A year ago, Des Moines Register columnist Daniel Finney was about to turn 40 and weighed 563 pounds. After he was offered a wheelchair when he became short of breath on a routine reporting assignment, he made up his mind to try to lose weight. When the column he wrote about his decision went viral, he decided to chronicle his efforts in a blog called Making Weight. A year later, 95 pounds lighter, and significantly fitter and healthier, he looks back on the effort in today's paper. Previously [more inside]
Writer Hale Goetz had just finished Christmas dinner with her family when she got the call: “A picture of you is on the front page of r/funny,” my friend told me. I’m not a regular Reddit user, but I know about r/funny—it’s a popular subpage, a place with a lot of cat pictures. Funny? Had I been funny? I traced back through the past week, wondering if I had finally made one of my 119 Twitter followers laugh, but then my stomach clenched as my friend explained my stardom wasn’t because I had been funny. It was because I had gotten fat.
There Once Was a Girl. A work of criticism and of memoir on the false narratives surrounding anorexia in life and literature.
(Some may find the descriptions in this essay disturbing or triggering.)
(Some may find the descriptions in this essay disturbing or triggering.)
I'm fat," Daniel P. Finney wrote in an April 12 column in the Des Moines Register. "Scratch that. I'm morbidly obese." Finney, the Register's Metro Voice columnist, was 39 years old and weighed more than 500 pounds. Facing excruciating pain, type II diabetes, and concern that he would soon lose the ability to walk, he decided to make a serious effort to lose weight. He has been chronicling that effort in a blog, Making Weight. [more inside]
"I created a series of pop culture-inspired portraits of my friend Beth, playfully celebrating her fantastic weight loss of 150 pounds. I shot her "Before" and "After" selves two years apart, and the digitally integrated them to interact with each other within each scene. To properly communicate and celebrate Beth's accomplishment, her body shape has not been digitally altered."Photographer Blake Morrow on The Beth Project
If I had still been at my heaviest weight, I never would have approached Brian. As a fat woman, I have been taught that there is an order of operations for love: First, you get thin; then, you can date who you want. Until you do the first thing, the second thing is impossible. So for many women who struggle with their weight, it becomes a fight not just for their health or well-being, but a struggle to just be worthy of the love so many people take for granted.The inimitable Kristin Chirico (previously) for BuzzFeed: My boyfriend loves fat women. As a fat woman myself, I'm still struggling with how I feel about it. [SLBF]
How Obesity Became a Disease [The Atlantic] And, as a consequence, how weight loss became an industry.
Modcloth just became the first fashion retailer to sign the Heroes Pledge for Advertisers, promising the following: [more inside]
Roxane Gay on The Biggest Loser: "My body is wildly undisciplined and I deny myself nearly everything I desire. I deny myself the right to space when I am public, trying to fold in on myself, to make my body invisible even though it is, in fact, grandly visible. I deny myself the right to a shared armrest because how dare I impose? I deny myself entry into certain spaces I have deemed inappropriate for a body like mine—most spaces inhabited by other people. "
An exceptionally informative, nicely designed and useful nutrition database, where you can easily look up the glycemic load, inflammation factor, vitamins, proteins, nutrients, calories etc. It is a practical source of information if you wish to either shed excess poundage or put some on. There is a glycemic index info page and lots more. The site was created by Self magazine.
Memphis-based photographer Haley Morris-Cafiero has long been aware of strangers making fun of her behind her back due to her size. So aware, in fact, that she has turned the whole concept into a full-blown photography project. Titled Wait Watchers, the series consists of Morris-Cafiero’s self-portraits in public in which strangers can be seen in the background giving her strange looks and/or laughing. More photos at her website.
