Thursday Open Thread

Happy Thursday!

On my mind today: obesity and weight. It seems like everywhere I look, I read another ridiculous story on these topics.

Exhibit A: Did you hear about the Harvard School of Public Health researchers who are floating the idea of involving state protective services where very obese children are involved, and in some cases recommending foster care?

I think Arthur Caplan, director of UPenn’s Center for Bioethics, hits the nail on the head in this commentary:

The risk of death from obesity is real, but it is way down the road for kids. There is no proven cure for obesity. The ability to treat a child with diet or a lifestyle change who does not want to be “treated” by strangers is a long shot at best. The number of kids involved — an estimated 2 million children with body-mass index above the 99th percentile — would quickly swamp already overwhelmed social service departments. And, no matter what you do with overweight children, sooner or later they are going back home where their often overweight parents will still be.

What’s your take?

Exhibit B: A study published in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine found that school districts notifying parents that their children are overweight had no impact on the problem.

In the last decade, almost all public schools in California collected information about height and weight on kids in the fifth, seventh, and ninth grades, but only some opted to send the results to parents. This gave Dr. Kristine A. Madsen of the University of California, San Francisco, a unique opportunity to evaluate the impact of that notification.

She found that children whose parents were told they were overweight were no more likely to have lost weight years later than children whose parents were not notified.

So the researcher suggests that instead of shaming children and their parents by sending “Your kid’s too fat” letters, school officials should focus on interventions that have the most impact, such as making school lunches healthier and increasing physical activity. How novel!

Exhibit C: Michelle Obama did something wrong again! What, you ask? She ate a burger, fries, and chocolate shake! Causing multiple news outlets to calculate the calories and wonder if she was being a hypocrite because of her focus on preventing childhood obesity! And we all know that if you advocate healthy living, you can never, ever eat anything tasty or fattening ever. Right?

All I know is that I run 15-20 miles per week just so that I can eat a meal like this on occasion. And enjoy every last bite. Knowing that Michelle likes to indulge in just the same way only makes her more awesome in my eyes.

And this comment over on Gawker made me LOL:

Where was all the outrage when Laura Bush was championing literacy while being married to a fucking moron? That, ladies and gentlemen was real hypocrisy.

And a final anecdote: I mentioned before how my 6-year-old daughter asked why my butt was “smushy.” I was mortified, but played it off by saying that we are all different and what’s important is that we’re as healthy as possible. But I will admit that “smushy” has been stuck in my brain ever since. I get a glimpse in the mirror and think “BLECH.”

So a couple of days ago Maya asks me (again), “Why is your booty smushy, Mami? I wish my booty was smushy just like yours.” Pouty face and all.

I had to pick my jaw up off the ground. She said “smushy” the first time and in my head, that had to be bad. But she was just describing what she saw, with no negative connotation, and it turns out she still wants to be just like Mami. Smushy butt and all.

I quickly said, “Maya, your booty is perfect just the way it is!”

“What do you mean, Mami? Don’t you like your booty?” Sigh. Here is where I lied a little, because I’m not at peace with my caboose. But I thought it more important to try and impart a healthy lesson.

“Of course I like my booty. But I like yours too. We all have different bodies. Wouldn’t it be boring if we all looked exactly the same? Your body is perfect just the way it is. And so is mine.”

So it was clumsy and ham-handed, but I meant well. I am wondering if I said the right things, or if I need to revisit the topic. She seemed to accept it, so I am thinking I will leave it alone unless she brings it up again.

But I will say it is helping me to not be so hard on myself. I know my daughter’s adulation won’t last forever, but for now, stopping to see myself through her eyes is a gift.

What’s on your mind today? Chat away!


101 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread

  1. Okay Erika…

    Here’s the thing. You look really amazing. You are a gorgeous woman. You’re are healthy, active and have no lingering chronic illness nor mental illness. You are a lovely woman with two great kids and a handsome hubby.

    If you can’t feel good about yourself, who possibly could?

    Would you want your daughter to judge herself that harshly?

    Would you want your son to judge women based on the relative smushiness of their butts?

    I am overweight/borderline obese depending on the time of the month and 98% of the time, I feel like I have got it GOING ON. Guys hit on me, women hit on me, my girlfriends wish they could be me, my husband can’t keep his hands off me. Because (98% of the time) I go out feeling good and radiating that to everyone like a g*ddamn SEX RAY and I don’t even mean to. I have a gorgeous smile, an awesome rack, a great laugh and a freaking adorable personality. I listen when people talk and I tell great jokes and people freaking FLOCK to me. Always have, even before my great rack came in.

