Tag Archives: health

What Do You Weigh?

16 Jan

What do you think this vintage chick is weighing?

It's In Those Shoes

Weigh What's Really Important

Weigh What’s Really Important….SELF RESPECT!!

This ad from the Body Shop isn’t a current one, but its message is timeless so I thought it deserves a blog post. And I was having a little fun with it 🙂

Weigh What’s Really Importan

Natalie Portman aka super-skinny Black Swan, jokes about being Fat.

15 Jan

Last night I watched the 2011 Critics Choice Award. And Natalie Portman won the the Best Actress award for her portrayal of a ballerina in Black Swan. I haven’t watched Black Swan yet, the trailer still creeps me out, but I’ll catch it on DVD once it’s out.

Btw, I love the white and black gown, very Roman goddess-like, and I thought she looked thoroughly glowing. Thank goodness that she gained weight back, she was x-tra super skinny in Black Swan. And she’s pregnant with her first child, not that you really notice in that dress, lol.

Natalie Portman

Image: VH1

I wasn’t a big fan of her acceptance speech. Why? She thanked the Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky, saying that, “You made me very skinny and now you’re indirectly responsible for getting me fat.”

The Black Swan director introduced her to her boyfriend and baby-daddy. I’m pretty sure that she was joking about the ‘fat’ part, but if she truly thinks she’s heavy now, she’s in for a surprise a couple of months down the road. Just saying.

But Natalie Portman also shared a ‘helpful hint’ (not!) she received to help her transform herself into the skinny ballerina she portrayed in Black Swan. After working out, practicing and rehearsing for the ballet scenes, Natalie was told that if she feels hungry at the end of the day, to drink a glass of skim milk. One glass of freaking skim milk.

So she starved herself thin for this role. And you know what? I’m even kind of okay with that, because it was part of her twisted job description. She’s her own judge if she wants to do that to herself and risk her health. She got paid to be tough on her body–like a boxer who risks a knockout in every match.

But because she happily shared this anecdote in her acceptance speech, I wonder how many women will think that if Natalie Portman lost weight that way, it must be okay and omg, even healthy? That starving yourself is a great idea to get thin? How many women will think this?

Too many, I fear. And that is part of the reason we have such a warped body image these days. And that’s the reason why I wasn’t keen on her acceptance speech, her jokes about being fat, her ‘funny’ weight-loss tips. Not funny for many, many women watching the show.

Otherwise, congrats on your Critics Choice Award for Best Actress, Natalie. May you gain a couple of pounds more and have fun being fat pregnant!

“Embrace Me”, Body Confidence Project

14 Jan

This is sort of an update to my post about the Special K Challenge and the blogger who wrote a concise and enlightening post why the cereal Challenge should get lost.

The ‘I came to run’ blog has started a new project, called Embrace Me. And you are invited to participate:

It is in this spirit of acceptance that I’d like to start Embrace:Me, a project designed to encourage body confidence and treating yourself with a healthy, accepting attitude.  I feel strongly that by adopting a more positive attitude toward our own bodies, we can combat the effects of the pressure we feel from external sources, and from ourselves.  To show your support for Embrace:Me, I would love to hear your stories–stories of accomplishments, of body confidence, of anything that makes you feel good about yourself.  Maybe even a story about why you don’t have to justify your reasons for embracing the person you are to anyone else.

Please check out the complete post about the project Embrace Me on the blog ‘I came to run’.  And if you haven’t read her initial post about the Special K Challenge yet, it was sheer awesomeness and you should read it stat. She also has an update on her blog. She spoke with someone from Kellogg directly! You can get to her blog ‘I came to run” here.

Now, instead of the music I was listening to, there’s a radio ad running about a “Get Thin Today’ product, promising you a new life. But we already have a life, don’t we? What message is that sending to women, saying that your current life sucks because you aren’t thin?

Everything you plan to achieve in your future is just that, plans and goals, we all have something we want to achieve. We fail, we succeed or it’s something in-between, it’s called life. We all struggle with something.

But we are already worthy of love, happiness and acceptance right now.

I love that one blogger was able to rock Kellogg’s marketing boat. Love it. It’s an encouragement that you can really make a difference, however small, raise awareness and empower women. We only need to speak out, even if we think no one is listening.

MTV Recap: “I Used To Be Fat”, Dominick

12 Jan

This week’s “I Used To Be Fat” is about Dominick, 18. MTV shows him on the day of his high school graduation. His family is Italian. I feel myself reminded of the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” you know, where the Greek family is all about food and lots of it. And MTV portrays Dominick’s food-loving family as his major obstacle in his quest for weight loss. Clearly, pasta is the devil incarnate. Ah, well, since I recapped all other episodes, why stop with Dominick’s.

