Losing 91 Pounds It’s Not What You Think (Or At Least What I Thought)

chloe

Chloe’s expression is my internal life when ever something good happens to me

I have a hard time believing things. I started a new job about a month ago and I refused to believe I actually had the job until then end of my first day. That came and went and I still refused to believe I had it until I got paid. Pretty much every time I walk in I’m surprised someone doesn’t say, “Didn’t so-and-so talk to you yesterday about not coming in any more?”

When I started this latest round of the weight loss merry-go-round, I didn’t really believe the numbers on the scale as they went down. Every week I’d weigh in and sarcastically record the numbers. “Minus 5 pounds. If you say so.” But over time, it became hard to deny that it wasn’t the scale playing an elaborate joke on me. It was actually happening. Then the day came when I not only weighed what my driver’s license claimed, but that’s when my bad at math self realized that meant I lost a grand total of 91 pounds off my highest weight.

Maybe it’s my reluctance to believe things, but I didn’t celebrate. I thought, “We’ll see what the scale says next week.” Like it was going to change it’s stupid scale mind and I’d say, “I knew it!” But I think I had all these wrong ideas about losing weight, like my life would fall into place (ha!), I’d get the ideal job (still working on it) be anxiety free (did you read the first paragraph?), be making millions (I’d settle for hundreds), and Ray LaMontagne would release his hit song, Beth (keep hope alive). But I just lost weight. That’s it.

Don’t get me wrong, being smaller is great! Going from a size 22 to a 12 is something I can’t even explain. I can walk into almost any store and buy something off the rack now. I’ll curl up in a chair and I’ll realize I couldn’t have done that while heavier. Several times I haven’t recognized myself in photos. But they’re all fleeting victories in the grand scheme of things.

You know that saying, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”? Maybe it’s because I”m not skinny (I’m still a good 15-25 pounds away from where I’d like to be and I still won’t be skinny), but let me tell you, that saying is pure, unadulterated, first class bullshit. Being a healthy weight is a good thing, but as good as really gooey pizza on a fall day? As good as a big plate of cheese fries? Nachos? Caramel apples???

hellno

Food is DAMN GOOD. When you lose weight, it’s still DAMN GOOD. There’s this misconception that all thinner people are health nuts and desire nothing but salads and fruit at all times. Wrong. They’ve just decided they want that healthy weight more then they want those cheese fries. All the healthier weight people are shaking their heads or thinking, ‘Well, no shit.” Yeah, trust me, it’s not that obvious to everyone. At least it wasn’t to me. I always thought that if I dieted long enough, that a switch would flip and I would instantly be purified from wanting less healthy foods. If that happens, I will totally tell you, but I’m not holding my breath anymore.

Cheese fries in a taco shell bowl! Where can I get this deliciousness???

Cheese fries in a taco shell bowl! Where can I get this deliciousness???

Being very overweight you get drafted into a club you don’t even know you’re in. When you see another overweight person, you automatically know at least a portion of their struggles and have this unspoken link. Going somewhere new, I would always think, “I hope there is another big person there.” Why? It’s not like we were going to hang out. Maybe if the healthy weight people decided to form a shame circle Twilight Zone style or stage an impromptu intervention, I’d have someone to go through it with? Being a part of that club was a huge part of my identity and I didn’t realize it until, just like I got drafted in, I got quietly booted out. I have this urge to tell people that I used to be heavier, to say something in a hushed conspiratorial tone. “You know, I get it. I’m down with the struggle, man.” If they didn’t think I was trying to sell them drugs and actually managed to figure out what I was talking about, they’d think I was a braggy dick. So this is one area I generally keep my big yapper shut unless it comes up and it usually doesn’t. I’m not even sure how it would come up. “Hey, did you used to be fatter?” is generally not something you ask people.

There Is No Switch

lightbulbOccasionally I think the alternate name for this blog could be, “Sometimes I’m an idiot,” because I share a lot of things that are new or revelations to me and imagine people thinking, “Yeah, no shit, dumb ass.” This is one of those weeks. It starts out weight/fitness related, but it it applies to everything in the end.

So the other day I was logging my exercise and reading a fitness/nutrition forum. I can’t even remember exactly what I read, but it was something like, “Of course I want junk food, too, but I want health more.” I could feel the lightbulb over my head. I guess I thought that there were Healthy Eaters and Everyone Else. The Healthy Eaters didn’t even want Doritos or cookies and were content with their sprouts and whatever the hell else they eat and were just born that way. I think I also thought if I forced myself into that Healthy Eater box, that eventually a switch would flip, (this is starting to sound like a particularly odd Twilight Zone episode), I wouldn’t crave junk and healthy eating would be effortless. Honestly, it just never occurred to me that the Healthy Eaters would want junk, too. Oh, I’m sure there are those freaks who are like, “Oh, no! Not me! I would rather have this big bowl of cinnamon flavored air then that big plate of nachos!” But they are the exception.

I don’t think this is solely an issue related to fitness and is true of all goals. We go around thinking a magic switch is going to flip that is going to keep us constantly motivated, give us unwavering commitment, and make us laugh in the face of obstacles. When that doesn’t happen and it’s still a struggle, we figure something is wrong with us and give up. But there is no switch. There is no big moment where we stop wanting to take the easier path. The only difference between those who achieve their goals and those who don’t is that those who achieve have figured this out already. They know the road that leads to the final destination is not flat, perfect pavement, but full of potholes, cracks, u-turns, construction, “bridge out” and “slippery pavement” signs.

It kind of sounds like bad news, but it’s really not. It takes away any invisible barriers we have put up that hinders up from becoming a goal achiever. There’s no difference between us and them. There isn’t really an us and them- it’s everyone. We’ll still crave Doritos, the hardest part of working out will still be putting on our shoes, and it will always be easier stay with the familiar then to venture into the unknown. It doesn’t make us defective or destined for failure. It just makes us human. Keep your eye on the prize, keep moving forward, and realize you’re stronger then almost anything that can come your way.

Turning It On

bird3What do I mean by “it”? Well, it’s not what you are thinking, you nasty, nasty thing. My parents read here, for crying out loud! Anyway, I want to say it’s something super cheesy like a glow from within, but I know that like all super powers, “It” can be used for nefarious purposes as well. I guess it would be fair to say that “it” is that indefinable quality that gets you noticed (for good or eeeevil). Some people are better at working with this quality then others, but everyone has it and I’m convinced it can be developed.

There is a story that I thought was just an urban legend, but through my hard-hitting investigation (a google search), I found out was actually true. In 1955, Robert Stein and Ed Feingersh set out to interview and photograph Marilyn Monroe. The men were kind of surprised to find that the three of them could wander around Manhattan without being hounded by her fans. I’ll let Mr. Stein pick up the story:

Back up on the street, Marilyn looked around with a teasing smile. “Do you want to see her ?” she asked, then took off the coat, fluffed up her hair, and arched her back in a pose. In an instant she was engulfed, and it took several shoving, scary minutes to rewrap her and push clear of the growing crowd.

The two Marilyns kept fading in and out. At the costume fitting she arrived as the Star, commanding a swarm of tailors, seamstresses, and hangers-on until the Other abruptly emerged and burst into tears of frustration over some detail of the garment. Eddie’s camera got it all, showing her rising tension against a visual jangle of wire hangers in the background.

Of course, Marilyn Monroe is an extreme example (of pretty much everything). But let me give you another example. When I was 19, I had my wallet stolen. If you’ve ever had your wallet stolen you know that it’s a massive pain in the ass. Not so much because of the money lost, but because of all the things you have to replace. So I got to spend Saturday morning at the DMV with my mom. Yeah, a barrel of laughs for everyone involved. I was in such a bad mood that had I suddenly sprouted the ability to shoot lasers out my eyes, no one within my vicinity would have been surprised. I’m pretty sure the people who work at this particular DMV are either unentertaining animatronic characters or died around 1973 and their corpses are just going through the motions out of habit. If there were a zombie uprising, people in this DMV would just think there was a lot of staff on hand.

Finally, they called me and some guy to get our pictures taken and also said we should line up on the left side of this little wall. I didn’t give two flying craps where he told us to line up and stood on the right side. While we are waiting around for the 900 year old DMV worker to reanimate his corpse or whatever the hell we were waiting for (did I fail to mention there were exactly ZERO people in line in front of us?), the other person, who had lined up correctly, kept shooting me quizzical looks. I gave him one back that said, “WHAT??? Loser.” I was 19 and pissed, cut me some slack. But the craziest thing was that the guy gave a nervous laugh and said, “Oh, your left. Hahaha,” and got in line behind me. Out of the corner of my eye, I see my mom chuckling. On the way home she said to me, “I don’t know how you do it, but there is something about you that can convince someone that they are wrong and you are right when the opposite is true. You didn’t even say anything to that guy and he thought he was in the wrong place.” I was 19 and pissed and believe my response was, “Okay, and?” As I got older, I’ve tried only to use my powers for good.

But the point is still the same in both situations, there was some kind of shift in the messages our internal broadcast systems were sending out. In the book, “The Charisma Myth”, Olivia Fox Cabane says that it’s a common misconception that charismatic people are that way 24/7. They aren’t and it can be learned. She goes on to say that the secret to charisma is found in three words: power, presence, and warmth. When we first meet someone, we assess these three qualities non-verbally and they don’t even have to be in balance- I wasn’t exactly exuding warmth that day at the DMV. Basically, we assume if someone is exuding confidence, that they have a very good reason for it.

But taking that a step further, there is a component to that confidence that is almost dismissive of others. It’s like you are so confident in yourself that you need no validation and nothing anyone can say or do could ever shake your self-confidence. You make no apologies for being awesome. This is really where that warmth is needed, though. Otherwise, you can delve into arrogance.

Joan 4Diving into pop culture again, I’m going to invoke the patron saint of curvy girls with attitude problems, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s newest partner, Joan Holloway (I do not acknowledge her unfortunate marriage Dr. Rapey).  Joan owns it and puts it out there. She doesn’t care if you don’t like it, because she knows that if you don’t that someone will and she’s doesn’t need your approval anyway. If you’ve ever seen Christina Hendricks interviewed, she seems quiet and a little bit awkward at times. She said once (paraphrasing), “I don’t know why people like Joan. She’s awful!” BUT, when she is Joan, she can turn it on with that internal shift.

Some people might be thinking, “But, Beth, I am unattractive with a horrible personality. Can this help an ugo like me?” First off, you are not an ugo. Second, charismatic people are perceived as more attractive. There is something so attractive about people who feel comfortable in their skin and really own everything about themselves. Those are the people you see and think, “I know he/she isn’t traditionally good looking, but there is just something about them…”

One thing that helped me quite a bit learning how to turn it on, was the unfortunately named book, “Psycho Cybernetics” by Dr. Maxwell Maltz (because of it’s name, people think it has something to do with Scientology, but it doesn’t, there’s no products or anything to buy other then the book). Dr. Maltz was a cosmetic surgeon and he noticed that after reconstructive surgery, some people would still feel like crap about themselves despite looking loads better. He found that people had these negative pictures about themselves that they were living into- like I’m an ugo with a horrible personality.  If they changed their inner dialog, focused on their successes instead of their failures, visualized themselves successful and acted on those feelings, their self-image changed and they were ultimately more confident. It’s more then positive thinking or self-talk, because you’re putting those positive feelings into action instead of just repeating words in your mind.

Very few of us are going to be like Joan and Marilyn (and we all know Marilyn is really a Joan*), but we can all use our powers for good and let our warmth and presence shine through. And, who knows, maybe you’ll cause a commotion on the subway…or a zombie uprising at the DMV.

Have a great week!

*if you get that you watch too much Mad Men and we should be best friends.

Taking a Compliment and Vitamins

A work-in-progress class assignment to create an environmental poster. I’m still not thrilled with the type and am going to work on it further.

We had an early Thanksgiving last Saturday and I got to spend some time with my twin six year old niece and nephew. My niece and I were playing with Legos. I always made a variety of cubes, so I thought the fact that she makes whatever is pictured on the box was impressive. “Hey, you’re really good at this!” I said. She replied, “I know!” like she was pretty impressed with herself, too.

It got me thinking of how we accept compliments as adults. Do we respond with an enthusiastic, “I know!”? Probably not. It seems like most of us do one of the following: 1-say genuine thank you (the normal healthy response, that we hardly ever use), 2- say thank you and find a way to compliment the other person right back, 3- diminish whatever the person is complimenting us on by saying it’s not as nice/complicated/whatever as the complimenter thinks, or 4- say thank you, wonder what their ulterior motive is and hide your wallet (just in case).

What happens between 6 years old and quasi-adulthood that makes it so hard to hear nice things about ourselves? Do we get a message that we have to dim our own light to fit in? I’m not saying we should all be walking around constantly impressed with ourselves like a bunch of megalomaniac sociopaths (why does that make lawyers spring to mind?), but so many of us downplay our accomplishments. Do we have our own bar set so high that we really don’t see our accomplishments as anything special? Or maybe we’re afraid the complimenter will see us as full of ourselves if we come across as too enthusiastic?

For whatever reason, I usually label friends and family who compliments me as, “just being nice.” That translates into, “sparing my feelings from the fact that this actually is awful.” There are occasions where I say thank you, but start to diminish whatever they are complimenting (“It wasn’t that complicated”). It’s something I need to work on.

As the holiday season gets rolling with Thanksgiving, maybe we should all practice tooting our own horn a little. When someone compliments our turkey making prowess or our jellied cranberry slicing skills, let’s give a hearty, “I KNOW!” like my niece- even if it’s just in our heads.

I got this great quote in my in-box yesterday and it fits here perfectly:

“I am convinced that one of the most helpful things we can do for people is to refuse to buy into their inappropriately restricted views of their limitations.”  – Nathaniel Branden

Now about the vitamins. Recently, I’ve had a few questions about the fistful of vitamins I take because of my celiac disease, so I thought I would share the list. Part of celiac disease is the damage to the small intestine makes it hard for your body to absorb nutrients from food. I am no authority on celiac disease or vitamins or, anything really. This is the regimen that seems to work for me. Your milage may vary.

Nature’s Way Alive Multivitamin– Gigantic horse pills that taste like a lawn, but choke those bad boys down, because they work! They are made from actual food sources, not synthetic which means they are more readily absorbed into your system. Alive contains vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes, amino acids, green foods, antioxidants, and a bunch of other big words that are good for you. I skipped the multi’s for a long time (stupid) and when I added them back in, my hair and eyelashes had this very noticeable growth spurt. So to me, that’s a great sign that I’m absorbing them and they are doing good things for my body.

B100’s– I’m probably getting everything I need from the Alive, but the B100’s really help with stress, so I take an extra every day.

Vitamin D (5,000 IUs)- I had my vitamin D levels checked a couple of years ago and they were super low. I take this one maybe 2-3 times each week.

Bio-Sil– Bio-Sil is a form of silica. I heard this was good for your hair, skin and nails and I started taking it. After a bottle, I didn’t think it was doing anything and didn’t buy it again. After about 10 days, my nails started breaking off and my hair started getting a ton of split ends. So, yeah, I trimmed my hair and bought another bottle.

Iron– It’s very common for CD people to be iron deficient. Even though we all need iron to live, it’s difficult to absorb and it’s like you have to trick it into your system. Vitamin C and the amino acid, lysine, help with absorption, so I take my iron with Emergen-C (I recommend Super Orange flavor), Super Lysine Plus (it has lysine, garlic, echinacea and other immune system boosters). It seem to work because I no longer look ghostly pale and am not faint. Did I never mention that I faint super easy? I’ve got all kinds of stories of fainting and nearly fainting at inopportune moments- including the lobby at my former job and at a movie theater buying Harry Potter tickets (don’t judge). The stories are only amusing to me because I can’t see what I look like while fainting. Have you ever seen anyone faint? It looks like they died! But potential employers and insurers take note that I am not fainty when taking my iron and, much like me, it’s not serious.

Just a reminder that you can follow me on Tumblr (it’s like here, but with a lot more Mad Men gifs) and Twitter (it’s like here only with a lot more Boardwalk Empire talk). Oh, I have a Behance page that no one ever looks at, but I get super excited on the rare occasion I get an appreciation.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

The Aftermath!

Working on my photoshop skills (AKA avoiding work)

I survived the 5K! But I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have a couple of stories to share. I crossed the finish line at 43:25 and change. BUT I guess they round up because my “official” time is 43:26. Yes, I am that competitive that I will argue over 1 second. Now, for the funny stuff.

First, we line up and as a group of 300+ strong….we all lined up facing the wrong direction. It’s freeing to be in such a large group that that does something stupid, because there is always someone else to blame. Time was ticking down and I started my carefully planned playlist. Adele starts singing and we are off. Then The Black Keys come on, then Mumford and Sons and that’s when I realized I left it on “shuffle”. Oh well, there were more pressing issues at that moment, like the fact that my pants were slowly sliding off. I anticipated a lot of things with this race- tripping, embarrassing sweat patterns, rogue bands of teenagers, snake bites- but I did not anticipate my pants falling off in front of the grandstand. So, I’m trying to keep my pants on and maintain a casual, “Oh, this is no big deal. I run every where!” nonchalance. I finally just gave up and hoped they’d stop when they reached my underwear and thanked God that I wore 2 very long shirts. Once I got out of the football stadium I hiked those badboys up to my armpits and, thankfully, I mooned no one- intentionally or otherwise.

My cheering section (both of them) had ran around to meet me at along the course. Just as they did, House of Pain “Jump Around” started. I looked at my husband and said, “I’ve got more rhymes then the Bible’s got psalms!” He laughed and later asked, “What was that about?” I was like, “It’s from Jump Around.”  He thought for a second and said, “Ooooooh. Okay. Yeah, we were pretty confused.” So, I think it’s safe to say I was not punked in to marrying anyone from House of Pain, but my cheering section may have thought I was having a stroke.

It was very windy and about 50-55 degrees outside. I trained on the treadmill in my gym where it’s consistently about 75 with 80000% humidity, so this was a change. No matter which way I turned it seemed like the wind was in my face. Sucking in that cool, dry air made me pick up this raspy cough and now I sound like Muttley when I laugh. It’s even funnier when you know that, a lot of the time, when I laugh I cover my mouth. For the unfamiliar…

From the moment I decided to do this race, I knew that even if I had to walk the entire thing, I was going to run across the finish line…and that’s not far from what happened. There was much walking, but I ran off and on to make up time. Even though I left my playlist on shuffle, “Superman” by REM came on second to last like it was supposed to and gave me a boost. Carefully chosen, “The Cave”, with it’s gorgeous lyrics and surging guitars did not play as I crossed the finish line. So what did? “Jump Around.” Sigh. Never heard “Booty City” once, but my phone decided I needed to hear “Jump Around” twice…and as I crossed the finish line, no less.

Pay no attention to the messy coffee table in the background or that the bag is now half as full as when it was presented to me.

My friends who have done races always show off their nice participation medals and I was really looking forward to that part. But only people who finished first through third in their age group got medals. HOWEVER, I did get something that no one else got. One member of my cheering section gave me my own bag of nuts! One day we were sitting in class and she whipped out this huge freezer size bag full of nuts. It was quiet and dark (this class is awesome, we spend at least a half hour every class watching commercials. It’s research!) and for some reason the bag of nuts struck me as hilarious. I told my husband about it and he had like 4000 questions about the bag of nuts. “What kind of nuts?” “How big was the bag?” “How did she get the bag to class?” “Was it just nuts or was there fruit or M&Ms in there, too?” So now, all bag of nuts questions are answered because I have my own!

Afterwards, I did get my promised booze in too many Manhattans. They come with a maraschino cherry, so it’s like a drink and dessert in one!

Even though I didn’t start seriously training until a few weeks ago, it feels kind of weird to go back to working out for the sake of working out and not to be working towards something. Yeah, I know I’m working towards fitness, but that’s lame. But the Color Run is just a short 12 months away….

Till next time when, I promise, I will talk about something else!

Call 911 Because I’ve Clearly Lost My Damn Mind

Part of a work-in-progress school project

I don’t know about you, but I thought once I got out of high school peer pressure and pimples would be a thing of the past. But, apparently, they’re eternal. Lucky us. Anyway, I have succumbed to peer pressure and have signed up for my first 5K run. Everyone keeps charmingly calling it a “race” like there is some chance I will actually beat another person. As long as I finish under 3 hours, I will be happy. What? Is that a bad time for a 5K? I don’t even know. All I do know is that I’ve been assured there is booze afterwards.

But the deciding factor wasn’t the peer pressure (which really wasn’t much, but did involve a hilarious home made flyer). I realized the date of the “race” was right around my one year anniversary of the celiac disease diagnosis. I had been planning to celebrate by stuffing my pie hole with gluten-free baked goods, but I started thinking about the really amazing (non-celiac related) turn my life has taken in the last year and a half and how now I do things each day that, back then, I never would have thought possible.

The thing is, I didn’t discover a magical source of internal strength or suddenly acquire secret ancient knowledge to help get me moving. I just made the commitment to get off my ass. That was it. With school- it was metaphoric. With my fitness- it was literal. The only thing that has changed is that now I believe I can do it (well…most of the time). It took a certain set of circumstances for me to recognize it, but everything I needed to make these changes was always inside me. Like Glinda the Good Witch said, “You don’t need to be helped any longer. You’ve always had the power…”

Saw this in class yesterday and couldn’t stop laughing!

A while back I mentioned a motivational author I love, Steve Chandler. A few times each week he sends out inspirational e-mails and this was in Thursday’s:

Your potential is not serving you if it’s always thought of as being associated with your future. Bring it home. Recognize it’s true nature: it’s in you now. When people see your potential, they are seeing something that’s already in you. Otherwise they couldn’t see it. People can’t see into the future. But they can see something in you. 

Not to get all Fight Club on you, but you are not a special snowflake. You are not the one person “potential” forgot. That spark is in you, because it’s in everyone. All it takes is a willingness to push a little farther and then a little farther and a little farther after that. Pretty soon, you’re farther then you ever thought you could go. I know it’s true because I see it almost every day in not just me, but in my classmates as well. It’s not easy and takes commitment, but our time on Earth is so brief, do you really want to look back and wish “if only…”?

So while I’m pretty sure exactly 14 seconds into the 5K, I’ll wonder who the hell thought it was a good idea for me to run in public (the jiggling! The sweating! Dear God what have I unleashed on the world?!?), I’m going to cross the finish line. As corny as it sounds, I can’t think of a better way to mark how far I’ve come then with doing something I never thought I could do. And if, on 5K day, you see a tall, chubby lady in a Ray LaMontagne t-shirt passed out next to the road, I would really appreciate it if you drag me over the finish line.

On a personal note, this week went so incredibly fast! I forgot to mail my mom’s birthday card. But here is a picture of me as a little girl so she hopefully remembers how cute I was and isn’t too upset.

Have a great week and pray for my knees!

Fatacholia!

