Dearest readers and friends,
As you can see, it has been quite some time since Hangry has posted/updated and, as we have gone through this together in the past before, I want to extend my apologies and explain why.
Basically, my life is in a state of transition. More complicatedly, I have found that when I focus too much on food, on weight, on body image, I myself develop an unhealthy relationship with all of the above. And so, I’ve needed a break. In the interim between my posting, I’ve tried weight-loss hypnosis, failed at a juice cleanse, attempted to make the 7-minute workout a regular part of my routine, begun reading “The Fat Girls Guide To Life“…in other words, I have been and always will be surrounded by food, weight, and body image, even without engaging myself in Hangry posts.
I have of course been reading and keeping informed on the going-ons of the food and weight-loss industry. So, I’m going to share a few of my findings with you in a conglomerate post to quell all your Hangry longings.
But first, how did it take this long for this wonderful song to come into my life?? #newlifeanthem
While I fundamentally and personally disagree with the use of the word “Gross” in that title, this is seriously disgusting.
Ew. Unfortunately, I’ve already heard about all these other sick food trends, but meat glue?
…industry groups call the powdered or liquid enzyme fibrin, transglutaminase or TG. Whatever the name, it’s an enzyme that binds formerly unconnected pieces of meat to make them look like one solid chunk.
Oh goodness. So that “filet mignon” you’re getting at your work banquet? Most likely it’s constructed with meat glue to “create uniform “filet” like cuts from disconnected pieces.” Sigh.
If you have a weak stomach, I would not recommend scrolling through the slideshow at the end of the article. It almost makes you never want to buy packaged food again…almost.
-Photo series portrays Disney Princesses and Fairy Tale Characters living “Unhappily Ever After”
The artist decided to create this photo series because ‘My Fallen Princesses series was born out of deep personal pain, when I raged against the “happily ever after” motif we are spoon fed since childhood.” In the series, she represents ‘Failed dreams, pollution and ocean degradation, war, obesity, the extinction of indigenous cultures, cancer and the fallacy of chasing eternal youth.’ Seen above is an obese “Little Red Riding Hood.” The series is a fascinating and powerful take on the idealized and unrealistic stories we (especially young women) are raised to believe in.
In news that is shocking to absolutely no one…
While it’s rude, you may think being teased about weight may help provide motivation to lose weight. Instead it does just the opposite. Calling people out about their weight or discriminating against people in some way due to weight, like not being able to ride a roller coaster or sit comfortably on a plane, doesn’t provide anything positive. Weight discrimination may sound like just another excuse for obesity, but the truth is, weight discrimination is as common as racial discrimination.
The study conducted basically showed that those who have experienced discrimination based on weight are twice as likely to be or remain obese in the future. Why is this important?
While this doesn’t sound like it has much relevance beyond teaching your kids to mind their manners and be nice, it may help researchers better understand the psychological and emotional sides of obesity. Factors such as depression, low self-esteem, emotional eating, and stress all play a role in the obesity picture. Understanding the different facets that lead people to pack on the pounds can help lead to a more realistic solution. Plus, as parents, it’s helpful to remember when we’re trying to raise our daughters- nagging them to lose weight will likely backfire, in more ways than one.
It's great news that medical scientists and researchers are starting to realise the benefits of the high-fat, high protein Ketogenic Diet. This latest review recently published in the European Journal, Beyond weight loss: a review of the therapeutic uses of very-low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diets, supports the growing consensus that the Ketogenic Diet is not only good for our figures, but also good for our overall health including preventing diabetes, epilepsy and cancer.
First an update... its been about a week and a half since my last post and I am proudly down to 150lb again!! I got my butt back to the gym last week and slowly started taking all the crap food out of my diet all in preperation for this week! Monday was they start of a 30-day Clean Eating Challenge I am doing.
“You have a zipper going from your neck down your mid-line and continuing down both legs. Picture yourself unzippering that zipper, shedding the fat suit and revealing your ideal body. You are now free of the fat suit and living in your ideal body.”
For my birthday this year, a dear friend of mine gave me the gift of a weight loss hypnosis class. Living Lite has hypnosis centers all over the country and their motto is “Diets Don’t Work, Hypnosis Does.”
Now, you might be thinking “What? What kind of friend gives someone something relating to weight loss for their birthday?!” Well, a good one. One that wants to work on being healthy, having experiences, and learning all we can.
Now, admittedly, we both went into this thinking it was going to be a hoax or completely ridiculous. Like, “YOU ARE GETTING VERY SLEEEEEPY AND WHEN YOU WAKE UP YOU WILL BE SKINNYYYY!” My friend even overindulged (read: stuffed herself) in a pepperoni pizza beforehand in case we came out like zombies, unable to ever enjoy food again. But, it turned out to be a truly interesting and insightful experience.