Image: MTV

For Dominick, his weight gain started when the kids from his basketball team called him fat.  He lost his confidence, stopped doing sports, and withdrew inwardly.

Now, at graduation, he wants to say goodbye to his old self. He worries about his mom, who is overweight. He’s sick of being the big guy. Dominick wants to lose weight, he’s 306 lb,  and his Italian mother is the ‘bad guy’ here because she shows her love with food. It’s pasta four times a week, everyone, that can’t be good.

Saran arrives, his personal trainer, and they have a sit down at the table:

Saran: “Give me your summer then I’ll give you your life back.”

Where is Dominick’s life right now… Is he dead? Is there like a place where the ‘life’ of fat people hide until they’ve slimmed down? Just wondering…

So, he has 110 days to lose weight before he starts college. Which means a weight loss of 5 lb a week during the next 16 weeks. Is that healthy goal? I don’t know.

Saran, the trainer, checks out the fridge. And she throws away the packaged pasta. Why the heck do they throw away perfectly fine food? At least donate it to a food drive or something similar, this is seriously messed up.

Saran pulls out the guilt card—admonishing Dominick that he has never been in a gym and now has to suffer for it. Seriously, you can be active and healthy without ever setting food in a gym, just saying.

During the first workout, Dominick throws up into the trash bin. Saran blames the mother that Dominick isn’t in better shape, because, clearly, look at the overweight mom, she has let herself go—nice, Saran, go ahead and insult people because they are fat. Wouldn’t a good trainer be able to assist in a workout that doesn’t result in throwing up? Just wondering…

We see them on the tennis court. Playing tennis is something Dominick would love to do. But we actually don’t see them batting a ball over the net. Instead, he runs around with Saran piggyback style on his back. After he collapses on the ground, they have this conversation:

Saran: “Did you see what just happened today?”

Dominick: “I didn’t puke. I pulled through it.”

Saran: “Is this a new Dominick?”

Dominick: “Yes, it could be the new Dominick.”

Why are they talking about him in the third person? Is he still not alive yet? Is his ‘life’ still in this mysterious place? Will Saran give Dominick his life back soon? Questions, questions…

Saran has a chat with the mom, saying that Dominick doesn’t want to “lose her.” Basically implying that if the mom doesn’t start working out, she’ll die. Thus pressured, Dominick’s mother promises to work out. (Not a bad thing of course, I just dislike the delivery, also, God knows where the life of Dominick’s mom currently is…)

Three weeks later, Dominick weighs  281 lb. Did I mention he likes to wear a shirt with a muffin icon and the word ‘stud’ above it. I let you figure that one out.

Saran is back and makes a trip into the kitchen to check out the pantry…there’s whole wheat pasta now and even green beans, so she’s happy. Dominick is cooking—good for him—he seems to really enjoy it.

Dominick wants to go to culinary college and leave home. The mother cries for two days because she doesn’t want to let him go—empty nest syndrome and all that—I guess it’s understandable, but you can’t hold your teenager back.

Saran is on his side, encouraging him to stand up to his mom and follow his goal. Then she sits on his back while he’s doing his exercise. Well, at least someone is having fun here.

Finally, it’s his last day. Dominick’s hitting the gym again—reminiscing about his first day and how he threw up.  So Saran suggest doing a ‘crazy interval’ just to see if he throws up again. He burns off a thousand calories and doesn’t throw up—it’s a success, I guess. It’s also more than a bit cruel, this challenge. Needless to say, the trainer is proud.

If you care for numbers: Dominick went from 306 lb to 219 lb in 110 days.

We see him on his first day in culinary school (it’s in Chicago) and Dominick feels confident, more than he ever felt during high school. (Is there anyone out there who ever felt truly confident during high school? Anyone?) He lives with a couple of roommates and cooks for them, which I found awesome.

A month later, he visits his mom and his family and he shows off his skinny jeans. He’s proud of finishing something most of all. (And his mom has lost 64 lb.) MTV already has an update on Dominick, you can check out his video here.

I think Dominick did great on “I Used to be Fat.” Good for him for pursuing his career goals. Before the weight loss, Dominick seemed like a really nice guy with a love for funny, graphic t-shirts. He seemed the same after the weight loss. Whatcha think?

