Category Archives: General

Is yoyo dieting bad for you?

So what

Every now and again, a new piece of research pops up to say that dieting, even the yoyo variety, isn’t as bad for us as the diet gurus always said it was. If you take this at face value, it might make you think that the tabloids are right when they admonish fatties that there are no excuses, they should enrol in Weightwatchers again next week. After cleaning out everything that could be considered fattening from the kitchen cupboards, of course.

Don’t take headlines at face value. Most of us are wise enough to question what we read in the news anyway, but some of us (myself included at times) have a tendency to believe whatever we read when it comes to the latest diet and weight loss news. Do you want to know the truth? Of course you do…

According to a report in Metabolism magazine (and not the interpretation put on it by diet magazines) 439 overweight, inactive, postmenopausal women took part in a study – which makes it a smallish study anyway. Around 25% of them (103) were yo-yo dieters who had lost 10 or more pounds three or more times, and a further 77 had lost 20 or more pounds three or more times. At the start of the study all the women were checked, and the yoyo dieters were heavier and had’ less favourable metabolic profiles’ than the women who had never yoyo dieted.

The obvious conclusion would have been that yoyo dieting was associated with higher starting weight and a less favourable metabolic profile, so should be avoided.

But what do you think happened?

They were all put on another diet. The study split them into four groups; diet alone, exercise alone, a combination or a control group.

After a year, all the dieters had lost weight. Well, it was strict! Calorie-controlled dieting that included a weekly group meeting for six months, then monthly meetings, two visits from a dietician, email and phone follow-up and six month food diaries which had to be completed with every morsel eaten and returned with feedback. Exercisers also lost weight, on their three sessions a week of supervised fitness five days a week. It’s a no-brainer really.

It’s hardly a surprise that all the yoyo dieters lost weight. They had all done it before! The issue isn’t whether they could do it; it’s whether it was bad for them to do it. And we don’t know if they managed to keep the weight off, as there was no follow up. Nobody knows how having to be monitored so closely for such a long time affected the women emotionally. Personally, I can’t do the whole ‘keeping a food diary’ thing because as soon as I start writing down every morsel I eat for some slimming club leader, it scrambles my rational brain. I get stressed and obsessed with food. Invariably I cheat, miss things off and ‘forget’ the odd thing too.

As far as pointless studies go, this one is pretty high up on the list. It proves nothing except that women who already lost weight and put it back on can do it again. And again. And again. Did any of us not actually know that?

As far as I’m concerned, eat well, keep fit and enjoy your life. And don’t take anything you read in the news about weight loss at face value!

If you want to read the study, here it is:

Weight Cycling and Dieting

 

A version of this post appeared in a previous blog for FatPhrocks

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“He only fancies fat girls”

poison_by_debu_rabu-d4y9l47

Image by Debu-Rabu – http://debu-rabu.deviantart.com/

Men. Some of them have a type, and more often and not, they like us to think that it’s young and slim. With big boobs, of course.

Some men genuinely don’t have a type, and so they’re attracted to slim girls, fat girls and anything in between. Men like this are fab.  I’m married to one, and he’s the best. It’s sometimes hard to believe men who say they genuinely don’t care whether their girlfriend is slim, brainwashed like we are with the idea that unless we fit the mould, nobody is ever going to look twice at us. (By the way, this applies to gay women as well, of course.)

But what about the kind of man who only fancies big girls? The bigger the better, in fact?

Popular opinion says that fat women should be grateful for any crumb of sexual attention that’s thrown our way. But that never worked for me. I’m a person too, I have standards, and to be honest, being someone’s ‘type’ based just on my size used to piss me off just as much as the ignorant eejits who would tell me quite happily that they would never go out with a girl with a fat bum. Yep, I actually got that when I was dating. His loss, totally.

Have you ever come across a BBW lover? I have. OK, I signed up to the BBW dating sites years ago when I was newly single, but I soon abandoned them as they seemed to be full of people who thought that because I was big, I had fat cells in place of brain cells and would believe them when they told me I was their dream woman and gushed over how perfect I would be for them before we’d so much as swapped names.

Either that or they were full of men who thought that fat women were easy targets for sex, and that it didn’t matter how creepy they were, I would still be desperate for their attention and want to send them pictures of my boobs, again before swapping anything more than dating site profile details.

I always wanted a man who would love and fancy me because of who I was, because he thought I was gorgeous as I am, but not just because I was fat. Does that sound weird? I guess it’s just because to me, being judged purely on my physical proportions reminds me of when I was 17 and a spotty git I was a bit besotted with said that he only took me out on a date because I had big boobs. And that he wouldn’t go out with me properly because I was too fat, anyway.

It just makes me feel a bit uneasy. Love me for who I am, not my dress size or bra size – whether that’s’the perfect ten or plus size.