    If my confidence and charisma was based on what I looked like from ages 17-22 I’d have a long, long sad life ahead of me. If I had stayed skinny, but then through accident or injury been hurt or maimed, not only would I lose function, but I’d lose heart! How unfair is that? I love and respect my body for being mostly healthy, limber and strong, but at the end of the day what it looks like in a bathing suit – not so important to me.

    • work it, girl!

      shake it like a polaroid picture! You got it goin’ on, boo-yeah!

      But seriously, I have to say that I didn’t really get that kind of attitude until after I had Jessica. Then, I was like, holy cow, lookit at what I can do – this body RAWKS. Now, at least with DH, I’m all like, “I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly cos my body’s too boootilicious for ya baby.”

      Makes me kinda regret (ok, really regret) all those years that I was carrying around self-loathing issues. Sigh. At least I figured it out before I was 30, right?

    • Erika


      I weigh 240 pounds.  I am at LEAST 60 pounds over  where I shoudl be just to be FAT — I’m obese.  But this is what it is. this is my weight and I don’t spend a milisecond of the time worrying about my entire body as you do about your ass.  

      I love you and you already know I think you’re one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever known… but I seriously can’t deal with one more diary about our bodies and our weight.  I can’t.  

      • oh and I meant to ad

        Like Cynthia – I’m a flirt magnet — you should see the 28 year old boys I do theater with sometimes I’m like ‘really boys– take it down a notch” but I love it.   I have huge hips and enormous boobs and a huge giggly belly.   I wear a size 20 on a good day…..

        and I have a wife who thinks I’m the sexiest thing on the planet and a pretty bangin’ sex life if I do say so myself.  

        when you’re my age Erika do you really want to look back on your thirties and think “wow all that time I spent worrying about my butt was a big ole waste of energy… I could have been out having a burger or enjoying life…”  


      • But you do!

        I don’t spend a milisecond of the time worrying about my entire body

        You have your moments when you feel uncomfortable about how you look. You’ve written diaries and comments and FB posts and blog entries about it. People who are not overweight are subject to some of the same kinds of societal BS that makes us sometimes feel uncomfortable too. Just because we’re not 240 pounds doesn’t mean we’re immune.

        My friend who is overweight (weighs what you do only she’s 5’3″) was at first baffled when I told her this winter I needed to lose 7 pounds. She was like, why do YOU need to lose weight?! I told her, “Because my clothes are fitting badly and I can’t afford to buy all new ones.” It took her a second, but then she was like, “Huh. I guess I didn’t think about that. I just think I would be satisfied to weight what you weigh.” For me, it wasn’t even about happiness at that point, it was purely economics–but her mind went right to the “What do you have to be unhappy about” thought train.

        • I do… you’re right but I think that

          I have more days when I say screw it than I do when I worry about it and I try to couch it all in humor.

          I expounded a bit further downthread…

          • I think though

            that alot of times I feel badly about myself b/c I think I’m supposed to feel badly about myself..if that makes any sense…

            • We’re all supposed to feel bad about ourselves

              Look at all those gorgeous actresses with anorexia and depression. How terrible to work so hard at being beautiful and still feel like you’re falling short. You and I do have it easier, in a way, than they do because we’re so far from the ideal, it’s too far off to worry about.

              The beauty industry is really that–a business. Making us worry about our weight or skin or hair or clothes is good business. Slate had an interesting article a few weeks ago about the history of deodorant–originally marketed towards women for a problem they didn’t even know they had. The article was inspired by the “prettier armpits in 7 days” that Dove or whoever is running now–pretty armpits?? Talk about solving a problem we didn’t know we had. But it’s all like that–smaller pores! Tighter butt! Softer feet! Somebody makes money off our angst.

              I think most women here have more good days than bad, including Erika, but we all watch the same TV and movies, so there it is.

              • yeah I don’t think it’s the beauty industry in my

                case… I pay almost no attention to women’s magazines or ads, or products — I use the cheapest shampoos and only wear makeup when in a show and I don’t follow fashion so I don’t think it’s that. I don’t pay attention to anything that’s about skin care – i only use a warm washcloth on my face at night – no creams or lotions or astringents- I buy suave everything when it comes to shampoo and deoderant and I dont’ color my hair so I don’t think the women’s fashion industry has ever been able to influence me very much — and I certainly don’t come from a family history of obsessing about weight

                maybe up here it’s all the uber outdoorsy folks that do it to me sometimes.. I dunno…

                • Move to Cleveland

                  Seriously, you’d probably really like it. You’d fit right in, body-type-wise and the arts scene is pretty incredible :) Seems like in Cleveland, you’re expected to go to the orchestra or the Playhouse or a new restaurant much more than you’re expected to jog.

