Things I’m Not Saying About Correlation

I get a lot of fat-related comments and emails that I don’t publish here or publicize. Some of it is really hateful, most of it is just dumb.

Most of it is boring, too, because people repeat the same things as one another.

Some of the arguments people make demonstrates that they have not read what I wrote or they are arguing with someone who is not me.

Here’s one sentence from a recent comment:

There is tons of research that shows a substantial link between obesity and chronic health problems.

This person went on to proclaim that if I weren’t so stupid and would do just a simple search I, too, could find out this astonishing fact.

Except here’s the thing: I’ve never said otherwise. If you can find some place where I disagree with the statement that some health problems are correlated with being fat, I will apologize and edit the offending post.

I HAVE said things like:

Fat and health are two different things. You can be fat and healthy. You can be thin and unhealthy. You can be signing the praises of fat from the rooftops AND ALSO be promoting healthy lifestyle choices. You can “get healthy”, but it won’t lead to weight loss for most people.

And I’ve said a lot of things about the social and moral issues invented around fat people. Health is completely irrelevant to the discussion of whether fat people deserve clothes that fit them and seats they can sit in, and, you know, JOBS.

I’ve also said a lot about how the health correlation is kind of useless if we don’t know how to prevent people from getting fat and how to turn fat people into skinny people.

But, apparently I’m just running around saying that there are no correlations between fatness and health. How about that?

 

 

Cured With This One Weird Trick

That’s an ironic title, of course. I think. I went over several possibilities for titling this post. Another one I considered was:

GLUTEN-FREE, WHEAT-FREE, SUGAR-HATERS ARE A BUNCH OF QUACKS, AMIRITE???

Because I kind of feel that way. I have celiac friends, and I don’t think they’re full of shit, but I’m talking about this seemingly sudden, ubiquitous avoidance of various food parts for vague and yet miraculous-sounding health reasons. Call me a skeptic, I guess.

(Note: this post discusses diet modification to address health concerns.)

I have had increasingly debilitating back pain for the last two years. Lower back, left side. It had gotten to the point where I couldn’t really stand for more than 5 minutes. Cooking a meal, grocery shopping, or other mundane life tasks were getting more and more difficult to manage. I could barely walk sometimes.

My doctor was a little mystified about my pain because it doesn’t shoot down the back of my legs, and it also stopped when I sat down. An xray showed nothing. She gave me a month-long anti-inflammatory prescription hoping it was just some kind of inflammation. After a month, no improvement. At my last appointment with her, we scheduled an MRI.

On another note, we also discussed my PCOS. In part to address my PCOS symptoms, I decided to try eating low-carb. Like, really, really low carb. I’m keeping it under 20g a day.

I’m not sure what I expected to happen or when, but I did not expect that three days later my back pain would be gone. 100% gone. Not lessened, not “better”. Cured.

I no longer have back pain.

This is more like what I'm eating now. Except not so many tomatos because they have too much carb.

This is more like what I’m eating now. Except not so many tomatos because they have too much carb. Photo by dollen // CC BY 2.0

It’s sort of a big WTF for me. Is is the gluten? The wheat? Sugar in general? The mother of all coincidences? But excruciating back pain doesn’t just vanish in a single day! It’s the fucking gluten. My little skeptical self is sure it’s the fucking gluten, just to spite me.

Anyway, it doesn’t really matter, does it? I’m never eating carbs again. I love carbs, don’t get me wrong. All of them. But I also love being able to stand up. It’s pretty nifty. It’s been 14 days, and not a single twinge of back pain. In fact, the soles of my feet kind of hurt because I’ve been having a really, really good time standing up as long as I fucking want to.

I have absolutely no advice for you, because this is all kind of weird to me. Maybe it’s some kind of conspiracy? To get me to blog about going low-carb? Because trust me, I had no intentions of mentioning it when it was just about treating PCOS.

But now I feel like I have to say this at least once as some sort of PSA. So there ya go. Quit carbs; cured my back pain.