Essentially, I would describe the hypnosis experience as guided meditation/visualization. Throughout the 3 hour session, we did 4 “hypnoses”: the ideal body, problem food, fat suit, and overcoming obstacles. I’ll explain those more in a bit. But, in between the hypnoses, a certified hypnotherapist also counseled us on important topics involving weight loss including emotions, exercise, and nutrition. From their website:
Be the size you want to be; you will buy off the rack; clothes will be comfortable and you will easily button your slacks and jeans.
Be able to ask for what you want and not “eat your feelings”.
Drive by the drive thru.
Enjoy healthy relationships with your body and food.
Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re satisfied and move on with the rest of your life.
Stop thinking of food and eating all the time.
Enjoy regular food: No packaged products, no weighing, no more obsessing.
Some more interesting tips included having a mentality where you approach exercise as “recess”–an activity that is fun and invigorating, not a chore or draining; childhood myths–such as the “clean plate club” (you CAN save it for later! take it to go! wrap it up and eat it at as a separate meal!); different types of eating: polite eating (when a host encourages you to have extra helpings and you oblige just to note be rude), social eating (dinner parties and work functions, cocktail events and family affairs), grazing (eating little bits of lots of things without paying attention, often without much substance and high caloric content), and preventative/automatic eating (“I will probably be hungry in an hour or two and food is in front of me right now so I’ll just eat it…”). We discussed tips on self-control (for example, if you go to an office pizza party, start with one slice of pizza, sit down with an interesting coworker, and talk and nosh at the same time. You’ll find that you’ll feel more full the more slowly you eat in between conversation, and will also feel fulfilled by being in a social context) and the shame that comes with being overweight (one woman said that her goal in one of the visualizations was to “let go of this weight that has been protecting her from the outside world”).
Back to the hypnoses. You are probably picturing this:
But, not to disappoint, it was truly like a group meditation. With the first hypnosis–”The Ideal Body”–we visualized not a body that we’ve seen in a magazine and idolized, but a healthy, happy body free of the excess weight we’ve been bearing. For “Problem Food,” we were asked to think of a food that has directly correlated to our gaining weight or maintaining an overweight body (for me, bread; for my friend, pizza) and we then did a visualization of that food being covered with bugs and becoming disgusting to us. With “Fat Suit,” we were picturing ourselves literally peeling off a fat suit and revealing our healthy, happy, ideal body freed underneath (now we know how Tyra Banks felt…not). And, with “Overcoming Obstacles,” we saw ourselves climbing a wall that represented our weigh struggles and making it to the other side.
And, we were even given real-world “homework” to incorporate into our lives outside the class:
For 3 days:
Eat only protein for breakfast.
Good sources of protein are: Meat, Fish, Eggs, Cheese, Nuts
Pay attention to your energy and hunger levels. You should notice a decrease in hunger and increase in energy.
Eat a healthy lunch—not while you’re working! Be sure to have protein for lunch as you still need the energy to carry you through the rest of the day.
Go for a walk after lunch to clear your head and re-energize your body.
Have a healthy snack between 3-5, depending on your schedule. This is really important; it will prevent you from eating too much at dinner and beyond.
Have ½ shot glass of organic grape juice 5-20 minutes before dinner to help you eat fewer calories.
Eat one thing for dinner. Your body doesn’t need much fuel in the evening and it’s time to begin to wind down. You may be surprised to see how satisfied you feel with just a small amount of food.
The homework was honestly the hardest part of this entire experience, but it made me think about how this program is about changing patterns and adopting a healthier lifestyle and mentality. And that’s what I think weight-loss is all about!
I would recommend this program, even if just for the experience and information provided, for being a part of a community and learning what works for you and what doesn’t. And it’s always fun to tell people you were hypnotized the night before…
“A picture is worth a thousand words,” right? So, what words do you think of when you see these photos?
Loneliness? Desire? Isolation? Longing? Fantasy? Reality?
This is the power of art. To convey and captivate emotionality, to transform, to inspire us to think and feel. And, recently, many female artists have been using their medium to explore and express body image and self-representation.
The above images are by Jen Davis, who has been creating evocative self-portraits that she is now sharing with the world.
…Davis spent roughly a decade photographing herself, using her camera to shape her own sense of beauty and as a way to develop her vision as a photographer.