      • You’re too funny!

        Seriously though, you know that you rock your very soon to be mid-thirties body.  And if you need any encouragement, you’ve inspired me to get my caboose moving.  I’ven been at the gym doing Zumba, kayaking and just today I hiked Runyon Canyon in Mullholand.  I feel great and give you some credit because your always running or moving for some cause or other.  Similar to you I look forward to a fully loaded In-N-Out burger now and again and I know my ass sags, but the burger and fries are worth it.  Maybe we should try the Brazil Butt Lift, I swear and so does Nancy that it’s the answer to our saggin cabbooses.  I’ll let you know if we try it! LOL

        At least you don’t have a little boy squeezing your boobs every chance he gets and almost wanting to make out with you when a smooch is in order (at least not until Alex hits 7 or 8). Maya truly adores you and wants to be just like you.  I for one don’t blame her! 😉

        • little-boy smooches

          Mine still do that too! (ages 7 and 5) And the little one still reaches up my shirt to touch my belly, which was his transitional object when he weaned. It’s cute except for (a) when he does it in public and (b) when I am wearing a dress or skirt! Get out of there! When does it end?

          • LOL

            Josh and Mary Rose still lift up my shirt to touch my belly.  They are almost trained not to do it in public.  It does not help that it is the area I am most self-conscious about.

    • You. Are. AWESOME.

      I’m trying to get there, and I’ve gotten waaaay better over the years (and recently with some chemical help), but I still am not wearing a bathing suit in public yet.

      Rock on, girl.

        • I’d do it in some contexts

          on vacation where no one knows me, or conversely, in a situation where the only people who know me are really close family or friends. But for example, Expat’s boss is having a pool party tomorrow night. I’m not wearing a bathing suit with his coworkers.

          • well I don’t know that I’d do that

            but I might….

            we spent a glorious day on the beach on sunday…. and I saw a bunch of women sitting with their families wearing clothes and looking hot and miserable while their families swam… there was no way I wasn’t body surfing or floating down the river to the way…

            • That’s sad

              One thing I noticed at the beach last year was that all of the mothers with small children seemed to have the same suit, myself included and I was pregnant at the time.  Everyone had a tankini top of some sort and swim shorts or a little swim skirt.  It’s very practical for dealing with young kids tugging on you as if the kids are like mine, anything skimpier and you have potential to have a wardrobe malfunction.  While it was a mom uniform of sorts, I did notice that it also flattered every body type.  If you are someone who would be comfortable in shorts and a tank top, it would work.

            • on the beach in Greece

              I was envious of all the women of all ages and shapes and sizes in their 2 piece suits. Not tiny bikinis, but structured, bra-like tops and generously cut but not granny panty bottoms. And I do mean all ages and sizes. Virtually everyone besides me who was under 70 was in a 2 piece, (except for the few young women who were in a 1 piece, but that piece was a bikini bottom) — and really, no one batted an eye and they all looked great IMHO.

              Really, I had just turned 49 and I’m 5″4 1/2″ and a size 16-18 and there were plenty of people like me in a 2 piece.

              I wish I could be that confident in a bathing suit.  But I do get out there and go swimming, regardless. DH’s company picnic has been at a big waterpark for the past 4 or 5 years, and I go there in my suit and run into all his co-workers. I go to the pool with my kids and their friends and friends’ moms, so I’m not hiding out in a big coverup. But I don’t feel great when I do it. Still working on it.

  2. Here is my vent…Personally

    I feel like w/ the food and nutrition thing that the media and places like Harvard school of public health have set the bar really really high.  Like if you eat white bread instead of wheat that YOU WILL DIE!!!!!  and your kids are destined to a LIFE OF BAD HEALTH if you allow them to eat hot dogs.    So people take that in and alot of them just give up.  It is really hard to create fresh meals and provide nutrious foods for you and your family 7 days a week unless you have alot of talent at cooking and have the extra time.   I have several cook books that advertise themselves as easy meals but you know they really aren’t.  It’s like when the hairstylist tells me that my hair will be easy to style in the morning…”only 15-20 minutes!”   Yup that’s not easy because I don’t have that time and I am really not good at styling my hair.  

