DebraSY

Posts Tagged ‘Administration’

Debra’s Gone Defunct (not entirely — I’m not dead)

In Weight-Loss Maintenance on October 3, 2011 at 10:10 am

Welcome, newcomers and old friends, to Debra’s Just Maintaining!  For roughly a year, starting September 29, 2010, this blog set about exploring the cultural mythology and science surrounding weight-loss maintenance, especially after “radical” loss (more than 10% of highest body weight).  As blog owner, I found myself moderating a discussion involving mostly weight-loss maintainers and size acceptance proponents, two seemingly disparate groups who ended up having more in common than any of us might have expected.   It turns out we are all betrayed by the myth that radical weight loss is some hard-won victory, to be followed (of course!) by maintenance, a less challenging, zippy “lifestyle” composed of tips and tricks.  It’s much more complicated than that. 

This blog is not a “big” blog, but big enough, and certainly has much heart.  Over the year it received just over 60,000 “views” of its various posts.  Many were repeat visits from people I came to regard as friends, dear friends.  We shared a sort of cathartic grief process as we stripped apart the mythology, and discussed from a lay vantage point some of the science surrounding weight-loss maintenance.   In addition to the maintainers and size acceptance advocates, we also entertained a scientist visitor from time to time, and a couple of trolls.

The blog is now mostly defunct because I have gone on to other time-consuming pursuits, and I also need time to be a good Mom, and to continue my weight-loss maintenance, an endeavor that I regard as a third- to half-time unpaid job.  To be competent at these things, something had to give. 

Since the blog is mostly defunct, it’s likely that you arrived here because someone sent you here or you conducted a search for “Weight-Loss Maintenance” or some topic discussed here.  A lot of people find this blog with searches to the effect: “Is obesity killing our children?”  If that is you, you are looking for this post.  Other people are apparently interested in a maintainer’s take on intuitive eating.  That would be here and here.  And a lot of people want to know what I think about journalist and anti-carb pundit Gary Taubes.  Those posts are here and here

If someone sent you here, it may be because you just lost a lot of weight and said something silly like, “If I can do it anyone can!”  Then that person wants you to start with the post subtitled Skiing as Useful Metaphor.

Other reasons someone may have sent you here: 

  •  You said something insensitive or rude about fat people being “in denial.”
  • You said something insensitive or dismissive of someone who works hard to maintain a particular weight – along the lines of “but certainly the rewards outweigh any effort you expend.” 
  • You said something definitively naïve, such as, “science has proven people are fat because of modern breakfast cereals.”  
  • You announced that you are embarking on a weight-loss process/diet (what number?), and a friend wants you to have a realistic idea of what lies ahead, more so than what some women’s magazine or morning news show may be touting today as a “breakthrough.”
  • You are struggling with weight-loss maintenance.  Perhaps your weight is sliding.  You need affirmation from a kindred spirit who knows how challenging this is, and doesn’t sugar coat it or pop off with “inspirational” platitudes. Read the rest of this entry »
Advertisements

Climbing Out From Under a Rock?

In Weight-Loss Maintenance on August 24, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Actually, I’ve just been in contemplation mode, mainly.  When I was a child, that would have meant sitting on top of a rock, down by a neighborhood creek (thoughtlessly trespassing on someone’s property, but it didn’t matter in those days), feet in the cold, rushing water.  As an adult, I prefer to perch on a softer landing spot.  I often have a book too.

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone in my last post for being so encouraging about my writing, my perspective, my voice on this topic.   You have given me pause.  I had pretty much given up on writing about weight-loss maintenance, at least in any compensated fashion.   It is nice to think that others find my thoughts worthy. 

While I haven’t entirely given up on writing on this topic, I am going to postpone and turn my attentions elsewhere.  Mid-September, I enter training in the Clinical Pastoral Education program for St. Luke’s Hospital in my hometown of Kansas City. 

Back in January, a close friend died, one who had been encouraging me to plumb spiritual depths, ponder imponderables and (as she had done) go to seminary.  Her career path led her to edit a national religious publication for a time and serve as a congregational pastor for a time.   I was shaped most, however, by being present for nearly all of the penultimate chapter of her life, in which she was technically mostly retired (but spent her days advancing peace in creative ways), and parts of her final chapter (as I could travel, and as time allowed).  It occurred to me that being present, God’s emissary, during people’s most important and challenging chapters would make for meaningful work, especially once my nest goes empty in five years (a chapter I’d like to plan for).  

