The Health At Every Size Movement

Standing is great, but walking is better for you
Standing is great, but walking is better for you

I used to be a part of the Health At Every Size movement, also known as HAES. I was a part of it for a few months, simply as an onlooker. I read a book called The Obesity Myth by Paul Campos, and locked onto every word it said. A funny thing about things like this, is that people inside are very likely to already make a conclusion before researching any evidence for it. Which is what I did, as someone who heard about The Obesity Epidemic from various blogs and books.

One of the blogs I liked very much was a blog called Junkfood Science. This blog has some decent ideas in some cases, but it’s main focus is trying to dispel the “Obesity Epidemic” as a “Myth” and even claim that being fat is downright healthy for you. Other science bloggers have called her out on repeatedly trying to claim that there is a false epidemic and that scientists are in on the conspiracy.

This is another reason why I dislike the HAES movement, many obese people have tried to lose weight time and time again, and failed. They feel trapped in a corner with nowhere to turn. As a result many do indeed try to justify their obesity, by denying the mountains of evidence and experts that unanimously agree that being obese causes or are related to health issues such as strokes, heart attacks, and diabetes.

Now I am 100% against mocking and degrading people for their body weight. Being an asshole to groups of people for no reason is something I don’t support. But being fat is NOT healthy. I am not saying, as a 220 pound woman myself, that losing weight is an easy process that everyone can do. Some people simply don’t have the willpower to lose the weight, or do to conditions like Binge Eating Disorder have have an extremely hard time fighting the urge to overeat. I dislike it when people act as if losing weight is something that is extremely simple just because THEY find it easy to do. Mathematicians find calculus to be as easy as Pi, but many of us have issues with simple multi-step equations. And that is OK, some people are meant for mathematics, and some people are not, the same with weight.

HOWEVER that is not an excuse to eat unhealthy foods or lie to yourself to believe that being obese is healthy for you, as it is not. And that brings to me my next point.

BEING FAT IS NOT AN OPPRESSED STATUS! No group has ever been mass murdered for being fat. No group has had any rights revoked from them due to body weight alone. You can still marry, you can still vote, you can still run for office, and you even have representation in congress. The worst you can say is that toilet stalls and plane seats are too small, and that’s an issue between you and a company. But NOOOO! These people honestly believe they are SECOND CLASS CITIZENS. Being judged for being fat is morally repugnant, but that does not make you second class. It never will. SorryNotSorry.

Trust me, I know being fat is crap, I hate my body, and have been mocked and ridiculed my whole life for my body weight. I am still Borderline Obese and suffer from Binge Eating Disorder. I have remained the same weight for 2 years at 220 despite being an active person. But I am not a fucking victim! Stop claiming that fat people are victims, it’s degrading!

beach-body-readyAlso, it’s OK for a company that promotes health and fitness to make an advertisement promoting health, fitness, and weight loss. Which is what happened when Protein World put up an ad in subways that said “Are you Beach Body Ready?” featuring a thin woman. HAES individuals, which seem to work closely with a group called Social Justice Warriors, got into a hissy, vandalizing poster after poster, and sending the company threats of violence. The company still refuses to remove the ad, and good for them. I wish more companies would refuse to cater to a bunch of crybabies.

why are there “underweight” models in ads? BECAUSE IT WORKS! There is a beauty standard in society, I agree, but it is biologically based for the most part. Nobody has ever been coerced by society to be physically attracted to obese people. Skinny and fit women and men are sexy, which is why YOU more likely than not find thinner, muscular guys attractive. There is a REASON the guy in this commercial is sexy, for instance. But I didn’t see a HAES backlash against “Body Shaming” in THAT video.

Julie Borowski made a video in where she talked about the hypocrisy of the HAES movement, which is something I saw time and time again during my time in the movement. All it is, is a whole bunch of fat people in online message forums whining about how they are oppressed and that “Thin Privilege” exists. One story I remember is about a woman who claimed she went to the circus and saw a poster that had a scary-looking fat woman in it. She claimed that the poster caused her extreme emotional distress, and that she was even crying while typing her post. That is basically the jist of the HAES movement. Oh, they also sign petitions, and bitch about advertising. They seem to only care about Body Positivity (something they claim to be all for) if it is for fat people, skinny people are degraded to high heaven.

I am ALL for body positivity and accepting yourself for who you are, but I can’t accept the HAES movement because of how harmful it is. And also how stupid it is being by claiming victim status when they are too fat to fit on a plane.

What do you think of this?

Product Review: True Lemon – Fruit Orchard: Summer Berry

fruit orchardI actually got to know about True Lemon through one of my customers. She would put packets of True Lemon into her Pepsi as we talked about this, that, and the other. I asked her if it was good, and she said that she never left home without a bunch of them, as she buys them in packs of 500. She gave me one to try out, and to be honest, just one packet in a small cup of water makes some awesome tasting Lemonaid.