    I think that my family eats okay but we do eat hot dogs and chicken nuggets once a week.   my son eats white bread w/ his baloney because quite frankly that is what he will eat (and to be honest have you ever tried baloney with wheat? not very good)   I don’t shop organic for many things because it is more expensive and because it is not easily available.  I am not driving an hour out of my way to go to Whole Foods.  I do buy local when I can because in my mind local trumps organic from CA.  I hope that as my children get older their tastes will expand and they will get interested in eating a bigger variety of foods but at this point I am happy that they eat semi-healthily enough.

    Do I think there are alot of overweight kids and people?  Absolutely but there has to be some middle ground to be reached.  and guilting people just makes them defensive.

    sigh.   I am done now

    • I want to marry this

      post I love it so much.

      the obese woman who had a poptart for breakfast and is looking forward to getting a rootbeer float at the local street fair this afternoon.

    • You’d like this then

      When one of my sons was 3, his pediatrician informed me that according to his BMI he was at risk for overweight.  Then she said that nowadays “We have to tell you this but 30 years ago I wouldn’t have said anything.  Maybe he really is or maybe he’s starting a growth spurt.  Don’t worry about it, just continue to eat well and make sure to model eating well in front of him.”

      My cousin’s son who was the same age at the time had a younger pediatrician.  He wasn’t even in the at risk for overweight but had a high side of normal BMI.  She told my cousin to watch his carbs.  The kid is skinny and was at the time.  It’s such BS.

      At every subsequent checkup my son was in the normal range FWIW.  He does pudge out a bit before he shoots up.  This happens a lot.  Both my cousin and I have big builds.  She is thinner than I am but even if we were both starving like models, there are parts of us that would just be big.  Our kids are the same way.

      • I love my ped

        she’s so down to earth.  I didn’t breast feed and she never gave me any guilt or anything.  She’s always so nice and reassuring.  

        the BMI checks for the 3 year olds are ridiculous.  Kids change so much and so quickly.  A good DR can tell when a child is truely overweight at that age.

    • grrr

      I was raised on crap food and I’m not overweight.  Plenty of us children of the 60s ate crap, crap, and more crap and didn’t think a thing of it.  And turned out fine.

      As a nation we were way healthier before we started obsessing about how healthy our food is.  

      • True, BUT

        …that was also before the food industry started putting so many high calorie/high fat fillers in food, before portion sizes ballooned at fast food and other restaurants, and before they started strategizing so much about marketing junk directly to children.

        • yes

          And I am somewhat selective about the crap I let my kids eat – fast food is a rare and occasional treat.  But I feed my kids hot dogs, white bread, ramen noodles, chicken nuggets etc.  Ice cream is a dietary staple and they are permitted to spend far too much of their allowance on candy.  We never buy organic except at the local farmers market (though we have an admittedly unusual perspective on that).

          With my own children I focus on behavior, not “food quality”, whatever the heck that is.   The important thing to my mind is that we try to keep a lid on snacking (not easy), food is mostly restricted to the kitchen table, and no food in front of the TV ever.  Certain times of day the kitchen is closed, and “I’m hungry” is not considered an emergency situation.  But marketing isn’t an issue for us I think – the kids aren’t exposed to much and I don’t think they’re influenced much; in any case they don’t do the purchasing and I’ve never had much difficulty with “no”.

          • My kids are eating dinner in front of the TV

            every night right now. The dining room table is piled with stuff being sorted for the move, so they are getting free reign with some Netflix over there. But when we are settled at the new place we are back to eating dinner as a family, AT the table. But I do allow popcorn (that I pop myself on the stove) in front of a movie from time to time, “movie nights” about once a month maybe.

  3. booties are supposed to be smushy!

    and boobs are supposed to sag by the time you’re my age, and stomachs are supposed to have a flap of skin that will never go back because you carried a baby [or more] in there.

    This is the idea I’m trying to pass to my kids….because the bodies we see on TV and movies and magazines — they are not realistic for the majority of the population.  And it sounds like this is the idea you’re trying to pass on to Maya, and I think that’s great.

    Even when you’re not 100% sure of what you’re saying — there’s time when she’s 13 or 15 to be honest and say, “you know, I really don’t like my butt that much, but I’m working on accepting it.” Though maybe by then you’ll be loving it!

    Of course I don’t look at my body and go “it’s perfect” because it’s FAR from it. But, it is my body and it doesn’t have high blood pressure or high cholesterol or high blood sugar, so it’s working fine even if it’s 50 lbs overweight.

