Helpful Diet Tips!

“Dieting is the most potent political sedative in women’s history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one.” –Naomi Wolf

Deja Pseu posted that quote in comments the other day, and it seemed like a perfect way to start off this post. Which is simply a round-up of the most outrageous “diet tips” Shapelings have gotten in the past, as told in the last couple of comment threads.

Because I picked on Weight Watchers in particular, most of these refer to things heard at WW meetings, or from people on WW. But there are also some from family members, doctors, nutritionists, and trainers, too. What they all have in common is that they’re so blatantly fucking batshit, you can’t believe anyone said them with a straight face.

Without further ado, I present Shapelings’ Top 15 Helpful Diet Tips for 2008.

1. Eat less than 800 calories a day.

Fatadelic: I was told that I was clearly cheating and lying about what I ate and wasn’t trying hard enough. Yeah right, I’d lost 25kg by not trying hard enough. So, even though I was eating between 800-1000 cals a day already, I was instructed to go reduce what I was eating (or not eating) even further! The inevitable bust and regain occurred.

2. Remember that nothing tastes as good as being thin feels!

Stevie: I was always upset by what our group leader said “nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.” It sounds like nothing is as great as being thin, which I don’t believe.

Jaed (in response to Stevie): It always creeps the hell out of me when I hear weight-loss advocates or dieticians/counselors talking like pro-ana sites. (Not that the pro-ana movement originated that particular piece of thinspiration, so far as I know, but still.)

Phledge: I’m sure not getting taunted by the rest of the world or harassed by your physician feels pretty good too, compared to how a baby-flavored donut tastes.

Sweet Machine: As someone who is currently thin because of a digestive disorder, let me tell you, there are plenty of things that taste BETTER than being thin feels. I would gladly trade all of my lost weight for the ability to eat sweet potato fries again. And I would voluntarily put on 100 pounds by eating baby-flavored donuts if it meant I could have a cup of coffee in the morning without being sick by afternoon. The whole “deprive yourself until you’re thin and then, guess what, you get to keep depriving yourself” philosophy of WW is just demoralizing.

Llamas: Cheesecake Factory banana cream cheesecake tastes way better than thin feels. So does my homemade mac n’ cheese.

3. Obsessing about food is totally healthy as long as you stay on this side of an anorexia diagnosis.

Maewyn: I worked on a teen-level health book that said a lot of similar things: You need to have a healthy “eating plan” (which looks an awful lot like a diet, what with the restricting calories and the good foods/bad foods concept), but you need to avoid “crash diets” that restrict calories and prioritize some foods above others, and you definitely need to watch out for anorexia, which you can recognize in part by an obsession with counting calories.

Yeah, I don’t know how the kids were supposed to keep it straight either.

4. Water “flushes out the calories!”

Ellie: at one meeting, when we were sharing tips, a woman exhorted us all to drink our water. “You have to flush out the calories!” she pressed. “If you don’t drink water, how will the calories get removed from your body?” Everyone, including the instructor, complimented her on her excellent point.

I didn’t go back.

5. 2% milk is the enemy.

Cara: My favorite (non-diet) WW meeting moment of all time was in the 90s, when my Leader went on a bat-shit crazy rant – I mean a foaming, trembling, ‘No more wire hangers’ style crazy rant – about how terrible it was that people would consider drinking 2% instead of skim milk. She was enraged – disgusted, even – by the very notion that someone claiming a wish to be healthy would still guzzle that noxious, instant-obesity-inducing devil’s brew. She ranted on a bit to a stunned audience, got it all out of her system, smoothed her ‘do back down and re-adjusted her fixed ‘you can do it, girls!’ grin, but it was too late. We had all seen the fat-loathing, ignited by of all things, 2% milk. (Imagine if someone had confessed to drinking chocolate milk! It would have taken riot squads with fire hoses to stop her).

6. Resist your own birthday cake, but make sure nobody sees you doing that, so they won’t think you’re out of your goddamned mind.

hthr: a woman came to meeting once who stood up to tell us that she had resisted her own birthday cake that week. She had taken a sliver and just set it down on a counter somewhere in the course of the party and no one was the wiser. Dude, that is a tactic that anorexics use. And it was applauded by our leader.

7. Water in lettuce does not, as it turns out, flush out the calories.

Rebecca: a friend of mine has already named her autobiography “It’s the water in the lettuce”, since that’s what she was told by a doctor when she wasn’t losing weight despite eating around 4-500 calories per day.

8. Have oral surgery.

Wish: I once spent hundreds of dollars on WW, and in the course of a year, the only time I lost any weight was when I had all my wisdom teeth pulled at once and could only eat liquids. Naturally, I was praised quite thoroughly.

9. If you’re an underweight anorexic, you need to eat more than 1200 calories a day. If you’re a normal-weight anorexic, 800 ought to do it, and you could probably stand to lose a few pounds, tubbo.

zombie z: You want to know what makes me fucking CRAZY?!

As a thin anorexic, I was told over and over again that 500, 800, 1000, sometimes even 1200, calories a day wasn’t enough to even keep someone alive. I was told I should be eating 1800-2500 calories a day.

As a normal-sized anorexic, I was told (by a doctor) that I could “eat 800 calories a day and exercise and still lose some weight.”

10. Carrots make you fat. Also, green peppers.

Sima: Back when I was weight lifting and fat, and working on body composition and fat… Did I mention I was/am fat? Anyway, I was working very hard on championship level lifting. So working hard to lift more and more weights. And my trainer had me on a diet that was mostly vegetables and protein , extremely low fat (about 5% fat in diet) and so on. It was very hard to do, but I did it. After several months I went in for the testing and hadn’t lost any weight. In fact, my weight went up, but my body composition stayed the same. I still had plenty of fat and the trainer was mystified. Until she looked at my eating records and saw that I had eaten a handful of baby carrots a day. I love baby carrots.

‘Oh no, not carrots’ She gave me a serious look. ‘They make you fat.’

spacedcowgirl: Some women in my Weight Watchers meetings, when reporting that they have gained weight, have said that they think the reason is because they are eating too many vegetables or “zero-point” foods. One of them actually said she was eating too many GREEN PEPPERS and that was why she couldn’t lose (never mind that she is already very thin… and in all seriousness, unfortunately I would not be surprised if this particular person has an eating disorder).

11. If you’re thin and sedentary, keep up the good work!

Tangerina: The other day my mom’s best friend, who is a doctor, was staying with us and commented that my sister was looking very trim and healthy and asked if she was working at it much. My sister replied “not really, all I do is hang out and watch TV” and mom’s friend replied “well, you must be doing something right.” After my initial bout of sisterly jealousy my brain went “wait a minute, why did a doctor just tell my sister she must be doing something right by sitting around and watching TV just because she is thinner than my mom and I?”

12. Whatever you do, do not climb a mountain. It will make you fat.

Laine: A few years ago I went to WW and had hit a plateau. The woman at the scale asked to look at my journal and on one of the days she saw the number “35.” She gasped, “you ate 35 points in one day?! No wonder you haven’t lost.”

Me: “Um, no, actually, those were my activity points for that day, I climbed Mount Washington.”

Her: “Oh, you’re only supposed to track up to 10 activity points a day.”

[Note from Kate: If she had eaten 35 points in one day, that would have been about 1,750 calories.)

13. Barfing is good for you.

Lilith Sativa: Only weight loss program I have ever been in where I lost weight was a liquid diet trial I did when fresh out of high school. I ended up losing all told 30 pounds. This was not through the fact the program worked but due to the fact the formula base for the ” liquid diet” had lactose as an ingredient. I am lactose intolerant.

So then there was a meeting to see if I could keep taking something that was making me horribly sick, but at least I was losing the weight. My mom was actually agreeing that puking wasn’t SO bad. I could handle throwing up multiple times a day, it shouldn’t bother me. She told me at one point, “OH but think of the weight you will lose it will all be so worth it. ”

14. Once your body gets “used to” a particular food, it will begin automatically storing it as fat.

Lu: Do you know what made me leave Weight Watchers the last time, about 4 years ago, and never go back? I kept my food diary, did everything right, and didn’t lose an ounce for weeks. I even had the meeting leader read my food diary to check it over; her theory was that I was eating too many of the same foods, and that made my body somehow keep itself at stasis because it was used to what I was putting into it. Really!

15. Good girls don’t swallow.

Faith: I once had a WW leader tell me to chew and spit out my food for the taste but not the calories…good advice for a bulimic!

And don’t forget that if your plateau can’t be explained by your eating more than 800 calories a day, being dumb enough to think there are things that taste better than thin feels, letting yourself stray too far from the criteria for an anorexia diagnosis, not flushing out the calories with enough water, drinking 2% milk, eating a piece of your own birthday cake, eating lettuce, keeping all your teeth, eating carrots, eating green peppers, not being sedentary like your thin sister, climbing more than 10 points’ worth of mountain in a single day, not barfing your guts up, eating the same foods too often, or, you know, actually swallowing your food? THEN IT MUST BE ALL THE COUGH DROPS.

There. That should clear things up for all you fatties who just won’t take the time to educate yourselves about proper nutrition. You’re welcome.

184 thoughts on “Helpful Diet Tips!”

  1. I’m honored that, via my crazy WW “leader,” I made it into your roundup. But the reason I’m commenting now is… do you know, I just realized that I STILL sort of BELIEVE HER? Jesus Q. Public!

  2. So I would like to interrupt this rant to report that I had a very HAES positive convo with a coworker a few minutes ago.

    I was heating up my Light Progresso soup for lunch (Speaking of WW, it’s the one that’s advertised as being zero points, which confuses me because if I ate like 20 of those would it still be zero points? Or is it like how if something has less than half a gram of fat it’s “non-fat”)) and my thin coworker said “wow, you have so much will power”

    I replied “Actually I don’t really resist or avoid any type of food, I eat what I feel like and try not to worry too much about it” and shrugged.

    She said “Yeah I used to obsessively count every calorie and nutrient in my food but it got really tiring, I think you should enjoy life” I just smiled and nodded, it was nice.

  3. I’m thinking that it would be even better than having oral surgery if you could break your jaw and have it wired shut. Think of how healthy you would be then! No more of those fat-making carrots and green peppers for you; just make sure you don’t drink orange juice or fancy coffees, cause those will make you fat for sure.

    How do these diet people not realize how ri-goddamn-diculous they sound?

  4. Lexy, those zero-point soup commercials drive me insane! My husband always laughs when one comes on, because he knows I’m about to start ranting about how it’s not actually a positive thing to try to survive on nothing.