But what IS True Lemon? True Lemon is a brand that sells all natural fruit powders, which can be used for drinking or cooking. It also claims to contain no artificial flavors and no preservatives. For instance, the True Lemon powder that I drank was crystallized lemon, and that was all. Of course, they have other products as well, such as lime powder, orange powder, and a ton of drink mixes. One of the drink mixes is the product I am reviewing now.

The product I bought from Walmart is called Fruit Orchard: Summer Berry Medley, which is created by True Lemon. It contains crystallized lemon, blueberry, Strawberry, raspberry, apple, and contains a small amount of grape juice. It also contains a small amount of sugar, and a natural calorie free sweetener made from the Stevia plant.

fruit orchard 2Each box comes complete with 7 packets that are good to mix into a 16 oz water bottle. Which is good because all you have to do is pour it and shake. However, because of it containing all natural fruit powders, the drink does have a form of “pulp” at the bottom. In order to get the full flavor of the drink it is recommended that you shake the bottle or stir your cup every once in awhile to mix the pulp in with the rest of the drink.

And as for the flavor, it does taste rather fruity. It is also a bit tart though, due to the lemon that is added in, but it does taste pretty good. It tastes more like a fruit juice than a cheap powdered drink mix, which is good, because this product is not cheap. You can buy it in-store at Walmart or Harris Teeter, or you can buy it directly from the site itself.

I would say that it is worth 4 dollars for the drink mix as compared to other drink mixes that are cheap and most don’t taste very good.

Vet in Texas Sparks Outrage After Shooting Cat With Bow

Kristen-Lindsey-cat-expert-Steve-Dale-animal-cruelty-cat-killerKristen Lindsey, a veterinarian in Texas (of course she’s in Texas) is being investigated by police after she took a photo of herself shooting a feral cat with an arrow to the head. Of course, she bragged about it on social media, complete with a picture.

As a result of her actions, she was fired from the veterinary clinic where she worked, Washington Animal Clinic. And I am personally GLAD she was fired! But despite her being fired, the clinic she was fired from is family owned, so idk how far that will go in the long run.

This cruelty sparked a HUGE social media firestorm, complete with petitions. Animal rights activist organization Ally Cat Allies is offering a 7,500 dollar reward for information that will be used to prosecute Kristen.

Animal Cruelty is a felony offense in the state of Texas according to Penal Code, Title 9, Chapter 42, 42.09: “Sections (1), (5), (6), (7), or (8) (tortures; kills, seriously injures or poisons; animal fighting; uses as a lure; trips a horse) is a State Jail Felony with a fine up to $10,000 and/or imprisonment from 180 days to 2 years.” But that might not be entirely the case, as section 5, which deals with killing, is worded like this ” kills, seriously injures, or administers poison to an animal, other than cattle, horses, sheep, swine, or goats, belonging to another without legal authority or the owner’s effective consent

Which means that since the cat might have been a feral stray, that she might only get away with being charged with a misdemeanor offense, if she is charged at all. Although there are indeed reports that the cat is actually a neighbors outdoor cat named Tiger who had gone missing the day this cat was slain.

The animal clinic rebuked her actions, and wrote a post about it on Facebook. They apparently received almost 500 angry calls about the incident before noon.

This is a horrible case of animal cruelty, and I hope she gets punished for her actions.

Does Caffeine Cause Dehydration?

energy drinksThis is a myth. I have been told this growing up, and as a result avoided caffeine in most instances. “When it is really hot outside, don’t drink a bottle of coke, that will dehydrate you” I would hear often all over the place, from family to the radio news.

There was a point in my life where I would research claims I was told that seemed either too good to be true, or just to find out the validity of it, just to find out that most of what I was told was completely wrong. I grew up in a world of old wives tales and myths, and nobody ever bothered to see if they were even true. That led me to a wide variety of books, of which I might add to a Recommended Reading list somewhere down the road. But one of these books happened to be a book called Don’t Swallow Your Gum by Dr. Aaron Carroll and Dr Rachel Vreeman. I have since become hooked on all of Aaron Carroll’s books!

One of the chapters in this book was “Caffeinated Beverages are Dehydrating,” which both shocked me and didn’t shock me at this point, because by now I have simply accepted that most of what I was told was a fabrication.

Caffeine is believed to dehydrate you because caffeine is considered a diuretic. A diuretic stimulates kidney function and causes you to pee more. Water is considered a weak diuretic, but scientific evidence seems to suggest that coffee works just as well as water when it comes to a hydration effect. Even in large effects of daily fluid intake being replaced with 6 cups of coffee, studies have shown that caffeine intake as high as 642 mg of caffeine only increases urine production a small amount, and does not dehydrate you as a result. Another study published just year studied caffeine intake on 50 males in everyday positions, and yet again, found no difference in hydration between caffeine and water.

This does not, however, mean that we should over-consume caffeine in large quantities, as it is known to cause various health issues when taken in excess. However, caffeine taken in moderation does have potential positive health effects, and can be a part of a daily diet without going overboard. Just don’t avoid caffeine on the belief that it makes you dehydrated.

