Archive for May, 2011|Monthly archive page

Quickie Post

In Uncategorized on May 27, 2011 at 8:10 am

Apologies that this week I just didn’t get anything posted.  Yesterday and today I must catch up from a wild early week.  On Monday, I finally got that colonoscopy (after the gastroenterologists had postponed THREE times).  It was as uneventful as everyone had promised.   (Thank you for your support!)  And Movi-prep, the power laxative of my Doctor’s choice, is as gross as advertised.   Hint to those who follow me in this procedure:  it’s a little more tolerable if you suck on a lemon drop between doses.  In the way of good news:  the afternoon nap one takes upon arriving home after the procedure is wonderfully restful!  And, most pleasant of all, I got a good result – no polyps, no surprises, no biopsies – I can check this off my list for another ten full years.  Hooray.

Had an out-of-town guest Tuesday, and waved goodbye to her on Wednesday, just before the rotating storms rolled in to the Kansas City area.  Went to my safe place, with a bag of dog treats, assuring that I would be followed by my companion, Karma.   She is so named, by the way, so that when I praise her I’m spreading “Good Karma” and when I must discipline her I am reminded to concentrate on the offense and not her character, lest I spread the opposite.  (Advisory note:  For the reason cited, Karma is probably a great name for a dog, if it is a golden retriever.  It is an unfortunate name for a small terrier with big issues.  I must hold my tongue through enormously stressful moments of terrier judgment.)

Please note that Diane Finegood herself is checking in on the Let’s Help Diane post, so if you haven’t checked back there, please do.  I would suspect that Dr. Sharma may peek in on us also, even though he has said we are not his audience (his colleagues are) and we aren’t representative of his patients, many of whom are, in his judgment, beyond the scope of a Health at Every Size (HAES) approach to self-management.

 Have a great weekend!  I’ll be back in the saddle next week.


Hey, Everybody: Let’s Help Diane!

In Weight-Loss Maintenance on May 17, 2011 at 12:12 pm

First of all, thanks again to Dr. Sharma for hooking us in to the private world of obesity research where the erudite players who affect our lives talk about us.  Specifically, today he linked us to the Canadian Obesity Network Presentation Portal for the Second Annual Obesity Summit held in Montreal April 28 – May 1 of this year. 

Let’s give these CON-RCO people kudos for facility and detail.  If you click on the presentations, you receive a split screen with the speaker, in focus and centered, on the left and his or her Power Point Notes on the right.  How inviting!  Whatever trouble that took, please know it is appreciated!  Hooray.  

I scrolled through the selections to find some interesting conversation fodder, and my heels came to a screeching halt on page two, where speakers were talking about weight discrimination and bias.  I first was drawn in by this title:  So I am Biased, Now What Do I Do?  Michael Vallis, the co-director of the Capital Health Behaviour Change Institute and Associate Professor at Dalhousie University spoke well, and we may want to talk about him another day, especially how he seems to ice skate between talking about solving bias/discrimination and solving obesity – interesting and discomfiting.   He also talks about Motivational Interviewing, which we have talked about some in these pages’ comments.  As I listened to him I wore Hopefulandfree’s filter:  is this just sophisticated manipulation?  I don’t think he intends it to be, but I can see how it goes there.

But I digress.  TODAY, I want to talk about Diane Finegood’s talk, Weight bias and discrimination through a complex-systems lens.   About 22 minutes into the 26-minute speech, she presents us with a question, and with an earnestness that I think calls for reply.  I think we might be able to help her.

Diane Finegood is a professor at Simon Fraser University and Executive Director of the CAPTURE Project (CAnadian Platform To increase Usage of Real-world Evidence).  She’s also a radical weight-loss maintainer.   

Her presentation, in simple terms:  It ain’t easy to change a paradigm on a complex system, such as obesity bias as it relates to health care.  You’ll want to watch the whole thing, as she starts with a complex map of the issue and then reduces the problem downward several times to arrive at five steps.   The most important:  shifting the stinking paradigm.  This has to be done by attacking lower level issues – structural elements, goals, etc.  But at the very top is that paradigm, or root assumption.  She makes a stab at one-sentence statement to express what that paradigm should become, but she’s clearly uncomfortable.  Even her Powerpoint notes have a question mark.  Her attempt at a statement:

? “Obese people are no different because of their size.” Read the rest of this entry »

Why I Will Continue to Read Arya Sharma’s Blog

In Weight-Loss Maintenance on May 11, 2011 at 12:47 pm

In yesterday’s post, I was pretty hard on Dr. Sharma.  I also contacted him by email and let him know that he had provoked a munity among a chunk of the HAES community who read his blog and respect his opinion, if not always in full agreement.  He responded thoughtfully and at length. 

My thoughts: 

Blog’s are written quickly.  Dr. Sharma says he is often asked whether his is ghost written (as I did).  It is not.

Now, regarding his emails, he didn’t apologize for his posts of May 9th or 10th.  Following is the closest thing he offered to an apology (note that you are “they”):

Their anger, trauma, suffering, frustration, disillusionment with the medical ‘establishment’ is all very real and understandable – in short – I can fully see ‘where they are coming from’.

So while some of them may now be hurt, frustrated and disillusioned by my post (which, really was not a personal attack, but rather a reflection of the kind of ‘uncritical’ thinking and arguments that I see reflected in some of the comments left on my site), this is not really the audience that I write for or even see in my practice. I am not out to talk anyone out of HAES or Fat Acceptance or anything else that they are happy and comfortable with.

I primarily write for my colleagues, to try and help them keep up with the latest research in this fast moving field, and perhaps over time change their understanding of obesity and their attitudes to people with obesity, who may wander into their practice.