Much of that work included photographing herself in ordinary situations: eating, relaxing, showering, etc. Her self-portraits also explored a private, fantasy space that were inspired by a sense of longing, though Davis explained that the line between fantasy and reality—especially when using photography as a medium—is easily blurred.
“Some of the images are real genuine feelings, and others are things I wanted to experience, and I used the license of the camera. … I wanted to know what it felt like to be held by someone or to be with a man, and the camera allowed me to have that experience,” Davis explained.
I am fascinated by this endeavor and the outcomes. Most of the photos feature Ms. Davis, on her own, in a variety of situations. But, all focus on her body in an honest, nothing held back way, which, as an overweight woman is rare, defiant, captivating, but often socially criticized.
The exposure also allowed her to work through that sense of vulnerability and insecurity.
“I was able to deal with the emotion and vulnerable state and release it,” she said. But something else happened during the process: She became upset with herself for not changing her body, and showing her work spurred her to take action.
“It was kind of shocking, kind of painful to look at myself and to see myself evolving and growing and understanding a deeper sense of myself but my body not being able to change after nine years’ time. I was shocked and thought ‘why can’t I take control of my life?’ and I realized I didn’t want to wake up at 40 and be in this body—I wanted to know what it would be like to be in a different body, and that was a painful realization,” Davis explained.
And so, Ms. Davis underwent Lap Band surgery, lost a significant amount of weight, and continued to document her “new” life of self-discovery, self-portraiture, and love.
But there is a resignation and loneliness that also pervades these photos of her “new” life as a thinner woman. I am most intrigued by this, the forlornness that is captured even after Ms. Davis went to such lengths to lose weight and find love. Perhaps this is a testament that weight is not the end goal, but representative of health and life as an ongoing search, as something to ever continue to strive towards? Or perhaps her message is a bit darker, that though we think something as culturally significant as realizing our dreams of becoming thin(ner) will change our lives, often it is our perception of ourselves that must make the shift or nothing in our reality will be any different?
And while Ms. Davis mainly explores her relationship with herself (and, occasionally, one other), another photographer is documenting herself directly in relation to others.
“Pictures of People Who Mock Me” was recently featured on Salon. “For years, strangers have made fun of me for being fat. But I got my power back–by turning the camera on them,” writes Haley Morris-Caffiero, who decided to document her struggles with strangers who inappropriately impose themselves in her life by subversively or forthrightly mocking her for being overweight.
Eventually, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Though I did go through phases of food restriction and over-exercise, I came to realize that I shouldn’t punish myself for something I can’t control. Self-criticism is a waste of time. I look worse with tons of make up and products in my hair. I am happy when I am not stressed — so I don’t stress.
That doesn’t mean the world is comfortable with how I look. Even though I’m a college professor, who works 12-hour days and eats healthy, even though I have none of the diseases constantly reported in the media as linked to obesity, I’m up against quite a few stereotypes as an overweight blond female artist. I’m constantly fighting strangers’ criticisms that I am lazy and slow-witted, or that I am an overly emotional slob.
I suspect that if I confronted these narrow-minded people, my words would have no effect. So, rather than using the attackers’ actions to beat myself up, I just prove them wrong. The camera gave me my voice.
Now, it is no secret that overweight people are often victims of bullying, criticism, hatred, shame, disgust, and even violence. It often seems that discrimination against overweight people is the last bastion of societally-acceptable bigotry. But Ms. Morris-Caffiero has decided to empower herself through the camera lens.
And I don’t get hurt when I look at the images. I feel like I am reversing the gaze back on to them to reveal their gaze. I’m fine with who I am and don’t need anyone’s approval to live my life. I only get angry when I hear someone comment about my weight and the image does not reflect the criticism. That’s frustrating: when I didn’t get the shot.
There are so many people in the world who feel they have the right – no, the obligation — to criticize someone for the way they look, and to be that recipient of those insults can feel so lonely. I got an email from a 15-year-old girl in Belgium who said my images made her “feel better and not care about what others think and live my life.” That made me proud. As for what the images mean, viewers may interpret the images as they see fit. I’m just trying to start a conversation.
And I hope y’all will join in this conversation. There is so much power in these images, so much raw emotion, so much that they have to say. Let’s continue to speak about them.
If there were an “MTV True Life: I’m Obsessed with Snacking,” I would be a featured participant (also, do people still watch this show? It’s definitely gone downhill. “I’m Dating a Mama’s Boy? Really?” Booo-ring). Snacking is a true joy: you can taste so many different things, you don’t have to cook a whole meal and formally sit down and eat it, you can satiate hunger on the go. But, of course, snacking is something that we have to be aware of as something SO GOOD can suddenly turn SO BAD for us.