  5. Yeah I should clarify that that’s not the only thing I was having for lunch, just what I was using the microwave for.

    I keep the baby flavored donuts at my desk.

  6. Oh, even if it were the only thing you were having, so not anybody else’s business. It’s just the commercials that piss me off (“Zero tastes good!” No, bitch, it does not. Zero = nothing = not tasty), I’m sure the soup itself is yummy.

  7. Speaking of WW, it’s the one that’s advertised as being zero points, which confuses me because if I ate like 20 of those would it still be zero points?

    Nope! In the case of the soup, one serving is zero points; I believe one serving is equal to half a can. So you can eat 1/2 a can of this soup for lunch and have a zero point lunch. However, if you eat the whole can, you will be taking in more calories + fat + fiber and the magical points formula will deem this to be worth some points. And then you will have eaten food and the world will surely end.

    Also, if you eat multiple servings don’t think that you can just add the points together, no ma’m. Two servings of a one point food is probably three points because the evil in food multplies as the amount you injest increases.

    Or something.

  8. Heh, Jen, good thing I don’t care because all that math would make me hungry.

    Whitney, #3 is pretty bad but #4 is what really made me stare at my computer in disgust.

  9. Hey, must be the day for it. I was eating some almonds and and apple for my snack today and someone stopped by my office and said, “Being good today?” I said, “No, I eat nutrient dense foods every day. I just don’t apologize when I add chocolate to my diet.”

  10. Man Lexy and Javamama, that’s why sometimes, I’m glad I don’t work in an office. Cause here is how that possibly would play out if I did:

    “Being good today?”

    “Well, yes, yes I guess I am being good today, because I didn’t kick your ass for commenting on my food choices.”

  11. Thanks for including me in the roundup too!!! After at least 10 rounds with WW from 9 years old to about 33, I am officially finished.

    Also, I grew up with a sign on my family’s fridge that said “nothing tastes as good as being thin feels” – it’s at least as old as the early ’70s.


  12. The Zero points soup thing reminds me of a quote from the film The Truth about cats and Dogs. “I don’t eat anything so I can look good on the outside, but on the inside, there’s nothing. ”

    I mean, if you are what you eat, what does it say that you are always eating things with a value of 0?

  13. *comes in late to the party* Actually, around the height of the Atkins craze, some big magazine had this article about how your meds and vitamin supplements were adding “hidden carbs”. This in turn, was sabotaging your Atkins plan. No, really. Soo…calcium deficiency/extra carbs? Oh, and cough drops and breath mints were also culprits. Seriously.

  14. 15. Good girls don’t swallow.

    And this is why I will *always* be a fatty.

    Seriously, though, this shit is kee-razy. And heartbreaking. Makes me want to go yell at someone.

  15. I’d say that spitting out my food was the last ED behavior I held on to for a long time. About 6 months ago, when I was just getting interested in FA, I chewed up a cookie that was in the office for an event and promptly looked around, saw the coast was clear and spit the chewed up cookie into a napkin.

    Then I thought about all I had learned from Kate and other like-minded FA activists and I swore to myself that I would never do something like that again. And six months later, I haven’t. To think that there are programs like WW that actually encourage sick behavior like that!

  16. LOL, Seriously. (Or do I mean, :lol: ?)

    It just occurs to me, reading all this, how far ahead of our time we are here. Really far ahead of our time. One of these days they’ll catch up to us Copernicuses (Copernici?), but in the meantime, man do we have a lot of stupid to endure.

    Oh, and regarding #15, I actually read not too long ago about Padres pitcher Doug Brocail, who had surgery to have heart stents placed in his late 30s, doing just that at postgame clubhouse buffets. He was 6’5″ and 250 pounds at the time he had his stents placed, which would have put his BMI just a hair over 30, not too uncommon in a sport where players are expected to spend multiple hours in the weight room. Gee, it’s lovely to know it isn’t just women who do this stuff. :eyeroll:

  17. #6 reminds of the scene in the movie “Eating” where the one piece of birthday cake is passed from woman to woman and no one will take it and eat it.

  18. “Good girls don’t swallow.”

    Really good girls … might.

    But only if you’ve been a Really Good Significant Other all year.

    *evil grin*

    As for the rest of the Olympic level cognitive dissonance?

    *runs screaming*

  19. Also, I grew up with a sign on my family’s fridge that said “nothing tastes as good as being thin feels” – it’s at least as old as the early ’70s.

    The Duchess of Windsor is reported to have said that.

    She and her hubby were also reported to be Nazi sympathizers.

    Make of that what you will.

  20. Somehow #11 hit me the hardest, especially in light of all the stories on “First, Do No Harm”, but #4 made me want to sentence every diet person to a anatomy/biology class and learn that calories aren’t just magical fat-making molecules that are absorbed through your stomach and immediately accumulate on your thighs.

    Good lord, I wonder what these people think is the point of eating, if not to provide your body with energy and nutrients?

    Maybe they view eating like the hardcore Catholics view sex – we need to do it to ensure the survival of the human race, but it’s EVIL!! And you certainly shouldn’t do it just for pleasure! That kind of sin will send you straight to hell!!

  21. Littlem, that was *also* a diet tip I got from a fellow Weight Watcher.

    Don’t swallow.

    I can’t find it on Snopes – I know I also heard that one in high school – but according to Google there’s about 5 calories in ejaculate.

    So even less than cough drops.

  22. Does hell have a good decadent dairy-free chocolate cake? Because if so, sign me up!

    Oh, wait. I’ve already got my ticket from that Catholic upbringing and OMG teh sexing. Cool. I’m still hoping for the cake miracle, though.

    Food is not bad. Food is not the enemy. Food does not make you good or bad. Food is not Satan, and neither are you for eating.

    I’m really glad I found this site a few weeks ago, as it’s making the “Oh, I was SO BAD over the holidays, I’m so FAT, and I need to lose weight this year” bullshit on a few message boards I go to a little easier to ignore where it can’t be combatted. It’s so sad to see so many otherwise bright, intelligent, funny, worthy women deciding that they’re shit because of a few cookies they ingested or a few pounds they’ve gained. It’s the worst horror movie ever.

  23. “It’s the worst horror movie ever.”

    Yes, it sort of stepford wife-y, once you’ve stepped out of that frame of reference, isn’t it? I mean, the wives call me back, yes. It’s going to be an emotional process. But intellectually it suddenly seems collective insanity.

  24. Third-ing or fourth-ing the office insanity. I often cut up an apple or a pear or some other fruit for a morning snack and have it with some cheese or peanut butter. Why do I do this? Let me tell you that it is NOT so that my office mates can praise my “virtue”, and yet that is what they do every goddamned time I walk by carrying my plate of fruit.

    “Oh, Nicole’s being good!”

    No, I’m just eating a frackin’ apple, actually. There’s nothing moral about it. It’s mid-morning, and I’m hungry, and I like apples.

  25. according to Google there’s about 5 calories in ejaculate.

    The good news is, it’s low carb.

    (I’d still rather have a cough drop).

  26. Personally, i’m still convinced that it’s the lip gloss.

    Which makes me wonder – do the calories from my lip gloss get absorbed through the skin? If so, i foresee a future containing “calorie-free clothing”.

    if not, maybe we should also consider the phrase, “good girls don’t lick”. Which would mean that good = boring (and probably slightly neurotic).

  27. For me, it all depends on WHOSE ejaculate it is…& whether or not I have a sore throat. Sucking a cough drop is a lonelier activity, though.

    I have been working on the non-dieting, fat acceptance path for about 27 years & seriously for about 14 & have made more progress in the past 5 years or so since I became close friends with Sandy Szwarc & learned so much of the REAL, scientific truth from her, but I am still not perfect & it is amazing, even to me, how insidious the “lose weight, do this, it will work, your body is not good enough” messages are & how hard it is to entirely eradicate that kind of thinking.

    I got the first LLBean Spring women’s catalog today, & considering that we have snow up to our eyeballs & windchills ALL DAY of more than -10, something about Spring is welcome. I have done considerable talking on the phone with these people & in the days before I had a computer, have written them several letters, about the size limits of MOST of their clothes. Actually, before I started writing, they carried NOTHING in plus sizes. They are a wonderful company with whom to do business & their merchandise is first quality, but they do seem stuck in the mindset that fat people do not exist, or, if we do, we should not, & we certainly do not want to be active & we do not want/deserve top quality clothing & service.

    I paged through & saw, as usual, that maybe 20% or so of the clothes were available in plus sizes & that, of those which were, they did not carry the ones I liked in the COLORS I liked in my size, only generally in very ‘blah’ colors & that the item I love most, the fitness fleece quarter-zip pullover, comes in an incredible cyan blue (turquoise really) which is flattering to my coloring as well as my favorite color, but it is form-fitting & only goes to XL. As usual, I felt peeved that they do this. However, just for a moment, the thought passed through my mind that, if I could JUST lose ONLY 15-20 pounds or so, that fitness fleece would fit me. I caught myself quickly & am still shaking my head that someone as experienced & well-informed about the futility & unhealthiness of weight loss, particularly for people my age & older (I am 58) could even entertain that thought for one damned second…for a fucking $20 piece of polyester! I had to take a deep breath, figuratively slap myself upside the head, remind myself that NO piece of clothing is worth that, &, as we all should know, that if the clothing is not made to fit me, the problem is with the clothing (& those who make & sell it), NOT with my body!!

    The attitudes & beliefs we internalize about food & body size & virtue are mind-boggling. These discussions are excellent & very important.

    EAT!!! Savor every bite of food, of life, of love & don’t apologize! And, just for the record, as I need to remember, if someone doesn’t think you are good enough to wear their clothes, THEY are not good enough to have custody of YOUR money!

    And, sometime soon, I will again find myself something I love in that gorgeous shade of blue which actually is made to fit me.

  28. considering that we have snow up to our eyeballs & windchills ALL DAY of more than -10

    You’re not in New Hampshire, too, are you? brrr….

  29. Sorry, commenting before I have had a chance to read it all, but I have got to go to the Cheesecake Factory and try the banana cream cheesecake now.

    I’ve been thin, it doesn’t feel anywhere near as orgasmic as a mouthful of really good cheesecake.

  30. Patsy, not to completely sidestep the important point of your comment, but because I can’t resist a shopping challenge…

    This Land’s End fleece comes up to 3X, and is available in an aqua that’s not as cool as the Bean one, but close.

    Going even farther away, but in the same color family, I have one of these in seagrass and LOVE the color.

