Better off focusing on things I can change

More notes from the inaugural “Your Weight Matters” conference in Dallas...

They played the Jennifer Livingston video (she’s the Wisconsin anchorwoman who was flamed in e-mail for being overweight) at the opening session, declaring her as a hero for standing up to the cretin who wrote to her.

OAC isn’t the only weight-advocacy group to praise Livingston, and I continue to struggle with that stance.

Gussow in '79: Current AND ahead of her time

In 1979, I was over 300 pounds, a daily pot smoker, and about to piss away my opportunity to graduate  with my college class by blowing off two courses in my last semester. Joan Gussow was already preaching a gospel of healthy, sustainable food that I would have ignored had I known about it at the time. Somehow, it makes me more appreciative of it now.

Who will defend Big Food, the poor victim?

I’ve been wanting to get to this topic for a while, but it has languished in the in-box, as too many other things do:

The headline is, “The Food Industry Fights Back,” and it’s written by Dave Fusaro, editor in chief of (“Home Page for the Food & Beverage Industry”). The subhed is just as good: “On obesity, food safety, 'questionable' ingredients, the industry can do a better job of tactfully defending itself; the key is transparency.”

Before state intervention, parental intervention

The theorizing has become reality: In July, a round of commentary (including mine) swelled after researchers suggested that foster custody might be preferable to bariatric surgery as a remedy for a child's severe obesity.

Obesity isn't THE problem, but often is A problem

I occasionally check in with writer/dancer/advocate Ragen Chastain, who blogs at, even though we have some basic differences. A recent post  headlined, "Why Weight Loss Is Not The Solution," followed up on another entry, "Obesity Is Not The Problem," and both notions fit right into a theme I've been wanting to develop for a while.

Nourish to Flourish

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I recently had the delight of sitting down with Cathy Zolner, a compatriot in the battle for healthy living and eating who happens to live in the same town I do. We connected, quite appopriately, after a screening of the film documentary "Lunch Line" at Boston's Museum of Science. I found a great deal in common with Zolner, a "wholistic health coach" who works primarily with women.

Not "necessarily" unhealthy

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So where to begin! How ‘bout: Yes, it’s true that I do have antipathy toward many nutritionists and registered dietitians, because too often I’ve been advised, or heard friends advised, to eat moderately, without ruling out any foods — because the advisers think that advice is sound for everyone, and it’s not.

Suicide, by any path

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I'm vacationing for a few days in Glendo, Wyoming, with family, and had a very interesting conversation with my sister-in-law. (How's that for a compelling lead? Just chomping to read more, aren'cha? But to my strong surprise, it was right on topic for this blog.)

Serena is a fascinating woman with more than a few demons who has tried suicide too many times. Worse, she's gotten better at it over the years, progressing from what some people might call "cries for help" to well-thought-out attempts that failed through flukes. It is serious frickin' business, and she comes to mind whenever the phone rings in the night. (Serena's not her real name, I have her permission to tell this story, and I asked her to review it before publishing.)


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