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Linda Bacon Quotes

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    Matt Stone

    I have huge compilations of quotes from most of the authors and books I have read. I will post quotes in this forum from time to time from some of the better compilations I’ve put together. Below is a compilation of great quotes from Linda Bacon’s book Health at Every Size…
    Linda Bacon
    Bacon, Linda. Health at Every Size. Benbella Books: Dallas, TX, 2008.
    Back Cover
    ?Fat isn’t the problem. Dieting is the problem. A society that rejects anyone whose body shape or size doesn’t match an impossible ideal is the problem. A medical establishment that equates ‘thin? with ?healthy? is the problem.
    p. xix
    ?Only through extraordinary effort and education have I been able to free myself from my obsession with weight.
    p. xxi
    ?My body fat served as a convenient excuse for avoiding intimacy and new challenges. It was also a punching bag to blame when anything went wrong. I learned that I didn’t have an eating problem, but I clearly had a problem taking care of myself.
    p. xxii
    ?As wonderful as food is, it is only one of many pleasures in my life. I am no longer waiting to lose weight before I live my life fully. Having freed up all the energy and time that I spent on dieting or obsessing about my weight or food and having let go of my shame about these, I have greater depth and fulfillment in my life, including deeper intimacy with others. I don’t think about my weight, and it stays fairly consistent. Oddly, after this new eating pattern became firmly rooted, I actually lost about thirty pounds.
    p. xxiv
    ?We now know that weight gain is in part a biologically induced result of the dietary habits that are currently encouraged and common among Americans. Dieting activates ‘thrifty genes? that induce weight gain, both by increasing your hunger drive and decreasing your metabolism, and triggers other weight-gain mechanisms, many of which are beyond your conscious control. Also, some food choices that have become increasingly common bypass your internal weight-regulation system: Since their calories don’t register, eating them can result in an insatiable appetite, even when sufficient calories are consumed.
    p. xxv
    ?’the best way to win the war against fat is to give up the fight. Turn over control to your body and you will settle at a healthy weight. And regardless of whether you do lose weight, your health and well-being will markedly improve. You will find that biology is much more powerful than willpower.
    p. 5
    ?Decades of research ? and probably your own personal experience ? show that the pursuit of weight loss rarely produces the thin, happy life you dream of. Dropping the pursuit of weight loss isn’t about giving up, it’s about moving on. When you make choices because they help you feel better, not because of their presumed effect on your weight, you maintain them over the long run.
    p. 34
    ?No ideas you (or anyone else) may have about how to maintain a healthy and appropriate weight can be as effective as listening to your body. Losing weight is not about finding the perfect proportions of carbohydrates, protein, and fat or tricking yourself into feeling satisfied. Rather, maintaining the right weight for you is about respecting your hunger and trusting your body to guide you in doing what’s best. And that’s hard to do if you’re regularly eating for reasons other than hunger and making choices that don’t give you pleasure.
    p. 40
    ?What’s the danger in restrained eating habits? If you are a restrained eater, you try to control your body weight and don’t trust your body to do it for you. You’re likely to be gaining weight or ? at the very least ? frustrated in your efforts to lose. Why? Because attempts to control your food intake through willpower and control require that you drown out the internal signals, leaving you much more vulnerable to external signals.
    p. 41
    ?Overall, more than seventy-five studies have been conducted to examine the effects of various situations that disturb the restrained eater’s self-control. The results are consistent: Restrained eaters react to emotions and external cues in a nearly totally opposite manner of unrestrained eaters. Emotions such as depression, anxiety, anger, fear, and excitement or disinhibitors, such as alcohol, cause a restrained eater to overeat. Conversely, they turn off the appetite of an unrestrained eater. As long as things go well, the restrained eater can maintain control. But if anything gets in the way or changes, she can’t maintain that control. The reason is clear: Restrained eaters don’t rely on the normal signals of fullness to regulate their eating, so there are no brakes in place.
    p. 44
    There is no need to watch your food intake or force yourself to ?work out. Imagine that. You can enjoy eating and moving your body. No more rice cakes when you really want that buttery biscuit, no more bicycling to nowhere as punishment when you do indulge.
    p. 45
    ?The problem [with counting calories eaten and burned] is it doesn’t work ? at least not in a lasting way. All you folks who have dieted or exercised with gusto, only to regain the weight, listen up! You did not fail to keep the weight off because you are lazy, weak, or undisciplined. It’s not because you didn’t want it badly enough. You regained that weight because the contributors to your body weight, such as what, when, and how much you eat, as well as how you expend energy (including your inclination to move), are not completely under conscious control.
    p. 47
    ?If you sometimes feel that dieting has surpassed baseball as the national pastime, you’re not alone. So many of us are dieting, coming off a diet, or feeling guilty that we’re not dieting, that the word ?diet? has morphed from a noun to a verb. Yet here’s the thing: Not one study has ever shown that diets produce long-term weight loss for any but a tiny number of dieters. Not one.
    p. 48
    ?Commentators often attribute weight regain to people’s inability to maintain their diets over the long run: the old ?no willpower? problem. Yet this study was well controlled to support the women in maintaining their diets. Weight regain occurred despite maintaining their reduced-calorie diet! And lest you think these results are particular to low-fat dieting, check out the data from this study to other popular diets. After twelve months, Atkins dieters were eating 289 fewer calories compared to when they started the diet, Zone dieters were eating 381 fewer calories, LEARN dieters were eating 271 fewer calories, and Ornish dieters were eating 345 fewer calories. Yet all were steadily regaining weight over the last six months of the first year. And this despite an accompanying increase in exercise!
    p. 49
    ?Over time, as you diet, stop dieting, diet, stop dieting, your body gets sick of it all and simply sets the leptin-meter to permanent low, producing less of the hormone regardless of which part of the diet cycle you’re in. Less leptin means your body isn’t working as effectively as it should to tame your appetite and stoke your metabolic machinery. Your setpoint has now been pumped up a notch.
    In addition to the reduced leptin during diets, your body pumps out higher levels of lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that increases fat storage. And, if the studies in rats translate to humans (and there is strong evidence they do), yo-yo dieters are compelled to choose foods higher in fat. Some reward for trying to be ?good,? huh? So here’s a review of the above, with a few other choice tidbits added in. Dieting:
    ? Slows the rate at which your body burns calories.
    ? Increases your body’s efficiency at wringing every possible calorie out of the food you do eat so you digest food faster and get hungrier quicker.
    ? Causes you to crave high-fat foods.
    ? Increases your appetite.
    ? Reduces your energy levels (so even if you could burn more calories through physical activity you don’t want to).
    ? Lowers your body temperature so you’re using less energy (and are always cold).
    ? Reduces your ability to feel ?hungry? and ?full,? making it easier to confuse hungers with emotional needs.
    ? Reduces your total amount of muscle tissue.
    ? Increases fat-storage enzymes and decreases fat-release enzymes.
    The message here? Don’t blame yourself when you ?break? your diet. It’s not about gluttony or a failure of willpower. In fact, most dieters show extraordinary self-restraint, persistence, determination, and willpower. You didn’t fail; the diet did.
    p. 55
    ?You are not only what you eat, you may also be what your mother ate. Several studies find that if your mother dieted during her pregnancy, you’re more likely to be heavier as an adult. One study found that the adult children of dieting pregnant women were less likely to be physically active than the adult children of women who didn’t diet. This suggests that conserving energy to protect against the food insecurity you experienced in utero may now be ?hard-wired? into your genetic memory.
    p. 56
    ?The stressed mice eating the processed foods gained a significant amount of weight, much more than the stressed mice fed the standard feed. They also gained significantly more weight than mice consuming the same processed food diet that were not subject to stress. If this translates to humans, it suggests that it’s not just the stress, but the combination of stress and a nutrient-poor diet, that does you in.
    p. 57
    ?Scientists were surprised to find that heavier people were four to six times more likely to have a cold-like virus, called adenovirus-36, than leaner people. Inoculating mice, rats, chickens, and monkeys with the virus results in the animals gaining weight and body fat ? without eating more.
    p. 58
    ?Fatter people tend to have a significantly greater proportion of one of the two main types of bacteria found in the gut, known as Firmicutes, than the other, known as Bacteroidetes. Detailed molecular analyses show that the Firmicutes are much better at extracting calories from food.
    When researchers spent a year meticulously measuring the gut flora of the heavier volunteers as they tried to lose weight by eating low-calorie diets, they actually discovered that the proportion of Firmicutes in their digestive tracts rose and the proportion of Bacteroidetes fell. This discovery could easily explain why it becomes harder and harder to lose weight through dieting.