Is A Vegetarian Diet Healthier For You?

exps37206_CFT990854D8I decided to go on a vegetarian diet. The second vegetarian diet I have been on. The last one failed because of lack of choices, I was a highschooler with no funds to buy my own food and my family cooked a lot of meat. This time seems to be going well but I have not been on it for very long.

Vegetarian diets are lower in fat, lower in salt, lower in calories, higher in vitamin content, and higher in fiber, and does not come with the added possibility of cancer from Red Meat, and has a higher life expectancy. But the added health effects of a vegetarian diet can come from a wide variety of factors. Vegetarian foods, such as veggie burgers, are hard to come by, and as a result are healthier because more time and effort is spent on that regard. Vegetarians are more likely to watch their caloric intake and as a result most veggie burgers are low in calories, and many vegetarians practice portion control, etc.

Not all vegetarians though, it is very easy to be vegetarian and overconsume calories, especially if you eat out often. Eating at a place like Taco Bell and getting refried beans on everything may SEEM healthier, but through that process you are packing on the sodium and a large amount of calories (refried beans are HIGH in calories). So it is POSSIBLE to be a vegetarian and eat a diet that is just as bad as a conventional diet of meats.

The main issue that vegetarians face is by protein, this is not much of an issue if you are a lacto-ovo vegetarian, cause you can just eat cheese and eggs to get protein in, but you generally have to read labels, and make sure you are getting enough. Beans, cheese, yogurt, nuts, and eggs are full of protein and vegetarians usually have to eat a lot of them in order to get enough, and if you are a vegan eating protein supplements might be a must unless you like being REALLY strict.

Remember, the vegetarian diet is a DIET, so it won’t be sunshine and daisies. It’s also NOT a miracle diet, and won’t sure you of everything. There is no guarantee of better quality of life, and just because brownies have no meat does not mean you should indulge. But it seems like a good enough diet for me to try out.

Fighting Fears of "Man-made Garbage" (Artificial Sweeteners)

Artificial-SweetenersSo I was working the other day, and a guy came in. He said he can’t drink that much sugar and thus ordered unsweetened iced tea. I gave him his tea and decided to be nice and recommend a product that I use in place of sugar in my own drinks: Splenda. As soon as I recommend then item to him he responded with a swift “That’s chemicals”

I almost had my own little Tim Minchin moment in my response when I said quick as a whip “Everything is chemicals.” He seemed a bit taken aback by this “Y-yeah, that’s right, but that’s man-made garbage!” he responded, pointing at the packet of Splenda in my hand. I stared at him for a moment as he took a bite into his deepfried tortilla shell consisting of trans-fats and high caloric content, filled to the brim with processed cheese and sour cream and mechanically separated “seasoned” beef and thought the whole outburst a bit ironic. He claimed that he wanted to die of gunshot wound, not cancer, but I am fairly certain the trail to Obesity by consuming trans-fats was not the best solution to the Cancer fear.

Which brings me to the notion that Fear-mongering in itself is idiotic. Let alone if you are hypocritical in the process. But why fear Splenda? Splenda, also known as Sucralose, is approved for use by the FDA and has been intensively examined in over 110 separate studies. So I accept that this sweetener is safe for consumption because it has never been shown otherwise. The only issue I would have is that Splenda is not entirely “calorie free,” a single packet of Splenda has 3.36 calories due to the maltodextrine used to give it more mass. It is legally defined as calorie free, however, due to it having less than 5 calories per serving.

There are also other sweeteners that are considered bad, but really aren’t. Saccharine and Aspertame are two that I can think of. There are no evidence that any artificial sweetener has been linked to any increased likelihood of cancer, and the only people who spout that they are, are objectifying to the term “artificial” as if that means “bad.” If you ride a car to work, enjoy Air Conditioning and the internet, and prefer to use a refrigerator instead of a wooden ice box to store your food, you have no say in being against anything on the basis of how “natural” or “artificial” it is.

And if artificial sweeteners are not known to cause any carcinogenic effects, why fear them? Yes, diet soda use is not known to cause a significant decrease in the weight of drinkers, but there is no related cause for that. Nobody knows if the diet soda simply isn’t working, or if it is connected to what is called the Big Mac, Large Fry, and the Diet Coke effect. Which is to say that diet soda drinkers overcompensate for saved calories by overconsuming more food.

“But some countries have banned certain sweeteners!!!”

While there are some sweeteners that are banned for causing harm, such as the historical Lead Acetate, many sweeteners that are banned, including Cylclamate in America, are still not shown to cause any form of cancer in humans. Besides, a country banning something is not in and of itself indicitive of any harm done, as 15 countries have banned the book The Satanic Verses and we all know that a book is not harmful.

So being told that something is “man-made garbage” tells you more about the ignorant ideas of the person spouting the claim than about any product they are talking about. Skepticism is a man’s best friend.

To end this, here is some more information about the claims against artificial sweeteners by one of my favorite authors of all time, Dr. Aaron Carroll: