Tag Archives: nutrition

On Golf, Waffle House and Becoming a Professional Hater

Recently, Bubba Watson won what is arguably the most important title in professional Golf–The Masters.  He didn’t go to Disney World to celebrate.  Nope,  Watson celebrated his 1.6 Million dollar winnings by taking his family for a celebratory feast at a Waffle House restaurant.  He tweeted the event to his 1 Million plus followers and the tweet went viral.  The photo shows Bubba sitting next to his wife and best friend (Judah Smith, a pastor from Seattle).  By and large the coverage was positive.  Not only had Bubba managed to win the Masters for a second time, he had brought attention to an event that had primarily received coverage for the fact that Tiger Woods would NOT be attending.  He managed to make a sport that is often seen as the exclusive playground of the rich seem more fun and less stuffy.

But not everyone was complimentary about Bubba’s trip to Waffle House for Grilled Cheese and Hash Browns.  Apparently, self-appointed food policewoman, Katherine Tallmadge recently appeared on Neil Cavuto’s show on Fox recently–bashing Bubba for being a “poor example” of how athletes should eat–at least in public.  Tallmadge fumed:

“Well, it would be great if celebrities and sports figures set a better example for our obese nation,” Katherine Tallmadge huffed to Fox TV host Neil Cavuto.

“There’s nothing wrong with the Waffle House if it’s an occasional splurge, but these gazillionaires love to show Americans that they’re one of you. And so, to win a popularity contest, they go to Waffle Houses, diners, steak places, when in reality, to be a great athlete or a celebrity in good shape, they don’t really eat like that.”

Okay, let’s break this apart, shall we?  This guy won one of the highest titles in the land for one is arguably one of the most nerve-wracking sports on the planet but gets publicly scourged on a national level for eating some hash browns at Waffle House?  Would it be better if he ate hash browns in secret where nobody could see.  Is he failing to sport the fashionable eating disorder that should accompany any person receiving this much public attention.

And apparently, along with basic information about nutrition, registered dieticians receive training in clairvoyance and divination.  Because although Tallmadge really doesn’t know Bubba or anything about his personal life, she feels she can safely comment on:

1.  What Bubba eats on a regular basis.

2.  Why Bubba took his family to Waffle House.

3.  What all real sports stars eat on a regular basis.

4.  Bubba’s general health status and physical condition.

Were Tallmadge ACTUALLY able to discern all of this about someone she’s probably never even met, she might warrant some of the media attention she’s recently received.  Because, wow–MAGIC.  Unfortunately, all Tallmadge is really able to do here is receive media attention by making self-righteous and unfounded assumptions about famous people that are just controversial enough to earn her some air time.  Naturally Tallmadge has appeared often on television shilling her “nondiet eating plan for losing weight”.  Forgive me if I don’t name her program or give it much credence.  When people start talking about losing weight by eating right and not dieting, I tend to have trust issues.

Tallmadge’s web site is full of references to her multitudinous media appearances.  And it all tends to remind me of another woman who appears a lot in the media–MeMe Roth.  Ms. Roth has a degree in Journalism and had built a career working for top Public Relations companies. She also received a Health Counseling Certification from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in 2008.  The institute’s teachings and requirements have been called into question.  But none of that stopped Roth from appearing in the media over and over again as an “Obesity Expert” (airquotes evident) who felt perfectly justified in telling fat people that they are ugly and useless and a scourge on society.  Roth has made a media career out of being a professional hater.  I’ve personally gone up against her brand of nastiness on the Dr. Drew show and have watched her scream and stomp and spit her way through many interviews since.  She gets booked because she is a spectacle.  She’s the train wreck that pulls the viewer over the commercial break.  And her work on television would be laughable if it weren’t for the terrible damage she does to people of all sizes.  She damages large people because she convinces them that they are ugly and worthless and unfit to join society at their current size.  She damages smaller people by confirming for them that staying small is without question the most important thing they can do with their lives.  While Tallmadge certainly sports somewhat better credentials–she seems to be headed along the same trajectory.  She’s garnering massive media attention by serving as a professional food nanny–whether we’ve ordered one up or not.

I am often reminded of this clip from “Ratatouille”–one of my favorite movies ever.  In this clip, the famous food critic waxes philosophical about his role as a critic and how it stacks up against the role of creator in his industry:

“In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so..”

In that same way, I wonder about the work of a professional hater.  They risk very little and create very little other than wagging their finger in a mildly entertaining way at the rest of us.  Those of us who are writing books and inspiring others and winning international golf titles.  I wonder if those of us who are winners and creators in the world might find a way to simply ignore these haters–like the unwelcome and uninvited house fly buzzing around our banquets.  I wonder if we do this, if future employment opportunities for professional haters might be a little less rosy.  But for now, if you’ll excuse me I’m headed out to eat some waffles.

Love,

Jeanette DePatie, AKA The Fat Chick

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Just What the #$%&! am I Supposed to Eat!?!

eatmyshorts

So have you seen the article in the New York Times that says it might be okay to eat salt again?  It seems some recent research is calling into question the American Heart Association’s recommendation of 1,500 milligrams a salt per day.  Now on the one hand, this question is almost moot, because it’s nearly impossible to achieve 1,500 milligrams of salt a day and do things like occasionally eat food that has had any processing, eat out once in a while, or you know, live in the modern world.   On the other hand, there are some indications that consuming sodium levels as low as 1,500 milligrams per day might actually be harmful.  So it probably does merit a second look.

So according to the article, several recent studies have indicated that a sodium level goal of 2,300 might be better than 1,500 milligrams per day.  Some of these studies have even indicated that the 1,500 level might actually be dangerous for some people–potentially increasing risk for heart attack and death.  The American Heart Association has fired back suggesting that the more recent research has flaws and that they don’t want to confuse people by giving them the message that a little more salt is okay, because you know, people might then go hog wild and eat lots of salt.

And then, near the end of the article is this little gem:

Although the advice to restrict sodium to 1,500 milligrams a day has been enshrined in dietary guidelines, it never came from research on health outcomes, Dr. Strom said. Instead, it is the lowest sodium consumption can go if a person eats enough food to get sufficient calories and nutrients to live on. As for the 2,300-milligram level, that was the highest sodium levels could go before blood pressure began inching up.

Okay.  So the advice that has been cemented in stone, that is inevitably printed on that bad, multi-generation photocopied piece of paper handed to every fat person in the universe by their doctor when they go in for a check up or to get that funny looking mole checked out is based on what now?  It’s no wonder that we are confused about what to eat.  The competing nutritional studies along with the sensationalist, usually premature reporting is enough to give any potential diner whiplash.  Eat margarine!  No, eat butter!  Eat olive oil.  Eat nuts.  Eat red meat.  Don’t eat red meat.  Eat fish.  But watch out, most of the fish is full of toxins.  Eat dairy.  Don’t eat dairy.  Eat low fat.  Eat low carb.  Eat only plant-based foods.  Plant-based foods are genetically modified and full of pesticides.  OMG.  Eat my shorts!  It’s no wonder that we are going crazy trying to figure out what on earth to have for lunch every day!  Add to that the woeful lack of education among GPs and pediatricians about nutrition and you get the typical photocopied sheet of “black coffee, one piece of wheat toast, and one glass of orange juice” advice.

Now all this is not to say that we shouldn’t be concerned about what we eat.  But it is to say that nutrition is a very complicated science.  And that while we let the scientists duke it out about exactly how many milligrams of this and percentages of that we should consume, maybe we should simply focus on what foods feel good in our bodies and what tastes delicious.  I believe our bodies have wisdom, and that we benefit when we learn to listen to what our bodies have to tell us.  It may be hard to hear our “smarty-pants inner-selves” amongst all the screaming about “vitamin this” and “mineral that”.  But I for one, plan to make the effort.  Oh, and would you please pass the salt?

Love,

The Fat Chick

Right Now Show Episode 010: Craving the 2K Cookie

Many of us have been taught that cravings are something to be thwarted, ignored or denied.  But our bodies have a way of insisting on getting what they want.  In this video you will learn about why it’s so important to pay attention to cravings, what happens when you ignore cravings and the very simplest and most effective way to deal with cravings.  You’ll also learn about the 2,000 calorie cookie, so check it out!

Intuitive eating can be extremely challenging.  But there is help out there.  Here are a few important resources:

The Fat Nutritionist

Ellyn Satter (especially in the area of family nutrition)

HAES(R) research about eating

And the amazing Golda Portetsky

Hope you get a chance to be good to yourself and treat your body well, right now!

Love,

The Fat Chick

Cravings

Recently, a very dear friend sent me a link to this video.  I think it’s partly because she knows how I feel about cookies.  But it got me thinking about what length I would go to to get a chocolate chip cookie and all about the nature of cravings.

In a recent post I talked about the “Big Fat Cookie Cycle” and how deprivation and binging go together like peanut butter and jelly.  There is no question in my mind that systematically restricting our access to certain foods gives us cravings for those foods.  But it seems to me the whole issue of cravings is somewhat complicated.

Cravings can also be driven by nutritional needs.  And as we become more in tune with our bodies I think we can learn to listen when our body is asking for certain foods.  Sometimes I crave things based on what my body needs like vitamin C or protein or carbohydrates or all the happy stuff in green leafy vegetables.

But what about chocolate chip cookies?  Does vitamin C stand for “cookie”.  (Alas, no.) Cravings can sometimes be about nutrition, but cravings can be about other things too.  Am I craving sugar because I’m looking for a boost?  Am I craving cookies because they just taste delicious?  Am I craving a chocolate chip cookie because it is simply one of the best foods invented ever?  And so sometimes these cravings happen and I’m okay with that.

Sometimes I crave a cookie because I’m feeling sad, tired, overstressed, lonely, depressed, or just feel like I need a pick me up.  And you know what, I’m okay with that too.

Sometimes I grab a cookie because I have three minutes in which to stuff food into my body before my next appointment and a cookie will allow me to quickly get enough energy to get through the next two hours and still keep one hand on the steering wheel.  Unfortunately cookies consumed for expediency as opposed to genuine desire do not taste so good.  So I’m working on this whole aspect of things.

The truth is, I crave different things at different times for each or all of these reasons.  I am not an “intuitive eating” ninja who always understands why I’m eating what I’m eating.  I don’t always have 40 minutes over which to enjoy a leisurely meal complete with linen napkins and candlelight and savor each bite of deliciousness and ponder its purpose in my life and resultant effect on my well being.  And I don’t only crave foods that my doctor or the latest diet guru says I should.  Sometimes I crave kale and sometimes I crave chocolate.  I am a real person with a real life.  And so I can’t always tell you why I want a cookie.  I just know if I don’t get a cookie when I really, REALLY want a cookie, (see above video) there’s likely to be a backlash.  And when that backlash hits, one cookie simply will not do it.  Take away my cookies for too long and I don’t even know if that jar on top of the fridge would be enough.  So I will continue to eat cookies when I really, really want cookies and try to make time for the deep philosophical pondering later.

Then again, had he lived in our time, Freud might have said, “Sometimes a cookie is just a cookie.”

Love,

The Fat Chick