"I’m bigger than most people, let alone most nutritionists — but I’m a pretty normal person. And a damn good nutritionist." The Fat Nutritionist wants to help you eat normally again. [more inside]
16 year-old Taylor Townsend, currently the top ranked junior American tennis player, was recently bested by Anett Kontaveit in the quarter-finals of the US Open 2012, but won in the doubles tournament. However, she spent most of the week answering interview questions about her weight. [more inside]
Olympic athletes come in all shapes and sizes. The BBC's handy new app allows you to see which athlete you are the closest body match with. [more inside]
Where are you on the global fat scale? The BBC investigates.
Nichelle Gainer (whose Vintage Black Glamour blog was seen previously on MeFi) responds insightfully to a NY Times editorial by author Alice Randall called "Why Black Women Are Fat."
The Fat Trap (NYT pop review): Overweight individuals in Western nations (and, increasingly, beyond) face interpersonal and institutional stigma for their bodies*. Oftentimes, these stigmas are predicated on the belief that being overweight is a moral failure, that being overweight is usually a result of laziness, decadence, and/or characterlogical poor impulse control. However, an emerging consensus among obesity researchers points toward strong, common physiological and individual genetic factors as causative for heightened BMIs in the modern world and the general failure of dieting to produce BMI outcomes. A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine (paywalled) adds to this body of evidence, suggesting that chemical messengers held to contribute to altered "efficient" metabolism and increased hunger in the wake of low-calorie dieting are (on average) significantly elevated up to a full year (if not longer) following a substantial drop in weight from dieting.> [more inside]
The world's lightest material -- 100 times lighter than styrofoam -- has been created at UC Irvine & CIT. It's a metal alloy with surprising compression strength.
"In discussions the teens said they wanted to be told what to do, instead of having to come up with their own weight-loss strategies."
Weight-gain. "LOL!" "Teens love text messages--and those texts may help them lose weight, if they're done right. A study tested out various types of weight management-themed text messages on overweight teens to see what they liked, finding that they favored positive messages but disliked thoughtful questions." [more inside]
my body gallery - photographs of women, searchable by height, weight, clothing size, and body type (via youlookfab) [more inside]
A recent study shows that people who drink diet soda tend to have larger waist circumferences over time. But is there an actual link? [more inside]
9-year-old Naomi Kutin squats 187 at a bodyweight of 88 lbs. This breaks the 100% Raw record for the 97 lb class, held for a number of years by a woman in her late 20's. [more inside]
"I happen to believe that the deadlift is a most beneficial exercise for men and women and athletes of both sexes of all ages ... The deadlift is not only a useful exercise to help build greater hip, leg, and back strength, it’s a movement everyone needs to know how to do properly because it will be done in some form or fashion countless times in a lifetime." Legendary strength coach Bill Starr writes about the deadlift, just as 27-year-old Benedikt Magnusson sets a new world record with a lift of 1015 pounds.
Hello, I am fat. This is my body (over there—see it?). I have lived in this body my whole life. I have wanted to change this body my whole life. I have never wanted anything as much as I have wanted a new body. I am aware every day that other people find my body disgusting. I always thought that some day—when I finally stop failing—I will become smaller, and when I become smaller literally everything will get better (I've heard It Gets Better)! My life can begin!
Before the rise in popularity of the bench press as the de facto test of upper body strength, the overhead press was king. However, the press began to fall out of favor in the 1970s. Legendary strength coach Bill Starr provides a history of the lift and offers a number of suggestions for strengthening it. Until 1972, the clean and press was one of the three contested lifts in Olympic weightlifting. It was dropped from competition in part because of the dynamic style some lifters developed for the press, which was said to make judging the lift difficult. Bill Starr explains how to perform the technical Olympic-style press, and veteran lifter Tommy Suggs coaches it in a three-part video series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3).
Ben’s 120lb Journey. “Christmas of that year, I realized I was unhappy with my life, and just being there being with [my grandmother], I realized it was the time to do something about it. So I started my blog, BenDoesLife, wrote the address on the card, and gave it to her as a Christmas gift. She got me a shirt, which was two sizes too small. I told her rather than take it back, I was going to work on fitting in it. And eventually I did.” Ben running in January 2009 and then at his second weigh-in. Recent Interview with Ben.