    Oh, and those people who think Michelle Obama can’t eat a cheeseburger can suck it!

    • mmm…cheeseburgers

      I love cheeseburgers. We are always on the lookout for good burgers.

      Has anyone out there ever tried Shake Shack? Where are they located?


  4. I really want to be a good example to Mira…

    My Mom was… shoot is… a terrible example.  Well, perhaps she’s a good example for the “ultra healthy, super fit” approach, although her view on weight is too intense.  And she makes too many comments about weight.  Which goes to the whole family as I think my brothers/dad make obnoxious comments all the time.  I think they were all blessed with very good metabolisms and no sense of how difficult it can be to look like they look.  

    Last year I was really intense into losing weight – counting calories and exercising.  And I liked the way I looked, but the scary thing was it made me notice things more – like if I lost another pound maybe this part of my thighs would be tighter or whatever. And then this year when the move, and work, and all the stuff with DH’s job search crashed down, I gained weight back and the whole focus on weight from before made me feel worse.  Like just what I needed when trying to deal with depression was more self-loathing?

    I’ve known too many people who have eating disorders – 2 in my extended family with bulimia.  And that scares me.  And I don’t want to model any behaviors for Mira that would make eating disorders seem like a worthwhile option.

    So I’m really trying to focus on the exercise side – it does really make me feel better… and more importantly sleep better!  But I’m not getting on the scale.  Or counting calories.  Or limiting treats.  Because at the end of the day I think I need to step up and own my body – whatever weight I am at the time.  And let the kids see that I’m proud of it, DH thinks it’s beautiful, and it’s all ok.  I’m so much more than my body, but sometimes I don’t think of it like that.  And Mira’s old enough that she notices things and I need to be proud of myself – if only to model the right thing for her.  FWIW, Erika, I would have responded to Mira the same way you responded to Maya – or at least I hope I would!

    Strange to write this all out and crystallize things…  

    • I can relate

      I have mentioned before how weight has always been a big topic in my extended family. People will look at you and say, “You’re gaining weight!” If you lose weight, it’s “You’re too skinny!” Fat jokes fly, and every gathering is centered around food. I have never been comfortable with it, and am making a conscious effort to create a different attitude in my own little family. I don’t talk about weight or dieting or ever express displeasure with my body. And Zeus help any family member who ever makes a comment about my kids’ bodies. I go into raging mama bear mode.

      The other day we were walking down the sidewalk after dinner when a little boy, maybe 3 years old, turned up out of nowhere. I think his parents were waiting for a table outside and let him wander a bit. He started walking alongside us and pointing at Alex. “He’s fat! Look! Look at him! He’s fat!” This went on until we reached our car. We just ignored him but I couldn’t help being appalled. At 3 years old, this kid is already going around pointing out how “fat” people are? What kind of example must he have at home?

      • but alex is a baby

        I admit, I describe babies as fat, chubby, ect.  My son was a fat baby.  In that little boy’s defense, I think most people equate a fat baby with good health and adorableness.  I’m more self conscious about my skinny baby, I feel like people look at ne like I’m starving her or I’m so dumb I don’t know what to feed her.  I loved hearing that my son was “fat,” especially since he was exclusively breastfed.  

        • true, but do 3 year olds know this?

          I would be annoyed with that kid pointing out a stranger and calling him fat, even if it’s a baby. It makes me think he would have pointed at Maya or Erika and said the same thing (if it were true).

          • i think a three year old recognizes a baby

            And is likely just mimicing what grown ups say about babies.  The way my son would croon “she’s sooooo cuuute” over a baby, because he hears me say that.  He refers to himself as cute, because I tell him that all the time!  But I don’t think he would say an adult is “cute.”

            I dunno, just rambling.  

      • Something similar…

        is what triggered me to pay more attention.  DH is big – he’s really big boned to begin with so even if he were totally lean his weight would be considered “high” for most men his height.  On top of that frame he is over-weight.  Last year some kids from Mira’s daycare started making comments about how he was “fat” – Mira went back and forth between being angry at them and telling DH he needed to lose weight.  

        I get the focus on being healthy – but I feel like the real people who should be healthy are all the stupid companies making tons of money off of this.  If it wasn’t so easy to only eat non-healthy (schools, fast food, etc.) then this wouldn’t be nearly the problem it is.

