzzy feeling…that’s what my brain feels like.

It ranges from sleepiness, to fogginess, to memory dropouts, to brief episodes of confusion. Those  that know me best know what a psycho, stalker memory I have. I can typically spit out phone numbers of all my friends from elementary school.  So to have these lapses in memory is really frightening and unusual for me.  I’ve had moments when I’m driving and for a split second can’t remember which pedal is the gas and which is the brake. I forgot my sister’s middle name the other day. I’ve needed to add 2+6 and seriously had to stare at it for 10 minutes to figure it out.  I’ve had trouble spelling words when I type – and for the Spelling Bee Champion of Rama Road in 1991 – not being able to spell is out of the question.

It’s walking across the kitchen to the freezer, and forgetting what on earth it was I wanted from there.

It’s standing in front of the ATM for five minutes before I finally recall my PIN number.

It’s getting stressed in a room full of people because everyone is talking, and it makes it even harder to focus. There is just a total overload of random information and it feels like there is so much I cannot process any of it.

Whole days can pass by, and I will not know how on earth it got to that time. I can’t particularly recall doing anything time consuming, but then tasks seem to take a lot longer than they would normally probably due to lack of focus.

At its absolute worst, I’ve felt so overwhelmed that I didn’t feel like I was on the same planet as other people anymore. I’ve found myself having to stop halfway through saying something, because I couldn’t for the life of me think what I was talking about.

Apparently even my clumsiness can be attributed to Celiac Disease. Maybe I’m not so accident prone after all! Crazy…hitting the edges of door frames, tripping over my own feet, unexplained bruises…maybe it’s all because of this stupid gluten crap!

It’s like I’m drunk, but without the fun.  I’ve got to figure something out in the meantime. I’m starting to feel psychotic. It’s time for the fog to clear already!

Here’s to another successful week…with my head in the clouds.

“You don’t drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.”

~ Edwin Louis Cole

Don’t Waste the Fat Pants!

I’ve given you a million reasons why I want to lose weight…well just for fun, here’s my Reasons NOT to Lose Weight.  (Disclaimer – this is a joke. I’m not really justifying reasons not to lose weight…so pick your jaw up off the floor!)

  • Shame to waste all my “fat” pants
  • 25-lb. bags of potato chips at Costco make unhealthy lifestyle extremely affordable
  • Time spent weight loss blogging could easily be filled with TV watching
  • Less sweaty gym clothes = less laundry
  • I can keep being everyone’s fat friend
  • Easier to maintain casual friendships with all those fast food drive-thru workers
  • Don’t have to answer that embarrassing “Are you losing weight?” question
  • Good excuse to wear sweatpants in public
  • Don’t have to worry about a lot of leftovers cluttering up the fridge
  • Get more for your money at an “all-you-can-eat” buffet
  • Fat is insulation and I don’t want to lose my warmth in the winter
  • Answer to all life’s problems? Gravy…or cheese.
  • Have gotten good at adding new notches to the belt
  • Guy that owns the local Ben & Jerry’s franchise really wants me back

Hmmm…I dunno. I make a pretty compelling argument, but I think I’m gonna stick with the plan.

 

 

Yay! Another decrease!  Operation Unprocessed seems to be a success so far!

I’m celebrating 2 months since going gluten-free! And celebrating 2 months since my body finally knows what it’s supposed to feel like after eating. All but one of my symptoms has completely gone away…the brain fog is still lingering a bit but I’ve been told to anticipate close to 6 months before it’s completely gone. (I’ll get into more of the ‘fog’ in my next post.)

This week reaffirmed to me how poor our labeling standards are in the US.  First off, since wheat is considered one of the top allergens, labeling standards require indication of wheat if the product contains it. What’s the problem with that you might ask? Well, I can’t have barley, spelt, rye or malt either…and no one has to label those. Yes, ingredients are all listed. And yes, I’m now a pro at label reading. But what about those catch-all words companies use? It’s so frustrating to think you’ve found something at the grocery store you can have and get to the very last ingredient: ‘artificial flavors’, ‘broth’, ‘spices’, or ‘artificial color’.  I try and avoid foods that contain these at all costs, but does anyone really know what artificial flavor is? Are food manufacturers just at a loss for the remaining 23 preservatives and chemicals they’ve put in something to keep it edible and on a shelf for 6 months so they just say, “Ok, those 23 things are artificial flavoring.”  I don’t like it!

Second issue I came across was regarding foods labeled Gluten-Free.  My mom bought what she thought were GF crackers. This paragraph isn’t to chastise her for the stupid stipulations of nutrition labels.  It was a good learning experience for her and a reminder to me about how careful I need to be.  After all, the packaging indicated they were gluten free in quite large font.  Knowing how tricky and deceiving this labeling mess can be, I decided to look a little closer at the package. And what do you know?! Right there under the ingredients: Product processed on equipment that contains wheat and nuts. Really?! On equipment?! As in, right after the cookie dough ran through, we processed your crackers. Well thanks for the gluten free claim! Not. FDA regulations allow them to claim the product is gluten free because there are no gluten ingredients within the food itself. It’s the “after” part that messes it all up. Cross contamination isn’t an ingredient.  Well great. Try telling that to someone with a peanut allergy when the cracker they’re eating was rolled around in peanut dust. If you’re doing the gluten-free thing, be careful. Use caution if product wasn’t manufactured in a certified GF facility! You have been warned!

I hope everyone has had a fantastic 4th of July! Enjoy the fireworks and the food and the friends and family! In honor of Operation Unprocessed, I’m off to delve into my favorite dessert (and patriotic too!)….

 

Fresh blueberries, Cool Whip, cinnamon and a drizzle of fragrant Farmer's Market honey! Yum!

 

Mmm…mmm…good!

 

“Life is not about how fast you run, or how high you climb, but how well you bounce.” – Unknown