Just in case you were feeling too good about yourself today, I’m here to tell you about two horrifying health books I read recently. They aren’t horrifying in the way Victorian-era medical books (and all their conditions ending “-cholia”) were. More in the grim death pointing his finger saying, “This could happen to you!” sort of way.

The first is, “Why We Get Fat” by Gary Taube. Gary Taube is one of those names where the line between first and last blurs and I end up calling him Garytaube as if it were all one name. I picked this one up, because I’ve been working out 4-6 days each week, for 45-60 minutes for six months and I’ve lost a grand total of 6 pounds- most of which I had gained with an unfortunate protein shake incident (all you need to know is that it involved math). Anyway, I wanted to know why I wasn’t losing anything. So, as I started to read, I thought, “Hmm…this is interesting.” I read a little more and thought, “Lots of science in this book.” Then I started to think, “I don’t like where this seems to be going.” By the last few chapters I wanted to flick Gary Taube a double bird (both middle fingers).

Why did I want to make obscene gestures at the author? Basically because the science in this book says: if Beth likes it, don’t eat it. Not only that, but it also says the only way to outsmart your genes, which are the reason for your extra lusciousness in the first place, is to go low carb. That includes eliminating starches. STARCHES! I f’ing LOVE potatoes! But I am also tubby, so draw your own conclusions.

I know it’s not Gary Taube’s fault. He’s just the messenger and nothing in this books is new. As he states many times, these were the prevailing ideas about how to lose weight until the 1960s. This book is very, very well researched. There are tons of studies and sciencey things that make a lot of sense. But I’m an art student, so I hope you were not expecting me to recount them. That would just leave us both confused and disappointed (like me after a meal without starches).  The main thing is that carbs trigger insulin and insulin signals our body to store fat. The only way to get our body to release the stored fat is to get our blood sugar on a nice consistent low path.

Even with all that science, Gary Taube manages to get a little humor in. I think it was unintentional, but I had to laugh when he said he didn’t understand why obesity studies do not include photographs of obese individuals. Oh, Gary Taube, I’d like to field this one. It’s because doctors go to school for a long time and are not dumb. Just imagine you are in your doctor’s office in that gown that is thinner then a dinner napkin, freezing your behind off (why is it ALWAYS like 43 degrees in the doctors office on gown day?), and the doctor starts his exam. He takes one look at you and says, “Mrs. Whateveryournameis, I’d like to include a  photo of your body in my obesity research study.” He could say it in Alan Rickman’s very official and smart-sounding British accent with no emotion and it would make no difference. What Mrs. Whateveryournamis would hear is Larry the Cable Guy’s voice saying, “Damn girl! I ain’t never seen nothin’ like that before!” He leans his head out the door and shouts, “Otis, get in here! And bring the camera! It’s like Bigfoot- no one is gonna believe us if we ain’t got no proof!” And like that, Mrs. Whateveryournameis finds a new doctor. That’s my theory anyways.

The second book is “Wheat Belly” by Dr. William Davis. Just in case you aren’t convinced by “Why We Get Fat” that carbs are the Devil’s food, “Wheat Belly” will drive the point home. It starts out giving a brief history of wheat and it’s genetic mutations. Wheat was originally modified with the best of intentions- to help get food quickly to starving people. But a typical mature wheat stalk went from 3-4 feet to 18 inches and now they are bred to resist mold, disease and bugs. So the grains we are eating now are not the same grains from even 100 years ago. There’s lots of science in this book, too, but after the history of wheat chapter, it’s easy to get through. Dr. Davis is a cardiologist in Milwaukee and has seen first hand in his patients how much eliminating wheat can improve someone’s health. The book is full of stories of patients lowering cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, relieving symptoms of Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, and, of course, losing weight. Unlike Gary Taube, Dr. Davis is intentionally funny and this book is an easy read. It will definitely change the way you look at your Wonder Bread.

I hope I haven’t scared you too badly, but I want us all to be healthy and happy….with or without starches. Have a fabulous week!