    Think about this. The same bowl of pasta yields a different number of calories for each eater. Rodents raised in a sterile environment and lacking in gut flora need to eat 30 percent more calories just to remain the same weight as their normal counterparts.
    p. 63
    List of Bariatric Surgery side effects compiled by Paul Ernsberger and Sandy Szwarc?
    ?adhesions and polyps, massive scar tissue, advanced aging, anemia, arthritis, blackouts/fainting, bloating, body secretions (odor like rotten meat), bowel/fecal impaction, cancer (of the stomach, esophagus, pancreas, and bowel), chest pain from vomiting, circulation impairment, cold intolerance, constipation, depression, diarrhea, digestive impairment due to heavy mucus, digestive irregularities, diverticulitis, drainage problems at incision, early onset of diabetes, early onset of hypertension, electrolyte imbalance, erosion of tooth enamel, excessive dry skin, excessive stomach acid, esophageal contractions, esophageal erosion and scarring, feeling ill, gallbladder distress, gynecological complications, hair loss, hemorrhoids, hernia, hormone imbalances, impaired mobility, infection from leakage into body cavities (peritonitis), infertility, intestinal atrophy, intestinal gas, involuntary anorexia, irregular body fat distribution (lumpy body), iron deficiency, kidney impairment and failure, liver impairment and failure, loss of energy, loss of muscle control, loss of skin integrity, low hemoglobin, lowered immunity and increased susceptibility to illnesses, malfunction of the pituitary gland, muscle cramps, nausea, neural tube defects in your children, neurological impairment (nerve and brain damage), osteoporosis, pancreas impairment, pain along the left side, pain on digestion, pain on evacuation, peeling of fingernails, potassium loss, pulmonary embolus, putrid breath and stomach odor, rectal bleeding, shrinking of intestines, stomach pain, sleep irregularities, suicidal thoughts, thyroid malfunction, urinary tract infection, vitamin and mineral deficiency, vitamin and mineral malabsorption, violent hiccups that persist daily, vomiting from blockage, vomiting from drinking too fast, vomiting from eating too fast, vomiting from eating too much (more than 2 ounces)? and best of all ? weight regain.
    p. 65
    ?’there is no magic solution to losing weight and keeping it off in a healthy manner. If you continue to seek the Holy Grail of weight loss, you may be feeling depressed right now. There are no guaranteed solutions ? and the commonly recommended methods just aren’t showing results.
    p. 68
    ?’studies show that large people eat no more than lean people, despite a popular misconception that large people consistently overeat. In the words of the National Academy of Sciences from their report on Diet and Health: ?Most studies comparing normal and overweight people suggest that those that are overweight eat fewer calories than those of normal weight.?
    p. 70
    ?Eating less will not help you to live longer. In fact, the 17-year NHANES I study found that exercise and eating more were better defenses against heart disease deaths than exercise and restricting calories.
    p. 71
    ?The chain of causation is not what we accept as common sense: tasty food stimulating appetite, and overeating leading to weight gain. Instead, it works like this: Tasty food raises the setpoint, and the rats eat enough to maintain the new setpoint; unappetizing food lowers the setpoint, and these rats also eat the precise amount to maintain their new setpoint.
    p. 74
    ?Vegetarianism and veganism can be wholesome and admirable dietary styles when approached with the right intentions, but they can also be troubling restrictive behaviors, or markers for eating disorders. What you eat is less important than why you eat it.
    p. 78
    ?The same thing shows up in research on whole grains: Ten of the eleven studies on this topic reported that the more whole grains an individual consumed, the lower his or her weight.
    p. 78
    ?So while it might sound like an oxymoron, the moral is that by adding foods to your diet ? fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and other fiber-rich foods ? you are more likely to maintain a lower setpoint. Eat more, weight less. Who would have thought that could be true??
    p. 84
    ?Monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fats stimulate the most leptin release.
    p. 86
    ?For all the hoopla around the high-protein diet craze, the gurus of this movement had one thing right: Protein is much more effective at filling you up than either carbohydrates or fat. Thus, you tend to eat less at individual meals, supporting quicker weight loss in the short term.