Now, while we aren’t his central audience, he isn’t completely unappreciative of us.   He says that people who come to his blog and (respectfully) disagree with him “represent an interesting and important view point, which although by some standards extreme, certainly serves as a reality check to me and other readers – a reminder that there are other opinions out there.”

So, what set him off?  If we aren’t his central audience, I don’t think it was us.  (Even though some of us have been less than entirely respectful.)  I think, and this is only speculation, that we were hit by the shrapnel of a bomb aimed mostly at Linda Bacon.  Admittedly, in my first email to him I singled her out:  “Some HAES commenters are prickly about you, including Linda Bacon herself, but most have appreciated that you’ve kept an open mind despite unknowable pressures from others in your field.”  So, while the following paragraph may be revealing, my words may have provoked it.  (Attempt to read it aloud at your own peril.) Read the rest of this entry »

Duped, Duped, Duped and Duped Again

In Weight-Loss Maintenance on May 10, 2011 at 9:37 am

Well, apparently, Dr. Sharma thinks it’s not only okay, but just bang-up fun to abuse us – state something inflammatory, let us waste our time and emotional resources responding, then just withdraw it the next day.  It was tongue in cheek, after all.  Can’t ya’ take a joke?  He’s in favor of diversity of opinion, doncha know?  Yeah?  That’s what he’s saying today, after saying yesterday:

I have long given up even arguing about this issue with ‘(obesity) deniers’ because I never sense that I am dealing with people, who are even open to discussion. No amount of data or arguing will change strongly held beliefs and convictions, so it is pretty much a waste of time trying to expect rational discourse.

Fortunately, I can generally chose to ignore this issue, because I find it a far better use of my time to help those, who actually want and value my advice. Those, who believe my advice is wrong or misguided, are more than welcome to ignore it.

Maybe I would be wise to take his advice and just ignore his blog.

Meanwhile, Good Morning America’s Lara Spencer reviews this year’s Consumer Reports’ ratings for popular diet plans. Click through only if you are holding onto sanity points. If you do click through, allow yourself the luxury of waiting till the end, when George Stephanopoulos and Josh Elliott come on set to try the diet foods.  Their reactions are pretty spot on.  Yuck.

For what it’s worth (and saving you the necessity of clicking through), Jenny Craig won this year, Slim Fast came in second, and Weight Watchers third.  Jenny Craig had “the best results” because people were more likely to stay on it “for the long haul.”  Oh, yeah?  How long did they really go?  I’m betting less than a year, but I’m not going to affirm this annual ritual (and encourage perpetuating it) by buying an actual Consumer Reports magazine to find out.   Curiously, the ABC news report points out celebrity endorsers, including Kirstie Alley, with no sense of irony or mention of her weight regain.  Didn’t she pretty much prove that even people with resources have trouble staying on Jenny Craig for “the long haul,” if that’s defined fairly.

For what it is worth, Consumer Reports does this diet rating thing year after year, and the national news media always pick up the story.  Here’s what the Today Show said about it in 2007, when the winners were:  Eat, Drink and Weigh Less in first; YOU:  On a Diet, second; and the Abs Diet in third.  Read the rest of this entry »


In Weight-Loss Maintenance on May 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm

The Today Show this morning ran a feature on Georgia’s anti-obesity campaign aimed at children.

My one-word summary of the campaign:  horrifying.  God bless Yale University Psychologist Rebecca Puhl (indubitably eruditer than I am!) for stating as much, calling it an example of “what not to do.” 

If you are unfamiliar, the campaign currently features children who talk about how awful it is to be obese.  They are child actors presumably echoing the words of children culled from a focus group.  This is Maya Walters, aka Tamika. 

I feature her, because she went on the Today program and allowed Meredith Viera to interview her, along with campaign spokesman Ron Freison, of Children’s Health Alliance of Atlanta, and Today Show regular, Clinical Psychologist Judith Sills.

In the interview, Ron Freison says that the campaign “gives voice” to obese children.  However, in many of the ads, actors like Maya do not speak at all.  The ad currently featured at the Georgia Stop Childhood Obesity website shows “Tamika” standing, silent and sullen while her mother talks about her, describing her as “thick.”

I used to act.  I have auditioned and waited for a call.  I know the joy of getting a part.  “They like me!  They actually like me!”  Poor little Maya is swept up in that emotional whirl.  She told Meredith Viera, “This ad actually helped me; gave me way more self confidence than I had before. . .to know that they liked me, just how I was.”  How sad.  The only part for a talented, young fat actress is playing someone who is plagued by diabetes and sad about her future, and whose mother is panicked for her health. Read the rest of this entry »


In Weight-Loss Maintenance on May 2, 2011 at 11:44 am

Jimmy Buffet in Concert in Kansas City, April 30, 2011

I really wanted to share with you, my blog friends, my fun weekend, but was at a loss as to how to tie it to the core subject of this site.  Then, once again, Dr. Sharma came to my rescue (that later).

Not only was my weekend fun, but it was steeped in irony.  I had floor tickets for the Jimmy Buffet concert in Kansas City.  Here I am with my husband. 

Fashion Faux Pas: no parrot hats.

 Here are our dear old friends, who came from Columbia, Missouri, to join us.

Randy and Nanci at Jimmy Buffet

The event was ironic in that NO ONE who could afford floor tickets could have possibly been the drunken, deadbeat, pothead losers that we were all celebrating ourselves to be.  It was all a stinking ruse.  We were, in fact, middle aged (or upper middle aged) mostly professional types, many sporting Hawaiian shirts.  Here are some pictures from the crowd. Read the rest of this entry »