        And in the meantime, the focus on healthy has just made being overweight something “ok” to tease or ostracize about.  I also think it’s made a fake view of what is healthy (often too skinny IMHO) and something else to shame people by (eating something “not” healthy, not exercising, being overweight, etc.).  

        • I try and take some sting out of the word

          since I really am fat. If someone says it about me I don’t want my kid to be upset. I told her I am fat and short, Daddy is tall and thin, and some people have brown hair and some people have blonde hair, one is not better than the other they just ARE what they ARE.

          • Yeah… that distinction

            Between “fat” being a general description and “fat” being a…  I don’t know slur? whatever the right word is to describe it.  I’d like to have it just be description but it’s often not.  I like your reaction… I’ll try to model that :-)

          • yeah I use the word freely

            I don’t couch it in “oh i’m chubby”  i’m not chubby. i’m fat…and that’s ok.  

          • I work on this with my kids

            They are not allowed to use fat as an insult or insult amplifier – “you’re a big fat liar” for example is a 5 cent penalty even when used against a decidedly scrawny sibling.  I try to model using fat as an accurate descriptor – having a fat cat helps – but I’ve also explained that since some people use fat as an insult they should be careful not to describe people that way because they might accidentally hurt their feelings.  It’s tricky.

    • Exactly.

      Several years ago I went on WW for my health. I’d never really hated my body until I started WW and it was all “if I just eat lettuce without dressing, maybe my elbows won’t jiggle.” I lost 60 pounds and hated myself for a good 2-3 years. I needed to get back into loving my body again before I could work seriously on thinking about my eating/exercise habits again.

  5. huh

    the more posts I read I’m realizing something.

    It’s probably a blessing in disguise I’ve been fat my whole life. I think I weighed more at 8 than some of you do now…  but maybe because of that i never felt the “be thin look good preserve your looks at all costs” kind of pressure…. I see the posts from Erik and CAspb and i’m baffled by the kind of pressure you put on yourselves b/c to my eyes you each can’t weigh more than the bowl of pasta with pesto (mmm and garlic bread on the side!) I had for dinner last night.  But I have never been a thin person so clearly I don’t know what it’s like to be thin and have the pressure of staying thin… when you’re my size if you lose 10 pounds it barely makes a dent… so really why not just have the fries and enjoy them and move on…but I clearly don’t understand what goes through the minds of women who’ve always been thin…so I apologize if I seem callous.

    • FWIW…

      I don’t think you sound callous.  I’ve been so glad to have the MT forum because everyone does write openly and honestly about their views on many things, weight included.  It’s helped me realize that my family’s view isn’t the only view and that I can find my own comfort place.  Still working on it :-)  But much more confident then I’ve been before.  So, maybe, thanks for the “callous-ness” :-)

    • I dunno

      I’m probably 20 lbs from what I would consider “thin” so maybe your comment doesn’t apply to me. But I don’t really spend much time worrying about it either. It would be nice to be thinner but that’s about as far as it goes. I will just have to get by on what I was born with … Well, I did have my hair highlighted because I didn’t like how dull it looked with all the gray. But that’s about it.

    • You don’t sound callous

      I have my share of body issues like everyone else, but I admit that I get bored talking about it too.  

  6. I am taking

    my daughter and one of her friends to see Harry Potter 7.2 at midnight. I’m trying to decide with is the better strategy for staying awake until it starts (I doubt I’ll fall asleep during it). Coffee or naps or alternating both?

  7. follow up ultrasound

    Yay! My low lying placenta has moved a little further from my cervix, which means I’m no longer at risk for previa and no longer have to worry about c-section (at least for that issue). The high risk doctor said that, worst case, if it stays in the exact same place it’s still just barely above the minimum distance required. Typically, though, the distance will grow at least a little greater in the next 3 months. Relief! The bad part of the story is that the tech did the regular ultrasound, then we waited like 30 min for the doctor, and then the tech came back in and said the doctor wanted to see it transvaginally. Never have done that before and it wasn’t my favorite thing, but it turned out okay, though. No more follow up needed.

    In other news, my SIL, who is 37 weeks along with her first, has tried everything in her power to turn around her breech baby girl, who is not only head up but also sitting crosslegged. Little stinker baby. She’s tried accupuncture, chinese herbs, chiropractic, inverted positions, etc etc. Tomorrow at 7am she checks into the hospital to have a procedure where the doctor tries to turn the baby around manually from the outside. It’s going to hurt my SIL, and has about a 50% chance of working, but it could knock her into labor or put the baby into distress enough to need an emergency c-section. The risk of that last outcome is pretty small. Keep them in your thoughts/prayers tomorrow, if you will!