    And if you can stand faux fur and a much higher price tag, this is just about the right color and available up to 2X (which I assume you could wear if you’re 15-20 lbs. away from an XL).

  31. Patty- I know what you mean with the stuff from LLBean and the like. Its a general rule that if its available in my size from Lands End, Eddie Bauer or LLBean, that it won’t be available in a decent color. It’ll be in something boring like black, navy and tan, but not in the pink, orange or turquoise. I’m also at that size where if I could just drop 20 or so pounds, I’d be in their regular size range instead of the plus sizes. It just drives me crazy sometimes and yes, I spend far too much time thinking, “You know, if I were just a big smaller…”

  32. Once again, I could not make this up. I just happened upon a story on yahoo. It’s a winner, so prepare to have your lives changed. I think it is safe to add it to this comment thread – I’m not sure where else to leave it.

    The article is about how clutter can be unhealthy. Here are the last 2 paragraphs:

    Dr. Peeke says she often instructs patients trying to lose weight to at least create one clean and uncluttered place in their home. She also suggests keeping a gym bag with workout clothes and sneakers in an uncluttered area to make it easier to exercise. She recalls one patient whose garage was “a solid cube of clutter.” The woman cleaned up her home and also lost about 50 pounds.

    “It wasn’t, at the end of the day, about her weight,” Dr. Peeke said. “It was about uncluttering at multiple levels of her life.”

    Yes, it was not at all about her weight, but asking her to lose weight changed her life! Why would this doctor even begin to associate her weight with her clutter problem? Oh, right. She is obviously hoarding calories AND fat, not to mention all the shit in her garage. And as everyone knows, only us fatties live in cluttered homes. It’s because we’re lazy liars who don’t know our asses from a hole in the ground. Lovely.

  33. I was once told to chew ice chips all day to make my body work harder to keep warm, and thus burn calories. Sadly, at the time, I thought this was a great idea, and shivered 16 hours a day eating ice.

    In Minnesota. In February.

  34. The 2% milk rant reminds me of the countless people who have scoffed at me for not drinking what my fiance calls “white water” (because, seriously, that’s what it tastes like).

    “Milk with fat in it is so bad for you,” was one comment I remember vividly, from a cousin of mine.

    I simply responded: “No, milk with added hormones is bad for you. 2% organic milk makes your hair shiny and your bones strong.”

  35. One of my favorites: “Sugar is the devil.”
    Um, OK. Then why is it that my 4 year-old can tolerate sugar, but sugar substitutes make her sick?
    My 3 tries with WW were done at home, so I didn’t go to meetings. But there’s lots of “advice” on the message boards!

  36. “No, milk with added hormones is bad for you. 2% organic milk makes your hair shiny and your bones strong.”


    Even apparently sane people seem to falter at the dairy counter. My not-so-thin, diversity-tolerant friend came over a while back when I was buying (brace yourself) WHOLE! MILK! – because that’s what toddlers drink, and I couldn’t be arsed getting a second jug of something different for our tea / coffee / cereal.

    Anyhow he saw me using it and was shocked, and ‘didn’t think ANYONE bought that anymore’ etc, etc. I’ve seen this guy destroy a Five Guys Burgers & Fries meal like it had insulted his mama, but the idea of whole milk made him whimper.

    Just goes to show – there’s something crazy-making about dairy.

  37. One of my favorites: “Sugar is the devil.”
    Um, OK. Then why is it that my 4 year-old can tolerate sugar, but sugar substitutes make her sick?

    HA! If one more person talks to me about healthy eating while holding up a drink / food that could be a poster-shot of Better Living Through Advanced Chemistry, I’ll weep.

    Sweet-n-splenda-sweet can kiss it.

  38. If you’re thin and sedentary, keep up the good work!

    Anybody see the episode of ‘Weeds’ where the pot dealer / former fat person / exercise addict freakazoid tells Nancy that as she (Nancy) doesn’t do any exercise, she’s not skinny – she’s ‘skinny-fat’?

    I’m not down with ‘fat’ being secret code for lazy, but I am totally down with people poking holes in the notion that thin = healthy.

    Hey, anybody want to go in for a bulk order of plus-size t-shirts printed with the phrase:


  39. Cara: My favorite (non-diet) WW meeting moment of all time was in the 90s, when my Leader went on a bat-shit crazy rant – I mean a foaming, trembling, ‘No more wire hangers’ style crazy rant – about how terrible it was that people would consider drinking 2% instead of skim milk.

    I think I won’t tell her I buy whole milk. And full-fat sour cream.

    All this reminds me of a poster I saw at the Health Department years ago. It had these cheery pictures of dancing fruits and vegetables and read (more or less), “Eat low-fat foods, watch your salt intake, don’t eat fried foods, eat 6 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, etc etc etc” for about 15 lines. And then the last line read “Avoid fad diets”. I just started laughing and couldn’t stop. Which considering that I was there to get a rabies shot made the nurse a bit nervous. :)

  40. I am so totally a cluttered person. I have books and papers all over the place, and don’t empty my dishwasher until there is another full load on the counter. I think I am going to clean my house tonight and see what size I am when I wake up!

    But first I am going to have some chocolate milk :)

  41. Just goes to show – there’s something crazy-making about dairy.

    I remember back when i was a kid, there was a great big hullaballoo about how cow milk was one of the worst evils you could inflict upon a growing child. My mom, being something of a crazy herself, latched onto this.

    Let me tell you: you haven’t tasted suffering until you’ve had to eat your honey-nut cheerios with apple juice instead of milk. *retch*

  42. Colleen (but not prettypear Colleen), on January 3rd, 2008 at 8:56 pm Said:

    I’m thinking that it would be even better than having oral surgery if you could break your jaw and have it wired shut. Think of how healthy you would be then! ”

    Oh my.. I have to say that back in the day… I had a Dr that served me up cross tops by the thousand. I was a speeding ball of fire for over a year. I seldom slept more than 2 or 3 hours a night and everything within my touch sparkled and shined! I cleaned the world.

    And I lost about 100 pounds.

    Then that “dreadful day” (that probably saved my life) came when they said Doctors can’t hand out speed like candy anymore. So to help me keep my weight off he sent me to have my mouth wired shut so I would stay on a liquid diet.

    Christ what an idiot I was back then.

  43. I gave up WW when I started to read about cults. WW uses a lot of the mind control aspects seen in cults. The “love bombing” that they do, seeming so encouraging in the meetings. The ritual humiliation of lining up to be wieghed and judged. The counter-intuitive advise given over and over again. The enthusiastic testimonials that result in praise from the leader figure, etc… Its all there. WW is a cult. And a diet. Also, their snack bars taste like poo.

  44. Even in the deepest pit of my anorexia, I didn’t touch that nasty shit they call skim “milk.” I generally prefer 2% over whole, but I think this is due to a mild lactose issue (is this possible? my stomach just seems to react to whole milk in an unpleasant way, but not 2%…).

    This was really good to see, as I was just on the wordpress tag surfer and ran into some crazy-ass “weight loss tip” list that talked about how to never have calories in your liquids and all those other cliche myths we’re so familiar with.

    RE: Lindsay’s comment
    I did once (in an anorexic phase) try to eat some already NASTY “healthy low calorie fat free” cereal (the kind of stuff that looks, smells, and tastes like guinea pig food) with just a TINY BIT of water (because it might make me fat!!) instead of milk.


  45. I was once told that eating my meals with chopsticks instead of a fork would slow my eating down, and therefore cause me to eat less. That person obviously never saw someone who’s good with chopsticks eat – you can eat much faster with chopsticks than a fork if you know what you’re doing.

  46. wiscck, i’ve had someone say the same thing to me. So i picked up a pair of chopsticks, and proceeded to pick up every last grain of rice from my bowl – something i couldn’t do with a fork.

    And in some areas, the bowl is held up to the face and the chopsticks are used to push the rice into your mouth. Not very slowly, either.

  47. Cara said
    Hey, anybody want to go in for a bulk order of plus-size t-shirts printed with the phrase:


    Hey, I’d be up for that. One for me and one for each of my daughters.

  48. Ugh.

    This makes me think of my run-ins with real nutritionists.

    First one knew I was having issues with health problems which then had me limiting my food intake in order to have some control over something. My biggest flaw? Not eating breakfast. Nutritionist #1 had me doing a food diary and was happy that I’d try to eat period, especially as a fatty who need calories as not to go hypoglycemic. She was the one who told me that I could eat breakfast laying in bed, she didn’t care what or how much I ate so long as I ate something. Which I did. . .and she and I were both happy that I was eating brekkie and I was happy I wasn’t getting told that half a bagel or whatever I scrounged was bad and that I needed “protein not carbs” or some such shit. Plus I had stopped eating dinners because I was fucking bored of eating the same thing over and over again so we were trying to add new stuff into my menus.

    Then nutritionist #1 had her kiddo and I got stuck with nutritionist #2 (keep in mind at campus health). Nutritionist #2 hadn’t read my file at all. Didn’t listen when I talked about eating issues with respect to getting enough into me. Nope my problem was that I was fat and I was fat because I “ate out too much”.

    Why did she say that? Because I had Chicken mole and yellow curry chicken in my food diary. Of course it wouldn’t have anything to do with those being what I learned to cook in Denver/Tucson and LA respectively (lands of yummy Mexican and Thai comfort food) to save my poor student ass some money.

    When I told her that no, I actually knew how to cook those things and could recite the recipes plus my random modifications I was told:

    “There’s no way you can know that. How would a white girl even know how to cook those things? You can’t even get that stuff here!”

    I silently wished her to die in a fire and then thought all about my local chain grocery store where I lived in the Hispanic neighbourhood which was also less than a mile away from the “largest oriental grocery in the Midwest”.

  49. Yeah I think I might have actually called her a bitch to her face.

    Then again she’s also the woman who said “You obviously just overeat because you’re depressed!”.

    (and that was the first time the food diary had portion sizes because I couldn’t do it before without my neurotic anorexic tendancies getting triggered. Nutrionist #1 helped that, but I can so see how nutritionist #2 would have just told me I was lying re: measurements if i had been unlucky and gotten her first.)