Men who only fancy fat girls aren’t all seedy pervs who just want to see how far they can get with a woman of substance, though. I was really good mates with a guy I worked with once, without realising that he had a mammoth crush on me. We’d always got on well, he had my back in the office. We’d spend hours wasting time over a drink at lunchtime, we lift shared for a while, and I considered him a really good friend.

He was always the perfect gent, never came on to me, but made it clear he thought a lot of me. I suppose if I hadn’t been living with someone who made me feel fat, frigid and repulsive, I might have noticed that he had the hots for me, but I never did. Not until just before he left the office and moved miles away, anyway. By then he had started pushing the boundaries; he’d sent me a few emails that were a bit cheeky, we’d started chatting on MSN and by text outside of work, and we’d had a few flirty conversations…but apart from staring at my cleavage a bit too long and the odd hug, nothing ever happened.

It wasn’t until after he’d gone, and I was missing hanging out with him, that someone told me about the office rumours – people assumed we’d been having an affair. I was mortified, yeah, he’d declared his feelings to me in secret by then but I was married and two-timing wasn’t my style. Even if my husband at the time was cruel to me, and I’d enjoyed the flirtation, that was all it had been. Then, the killer statement, from the person who told me about the rumours; “Well. you know he has a real thing about big women, don’t you?”

No. I didn’t.

I felt a bit yucky then. Not just that people had thought I’d been sleeping with my mate, but that they thought he must have been getting into my knickers because he fancied fat girls. And I was, clearly, fat. So I would have had no reason to stop him.

Between you and me, he has since admitted that he was a bit besotted, ever since the first time he saw me in the office. He had some kind of thing about me being his perfect woman back then and I think the fact that I wasn’t stupid, we could have a good laugh together and have a damn good rant/bitch about office politics just made him like me more. I prefer to think that it wasn’t just a fat girl thing, he really did like me for who I was. Not that it matters now, as we’re both happily married to other people. It kind of made it better for me, the fact it wasn’t just my chubby rolls and squidgy thighs he was thinking about.

I don’t know what made me think about it all recently, I’ve seen a few blog posts about men who have a ‘fetish’ for fat women, and I object to being someone’s fetish! I’m a woman, with feelings beyond my taste buds, and I get my tail feathers all twisted up at the thought of anyone fetishising me over my size.

What do you think of the BBW scene? BBW dating? Fat fetishes? Just a bit of harmless fun, or just as bad as the kind of man who refuses to consider a woman over a size eight?

 

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Resolutions? Sod that. Happy 2014!

book2014

I was going to post something about plans for 2014, but you know what? Nah.

I don’t make resolutions any more. There’s no point. I’m still the same person on 1st January as I was on 31st December. As I don’t do the diet thing any more, there’s no ceremonial throwing out of the Christmas stash, which is just as well as I was a lucky girl and managed to get about 2.5 kilos of chocolate given to me at Christmas, which even with my legendary chocolate demolishing abilities would be hard to eat in the space of a week.

I have been thinking that I want to do more with this blog mind you. I think that because my tell it how it is, warts and all posts went down so well, and in fact I got the book written off the back of them, people must like them, so I’ll do more of those. I also want to open the blog theme up a bit and not just write about the fat positive side of things, but embrace the positive in everything. It’s OK to be whoever and whatever you are, in my book. If you are happy and fat, all power to you. If you’re skinny – I love you too. If you’re anything in between, it’s all good. Just be happy, be positive, be the best YOU that you can, because gorgeous people, you will never ever be happy trying to be someone else.

I feel very positive about 2014. I know I’ve got some tough times ahead but I can deal with them. I’m getting married in a few days, I have plans for the blog, the business and another book, and with Moley on my side, I reckon it’s all going to work out just fine.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

(and a classic Abba tune for you)

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Party!

Meet Cheryl Underhill, today’s guest blogger. She sent me this great article about having fun and partying despite all the accepted wisdom that fat people prefer to stay in unnoticed, and I just had to share it,.

cheryl
“Have you ever felt so ashamed of yourself and the way you look that you can’t bear to go outside? Family events are missed; friends’ invites are ignored, pleas for you to attend social gatherings are refused. Invitations of any description are met with a sense of dread, as immediately you start to picture the clothes in your wardrobe, knowing that no matter what you do in the next 2 weeks, you’ll never be able to fit back into that dress that used to cover your belly, or squeeze into those jeans that make your bum look smaller.

“It’s no good, you don’t want to embarrass whichever of your friends is celebrating after all, you know that they don’t really want to spend time with their friends, they want to spend time with their thin, well dressed friends. Have you ever felt like you just don’t want to leave the house because you’re simply just too fat?!

No – me neither!