Why You Got Fat An insightful 3 minute look into how fat is stored and utilized by your body. [more inside]
A new study suggests that you will gain more weight if you eat meat, even if you eat the same amount of calories as someone who eats less meat. It might be a good idea to cancel that meat party. [more inside]
Rapper and actor 50 Cent has slimmed down to 160 lbs. for his role in an upcoming film in which he plays a cancer patient. Here, a gallery of other actors who notably lost or gained weight for their craft.
The conventional wisdom says that in the best of circumstances, a male beginner weight trainee cannot hope to gain more than a maximum of 2 pounds of muscle per month. Enter Mark Rippetoe, author and gym owner, and his 20-year-old trainee Zach Evetts. Zach gained 2.84 pounds of muscle a week. In his article "The Novice Effect," (PDF) Rippetoe explains Zach's results and why they're not surprising. [more inside]
"It's big, like people were back in the 70s... Big when you get that way because you're just real damn strong." Brought to you from the Wichita Falls Athletic Club, 70sbig.com will teach you how to eat, how to train, and how to style your moustache so that you can get 70s big. Not interested in becoming 70s big? Then stop by and observe the amazing feats of those who were, like weightlifter Anatoly Pisarenko, who cleaned and jerked 583 pounds, or powerlifter Doug Young, who deadlifted 711 pounds in competition despite three broken ribs. The site also feature a series of cheeky interviews with Mark Rippetoe, owner of WFAC and author of books like Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training and Practical Programming for Strength Training.
Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin Whether because exercise makes us hungry or because we want to reward ourselves, many people eat more — and eat more junk food, like doughnuts — after going to the gym.
UnitConversion.org is quite the resource to easily convert between different units of measurement. It has over 2100 units in 78 categories, which range from those that are common, such as, length, weight, volume, currency, velocity, and pressure, to more specialized categories like magnetic flux density, electrostatic capacitance, and surface tension.
An older study that claims artificial sweeteners actually cause weight gain, has resurfaced. In addition to the other health hazards linked to artificial sweeteners, it appears there is yet another reason to go back to nature. Unless of course you take advice from Nancy Appleton, Ph.D, who seems to think sugar is the cause of almost everything.
There are lots of people who post weight loss videos on Youtube. But none of them faced as many challenges as Jeremy did. Morbidly obese, and bedridden, we watched while he struggled to walk again and defeat obesity. Despite those that were rude to him, nobody seemed to have as much spirit and drive as Jeremy did. Even Jeremy's last video was filled with optimism. But even though so many of us struggle against obesity, some of us lose the fight. Even though Jeremy has passed, Roberta's videos dealing with his loss remind us how fortunate we really are.
Stickk.com allows people to undertake commitment bonds: promises that they will do something (lose weight, quit smoking, etc.) or else forfeit a pre-determined amount of money to a charity. Either the honor system or a referee can be used to decide if the goal is met. The idea is related to Nobel prize-winner Thomas Schelling's concept of strategic precommitment. More here, here, and here.
It's a Big World After All. The Disneyland Small World ride is going to be closed for 10 months in 2008 due to refurbishing. The main reason for the refurbishing: the ride isn't built to accommodate today's average passengers' body weights.
Illustrated BMI Categories, a Flickr project where you can see what "underweight," "normal," "overweight," "obese," and "morbidly obese," BMI categories look like on real people (safe for work) (mostly women). I think that many people would be surprised by what 180lbs looks like. In addition to not looking what you might have expected fat to look like, it may also not mean what you thought it meant: [more inside]
The fingers you have used to dial are too fat. To obtain a special dialing wand, please mash the keypad with your palm now.
High BMI Now Means Cognitive Difficulties Later? A study published in Neurology attempts to discover if there is a link between cognitive function, cognitive decline and BMI (body mass index) over time. Yes, I am aware that BMI is a flawed metric.
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