  50. Let me tell you: you haven’t tasted suffering until you’ve had to eat your honey-nut cheerios with apple juice instead of milk. *retch*

    Wow. That just brought to mind a memory of my father (oh so “concerned with my weight”…at the age of 10 for crying out loud) had me eat my co-co puffs (great food choice there) with water. WATER. Because apparently drinking of the cow MAKES one of the cow… *rolls eyes and retches*

  51. Wooo! Thanks for including the joys of banana cream cheesecake. Godless Heathen, you so totally need to try it.

    WW is a cult. And a diet. Also, their snack bars taste like poo.
    Dana, I agree. With all three points. :)
    My aforementioned best friend is still annoyingly arse-deep in WW mentality, but she nonetheless still finds it funny to refer to “The Leader” in her best brainwashed minion voice. Perhaps there’s hope!

  52. Cara, your tale of the 2% milk freak out inspired me to run around the house holding a milk carton and screaming NO MORE 2% MILK EVERRRRR!!!! Any excuse to do Mommie Dearest is a good one for me!

    I drink my coffee with CREAM, and I’ll settle for half and half when I’m at Starbucks because they don’t have cream. And Iike it light. I’m pretty sure if I were on WW I would use at least a whole day worth of points on my coffee.

  53. I silently wished her to die in a fire and then thought all about my local chain grocery store where I lived in the Hispanic neighbourhood which was also less than a mile away from the “largest oriental grocery in the Midwest”.

    *sob* I’ve moved to Florida and one of the things I miss horribly is United Noodles. All of the Asian markets I’ve found down here are tiny, although they do stock yakisoba.

  54. My aforementioned best friend is still annoyingly arse-deep in WW mentality, but she nonetheless still finds it funny to refer to “The Leader” in her best brainwashed minion voice. Perhaps there’s hope!

    The Leader is good
    The Leader is great
    We surrender our will
    As of this date

    (thank you Simpsons!)

  55. Hey, anybody want to go in for a bulk order of plus-size t-shirts printed with the phrase:


    Rad! I would be so down with that! (Especially for when I go back east!)

  56. Oh no everstar! That’s the height of suck.

    I always laughed at United Noodle. I got completely spoiled in Los Angeles with Asian groceries such as 99 Ranch where I could get goat and grab my own crabs. And I laughed that United Noodle had prepared buns all from 10 min driving distance from Pasadena.

    That said- people on the west coast could be prepared to send non perishable care packages ;-)

    And since you lived in MSP, then you’d laugh about the nutritionist thing too given that I lived only 2 blocks off of Lake Ave and the Cub by the Midtown YWCA was my grocery store of choice thanks to the combination of dried chiles, copious amounts of cilantro and poblanoes and the random package of injera for when you wanted to try and cook something ethiopian-ish.

  57. Wait – a nutritionist in Minneapolis said that? That’s bullshit. I used to work at a school with a lot of Asian students, and they could find anything they could get back home in grocery stores in St. Paul.

  58. I want one of those t-shirts! I’m a brown belt in martial arts, going for my black belt this year, and yet I can feel people judging me based on my size.

  59. Wow. I have received some idiotic diet advice but none as bad as the examples that were given. I have also received some questionable exercise tips like don’t lift weights because that will put on pounds (from a physician). I was in middle school at the time and walking 2 miles a day (to and from school) and running and biking around the neighborhood, and lifting weights with my friends but still fat. This little tidbit resulted in me starving myself for month to “show” the doctor that I was not incapable of losing weight. I did lose 20 lbs that month and it was kiddos all around (eye roll).

  60. Hi
    I am a delurker who has been eating, drinking, breathing and getting empowered every second by your blog and the comments.
    When I am older and look back in life, it sure will be one of the BIGGEST influences in my life :D

    About the point 15 that you have. I am so struck by the irony that in ‘Good Body’ by Eve Ansler (my first ever non spiritual step towards acceptance) the line that really hit home and cut me deep was a simple line that said ‘ Fat girls swallow’. It gave me many sleepless nights as I thought, felt, instrospected as to what that tiny line meant in my life.
    Of course she was speaking of food swallowing but it’s just so scary that either ways it is what WE are doing or NOt doing wrong…always us!
    Wish you and all the fellow fatness acceptors ( is there a word like that and am i too presumptuous
    in calling myself a fellow?) a happy and a powerful, powerful new year.

  61. littlem said: As for the rest of the Olympic level cognitive dissonance?

    Well-said, littlem. Well-said.

    This list made my brain go asplodey. Not a great way to start the day.

  62. I would probably give that Weight Watchers woman a heart attack; I only use whole milk.

    But if I eat lots of celery with it, then it’s okay, right? Because celery has negative calories. :P

    Too bad I hate celery. I guess I can’t cancel out all those evil calories after all.

  63. ‘Oh no, not carrots’ She gave me a serious look. ‘They make you fat.’

    Yeah, I’ve heard that one too. Apparently carrots are way too high in sugar. Dust anyone?

  64. Whenever I hear someone spout that b*llshit line about “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels”, I pipe up and tell them they must not be eating the right foods. Zero point/calorie foods are not real foods. God put energy/calories in food for a reason- our energy and sustanance- and taste is there for our pleasure. He gave us the sense of taste- it should be used, not treated as sinful.

  65. “according to Google there’s about 5 calories in ejaculate.”

    And let’s not forget ladies that those love juices have about as much protein in one shot as a porkchop.

    So, its Atkins friendly!

    Kate, this and the resulting comments are about the funniest things I’ve read all week! :)

  66. Rose- I use cream in my coffee, too. So good!

    And can someone tell me why I cleaned my kitchen last night and I am still a fat ass this morning? How long is this cleaning diet supposed to take???

  67. JeanC: HAHAHAHA. Actually, funny story – when my dad was in college, he and his friends went camping. Being college-age boys, naturally the idea was to get smashed. They remembered the cheerios, forgot the milk. So they had cheerios with beer. My dad said he didn’t recommend it. :P

  68. (is this possible? my stomach just seems to react to whole milk in an unpleasant way, but not 2%…)

    If so, it’s not lactose-intolerance. Higher-fat milk products have less lactose (milk sugar) in them, and therefore are supposed to cause fewer problems in people with true lactose intolerance. Or so I’ve been told, since I’ve been lactose intolerant for about fifteen years now. I don’t really notice the difference, although I do use it as an excuse to refuse any kind of milk product that’s low- or reduced-fat. They also taste like chalk to me.

    I do miss drinking milk, though. I drank 2% because that’s what my parents buy.

    More on-topic, I had a friend whose mother had a magnet that said, “A moment on the lips . . . a lifetime on the hips.” With a picture of a cow on it, of course.

  69. my father (oh so “concerned with my weight”…at the age of 10 for crying out loud) had me eat my co-co puffs (great food choice there) with water.

    Yeesh. Because in a meal of milk and coco puffs, it’s really the milk that raises alarm bells. (Nothing against coco puffs! I just love the logic.)

  70. My parents always buy skim milk, though I’m not sure why. Drinking 2% or whole makes me want to gag; it’s like swallowing melted butter. But we get our skim organic from a little local farm in GLASS BOTTLES. Which is super cool.

    Stephanie: one of my friends is fond of “Beerios,” which should be self-explanatory.

    And on that note, I think I need breakfast.

  71. Yum. Full-fat milk. Although even ‘full fat’ milk is sometimes telling lies, because these days most dairies standardize the fat levels in milk, and then homogenise them so that the cream won’t float to the top. So I buy the full-fat non-homogenised milk from the local organic dairy which has a proper ‘top of the milk’, for that extra creaminess on cereal.

    The only thing better is full-fat non-homogenised non-pasteurized milk which is delicious creamy heaven in a bottle. Mmmmmm. Sadly, it’s really hard to find, at least in the UK.

    (Randomly — carrots are indeed relatively high in sugar, for a vegetable. I only know this because I keep degus as pets, cute little rodents which have a metabolic problem with processing sugars and need to be kept on a very low sugar-high fibre diet. And carrots are on the list of things which shouldn’t be fed to them as a treat. This is also why carrots caramelize so tastily when cooked. Bizarre factoids R us.)

  72. This post pins the tail on the donkey of why I was so frustrated with WW and why these plans are friggin’ brilliant in how they’re structured: because you can never, ever do them completely perfectly! Because no matter what, the fault lies in YOU, not the plan. Because if you lose weight, great. But if god forbid you maintain or gain, it must be because you:
    * didn’t work out enough
    * worked out too much
    * didn’t eat all of your “flex points”
    * ate all of your *flex points*
    * didn’t drink enough water
    * ate salty food the night before your weigh in
    * ate too much sugars
    * drank too much alcohol
    * didn’t count your points right
    * didn’t eat enough protein
    * didn’t eat enough carbs
    * didn’t eat enough vegetables
    * didn’t eat enough “healthy oils”
    * didn’t eat enough dairy
    * ate too much of any of the above
    * didn’t watch your portion sizes (was that steak equal to the size of a deck of playing cards? How can you be SURE?)

    Oy. The whole scheme is structured to make the dieter always feel guilty, always feel like they haven’t done enough, always feel like something (i.e., YOU) can be improved upon. No wonder I always feel guilty and “bad” as a dieter.

    I’m not saying anything you haven’t said here… just having my own personal epiphany. :) Thanks.

  73. Well bless me, my little tale of vomitous woe made the list.

    you know I was thinking after I posted that about some of the after effects of that most vile liquid diet and all the subsequent puking.
    There are certain smells associated with that powder that I can’t stand. I have come across them as flavoring additives in other foodstuffs and it will literally cause spontaneous puking. WIthout even eating any of it. It happened a couple of months ago, and I now realize the powdered soup mix that was being used smelled like the chicken noodle diet drink.
    Nasty stuff

    All the flavors though were nasty, vanilla, mocha, chocolate, and chicken noodle. ALL CRAP !!! Yet this was what I was to subsist on every meal every day for as long as it took. AS LONG AS IT TOOK!!!! While around me the rest of my family enjoyed real food. ( mind you my mom is a stellar cook and my dad, well he is a classically trained gourmet chef from Europe. He has worked in some fine hotels all over the world. Every night when he was home they would make some marvelous feast, I would have to smell it cooking then sit at the table ( for hours on end, it was a true european style meal every night he was home, at least 5 courses…sigh ) with my shake and water and could not leave till everyone was done.

    I think I realize now why I was so angry in my early twenties.

  74. These people (the WW leaders, crazy doctors, etc) remind me of how I sounded when my blood sugar crashed so low that I was actually delirious.

    I was on the Atkins diet, and was about 16-17 years old. I didn’t realise at the time that I had coeliac disease and that it made my blood sugar levels low/unstable, so within 3 days of starting the diet I’d lost 8-10lbs and hit ketosis. I’d been feeling a little unsteady all day but thought nothing of it. By the evening, I was dizzy, couldn’t stand up, and was babbling utter rubbish.