“I am definitely fat. Let’s not skirt around the issue trying hard to find a word that won’t offend, I suppose if the word fat makes you feel uncomfortable you could describe me and ‘plump’, ‘a bigger lady’, or maybe even just ‘bubbly’.

“Whatever word you use, it won’t change the fact that I am fat. I am fat and I have never ever once felt ashamed or like I can’t go outside because of that. Admittedly I am currently trying to get healthy  for medical reasons  (which will inevitably mean losing some weight), but recently I have begun to get so pissed off with the number of TV adverts, articles and celebrities that tell all of us (not even just overweight people), that if we get super skinny, life will be amazing and we’ll stop feeling rubbish and will want to go out and socialise more.

“Adverts for weight loss programs are the worst, normally ex-customers tell us how fabulous they feel after they’ve dropped 2 dress sizes, now they can go to that Christmas party – meaning before they would have had to stay at home with their cats? These adverts are full of women who in their before photo have no makeup on, messy hair, baggy clothes and a face that looks like someone has just pissed on their shoes, whilst the wonderful ‘after diet’ shots are the same women done up in a well fitted outfit.

“Now if you’ve used one of the many many weight loss group meeting type programmes and that has worked for you – well done, I’m very happy for you and I wish you well with your goals, but please stop taking over my TV telling me how hard you found it to go out when you were fat and how you missed so many parties… I resent the idea that if I were to wake up tomorrow having miraculously lost 3 stone somehow I’d become a totally different person, I can confidently say it wouldn’t change who I am, just how other people see me.

“I’m fat, I’m sociable and I LOVE to party!

“For me there is one thing that I always wear when I go to a party – a smile and a little bit of confidence.
I’ll leave you with this: a lovely male friend recently said to me. “You know, with a smile like yours, you could have any man in this room. Men love a confident woman.”

“So come on my chubby, bubbly, bigger friends. This festive season; please don’t let those adverts get you down. Stick on a party dress, dig out those heels, paint on a bright lippy and plaster on that smile! You are beautiful inside and out – and anyone who really matters will know that anyway.”

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I’m not on a diet!

i-love-not-dieting

Yeah, I know it’s been a while. I hope you didn’t think I’d gone off and disappeared up my own backside after embarking on a diet?

It wasn’t like that. I didn’t need to, as the doctor gave me a prod and listened to my chest and after talking to me decided that (although I haven’t had the blood test completely rule it out) my horrible abdominal pains weren’t likely to be gallstones after all, more likely they are related to the gastritis that the endoscopy picked up in March.

I should really keep to the wheat-free diet but it’s not easy, and so I’ve just been told to take the anti-reflux pills to heal it and see how it goes.

Anyway, it’s a relief not to have to cut everything remotely tasty out of my diet. Just as well as I was off to a spa this week and spa food is way more indulgent than you might think.

One thing I *did* notice while I was daydreaming and eating my scrumptious and decidedly indulgent dinner, was that too many women seem to talk about nothing but food, calories and dieting. The table next to me was occupied by a group of women who didn’t seem to be able to make a decision about what they wanted to eat, then bemoaned the calorific load of their eventual choices. I rolled my eyes out of sight as they wittered on about how many calories were in the dessert, whether they should have it after their main course at all, and came to the conclusion that “It’s OK, it’s a special occasion.”

It wasn’t just at dinner. At breakfast, another group of women spent ages discussing their usual mealtimes, whether they ate breakfast, what they would normally have for lunch and in-between asking the poor waitress for more toast, different eggs and extra coffee, they complained about the breakfasts being fattening. Of course, they ate full English anyway, but just wanted to point out that they didn’t usually indulge in such luxuries. Ladies, who DOES? Most of us don’t get an opportunity to have coffee, juice, toast, perfectly poached egg, buttered mushrooms, crispy bacon and a Newmarket sausage presented to us every morning before we start work. Just bloody enjoy being spoiled and shut up about the calories…

I was drinking coffee in the lounge before lunch, when wouldn’t you know it, another group of ‘ladies who spa’ were discussing Christmas. And clothes. And complaining that they wouldn’t dare to buy new clothes for Christmas because they always put on weight and wouldn’t be able to wear them!

It makes me laugh. I’m far from skinny of course but when I was dieting I’d easily gain a stone over Christmas, gorging on all the stuff I didn’t usually let myself have. These days, I don’t usually notice a massive weight gain at all. Like most people, I expect I probably do add a few pounds, but not a huge amount, and as I never weigh myself I have no idea. I’d know if I’d piled on a stone though, nothing would fit! I can’t be bothered with eating Christmas food just for the sake of it, unless it’s something I really, really like. Just goes to show that dieting and stressing over food makes you eat more…

It does make me sad that a deliciously indulgent spa break has to revolve around diets and calories though. The women yakking about diets made me laugh, they all managed three courses, while the little non-dieter who’d had nothing to eat for hours only wanted two. And at lunch the next day I couldn’t even manage two, I was still a bit full from breakfast at 1.30!

