Hero de Jour

A hero, I began to think, is someone who doesn’t meekly accept a hopeless situation and steps up to change it, whether doing so will have a happy ending or not. It is not their job. They have no training. They aren’t impatient for their struggle.

Framing Life

Here are the two things I’ve learned in editing photos in the last 24 hours. I should also add that these discoveries happen to be about pictures of dogs.

The Idiot Factor

Stories based on “Increased fruit and vegetable intake has no discernable effect on weight loss: a systematic review and meta-analysis" started to flood the Internet.

Invoking the At-Least Clause

I'm not all Annie about this–the sun will come out tomorrow and burn my retinas–but I am reaching for the idea that being depressed and hopeless maybe doesn't mean there's no hope.

Barbie Now and Then

Why would Barbie have warped my body image? I didn’t want those annoying tits or any of the scratchy hair-dos that came after her ponytail. Those were the years that Jackie Kennedy was changing the way my mother dressed and decorated. My television icons were Samantha Stevens, Marlo Thomas and, by the end of my Barbie years, Susan Partridge.

Spring Cleaning

Exercise for an obese person is different than it is for a thinner person. It’s a shame that this fact goes unrecognized because it only enhances fat phobia.

The Perfect Dress

I have been accustomed to thinking that I earned weight loss and control of my addiction. These days I’m coming to think they are my due.

The Red Dog

Addiction and social anxiety can stand alone but it’s easy to see how they complete each other as well. The first soothes the latter and the latter facilitates the isolation and loneliness that feeds the former. They rob life of space, or add too much space.

Broken News

I’ve always said that for each time my (or anyone’s) weight is mentioned, it will be another three months before I (or anyone) “does something about it”.

"No White Water BMI Restrictions for Jamboree Participants"

The Boy Scouts of America are gathering in Virginia for some adventures of a lifetime, the Jamboree. Among the 37,000 attendees will be no one with a BMI of over 40 (about a hundred pounds overweight), and those with a BMI between 32 and 39.9 will have had to submit medical proof of their fitness. Never has BMI been so classically displayed for its arbitrariness.

Say Yes to the Dress

Later this month I am leaving to visit my father and help and abet my youngest niece’s wedding. She has asked me to do one of the readings during the service and also, because it’s a huge family get-together, to consider a color palette in green-blue-yellow for photo purposes. And so started several days of staring at various websites looking for the Right Dress.

Further Thoughts on Living With an Overweight Teen

So much about being overweight as a teenager is about being excluded from the fun. Keep the focus on fun, on flavor, on bounty, on socialization, on learning.

Don't Talk to Your Overweight Teen—Act!

Pediatrics that says that kids are overwhelmed by talk of weight and dieting and feel they cannot change the numbers. As someone who was obese from early childhood and still struggling in my mid-50s, I’d like to add some thoughts to this poignant and very painful problem.

Face-Off: The American Medical Association vs. Fat Activism

Last week, the American Medical Association announced that it now considers obesity a disease, defining obesity as a BMI of 30+. According to the NIH BMI calculator, I would escape the disease label at a weight of around 190 pounds, a shockingly reasonable, shockingly attainable number.

Rex Reed on Melissa McCarthy

I want to address something more serious, which is the line between a realistic body and being obese.

A Different Kind of Inventory: Part I

“Even if I got down to those sizes again, I’m not that person,” I’d say about the boxes, vacuum-sealed bags, bins and dry cleaning bags that I’d squirreled away ever since I began to gain weight.

Backing Into My [Best] Self

Each time in these weeks of beginning reconstruction that I make progress, all the things I need to do come flooding over me.

Doing the Two-Step with the Twelve Steps

I refuse, once again, to find my way back to the 12-step church basement because I’m unacceptable. For today, being acceptable for what I am is the course to accepting the responsibilities of abstinence.

Antonyms

I need to get back in the Rooms and under mentorship not because I want to wear a lace dress next summer or impress my friends and have revenge on my enemies, it’s because the demons of resentment and anger are alive and kicking me 24/7.

The Serenity Prayer

Rather more often than the Serenity Prayer teaches us, changing means acknowledging authentic needs and satisfying triumphs as well as getting over a sour or hyper-critical mood. Also rather more often than the Serenity Prayer teaches us, changing means acknowledging authentic needs and satisfying triumphs as well as a bad or hyper-critical mood.

Wanting It Yesterday

Addicts who want to recover must learn to live with cravings, both for their substance and for answers/events/things. Unhaveable things, however, often have important information that we need to listen to.

Life Imitates Class

I didn’t notice the man weaving in and out of the foot traffic and I was so involved with my doughnut-thingie that I didn’t hear him say, as he stepped off the curb to circumvent all of us mortals, “Keep eating. That’s why you take up too much space.”

All I Want for Christmas Is ANYTHING but Another Scarf

I think of them as Fat Lady Gifts, those items that try so hard to make us feel feminine. If you’re giving an overweight woman a gift this Christmas, or if you want to discourage certain repeat offending items, I encourage you to take this advice to heart.

Thoughts on 9/11 from a Close Observer

When there are fireworks a lot of us go home without bothering to watch the show. The sound of helicopters unnerve me. Silence on the streets unnerves me. The smell of candle wax is Proustian.

Love Me

Dogs are what we secretly are or wish we could be. We understand our dogs and we identify with them. I lovelovelovelovelove you: now prove it by rubbing my belly for two hours. Our reward is the hormone suffusion born of such intimate entitlement and desire, the companionship of sentience. Push a dog away and our hearts are pushed away.

Love Letter to the Motherless on Mother's Day

"It was..." My words caught in my throat and tears sprang to my eyes. "It was after I lost weight. They were SO PROUD. That's when I knew."

Hurrah for the Royal Wedding!

There was no back story of trauma with the curling iron and no hurry-up to get to the party portion of the program. We weren't invited to the party. We were invited to listen to instruction, to witness and to promise to lend a helping hand.

Notes from the Situation Room

Waking up to a real problem rather than the unnameable black is waking up to what a weak and cowardly person I am. Poor and frightened, yes -- but that doesn't mean I am prohibited from taking a shower, doing laundry, cleaning a pile that looks like a hoarder's seedling, working on my book or walking the streets looking for loose change.

Why I Won't Tune In for Next Week's Episode of HEAVY

On "Heavy," the trainers, nutritionist (who gets a token appearance because, well, she's just not exciting as the raging drill sergeants) and producers are in charge, and they toss the word "addiction" around because it holds gory promises of drama to the (talk about insatiable) viewer.

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