Muriel and I met shortly after she had had a radical mastectomy following breast cancer.  At the time, she decided not to follow up with chemotherapy.  She preferred to fortify her body’s defenses against the internal enemy, through nutrition and other means, rather than try to poison it and herself.  Her children were grown, her obligations on this earthly plain mostly met, so she claimed the luxury of declining an ugly fight, knowing her decision might result in a shorter, if more comfortable, life.  Actually, however, her strategy kept her alive for nine lovely years.  Years that would change me. Read the rest of this entry »

Out of the Saddle

In Uncategorized on July 24, 2011 at 3:19 am

This week I’ll be too distracted and occupied to blog, but I send you all my best!  Look for a post first week in August.

In the meantime, live joyfully most of the time, eat healthfully most of the time, exercise most days and treasure whatever body happens.  If you’re a blogger, do your best to tell a truth and advance compassion.  Those are the words that carry me through.

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.

A “Meta” Post About This Blog

In Weight-Loss Maintenance on February 14, 2011 at 10:35 am

In addition to adapting the Rules of Engagement post for a “page,” and looking into how to get rid of the vulture advertisements as cheaply as possible, I have been making my way through the Linda Bacon/Lucy Aphramor paper supporting a Health at Every Size (HAES) approach to weight management.  I hope to post on it soon, but it’s turning out to be more challenging and time-consuming than I’d anticipated.  I am unable to breeze through it without checking at least some of the sources.  I mostly support its premise, and yet it makes me uncomfortable.  I think Barbara Berkeley touched on it in the comments at her own blog.  It reads as a manifesto, and that rubs me (and her) wrong.  It’s kinder and better sourced than Gary Taubes’s Why We Get Fat (also a manifesto), but the Bacon paper is a manifesto nonetheless.  And, as with Taubes’s book, I have no place in it, really, or at least my place is awkward.   Barbara’s ultimate response (in the comments) indicates she will return to her position of promoting weight loss, which is appropriate for her.  It’s her job, her life’s focus, and she does it with kindness and circumspection.  I will likely end up somewhere else, though I don’t know where that is yet.

The good news, the Bacon article isn’t messing with my weight, as Taubes’s book did.  As I read Why We Get Fat, I found myself falling into his regimen, compelled to decline counting calories, trusting my satiety to keep my weight in check (since I was increasing my fat intake).  My weight crept to the top of its range and hovered for days.  Then it went over my current range by a pound.  Ack.  And then another.  Ack.  Ack.  I’ve returned to my own tried-and-true regimen, and have some days seen a number in my range.   I think I’ll stick with what my body has prescribed for me.  Please accept that as my “final answer” and I will accept carb control or size acceptance as yours, and we’ll look at various topics with respect for our choices.  How wonderful that we ARE different, because we are much more likely to see something original between and amongst our experiences, rather than in a fray of dueling manifestos that blind us by calling up our own pig headedness. Read the rest of this entry »

Rules of Engagement

In Weight-Loss Maintenance on February 7, 2011 at 3:00 pm

In the comments section of my last post, it became apparent that I need to create a page, to appear with the Disclaimer and “About” pages, that establishes some rules.  Since we are a disparate community with two primary groups, weight-loss maintainers and size acceptance proponents, it is easy to see how something said by one may rub another wrong.   Actually, what I have found amazing is how we are on the same basic pages. 

 We agree that:    

  • Fat people, on average, are as smart and well informed as naturally trim people and people who are intentionally weight reduced.  
  • Diet culture has disappointed all of us, repeatedly. 
  • Science is incomplete and confusing, rife with arrogance and bias, and often does not advance health or well being, especially with regard to human body weight.  
  • The medical profession, which relies on science and is influenced by diet culture, does not give fat people equal regard to trim people.  Moreover, it has no idea what to do with body weight as it fits into the overall health picture, given its disease model, which promotes problem solving and fixing broken things, rather than nuanced lifetime strategies for dealing with issues that are not clearly broken.
  • Public policy has also been influenced negatively by incomplete and biased science, as well as diet culture.

This common ground has led to interesting discussions.  Perhaps these bullet points are the beginning of a set of site assumptions. 

Despite this common ground, our differences occasionally lead to inadvertent slights or well intentioned challenges that cross the line and become attacks.  Most of these kerfuffles, day to day, are manageable and can be gently set right.  They become more difficult when someone intrudes with an agenda that includes self-promotion.  Even self-promoters, however, can have good hearts and if they had a page to consult, they might not go so far astray. Read the rest of this entry »