It’s Okay for Kids to Watch TV and Play Video Games

No! This image is bullshit! Click on through for an alternate view of children's television watching.No! This image is bullshit! Click through for an alternative view of children's video games playing.

I’m going to keep hammering away at this problem, because I think adults as really messing up here.

Look, kids like TV. And video games. Computers. Cell phones. Are you mad about that? Do you think of these interests as harmful obstacles to real life?

Then what you’re really doing is alienating the children you ostensibly care about and making yourself irrelevant.

TV, computers, video games, and cell phones are real life. When you go to battle with these objects and activities, you’re battling real people and their real lives.

You sound dumb, too.

Both of those little quips in the images are wrong.

At least for me.

My grade-school childhood was in the 80s. It was before personal computers and way before cell phones. Our video game system was an Atari.

Best day of television?

I remember looking forward to watching Disney Sunday Night movies as a family pretty much every week. Thinking back, The Return of the Shaggy Dog was probably my favorite.

That means November 1st, 1987 was my best day of television.

Making memories playing video games?

My grandma had an Atari and loved playing Pac-Man. When I was staying at her house, sometimes we would play for what seemed like hours. She was so good! I got better and better, but I don’t think I ever beat her. Pac-Man for hours with my grandma is one of my favorite childhood memories. Not just favorite video game memories. Favorite childhood memory!

There. How hard was that? How surprising? It shouldn’t be. If you think kids aren’t really enjoying these things, you probably haven’t asked them. Maybe you should start there.

One of those pictures is of kids jumping off a sand dune at the beach. The other is kids fishing at a lake. Those are wonderful activities, and I have all sorts of memories like that in my childhood, too.

Maybe parents feel guilty about not offering those activities to their kids. Life is busy, money is short, and all that. I get that.

If guilt is the reason for recoiling from TV and video games, then I suggest an alternative: trying to support the things you do want instead of criticizing the things you don’t.

There’s room enough in a child’s life for all kinds of activities. My 3 year old has his own phone, and he’s on it a lot! On the other hand, right now he’s outside playing with trains in the pool, earlier this morning he was digging in his garden box, and yesterday we did a long trek along a river bed to go see some waterfalls. All of those things have benefits. For example, when he’s on his phone we’re usually snuggling. We both love to snuggle, and it’s really important to me to share a lot of nurturing touch. We can’t do that on a hike!

If you are critical of children’s use of phones, computers, and TVs, are you willing to reconsider? What stands in your way of supporting children in their own interests?

Subscription Reminder

Just a reminder that email subscriptions are about to end around here, and if you have an RSS subscription you may need to check in on it in a couple of days.

I’ll be turning off the service I’ve been using for RSS and email subscriptions, and I won’t be replacing it with anything else.

RSS subscribers – I don’t think anything will change for you, however if you start missing posts you can simply resubscribe.

Email subscribers – An email notification of new posts will no longer be available. Other options include bookmarking LoveLiveGrow to check in now and then, following the Facebook page, or following the LoveLiveGrow Pinterest board.

There is a post going up on Friday about children, TV, and video games. I’ve been seeing some FB posts that really irritate me, and I’m working on a response. Hope you can check it out!

Changes to RSS and Email Subscriptions

I have been using Feedblitz to run the RSS feed and email subscriptions here on LoveLiveGrow. I’m about to turn off that service. I pay for it monthly, and I’ve decided to cut back on the expenses related to blogging here.

For RSS subscribers – I don’t think this will affect you in any way. I believe your subscription will still work. I might be wrong, though! In a few days I will make another announcement just prior to turning off Feedblitz. After that, you might want to check in here for new posts and make sure you are still getting them. If you aren’t, simply go to your feed reader and re-add the LoveLiveGrow feed.

For email subscribers – Email subscriptions will no longer be an option. If you want to keep up with LoveLiveGrow, you can subscribe in an RSS reader, bookmark the site, or follow the LoveLiveGrow Facebook page.

Thanks everyone!