Americans love to snack almost as much as we want to lose weight. But according to recent research by the USDA, our snacking habits are adding too many calories and too few nutrients to our diets. It doesn’t have to be this way, says Susan Bowerman, RD, assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition. “When done right, (snacking) keeps your energy levels up and gives you more opportunities to get in all your nutritional needs.”
Luckily this article does not SNACK SHAME us (how dare they!) by focusing on issues (fine, important issues) such as tooth decay and weight gain, but gives us some actually delicious sounding snacks that help burn fat. It’s not necessarily new information, but I like the way they think.
Ricotta cheese is rich in protein, and pears are a good source of fiber. Together with a teaspoon of cinnamon, they make a delicious snack for any time of day. Each serving contains 8 g protein, 5 g fiber, and 170 calories.
Eating snacks with the right ratio of nutrients, with the right calories, will help keep you body energized and help you lose weight. Protein (plus exercise) fuels the growth of lean muscle mass, which boosts metabolic rate and increases calorie burn. Fiber, meanwhile, helps improve digestion and keeps you from binging on fats and sugars. So while there’s no food that will literally “burn fat” while you eat it, smart choices with these ingredients will help your body operate at maximum efficiency. Bowerman suggests snacks under 200 calories, with 10 grams of protein and close to 5 grams of fiber. Here are 20 of our favorite fat-burning snacks.
Lentils are a good source of iron, a metabolism-boosting nutrient that 20% of us don’t get enough of. This savory recipe makes four 180-calorie servings, with 10 grams each of protein and fiber.
Thanks, yahoo! I definitely want to try the lentil dip…and there are plenty of other recipes to try. Does anyone else have any healthy, delicious snacking suggestions? Please do share!
(Images courtesy of Yahoo!)
Although it has since been cancelled, the reality TV show “Ruby” that began in 2008 is one of the most intimate and honest portrayal of the journey of significant weight-loss that I have seen. Other shows, such as “My 600 Pound Life” (which I just watched recently), try to condense and almost glorify the struggle, as they tend to gloss over the immense psychological and physical issues that these severely obese people face every single day. “Ruby” delves deeper, exploring the many realms and facets of family, friendships, childhood, adulthood, food, exercise, mental well-being, career, relationships that play roles in the weight-loss challenge.
“Changing her life to save it.” That’s an important motto that I think everyone, even those who don’t struggle with weight issues, can learn from. The changes she needs to make are absolutely vital.
[Ruby] starts the show weighing more than 477 lbs (she originally weighed over 700 lbs.) Ruby works with nutritionists, doctors, and trainers to lose weight, all the while commenting honestly and often humorously about the experience. The show also deals with the everyday life issues a morbidly obese person can face, such as the difficulty in using airplane bathrooms.
Each episode I have seen (and this has only been a few, but I’m still intrigued and inspired) has dealt with unique issues: a support group for obese women, a rekindling with an old romance, the question of whether motherhood is even an option when her weight is so out of control, supporting a teen to compete in a plus-size beauty pageant. And the episode that most impacted me was “The Thinner Child,” where Ruby and her friends go to a six day weight-loss retreat to deal with the emotional and physical impact of their history on their weight. They engage in talk therapy as well as alternative therapy opportunities, such as psychodramatics, while being coached and encouraged in their diet and exercise.
A role-playing game done for one of the participants proved successful. [One friend's] father abused her mother when she was a child. Other participants played the parts of the family, while [the friend] took out her anger by beating a cushion with a bat. And, she felt her negative feeling released from her body.
The group also had another session of “gentle eating,” which we saw in the previous episode. It’s about eating a meal slowly, smelling the food, and no talking.
The last of the “life mapping” was Ruby’s. Needless to say, it was an emotional undertaking as she went over her missing childhood and heartbreaks in romance. The theme in Ruby’s life is that “everybody leaves.”
The women left the six-day intensive retreat with a newfound confidence that they can better control their eating habits.
I found this to be very powerful, especially since I worked at a weight-loss camp (and, for older clients, a “retreat”) and found it extremely frustrating that the psychological aspects of weight-loss and weight gain were barely dealt with. Getting to the root of why your relationship with food is the way it is, why your relationship with your body is destructive and painful, and why each individual must go through their own unique journey in order to come to terms with themselves is crucial and too often ignored. And even though this show is no longer on the air, it contained a powerful message: that there are many facets to the change that is required for significant and long-lasting weight loss and that this process if most definitely a journey. And by sharing this process (with her friends and her audience), this journey does not have to be made alone.
(Image courtesy of Patheos)