Special K Challenge: Get lost (via I came to run)

10 Jan

Rant alert: It’s just my personal opinion, but The Special K Challenge is something the world doesn’t need. But hey, that’s why we have marketing and advertising, so women are gently reminded to think that we need cereals filled with sugar to help us lose weight and feel healthy.

I usually roll my eyes at the Special K cereal boxes whenever I walk by them in my supermarket aisle and feel superior that I don’t fall for this bullcrap. But I fell for them in the past. Fell into the trap of their marketing message: “What Will You Gain When You Lose?”

So, “What Will You Gain When You Lose?” Let me answer that: You’ll gain a eating disorder for the two weeks of the The Special K Challenge. Just my 2 cents. If you’re currently doing the challenge, fine. I’m not trying to attack you, or call you names, I just don’t like the company’s mindset behind the The Special K Challenge. /rant

And I just came across a post–and the blogger allowed to share her post and asks us to join her in a boycott of Special K products–that prompted my rant. Please follow the link. It’s an incredible worthwhile read for anyone who has ever done the challenge, is thinking about doing the challenge, or wants a concise write-up why the Special K Challenge should get lost.

Special K Challenge: Get lost What is the challenge, exactly? The Special K Challenge is a two-week program that takes the nutrient-poor, calorie-restrictive meal plan that the cereal brand has been guilting women into for years and dresses it up with pretty colors and interactive web-based tools designed to appeal to the female eye (because obviously every woman loves pretty colors and clean designs!). On the website, you can choose the start date of your challenge, and customize your plan by choosing from four different menu types: Classic, Mix it Up (for foodies!), On-the-Go, and Chocolate Lover’s (don’t deny it ladies, you can’t live without chocolate, especially during that time of the month, amirite?!). From there, you can mix and match Special K foods to create your own customized 14-day plan. Read More

Well, Special K Challenge, consider yourself boycotted.

Mr. Kenneth Tong’s Brain is a Size Zero

8 Jan

There’s a guy, a Mr. Kenneth Tong, using Twitter to promote “managed anorexia.” He wants to launch his own line of anorexia pills. He basically wants to “help” girls become a size zero. There is nothing wrong with naturally being a size 0. The issue starts when women are expected to be so through dangerous means.

Humorous Pictures
see more Lolcats

I’m assuming this isn’t just a publicity stunt; I’m assuming this sicko is serious and I’m assuming Kenneth Tong is an asshole. I’m sure that drawing attention to him isn’t the best idea, but ignoring him won’t make him go away. Anyone who encourages anorexia is completely ignorant. Beauty and health comes in all sizes. Yes, there’s freedom of speech and all that, but I’ve reported his Twitter account as spam. No idea if it helps, but it’s a start.

Vintage Ad: Wanted, 1000 Skinny People To Gain Solid Pounds of Flesh

7 Jan

This is a vintage advertisement from 1953: Wanted: 1000 Skinny People To Gain Solid Pounds of Flesh on Chest, Arms, Legs and Body – or Money Back! The ad promises a money back guarantee provided if consumer has not gained weight in 10 days after beginning usage of the product Poundex. According to the ad, Poundex was vanilla flavored and contained B12, B1 and malt.

Copyright: Medicine and Madison Avenue On-Line Project - Ad #MM0731, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

The thing I found funny was that the 1953’s ad singles out the guy’s butt only, but the girl should have well rounded cheeks, arms, boobs, butt, hips, thighs and calves. No pressure, ladies, no pressure. 

MTV recap: “I Used to be Fat”, Marci

6 Jan

I watched the first episode of MTV’s “I Used to be Fat”, (which was about Gabriella, recap here), so I tuned in for the second episode. This time around it was about Marci, 18, who wants to lose weight. But that’s where the similarities to Gabriella’s episode ended.

MTV I Used to be Fat, Marci

Image credit: MTV

Marci’s episode was very different from Gabriella’s. In a nutshell: Gabriella was a happy teenager and wanted to lose weight to please her pushy mother, imho. Gabriella seemed to have everything—friends, a social life, a homecoming queen tiara. I thought she looked happy and confident just the way she was.

Marci has no friends, no social life, nothing. She doesn’t look happy or confident. Marci rocks the gothic look, with dark eye makeup and black clothes. She sits in her room all day, watches TV and eats. This isn’t a great lifestyle, no matter what dress size or age. Marci was taken out of 6th grade because she was bullied for her weight. Since then she was homeschooled and sheltered.