Saying Fat Out Loud

When I first started writing about Fat Acceptance, I started at the very beginning with why I wanted to use the word fat. I thought it best to do some introductions before getting too deep into the more powerful FA topics.

My short version of why I use the word fat: all other words are euphemisms. Since there’s nothing wrong with being fat, there’s no reason to use a euphemism.

Of course writing the word fat and saying the word fat out loud are actually two different things.

At first it felt weird. I would only tentatively mention it, usually in reference to something I read online so I sort of got to blame its use on whoever wrote the thing I was talking about. Then I started saying it gleefully and with much exaggeration every time it came up, on the premise that making a huge joke out it would damper the residual trepidation of using it. I got used to the word over time. Eventually, fat turned into a completely normal thing for me to say about a person, although even now every now and then it comes out of my mouth sounding like an insult, like I know I’m saying a curse word.

With fat as a descriptor for people out of the way, I’ve started using fat as a word for all kinds of other things. You know all those euphemisms for fat, like chunky, broad, bigger, fluffy? When I could describe something with one of those, I use fat instead. If I’m referencing the larger of two things, I’ll call it fat. Along with not being “polite” to call someone fat, fat seems to have disappeared from our language all together.

For example I have a toddler, and he has fat feet. There is absolutely no reason to call them anything other than fat. They are big top to bottom, big side to side, and his toes are like sausages. His feet are fat. Because of their top to bottom size, it is extremely difficult to find shoes that fit him at all. This means he is often barefoot in public, which means everyone and their mother asks me why he’s barefoot.

If I say, “He has fat feet, and it’s hard to find shoes that fit him,” people look at me like I have just said something horrible, then they look at him, and they use another word to describe his feet.

Have you practiced saying fat out loud yet? It’s really quite fun and liberating.

I used to avoid the word fat, too, but these days it’s become a mantra of glee:

Fat, fat, FAT, fat, fat, fatfatfatfat, fat, fat, and fucking awesome, take THAT!

One Pan Meal with Salmon and Veggies

If you’re looking for a salmon recipe, I have something really easy for you. This is a one pan meal that can be customized with different vegetables and seasonings. It’s easy and delicious – my favorite kind of recipe!

One Pan Meal - Salmon and Veggies {LoveLiveGrow} #recipes #onepan #salmon

The Salmon

I buy frozen salmon from the seafood section at Kroger. They sell them in bulk bags now, which I love. Each salmon fillet is individually vacuum packed so you can use just as many as you need.

My favorite part is that you don’t have to thaw the salmon before you cook it. It goes straight in the pan frozen.

I add a little butter, a little garlic powder, and a little lemon juice on top of the salmon fillets. You can customize that however you like.

The Veggies

From frozen, the salmon cooks for about 20 minutes. You need to choose veggies that will work with that length of cooking. (Not potatoes, in other words!)

I like to use fresh green beans, fresh broccoli tops, or sliced cherry tomatoes. I’m sure there are other veggies that would work, so you can experiment with the ones you like.

You can sprinkle the veggies with a bit of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, or whatever tastes sound good to you.

One Pan Meal - Salmon and Veggies {LoveLiveGrow} #recipes #salmon #onepan

The Baking

Arrange all of your ingredients in a 13×9 baking pan, add on your seasonings, and then cook using the directions on the bag of salmon. Mine says 25 minutes at 400 degrees. Check your bag, though!

I like to cook mine on a rack a little above center in the oven. This adds a bit of roasting to the veggies. I like that with the broccoli especially.

The Recipe

Here’s the straight recipe for those of you who prefer it.

Ingredients:

  • Salmon fillets, 4 small or 2 large
  • Choice of fresh vegetables – broccoli, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, green beans
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Lemon juice
  • Garlic powder
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees or temp listed in bagged salmon instructions.
  • Put the salmon in the pan skin side down.
  • Add vegetables of choice.
  • Add butter to tops of salmon.
  • Sprinkle lemon juice and garlic powder over salmon.
  • Sprinkle vegetables with olive oil and salt.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or time listed in bagged salmon instructions.

Enjoy, and let me know how you like it!