    • Has she seen My BFF swears by it, but both of my kids were head down so I never needed it. Good luck SIS-in-law!

      • She’s been all over it

        She’s literally tried everything, including the tips on The funniest thing was something that her accupuncturist had her do, which involved my brother poking a certain spot on her pinky toe while burning some kind of herb. SIL could tell it would increase the baby’s movement dramatically when they were doing that, but it didn’t turn her around.

        I think this is just the first of many times that their kid will have her own ideas about how things will go… SIL is lovely, but she and my bro have done their share of judging others’ parenting. I know they think that because they are going to be good parents, they will have kids who will be polite and well behaved and follow their parents wishes at all times. My sister and I have both kind of hoped their first would be a bit of a stubborn challenge…but I don’t think we had imagined that would start before birth.

        • hee

          FWIW my kids were born at 37 weeks and perfectly healthy so if that happens, chances are all will be fine. DS had to stay in the nursery for about 5 hrs [but not on oxygen or anything] just so they could watch him for shallow breathing, but DD came to the room as soon as I got out of recovery [yes, I had a c-section, DD was on bottom and she was breech].

          Will hold good thoughts for them but most likely everything will be fine. But I would secretly be sort of smiling that the baby was no cooperating with their every desire.

    • good luck to your SIL

      I remember tjb had a beautiful story about her much-beloved SIL and their “tricks” to get her breech baby to go head down. Yoga, patting and a lot of talking to the baby. It was so dear.

  8. You nailed it Erika

    I get what Katie says about always being a certain size and never really thinking any other way. I’m just the opposite because I’ve always been small without really trying and I know that pisses a lot of women off, but its genetics & I thank my dad for them every damn day.
    Of course, the flip side is, genetics also gave me high cholesterol and triglycerides levels & I wanted to AVOID taking statins to control it so I needed to really look more closely at what I ate and how much (or little) I was exercising. It took almost two years of adjusting things and upping my movement until I was able to finally get a normal reading on a blood test. In the meantime…well..I LIKE feeling this healthy! But I also sure as hell didn’t give up my In n Out double doubles (did anyone see that picture of the triple triple my son had on Sunday?!).
    So yeah, we live a largely active lifestyle and I don’t buy many sugary junk foods, but there is always soda in the house. And chips (goldfish!). And beer. And ice cream every other week or so. And I go to Starbucks twice a week & get the fully leaded frappucinos. And we get cheesburgers. With fries and shakes :-)
    All about balance right?

    And I do love that Maya loves your booty :-)

  9. smushy butts

    I wonder if I am in the minority here, but aren’t women supposed to have notable butts? Or as one of boyfriends used to say about my own derriere: ample, with personality?

    Who’s the hottest woman ever and my personal body ideal? JLo. I said this once to a bunch of women, that I thought JLo had the platonic ideal of a woman’s body and a couple of them said, but she’s bottom heavy. I know, that’s the point. Of course, JLo’s booty is pure personality – she’s freakishly fit and probably a size 6.

    How did we get to the point where a small flat ass is the ideal for grown women? As I like to say, paging Susan Faludi.

    My beef with my body right now is that I am out of shape and flabby. The “personality” has run amok, shall we say. But that’s different than coveting smallness.

      • see though

        the amount of time and work JLo and Beyonce probably put in to look as they do just makes me tired and cranky thinking about it.

          • and they give you power on the run

            I tell you, I love me the lunges and squats because now I feel like I fly at takeoff when I start running!

            My thighs and booty, they have the thunder and that thunder is POWER!

      • Beyonce!

        Forgot about Beyonce. Yeah, with you there. Beyonce is on my mental list of hot Virgos bc sometimes Virgos get a bad rap on the hotness front :).

  10. Ack! Our brains

    have been brainwashed to churn, churn, churn, no matter the topic.  Weight is just one area that consumes us — doesn’t that seem ironic?  The topic of food actually consumes us rather than our using common sense in thoughts and actions…?   Our country has the market on selling the notion that in order to be “put in any topic here” we need to buy “put in any brand or med here.”  

    Granted we need to eat, we need to clothe ourselves, it helps to have shelter and be safe, and by the by, hope to get an education that actually provides us with the skills we need to work and be productive.