I just wish we lived in a less diet-obsessed world…don’t you?

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I’m on a diet!

….and I’m sulking.brownies

Yup, I bet you didn’t expect to read THAT in a post on Gorgeously Full Fat, but after a particularly horrible day where I had two attacks of what I *think* might be gallstones, and yes, I am going to the doctor to find out for sure next week, I don’t want to even think about eating anything which might set it off again. Whatever it was, it HURT.

So, for now it’s low fat all the way. I’ve had to go back to the dark side and start eating reduced fat cheese and Muller Light yoghurts. I did attempt an Options hot chocolate last night out of curiosity but I couldn’t bear it. It was so cloyingly sweet, it was vile. I can just about tolerate lower fat cheese and Muller Lights for now.

Combining this with not eating wheat either is a bit of a pain in the bum, to be fair. The no-wheat rule has helped soothe my digestive system a bit, but it’s not 100% yet. I’m sticking with it to the end of November before I decide whether it’s worked or not.

I hate being obsessive about my food. But I haven’t got much choice if I have got gallstones. There’s a difference between the delayed reaction I get from drinking too much wine (an upset tummy) or eating acidic and spicy foods (heartburn) and the horrible pain I had the other day which was almost immediate after I decided to grab a gluten free biscuit before going out for a walk.

It’s kind of ironic that after all this time, fate is forcing me to adopt the sort of diet I used to make myself eat when I was trying to lose weight. Damn you, fate. Anyway, I guess I have to see how it goes. I’m thinking of investing in some good low fat cookbooks and just replacing anything that has flour in with gluten-free flour instead. But my plans to bake a batch of flourless brownies next week when I’m off work will have to be shelved. Made with 70% dark chocolate, butter, sugar, eggs and almond flour, there is NO low fat alternative….

Any advice would be much appreciated!

 

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Extreme Self Care

selfcareIt’s a bit of a buzzword at the moment, or should that be a ‘buzz-phrase’?

Extreme self care sounds like it’s probably way over the top. Too much. Not for the likes of us, but for hippy types who have nothing better to do than sit around chanting and meditating.

I kind of thought it was a bit self indulgent, to be honest. Selfish even. I mean, the thought of being selfish, putting my needs first and just doing things for me – like I’d have time, right?

Well, after having a lovely chat with Donna Highton, otherwise known as Donna on the Beach, I realised that I had it all wrong. Looking after yourself is vital, and even more so when you’re busy as hell and don’t think you have the time to go for a wee, let alone indulge yourself and chill out.

Don’t think so? Neither did I until this week. But Donna explained to me in words that even a stressed out copywriter can understand. I came across Donna via The Amazing Biz and Life group, and I love her for being down to earth, practical, funny and even a little bit sweary. If you have a car that you need to get you to work and back, you make sure it’s filled with fuel, serviced and taken care of. If you try and run the car on vapours and neglect it, eventually it will just stop running and won’t be in any state to get you anywhere. Well, the same goes for your body and soul. All the time you’re not taking care of your body and soul, running on empty, not making sure you get what you need, you’re just buying time until your body just says, “Sod this, I can’t go any further”

That’s when you get poorly, catch a cold, have a bit of a meltdown, and if you’re actually listening, you’ll realise that you’re being told to sit the hell down and rest. Eat some decent food and watch TV, dammit! If you carry on, and on…well, you’re going to crash.

I realised I’m at the “Listen to me, will you?” point. I’m trying to deal with the symptoms of lots of little pesky ailments, but the underlying cause is stress. And funnily enough, much as I REALLY hate to admit it, my diet. I’ve cut wheat out of my diet as an experiment, after reading ‘Wheat Belly’ – and I haven’t needed to take acid reflux pills for two days, my tummy has settled down, and I think my skin rash is clearing up…the one I’ve had a YEAR which hasn’t responded to anything yet. This makes me SO happy.

Even if I miss cake. Anyway, the food experiment was just a part of my self-care routine. I’ve also been trying to do something nice for myself every day, whether it’s an hour reading a book, going for a walk in the park, or listening to a meditation MP3. It’s working, I feel happier, more creative and more productive already. I think I’ve gone from a 2 out of 10 in the “How cared for do you feel?” to at least a 5.

I love that I actually listened to Donna on this! She has a fab e-book you can download for free if you sign up to her blog; and also the 110 Steps to Heal Your Money e-book is free this weekend. I’m working my way through the money e-book because, well, I have a wedding to pay for… I’ll keep you posted on how the wheat-avoidance goes, but if a little bit of diet-tweaking can cure three ailments in one go, I’m gonna be a happy girl…

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Filed under Amazing Biz and Life Academy, General, Lifestyle, Relentlessly Positive