    My mum told me to “eat a damn biscuit or something!”, and i kept on pushing her hand away, yelling, “BUT I HAVE TO BE IN KETOSIS!!”

    Finally, she managed to talk sense into me, and I ate a few biscuits with some OJ. I started to feel better almost instantly, and was really embarrassed about the whole situation. Needless to say, I stopped the diet that night and started to watch my blood sugar levels (though more disordered eating and fad diets were to come).

    It’s that totally denial of the facts that I see in these people. They’ll ignore ill-health and what is right in front of their face for some ridiculous notion about how our bodies should behave.

  75. Kate, thanks for the reminder about Land’s End. You are right about the fleece, they carry damn near every item they sell in plus sizes & usually most of the good colors their service & quality are as good as Bean’s & they do not have a rod about their asses about fat women needing to disappear from the face of the earth. I do get their catalogs as well & have been about as happy with their stuff as with Bean’s & moreso with their general attitude.

    And I am in Maine, in answer to that question…not too far from New Hampshire, in Bangor. Brutal winter this year, isn’t it?

    And what a cruel & heartless thing to do, Lilith Sativa, to make you watch others eat a magnificent meal while you had nothing but shit. No wonder you carried so much anger!

  76. Just an addition to the workplace insanity theme – prior to the holidays our tiny office of five people received a gift of chocolate covered pecans (yumster!) which were placed in a central location (frankly, everywhere in this suite is a central location – we can practically hear one another breathe).

    Unfortunately, we could also hear the loud screeching noise the pecan container’s lid made when it was opened.

    That turned out to be more than one of my co-workers could bear. EVERY SINGLE TIME she opened the thing she complained about how loud it was and how everyone would know she was getting chocolate/snacking/eating.

    Finally, I snapped and told her as far as I knew it wasn’t a crime to eat and I doubted the Chocolate Police were going to come cart her off.

    Happily, she was recently redeemed. A co-worker from one of the other suites we have in the building was down here yesterday and praised her to the high heavens for the plateful of carrots and broccoli she was preparing to eat for lunch. She was able to let us all know she was embarking on a “healthy New Year” eating plan to combat all the “naughty” things she ate over the Holidays.

    Argh. Wonder if I should go tell her I just found out those carrots will actually make her fat – WW says so, so it must be true!

  77. You are right about the fleece, they carry damn near every item they sell in plus sizes & usually most of the good colors

    And yet, still, when you go to the regular page for that fleece, it’s available in about a zillion colors, and when you click the “women’s” button, it’s only available in half a zillion. Better selection than most, but still half the selection of the regular sizes. Grrrr.

    I’m also pissed at Land’s End because, even though they have an amazing selection of plus size swimsuits, I noticed last year that several of the suits that come in regular and plus were only available in the darker colors in plus. To be fair to them, I’m sure so many women have bought into the “fatties must wear black because it’s slimming” rule, they probably can’t sell too many light-colored plus-size bathing suits. But it still always feels like they’re the ones saying, “Who are you kidding? You’d look like a whale if you wore this suit in yellow,” instead of just responding to a market that already believes that.

    Um, yeah. Back to the point of the thread.

  78. When I used to go to WW, I challenged my “leader” for using the “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels” statement. I said that it was a dangerous statement, and sounded a lot like it was promoting aneorexia or other disordered eating. She said that was ridiculous, but after some back and forth and ranting on my part, she finally agreed to, “Well, I’ve never thought about it that way. Now I will.” Before I could feel good about myself though, she added, “This isn’t, you know, therapy, though…And PEOPLE who view a statement like that that way should probably THINK about why they see it that way.” Because I am crazy and all.

    Re: milk. I hate heavy-tasting milk, so I almost always drink skim. I like the stuff. Every time, and I mean EVERY time, I go into Starbucks or some other coffee place to order a latte or speciality drink, I have conversations that go something like:
    jm: I’ll have a skim vanilla latte with whipped cream.
    employee: LOL.
    jm: [staring]
    employee: really? skim with whipped cream?
    jm: I like skim milk. And I like whipped cream.
    employee: I didn’t know anyone liked skim milk. The fat in the whipped cream cancels out the low-fat in the skim milk, you know?

    It’s the “ya know?” that kills me dead every time, like Thank you for that brilliant new insight.

  79. This just popped into my inbox, from ABCNews (on tonight):

    “Person of the Week:
    Losing weight is tops when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. Now, one man says he has your solution to a carefree healthy lifestyle and it all comes down to nutritional science. Brian Wansink, the newly appointed executive director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, says the key to weight loss may lie in how you look at food. Would you eat more M&M’s if the colors were mixed together or separated?”

    Yes – because Color-Blind people don’t get fat!!!

  80. Oh, dude, JM, I hear you. It’s like the people who guffaw at fatties who order a burger and fries with a Diet Coke — which would totally be me. I just don’t like sugared pop. It has absolutely nothing to do with counting calories and everything to do with the fact that sugared pop is too sweet for me and leaves a nasty aftertaste in my mouth. If I were a binge eater, I would still wash it all down with a goddamned Diet Coke, because that’s what I like best. But of course, ordering calorie-laden food and a diet pop means you’re an ignorant fatty who’s totally in denial.

  81. Ahh, the dreaded “canceling” idea. If I never hear another word about foods canceling each other, I will die fat and happy.

  82. @jm: I got that once from a coworker when we went to Wendy’s and I ordered a burger, fries, and the lemonade. The lemonade is diet, but I like it because it doesn’t have caffeine and tastes marginally less like piss than Sprite. “What’s the point of doing a diet drink? You’re already being bad with the burger and fries.”

    Interestingly, same coworker has informed me that jalapeno Cheetos from the vending machine, homemade banana cream pie for breakfast, and pecan pie in general are From The Devil. I had no idea The Devil was such a good chef.

  83. (My apostrophe hates me, so forgive my overly formal and Data-esque wording.)

    God forbid you should order a large combo with (light) lemonade or water — clearly you are ruining your diet with the french fries and the bacon cheeseburger, so why bother with the self-deception?

    I also dislike the idea that if you are ordering something that is incidentally low-fat, then you must also automatically want a baby-greens salad and fat-free dressing to go with it. Veggie burgers, which I eat because I do not eat red meat (I mostly do not like it, but I pretend it is for moral reasons), pretty much come standard with a side salad. I want french fries, damnit!

  84. Maybe they view eating like the hardcore Catholics view sex – we need to do it to ensure the survival of the human race, but it’s EVIL!! And you certainly shouldn’t do it just for pleasure! That kind of sin will send you straight to hell!!

    Ah, Original Sin….everybody suffers and dies because a woman – OMG – eats an apple. That old story has a lot to answer for.

    Re # 4: it’s not just WW coming out with that one now. Check this out:
    So basically, drinking plenty helps stop you retaining water. Not quite flushing out the calories, is it? The notion that water ‘keeps you fuller longer’ is crap – I’m remembering a tummy bug a few months back where I could only keep water down, and after a few days of that I was ravenous. No discussion here of the biggest fat lie of all (that dieting works, honest guv!), but that’s possibly too much to expect right now.

  85. @ Kim: I saw that uplifting yahoo article this morning. I figured it was only a matter of time before it was mentioned here. It makes me so angry… I feel that I’m somehow living on a Fat Hate Bingo card sometimes. Okay, a lot of the time.

    I’m totally watching How to Look Good Naked tonight (or whatever it’s called). I need me some inspiration and the reviews have been good.

  86. I could go on about this forever, but I think my favorite was the co-worker who suggested that I take up smoking to lose weight!!! (She was taking it up again to lose weight before her wedding.)

    I’d give that WW Leader an apoplectic stroke. I don’t buy milk at all. I buy half and half. I don’t eat cereal often, but when I do, I use half and half. I order half and half and extra caramel syrup in my coffee at Starbucks. I also love cheese.

    I get really annoyed when I get a two-pound salad at the salad bar and everyone in the deli remarks on how “healthy” it is (because I like romaine lettuce and edamami and green beans – I frequently replace my side of fries with blanched green beans because I love them).

    The Chinese restaurant thinks I’m being “virtuous” when I order steamed veggies (especially the aforementioned green beans) with no sauce. It’s not virtue, it’s taste. I genuinely prefer them that way.

    Stephanie, my brother calls beer the breakfast of ex-champions. :)

    Lilith, just reading “chicken noodle diet drink” triggered my gag reflex. I can’t imagine trying to actually choke the stuff down. As far as I’m concerned, best intentions notwithstanding, what your parents did to you classifies as torture. Food deprivation coupled with watching others eat attractive and aromatic foods is a well-known technique used to solicit confessions (real or otherwise). I think that your anger is more than justified. Frankly, if you hadn’t been angry, I would worry about your sanity.

    I read “Wansink” and my brain translated it to “Wankstain.” Fun with dyslexia.

    As far as the tee shirt goes, I’m too much of a grammar freak to chip in. (It should be “I” or “I am,” not “me.”) Sometimes being a grammar freak sucks.

    The Duchess of Windsor comment made me think “so, the Nazis weren’t evil, after all. They were just trying to help those poor downtrodden minorities maintain a healthy weight.” Talk about PR spin… ;)

  87. I had no idea The Devil was such a good chef.

    OMG, dead!

    Great, great post. I have about eighteen me-toos. There was also a thing a few years ago where I got into drinking extremely dilute Gatorade constantly because I had this theory that just a few calories every fifteen minutes would stop my blood sugar level ever going low enough to make me Hungry. I have no idea where I got that.

  88. Y’know, I would seriously join WW right now, so’s only I could step up to the weigh-in and, after no weight loss or (gasp!) a little weight gain, tell them straight-faced that it was because I blew my husband twice this week.

  89. NOTHING irritates me more than the “I’m good cuz I ate an apple”/”I’m bad cuz I ate a piece of cake” mentality. Even on my very last diet I was driven crazy by this talk and resisted it. You’re not good because you ate some salad! You just ate some salad! And you’re not bad for getting a hamburger with fries – you just ate a hamburger with fries, get over it!

    I don’t understand why eating “healthfully” means you get to claim the moral high ground. I guess it’s just an illustration of the moral issues we have tied up in fatness .

  90. Someone (Vesta44?) brought up the subject of calorie counts on supplements. I actually just looked at my bottle of “pharmaceutical grade” fish oil, of which I take a teaspoon every night before bed. It has 45 calories and 5 grams of fat per teaspoon! It also has 1725 mg of omega-3’s, which are supposed to prevent all kinds of nasty inflammatory garbage inside you. I suppose a WW leader would accuse me of taking extra swigs to sabotage myself!