What are her goals in life? Her first goal is first to win friends. (Well, there’s one. Heather, a pretty blonde, who has a crush on Marci’s trainer.)  Marci’s second goal is to go shopping for cute clothes. Well, cute clothes come in many sizes, but you can’t always find them in the boutique around the corner, granted. Not her fault, though.

And Marci’s third goal is to lose weight. Marci weighs 250 lbs  and has 89 days to lose 90 lbs—that is her goal. Her personal trainer is ex-military and offers her a very straightforward, boot camp style workout, lots of tough love. I did like that he inquired about Marci’s goals besides weight loss, and he seemed to listen. I liked that he hugged her, sweat or no sweat. Of course, he also used the phrase “you are so fat!” to shame her into working out harder–that’s where he lost all brownie points again.

But they did a variety of exercises, including boxing, and Marci seemed to enjoy it, which I thought was great. A way to vent your frustration.

Marci’s mother seems like a very gentle, loving mother who never denies her daughter anything, including driving her daily to fast food joints. Marci’s mom is a pushover—or so Marci’s trainer says. The family never eats together, but Marci eats her fast food alone in her room. Marci’s parents are divorced since she was four years old and ever since she was given everything her heart desires. Food became her source of comfort and love.

Marci learns how to chop onions and peppers. She never prepared her own meal before. Why her mother never involved Marci in the kitchen before I have no idea. But I thought that part was great about the show, mom and daughter together in the kitchen, cooking. They tried out something new together, which is so much more important than losing weight.

Then there’s more exercise, more sweat, and after losing 50 lbs, Marci and her mother go shopping in celebration, but the cute clothes still won’t fit. If I were Marci, I’d blame the clothes, not myself. But it was set up like a personal challenge so I fully expected that she visits the shop again after more weight loss.

And after 89 days and losing 90 lbs , Marci has achieved her goal. So she goes shopping again and lo and behold, the ‘skinny’ dress fits.

I thought what Marci needed most were friends, lots of them. She seemed like a girl starving for friendship. She wasn’t self-confident or happy at the start of the episode. In the end, it was quite fun to see her turn the tables and boss her trainer around on the lawn. We see her leaving for a Halloween party, dressed up like a dark angel with black wings. She feels gorgeous and amazing and confident.

I felt Marci gained something positive from the show, even though I don’t agree with the method it was achieved. She learnt how to cook, she had fun working out, she seemed to have a new sparkle in her eye. Marci did it for herself, not for anyone else—well, if you don’t count anyone who ever bullied her for being a “fat girl”. I thought the overall message was that you have to lose weight to have a happy social life, to find friends. Which isn’t true. But you don’t gain self-esteem by sitting in your room all day, every day, so how could Marci possibly have developed a healthy self-confidence?

I wish someone could have taken Marci by the hand and introduced her to new people, social activities, volunteering, anything really, to get her in contact with people outside her immediate family. It wasn’t about losing weight for her, she seemed lonely above anything else.

(Related post: I Used to be Fat, Dominick)

Jezebel Wraps up the Biggest Weight Stories of 2010

2 Jan

Jezebel recaps last year’s fattest stories, including how Whole Food discriminates against their plus-sized employees, how Kevin Smith got kicked off Southwest for being “Too Fat To Fly”, a piece about Gabourey Sidibe, how Maura Kelly was offended and disgusted by fat people ‘getting it on’ on TV, and a so called fat ballerina, among other stories. Great recap, funny as hell and definitely lots of food for thought.

You can read the entire thing here. For me, Maura Kelly’s cruel opinion piece in Marie Claire took the cake when it comes down to robbing plus-sized women of self-esteem. And Gabourey Sidibe is still a source of inspiration. Maybe, just maybe, 2011 is going to be the year where the media embraces that whatever weight you are, you can be happy and healthy and that you have the right to feel loved and accepted.

This blogger can dream, right?

Why, you ask, do Female Chinese students eat Roundworm Eggs?

1 Jan

So glad you asked. Or not.

Female Chinese students resort to eating roundworm eggs to ensure they look thin for job interviews. They hatch in the stomach, allowing those who take them to shed pounds without exercising or dieting in the Xiamen, China. Via Mail Online.

Far be it from me to pass judgment, *cough, retch* But really? I mean, really? I’m so not posting an image for this article.

It’s a crazy, crazy world out there, that’s all I’m saying.

Edited to add: My blog is free of diet tips: this is NOT a diet tip. Also, isn’t it interesting/sad that not only gals in western countries struggle with achieving an ‘ideal’ (read skinny) body, but gals in Asia as well? Why are we doing that to ourselves? *sigh*

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