    Having been born with a small frame and a small body type, I can’t comment on what it is like to be large, or have to wrestle with being overweight.  But my experience over my lifetime is that no matter what body type a female has, it is ALWAYS scrutinized.  Looking back, I notice that for years I wore very baggy tent type dresses, or loose fitting clothes.  I believe I did that because my body was always a topic of discussion and mostly by females, but also, I wanted to avoid constant comments and scrutiny of men.   When I would wear baggy clothes, many people would question why I didn’t want to “show off” my body.  Ugh!  

    Now that I’m over 50, I finally feel free of the scrutiny and it’s a great relief.  I can wear clothes that fit without feeling like I am being “sized up” all the time.  My advancing age finally gives me the sort of freedom I think many women feel when approaching the sunset of life.  But what a shame that we let ourselves be slaves to the brainwashing and that if we’re not careful we continue that trend handing that burning baton to our daughters and sons.  

    When I think of the privilege in this country and the relative ease of our lives here as opposed to other places in the world, my hope is that we  focus our attention on things that matter.   Being healthy matters, using common sense is all that is needed in that area, but obsessing about weight and fashion only serves to fuel the very thing we’re trying to avoid….at least that’s how it seems to me.  :>)

  11. can I just say

    I would like to nominate “remove fat kids from their families and put them in foster care” for Asinine Idea of the Year.  Because kids removed from non abusive homes will thrive in foster care and immediately shed all that excess weight?  I’m willing to put that one up against anything Michelle Bachman has ever proposed.

    • My brother

      was a chunky monkey from prepuberty til about 16. I was a skinny minny. We are now reversed. Should they have taken him from my parents? Fuck no. What kind of bullshit is that? Gah. Wondering if the doc who wrote the article did so purely for publicity.

      • yeah

        I have pretty clear memories of a neighbor kid who was 90 lbs at age 5 – he was huge.  He’s fine now; perfectly average weight and reasonably fit.  He and my brothers were inseparable and he spent a lot of time at our house (and us at his); I don’t recall there being any effort to slim him down, just that by the time we all reached high school he wasn’t outside the norm.

  12. I have ugly feet

    Why don’t we ever talk about feet??!  oh, right – because they are supposed to look weird! They are feet. Their job is to touch the ground and bear my weight. I wash them (sometimes with my Sally Scrub)  and PedEgg them and get the nails painted regularly and wear cute shoes (or as cute as they can be and still be comfortable). I have a big bunion on one and a smaller one on the other, and my veins stick out a little, especially when it’s hot. Ugly ol’ feet, but they work. If you don’t like ugly feet, don’t look at them.

    • My feet look like Fred Flinstones

      Wide at the top with stubby toes and tiny skinny heels. Also I am barefoot Bess and can walk across hot asphalt in the summer time because my calluses are so thick. I think I could become a fire walker pretty easily.

      • Me too..I hate shoes

        I never wear shoes if I can help it.

        when I went for a pedicure with Liza before the wedding the pedicurist literally gasped …she said “theseare the WORST heels I’ve ever seen!”  


    • feet

      I have feet like a highlands campesina.  Most of my toes have been broken at least once and a couple weren’t put back in exactly the right place.  I’ve never had a pedicure or painted my toenails, never.  Why on earth would I want to call attention to this part of my body?  

    • I have great-looking feet

      They’re probably one of my best parts! I actually once had a homeless guy say, as I passed him, “Lady, you’ve got nice pretty toes!”

    • I like my feet

      I dunno, I like my feet. They’re big (size 9 or 9 1/2), the fourth toe on my left foot sits weird because I broke it when I was 17 and I never got it set, I have dry skin all over (but I never shave it because that affects how my run) and in summer, my heels are dis-gus-ting. But I have long toes and, I dunno. I just don’t have foot angst.

      • ditto

        I like my feet. They are small with enormous big toes, but they are cute and symmetrical and they can run for miles. No complaints there :-)

  13. As I understand it

    The original article was asking if children who were actually experiencing health issues because of their obesity should be put in foster care. It was about 550 pound 14 year olds with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, liver problems, and other health issues. They could expect to be dead before age 30 if they didn’t do something, and in some cases, their parents can’t/won’t do anything. The AP article I read was heart-wrenching, quoting a single mom whose 550 pound son was taken from her at age 14 because she kept feeding him fast food (it was all she could afford). He is now 16, living with her sister, and has lost 200 pounds on a special diet. She knows it was good for him, but they miss each other so much.

    This wasn’t about kids who are a little plump. I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know that if you are 14 and can expect to be dead within 16 years, something is wrong and if it can be fixed, it should be.

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