  91. “I don’t understand why eating “healthfully” means you get to claim the moral high ground. I guess it’s just an illustration of the moral issues we have tied up in fatness .”

    You know, always have to force myself to eat things like salad and apples. They just don’t seem to taste good to me… I think because feel like when I’m eating them that I’m eating them because I SHOULD eat them, not because I enjoy them and want to have one. And since I’m SUCH a rebel about some things, I’d probably actually choose the unhealthy food first regardless of what I felt like eating, just because of the negative association I have with all the healthy crap.

    Does that make any sense? I think I need to try the “reverse psychology diet.”

  92. That Diet Coke and hamburger scenario drives me nuts. I used to wait tables and women would come in, order that combo and then wince slightly, like they were bracing for impact. I actually had a couple come in one time, and when she ordered a burger, fries and a Diet Coke, her husband started teasing her. I snarkily pointed out to him that if he was that concerned about calories (and he ordered the same thing with a regular Coke), he should note that she was still going to consume 300-600 calories fewer than him (depending on how many refills he was going to drink).

    I sort of enjoyed messing with him, until I glanced over at her and realized that this grown woman was looking at me with something like adoration. Like I’d just given her PERMISSION to drink what she wanted to drink without getting teased. Honestly, I think that was the first time I really stopped in my tracks and realized that there was something WRONG with that “food=morality” mindset.

  93. I just ended my WW run…after making goal even…and a lot of the deicsion came from hanging here. Thanks.

    So as a thank you, here’ s my favorite WW moment: A woman was quitting smoking, and she was saying how she was having a hard time not eating. I said “Girlfriend, you need to eat. Giver yourself permission to munch when the craving is bad. It is waay better to quit smoking.” My leader gave me the nastiest look as did everyone else. They all offered “low point snacks.” The point was clear: it is better to smoke a pack and a half a day than to be fat. So much for the “healthy life style”.

  94. Like Kate H, I drink diet soda — diet dr pepper & diet cherry pepsi. I’ve been rolling that way since I was ten, so it’s a little late to change now. Regular soda gives me a tummy ache with all that sugar (which is not to say I can’t eat plenty of other sugarful things — cinnament for breakfast :P — but soda=can’t deal). I honestly DO NOT care about the calories anymore, as my other beverage of choice is cranapple juice. But I know people at work think I’m on some kind of diet because I guzzle diet dr p all day.

    And…since I have FULLY & TRULY accepted the idea of eat what I want, when I want, until I’m full —– I’ve been eating MUCH healthier. Before I considered every last meal a “last supper,” like, this is the last chance I’ll get to eat this delicious cake at work because I would NEVER make this myself, so I might as well eat six pieces. Or, it’ll be weeks before my dad takes me out to dinner again, so I better eat HUGE. Now at lunch I just get in my car and drive to the first place that sounds good, and more often than not I want a SALAD, or SOUP (which I *never* used to eat before)……not to say that I haven’t eaten my share of bacon cheeseburgers the last few weeks, but I think my diet has actually become fairly balanced.

    I could be wrong. After all, I’m not writing down EVERY. SINGLE. THING I eat along with calorie/fat/sugar/sodium contents.


  95. [quote]I don’t understand why eating “healthfully” means you get to claim the moral high ground. I guess it’s just an illustration of the moral issues we have tied up in fatness.[/quote]

    Or have that moral high ground assigned to you.

  96. Y’know, I would seriously join WW right now, so’s only I could step up to the weigh-in and, after no weight loss or (gasp!) a little weight gain, tell them straight-faced that it was because I blew my husband twice this week.

    Ohhhhh, Phledge, how I ROFL’d at that.

  97. There is absolutely nothing wrong with eating what you want & most of us, if we relax about it & just eat what we really want, find that we get foods from most of the food groups on a regular basis. There ARE no ‘bad’ foods, nor are there any magical foods, just foods, all with different properties, & unless we are allergic to something, it will not hurt us, & no particular food is going to cure or prevent a particular disease. If we could stop listening to all the bullshit thrown at us & just enjoy our lives, own our bodies, & enjoy whatever damn foods we like, it would be a much better & happier world. And I would love it if we did not have to KNOW the calorie/fat/carb/protein/vitamin content of every damned thing we eat, because all that labeling really leads to obsessive behavior & very unnecessary guilt. My poor relatives, most of whom were fat & cooked with lard for years & loved treats like fried salt pork rinds (my parents LOVED them) had no idea about any ‘food pyramid’, yet my mother lived to be 85, despite losing a kidney 40 years earlier to kidney disease inherited from her thin father & grandfather, her mother lived to be 90, & most of my other relatives have been similarly long-lived. It is amazing how that was accomplished without some asshole telling them every five minutes how to eat.

    I eat what I want & I do get a good variety of foods. I too always have half & half in the house; it goes in my tea & in my oatmeal & in my mashed potatoes, along with real butter. I also find…& I know that this has to be mostly psychological…that I am hungrier when the house is almost empty of food, but when there is plenty, I always eat very normal, average amounts, & I am more than capable of throwing away half a plateful of food if I am full. I had a father who forced us to eat what HE put on our plates, even if we vomitted 5 minutes later, so I cannot stand to feel stuffed, which is part of the reason why I have no fondness for huge meals such as at Thanksgiving, etc. The rest of my holiday issues are also tied into my wonderfully abusive parents & I am in fact just snow starting to feel almost normal as we move further into January & the nightmare is behind me for awhile.

    And this time of year especially I LOVE soups. I also find that here in New England in the middle of winter, I sometimes CRAVE a nice fresh salad.

    And, Kate, you are so right that Land’s End is far from perfect & that they do not always carry the best colors in plus sizes, but they are WAY ahead of Bean in the plus size clothes they do carry. When Bean first started carrying plus sizes, after I (& I am sure many other women too, I am not THAT egocentric) wrote several complaining letters to them, they carried the jeans up to size 26W. For the past couple of years, they have only gone up to 22W. WTF?!!! Anyway, Rightfit jeans fit me better & look better.

    And, back on topic, I DO remember that feeling of, “I need to eat the cake/cookies/candy right now, because I won’t be able to have any more for a long time.” I have chocolate in the house at least 95% of th time these days (it would be 100% but occasionally I run out, it is icy, I have CP & do not walk well on ice, so I have a bit of withdrawal until someone gets me to the store) & I eat some every day, but I never binge. As I said, I hate being overfull. Besides, I can eat whatever I want, so I can always have some more later. And, believe me, I do have some of whatever I want whenever I want…after all, the hearse driver is not going to pull over on the way to the cemetary so that I can run in for a pint of B & J’s (speaking of BJs) Karamel Sutra!

    My helpful tip has become, “Never say diet!” & I don’t mean it the way that mincing jackass Richard Simmons always did.

  98. Folks, regular sodas aren’t made with sugar these days, they’re made with high fructose corn syrup. That’s why they’re cloying. Sugar isn’t that sweet.

    And Phledge? I read an article back in the 70s that recommended using spunk as a facial toner. Might’ve been one of what’s-her-name’s, Xaviera Hollander — sounds about right. I laugh whenever I remember it, anyway.

  99. @ Kate217: “As far as the tee shirt goes, I’m too much of a grammar freak to chip in. (It should be “I” or “I am,” not “me.”) Sometimes being a grammar freak sucks.” I am so right there with you! I laughed when I read that comment because I thought the same thing when I read it. In all fairness, it is one that doesn’t automatically sound wrong to lots of people. Total grammar geek here, too, though I’m sure I split infinitives far too often!

  100. I definitely detect a difference in flavor between the HFCS-sweetened sodas and sugar-sweetened ones, and I always go for the latter when available, just because they taste so much better to me. Yeah, I know that theoretically they’re chemically identical, but to me that’s a little like saying identical twins raised in different households are the same person because they have the same DNA. The taste just is not the same. I tend to think it has to do with the storing and transport process of HFCS.

  101. Meowser, I’m with you — the taste isn’t the same at all, though I’m hard pressed to come up with adjectives. Lingering, for one, more than sugar. Heavy. A bit treacly, though I suppose that could be suggestion.

    These days I make my own sodas, with a spritzer bottle and flavored syrups. Aside from tasting better — or I think so — it’s just plain fun to do.

  102. Holy crap, my story made the list! :D At least I can get something out of that book. It made me seriously cranky most days.

    SjC and Phledge, you made my night. A+++ would LOL again.

    Helpful note: Ben & Jerry’s Crème Brûlée and Cinnamon Buns flavors are not From The Devil; they are shipped to your grocer directly From The Gods (apparently by way of Vermont). Go and eat delicious ice cream. With Diet Coke, if you’re so inclined.

  103. I never realised that diet foods contributed to my own disordered eating until I subconsciously adopted the eating habits of my boyfriend after a year of living with him. (Well, that and this blog, of course. I love you guys more than I love taffy.)

    I come from a house where the men had healthy eating habits and the women had horrible eating patterns. My mum was constantly on (and failing) at some diet and my sister constantly alternates weird fad diets with binge-eating massive amounts of food. I could down tubs upon tubs of diet desserts and yoghurt and still be ravenous – and I was so confused because I thought the quantity would fill me up.

    My boyfriend never buys diet or light ANYTHING and never feels bad about having more food if he’s still hungry. He bitches if he eats anything less than a lasagne-pan of food every night. This, in addition to the four sandwiches he makes for lunch (and I mean meat-packed, almost falling apart with the amount of salad he adds in) and four bowls of cereal in the morning. He needs that amount, because his metabolism is scarily high and it makes him feel full and energetic enough to get through work and study. I feel now that living with him, and eating as much food as I want, that I’ve cheated myself of all those years of enjoying actual delicious food. I can sit down with a piece of cake, or a bowl of full-fat premium icecream, and think “wow, this is fucking delicious” without thinking “I could have had a WW pudding for one point instead of this” or telling myself I need to exercise. Because I never would have just had one WW pudding: it would need to be lots until I can get a sugar/fat fix I actually need sometimes.

    I realised once I stopped counting calories and started eating full-fat food that I had a diet entirely devoid of fat for so many years, which would explain my horrible skin and hair that looked like it had been suckled on by baby rats. I love a glass of full-cream milk, because I only ever need a little bit of it to be satiated and happy. I love adding butter to a piece of toast, because that salty deliciousness is omfg the best thing ever. I’m probably eating more in terms of total quantity of food, but that would only be a slight increase: what I am enjoying, however, is the quality of delicious home-cooked meals over lean chicken breast that tastes like cardboard. I’m enjoying desserts that are made the way they ought be – with real ingredients and the dedication and love of the maker – and I’m satisfied with the smaller quantities because my body is extremely happy to say “that’s what you needed”.

  104. Re: Pop being too sweet – you know what I would totally drink? Light pop with about half the sugar content. Not half sugar, half artificial sweetener, just plain half the sugar. Like the Snapple “Lighten Up” Iced Tea which I love but can’t seem to find online for the life of me.

  105. I know what you mean about feeling like you have to eat [insert “bad” food here] right away, and eat as much as possible, because you might not ever get it again. My mother was obsessive about health food, so it was rare to have junk food or sugary food in the house, and when it was around she would watch the container to make sure it didn’t disappear too fast. If I made my servings of ice cream just a little too big, she would interrogate me about why the container was emptying too fast. So whenever I got a chance to eat junk food that I wasn’t allowed to have at home, or to eat as much as I wanted without my mother giving me the evil eye, I took it, whether I actually wanted that food or not. Also, I craved sugar all the time.

    Now that I don’t live with her anymore, I buy junk foods and sugary foods whenever I want, and keep them in the house. And you know what? I don’t crave them nearly as much. I still have a hoarding mentality when it comes to food, but not as much as I used to.

    So much for “If you always feed your kid health food, that’s what she’ll prefer.” (To this day, there are very few vegetables I can eat without gagging.)

  106. Good points, bec. REAL food with REAL ingredients & OMG! REAL fat are more satisfying & filling & you do enjoy them more & get full faster &, yes, generally have nicer skin & hair, too.

    I have lunched on more than a few Lean Cuisines & Healthy Choice meals in my time, I admit, & sometimes I would go check the box just to be sure I had eaten the food & not the box it came in. I also came to realize that I was giving in to the brainwashing that a ‘good’ woman should be satisfied with that amount of food, even if my two-year-old granddaughter can eat more than that at a sitting, just as I have come to realize that being a fat activist does NOT mean that I have to keep asserting (& proving to anyone or everyone) that I eat less than a mouse. Yes, I eat normally, yes, I am naturally, genetically fat, & yes, I have been almost disgustingly healthy over these 58 years, but I don’t have to PROVE how damn virtuous I am to deserve rights & respect; I deserve them because I am human. And I deserve to live in my body as I damn well please.

    And, just oh by the way, isn’t it interesting what has come out about that lovely cancer institute which spent so much time convincing us all that we have control over our health & longevity by our behaviors & that things such as tea & garlic (both of which I love & consume regularly, btw) have magical preventive properties, that lowfat is the way to go, yadda, yadda. How many of us have tried to change our habits, or fretted, worried & felt guilty because of the lies we were fed by these jackasses? And am I the only one who found it quite ironic that the guy who ran the place for years died of cancer? Gee, I guess he just didn’t live right.

    In my own case, I checked out the list for breast cancer risks, & came up with a lifetime risk of ever getting it of 6.7% for myself. The only thing on the list over which I had ANY control was the fact that I had my first baby before I turned 24. Brilliant of me, wasn’t it?

    And, amen, Meowzer. Ben & Jerry’s is not from the devil…it is from beautiful Vermont & full of luscious cream.

  107. The diet soda comments hit home with me. I eat exactly what I feel like eating, and when I say “no sour cream” on my baked potato after specifying the twelve ounce steak, topped with parmesan cheese and two skewers of shrimp with sauteed onions on the side, it’s because I am a picky eater and I don’t like sour cream, not because I have some bizarre idea that OH NOES THE CALOREEZ.

    When I ask for the raspberry vina-regret on my side salad, it’s not because I noticed it’s the Zero Guilt option or because I’m trying to make up for rest of the meal, it’s because it’s my favorite dressing. You know, because of how it tastes. Funny little concept, isn’t it?

    I also drink diet soda, and not because I’m a calorie counter but because at a time in my life when I was gaining weight seemingly uncontrollably, I realized that my increasing weight correlated exactly to my increasing caffeine habit as I entered the adult world and started working for a living. Yeah. When you realize that 75% of your calorie intake is in the form of Dr. Pepper, you don’t actually have to do much “counting” to fix the problem.

    So I’ll go to the China buffet and make three trips and eat a lot of noodles and sticky rice and whatever else strikes my fancy and I’ll have my diet soda and not feel the slightest bit odd. Sticking to the next-to-zero calorie soda is what lets me eat what I want.

  108. As far as the tee shirt goes, I’m too much of a grammar freak to chip in. (It should be “I” or “I am,” not “me.”) Sometimes being a grammar freak sucks.

    You are, of course, correct. I knew it after I added it, and it has haunted me ever since. *shame*

  109. Folks, regular sodas aren’t made with sugar these days, they’re made with high fructose corn syrup. That’s why they’re cloying. Sugar isn’t that sweet.

    My British friends are always astonished with the liquid-Crack quality of American sodas, thanks to HFCS, which I’ve come to find out is also in things like yogurt, and tomato soup. Mmm, nummy. Apparently they still use sugar i such things over there (though I find that hard to imagine).

    I try not to be superstitious about any one ingredient, but HFCS, hydrogenated fats, and the whole raft of artificial sweetners out there get a very wide berth from me, especially when I’m choosing foods for my son. I figure our bodies can take the occasional dodgy bit of input, but a constant diet of that stuff – I suspect – can lead to health issues and for what? So the food industry can save a bit of cash / have a more ‘addictive’ (quotes optional) product / extend shelf life?!

    Ahem. Ok, down off my soap-box, and off to eat some toaster waffles. (Heh. Hypocrisy for breakfast, woot. At least the syrup is real.)

  110. Hey Stoneyfield Yogurt has real sugar:)

    Oh, and I don’t drink soda at all (it’s trashed my teeth which were not so hot anyway…genetics) but I do drink it in Mexico…Mexican coke is so good. It has real sugar and it tastes so much better.

  111. Cara, those quotes should probably be mandatory. I has a strong suspicion that the Better Living Through Chemistry department of most food producers is hunched over a Bunsen burner with a Mr Burns-esque stance croaking “Ehhhh-xcellent.” I have NO EVIDENCE for this, but the brain has the most fascinating responses to exogenous shit. Yeah, we have a “sugar” receptor–I wonder if it goes into overdrive when we plug HFCS into it. Makes brains a little loopy? addicted? convinced of starvation? The research will probably never, ever be run, but it’s nice to postulate.

  112. I can’t tell you how thankful I am to have found these helpful tips.

    I’m printing them out and putting them on my fridge, as a deterrent the next time I think about joining Weight Watchers.

  113. I’m printing them out and putting them on my fridge, as a deterrent the next time I think about joining Weight Watchers.

    Superb. Nothing else feels as good as being sane feels.

  114. You can get Coke with real sugar once a year in the US. Around Passover, if you live in an area with any Jewish population, look for the Kosher for Passover soda. Most Kosher for Passover products taste like cardboard because they aren’t leavened, but one of the other forbidden products (for Eastern European Jews) is corn, so no corn syrup is allowed in any of the foods. Coca-Cola, still wishing to profit off of everyone at all times of year, makes special-formula, sugar-only Coke. It will be marked Kosher for Passover and the bottle caps are yellow. Everyone else I know hates the taste of Kosher for Passover salad dressing, but I like it some of it. It’s probably the lack of corn syrup, which I try to keep out of my diet as much as possible. I don’t object to corn products. On-the-cob is fine, cornmeal, cornbread, etc. I just don’t like mine processed and put into everything from ketchup to oatmeal.

  115. I get my Coke with real sugar from the taqueria on the corner. Maybe check with your local Mexican restaurant?

    I’ve got a sister whose allergy tests suggest she was intended for another planet – she’s allergic or sensitive to eggs, wheat, corn, MSG, shellfish, most meats, some vegetables, every inhalant possible, I don’t even know what else. Out of all of those, the one that causes her the most trouble is the corn. Because corn syrup is in just about every processed food made in the US. (She went veggie twenty years ago, with an emphasis on fresh food. Still wears a size 16.)

    I worry about the sugar, though. My teeth are wretched, and I don’t think sugar helps. On the other hand, I don’t know enough about the effects of long-term consumption of artificial sweeteners to feel confident that they’re a better choice. And I’m not ready to restrict my sweetness to natural fructose. So I eat the sugar, and thank the heavens I finally have dental.

  116. I worry about the sugar, though. My teeth are wretched, and I don’t think sugar helps.

    Random musing:

    My husband’s a soda fiend – and only the full-sugar stuff. His dentist tells him that the combination of carbonation and sugar is particularly damaging to teeth and that soda drinkers typically have more cavities because the effervescent effect of the bubbles wears away at the enamel more effectively than sugar alone.

    This could be an “abooga-booga-booga, I’m going to scare you out of a preference I dislike” thing, or not. I wonder if chewing sugarless gum or drinking plain water after sodas would counteract it if it’s true…

  117. Random lurker here!
    Actually, I’m pretty sure that semen contains quite a lot of fructose (relatively speaking–I think it’s one of the main components of seminal fluid). We’ve been misled!

  118. It started off as denial, but I really do prefer Diet Coke now. I find regular Coke way too sweet and syrupy (even though it contains actual sugar in Australia) and I can’t stand the cloying sweetness of Coke Zero either. After all, I spent most of my teens and early twenties dieting. And so I denied myself ‘real’ softdrink and substituted firstly TAB (did you guys have TAB in the US? yuck!) and then Diet Coke when it came out. So is it any wonder that I didn’t develop the taste for uber-sweet Coke?

  119. My experience was not with WW – it was with a chain called “Diet Center” about 20 years ago(I have no idea if this bunch exists any more). They were post “first run through with Atkins” in the 70s, but still were very heavy on no sugar, no white flour, huge amounts of fiber and oh-yeah-babee-you-get-to-eat-an-apple-in-the-morning-and-an-orange-in-the-afternoon. Plus huge amounts of water and an unnerving interest in the state of your digestive system. You had to go in for daily weigh-ins and the very very first question everyone got asked was, “Did you do Number 2 yet this morning?”
    No matter what else happened in terms of how much weight you’d lost, if you hadn’t taken a huge shit that morning, you were missing out big-time. It was not just losing weight – your poo had to meet standards too. Just crazy stuff. The only thing they did not advocate was eating wood chips.

  120. Fatadelic, I’m the same way. I drink diet Coke because regular Coke is far too sweet (and Pepsi is like liquid corn syrup to me, I can’t stand it). On the other hand I was raised with diet Coke almost exclusively and distinctly remember the first time I ever had Pepsi, at an aunt’s house when I was around 12, and I had the same too-sweet reaction to it. I’m probably going to die of Nutrasweet but oh well.

    Whole Foods has a variety of pure cane sugar sodas and carbonated fruit juices like Izze, for the HCFS-phobic (like me) who want to try that option. I’ve also seen them stocked with fancy sodas like Jones or in the organic aisle at other grocery stores.

  121. “Did you do Number 2 yet this morning?”

    That’s the point where you would have seen a me-shaped puff of smoke, followed by Woooooosh! lines where I’d run out the door, Wil. E. Coyote style.

    …your poo had to meet standards too.

    That reminds me of the ‘Doctor’ Gillian McKeith program that used to be on (and perhaps still is) in Britain. Though in her defense, she’s not just an amateur poo-discusser, she actually has her clients’ samples analysed* by a lab.

    * (‘anal’-ysed, heh heh heh.)

  122. @kate217: The Nazis were just misunderstood! There were no fat people in concentration camps. They were just trying to help.

    Heh, what a great collection. I like my coffee with skim milk, so I get the same WTF effect from “a skim latte and a chocolate mud cake with icecream”. Also, I hate nearly all sweet drinks and I love salad, so I can eat a salad and a plain unweetened soda and a packet of crisps for lunch. Confuses people, it does.

    A friend of mine goes off in a great rant when people refer to any food as evil/naughty etc. Stealing is bad. Assault is wicked. Food has no moral value. Eat chocolate cake, do not mug little old ladies. Learn the difference. It’s a great rant, yay her.

    Actually, I don’t 100% agree, because I think there *are* moral values to be found in fair trade, preferring home grown or local seasonal food, and preserving traditional foods. But they are about ecology and culture, not about ZOMG Teh Fatte!

  123. Getting in on this a bit late, but at my nearest Kroger they sell Mexican Coke (real sugar and fun glass bottles too!) in the ethnic foods section. And you can order sugar-sweetened Dr. Pepper online from Texas: .

    Milk-based beverages made with anything but skim upset my stomach, so I get the WTF at Starbucks too. A nonfat chai and a big ol’ scone–yum!

  124. Trader Joe’s regular yogurt is made without HFCS, as is Dannon “all natural”, in addition to the Stoneyfield Farms stuff.

    I understand part of the process of rendering HFCS involves some kind of peptide-based genetic engineering, which kinda creeps me out, so I try to avoid it. Also, the transport, manufacture, and storage is not environmentally friendly.

    I also will not touch any artificial sweeteners. My personal preferences. My aversion to chemicals makes me a compulsive label-reader which cracks me up. I’m sure people in stores who analyze my cart contents are assuming I’m checking fat and calorie content. Until they see the butter, cheese, and red meat.

    It always involves making compromises, though, because it’s impossible to have a truly chemical-free diet unless you’re growing your own and I don’t have the time or the climate for that.

  125. Trader Joe’s regular yogurt is made without HFCS, as is Dannon “all natural”, in addition to the Stoneyfield Farms stuff.

    I’m an insane label reader in the yogurt aisle, because my two criteria — full fat and real sugar — are so fucking hard to find these days. On one of my last trips to a regular (i.e., not Whole Foodsy) supermarket, the only kind that had full fat and no HFCS was Stonyfield Farms Yo Baby — yes, the kind that’s actually marketed as baby yogurt. I said what the hell and bought it, and it was pretty good, but it still freaked me out to be eating baby food, just because all the grown up food sucked.

  126. Kate:

    I’m an insane label reader in the yogurt aisle, because my two criteria — full fat and real sugar — are so fucking hard to find these days.


  127. Coke with real sugar is the best. I used to be addicted to Mt. Dew, but since moving out of the US and discovering Coke with real sugar, I have changed my addiction.

  128. Kate, re: yogurt, Jewel now stocks Fage, which is the best yogurt in the world. Full fat, strained greek-style. Fucking yum. There’s no added sugar–I put some expensive-ass honey on mine. With sourdough toast, the best breakfast in the world.

  129. Yogurt: If you are in the Midwest, there is a dairy (right by me. Yay!) called Trader’s Point, and they have delicious yogurt (you know, real yogurt that you pour from a glass bottle). If you are anywhere near a dairy, you can probably get something similar, and incredible cheese, too.

    Soda: Blue Sky organics makes awesome soda with organic cane juice. They are expensive, but I have been known to drop 15 bucks on a case before. Hey, I spend more than that on beer (WAY more!)

  130. I just checked the traders point web page, and their products are available all over the place. I also found out that they won first prize for full fat yogurt at some national dairy competition :)

  131. Another Fage fan here — every morning I thaw a bowl of frozen fruit in the microwave (cherries, blueberries) and then mix in the yogurt. Amazing.

  132. Whole Foods has a variety of pure cane sugar sodas

    OMG, you have just made my year. I had no idea, and now have yet another reason to shop there.

  133. Another “healthy eating” tip that has been on advertising lately and in several articles that i have read: Brush your teeth several times a day or earlier at night so you will not be tempted to eat, because you will not want to mess up a freshly brushed teeth feel. I have my degree in psychology. One of my focuses being on eating disorders. This tip freaks me out because almost every pro anorexia web page lists this as a way to restrict calories or as an excuse to use in public when people ask you why you are not eating. It is scary how much main stream media and health nuts are starting to mimic these behaviors and excuses.

  134. I just stumbled across an Atkins diet forum in which the participants were wondering whether toothpaste (with glycerin or sweeteners) and moisturisers (with fruit ingredients) could be problems for their carb counting.

    In the name of “health”, women have been socialised into spending brain cycles and emotional energy on this non-reality-based eating. Can we call this ridiculous mindset NRBEism (“nurbee-ism”) from now on?

  135. I swear I’d laugh at those if I could, but instead it makes me cry. No, seriously.

    I have watched WW take a family member and guide her down a long road to bulimia. She had been fat all of her life. Fat and happy. It’s very true. Until some new friends she had met encouraged her to join the WW through her work place.

    I pray every day for her, that I don’t get a call telling me that they have found her dead.

    We found out that she’s taking in around 10 points or less on days that she eats, and fasting every other day.

    And who is encouraging this? I will tell you, her WW “leader” encourages this. I went to a meeting with her to find out what was going on because our family has been absolutely worried.

    The “leader” told her and everyone else in her group that evening that it’s okay to fast, that it’s good for you. That not eating means feeling lighter. I could not believe what I was hearing,but I sure was hearing it. WW teaches and encourages eating disorders.

    I’m flat out angry because, she’s not the same person anymore. She’s cranky, tired, moody, anxious, starving, and it gets worse each year.

    She went to a doctor for this, got loads of praise for her weight loss, then said she needed an anti depressant and wrote her out a script. She’s never been depressed all of her life. She’s just starving and malnourished. How did this slip by the doctor? She’s pale, her hair is thinned out to the point where one can see her scalp. Her palor is unhealthy.

    And here’s the kicker my friends, when she began WW in 2005, they set her goal weight at 120lbs. It is 2008, and she met her goal weight only TWO times. If she is even over ONE pound they make her pay for her meeting. The day before and ON a weigh in, she will not eat. She’s never gone into the WW maintenance plan either. Her leader encourages her to stay on the flex plan…. and for how long? Forever?

    “Diets don’t work” “but starvation does”

    Ya think??

    Fed up with the diet industry and it’s dirty lies

  136. Wow, this is painful to read!

    I have a funny story involving soda, actually. Every Friday night, my friends and I take turns making dinner for one another and renting a movie for us all to watch. This past weekend we were on assignment from our history teacher to watch the presidential debate, so there was no movie. There was, however, delicious veggie lasanga–and full-sugar soda to wash it down.
    I suppose it’s prudent to mention now that I almost never drink soda. It’s not so much a deliberate choice as a result of it never being in the house (we Jeffreys are more water/iced tea people).
    So I drank it as if it were water–which is to say, I downed a good three cups of the stuff.
    Eehnyways, during dinner, one of my friends remarked that I was unusually hyper, but I thought nothing of it – just end-of-ridiculously-test-laden-week glee, right?
    Wrong. Right when we sat down to watch the debate, I crashed so badly that I literally dozed off right there on the couch. I woke up shortly after, but found that I simply couldn’t keep my eyes open, no matter how hard I tried. It was annoying to not be able to stay awake and, you know, be a normal teenager and chill with my friends–and I missed out on the greater part of the debate, too!
    So, suffice to say, no more full-sugar soda for me, even with the most fattening, artery-clogging, WW-apostle-terrifying of meals. :D

  137. Meowser – yes! Well, except I haven’t found any sugar-
    sweetened sodas in forever. But after the ‘New Coke’
    debacle, when they broke down and brought back ‘Classic
    Coke’ it didn’t taste the same. I happened to have
    an old empty Coke can from ‘before’. I checked the
    ingredients — “Water, sugar, (other stuff)”. The ingredient
    list on the Classic Coke was “Water, sugar and/or high
    fructose corn syrup, (other stuff)”. I don’t care that their
    machines insisted it was “the same”; my taste buds could
    tell the difference.

    Now I drink Pepsi, which also has HFC. But my taste buds
    don’t expect it to taste like Coke, so they’re not
    disappointed, so I’m satisfied.

  138. I live in Texas, and we are fortunate to have the Dublin (As in Dublin Texas) Dr. Pepper plant here. They make the original recipe Dr. Pepper with Imperial sugar (Also made in Texas, yeehaw!). While it’s costly ($2/bottle) I still buy a 6 pack at our local Central Market a few times a year. There is NO taste comparison with the corn syryp crap that passes for DP these days.
    When I stopped trying to diet, not only did I begin to lose weight, I also regained my desire to finish my college degree, and am now in school to become a nutritional (food) anthropologist. Debunking Twiggy is now my life goal! And even Twiggy says these days she had/has an eating disorder to be so thin. My mother lived for 10 years with stomach cancer, and lived well w/o treatments, because she was ‘obese’. The extra fat helped keep her alive and mostly well for years when she could no longer keep down food. And she was nearly 85 when she died. Hhhmmm, makes one think, no?
    BTW, love this site! Keep on keepin’ on!

  139. Thank God for this. I was just beginning to slide back into that comfortable zone where “if I lose some weight everyone will love me more”.


    Thanks for saving me from myself yet again!

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