    However, this form of eating has minimal impact on longer-term signals. Eventually ? over the course of weeks or months ? you’re driven to take in more calories ? or spend fewer calories ? than if your diet were composed of nutrients like low-glycemic starches and monounsaturated fats that activate satiety signals. For this reason, high-protein diets are unsustainable ? and the real problem comes when you stop the diet.
    p. 108
    ??food manufacturers have gotten us hooked: We need the intensity they bring to processed food in order for food to taste ?good? to us. Meanwhile, we’ve turned away from unprofitable ?real? (unprocessed) foods.
    p. 120-121
    ??we don’t have an obesity (and overweight) epidemic; our epidemic is one of fearmongering and ignorance. Consider the following statements:
    1. Overweight and obesity lead to early death.
    2. Overweight and obesity lead to disease.
    3. We are gaining weight at epidemic rates.
    4. Weight loss improves health and longevity.
    5. You control what you weigh.
    6. Anyone can keep lost weight off if she or he tries hard enough.
    7. Thinner is more attractive.
    8. We can trust the experts to provide accurate information.

    For most of us, these statements seem like basic truisms. However, much of what we believe to be true about weight ? including all of the statements above ? is in fact myth, fueled by the power of money and cultural bias. Public health officials, health advocates, and scientists are complicit (often unintentionally) in supporting and encouraging the lies. The campaign against obesity is not about science or health; its misconceptions about the most basic research are astounding. If you suspend your preconceptions and open yourself to the scientific evidence, a very different picture emerges.
    p. 126
    ??when researchers looked at a nationally representative group of more than 170,000 U.S. adults, they found the difference between actual weight and perceived ideal weight was a better indicator of mental and physical health than BMI. In other words, feeling fat has stronger health effects than being fat.
    p. 130
    ?On a short-term basis, weight loss is very effective at improving control of blood glucose. However, this doesn’t mean that the diabetes is being cured; even skipping one meal will similarly lower blood glucose. A 1995 review of all the controlled weight loss studies for type 2 diabetics showed that the initial improvements were followed by a deterioration back to starting values six to eighteen months after treatment, even when the weight loss was maintained.
    p. 136
    ?? extensive evidence documents that attempts at dieting typically result in weight cycling, not maintained weight loss. Weight fluctuation is strongly associated with increased risk for diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease, independent of body weight. In other words, the recommendation to diet may be causing the very diseases it is purported to prevent!
    p. 150
    ?The World Health Organization report that helped to establish a BMI of 25 as the cutoff for overweight was predominately drafted by the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF). On the surface, IOTF appears to be a scientific organization. However, probe a little and you find that IOTF receives much its funding from Hoffman-La Roche (makers of the weight-loss drug Xenical) and Abbott Laboratories (makers of the weight-loss drug Meridia). Their primary mission is to lobby governments and advance an agenda that is consistent with the platform of the pharmaceutical industry. Indeed, many outsiders describe them as no more than a front group for the pharmaceutical industry. In other words, private industry is writing public health policy.
    p. 152
    ?Let’s switch our emphasis to encouraging health-promoting behaviors for all, and let the fat fall where it may. Everyone, fat and thin, can reduce their risk for health problems by making good lifestyle choices. It’s time for a new peace movement: one that supports people in developing healthy lifestyle habits, regardless of their size.
    p. 155
    ?There is an easy way to win the war against fat and reclaim your pleasure in eating: Just give up. Yes, give up. Stop fighting.
    p. 163
    ??what’s really important here? isn’t some nebulous number on the scale? it’s coming to the same conclusions the HAES women arrived at: that weight loss just isn’t as important as they thought.
    p. 185
    ?Eventually, as more people learn to live large and proud and stop accepting the hatred and discrimination society has toward large people, the culture will shift to accommodate. Don’t believe me? Consider the parallels with other social change movements. Would you encourage African-Americans to lighten their skin to become better accepted? Or gay men to date women so they’ll ?appear normal?? Of course not. I firmly believe that in the no-too-distant future, we won’t expect heavier people to lose weight before we view them as part of the beautiful spectrum of human diversity.
    p. 187
    ?Dieting. It’s so seductive. It gives us hope, the promise of weight loss and happiness. But by now you know it doesn’t deliver. So acknowledge that. Repeat after me: Diets. Don’t. Work. Bottom line: Any plan that has you giving over control to someone else’s idea of what you should eat is doomed to fail.
    p. 206
    ?Stop judging yourself. Enough already with the weight! Despair you feel about your body and your weight is counterproductive. It makes you feel that something is wrong with you; that you’re not entitled to the food you want, and that need to deprive yourself as punishment for being ?overweight. All this causes a powerful retaliatory appetite and puts up a big barrier to becoming an intuitive eater.
    p. 221
    Live Well Pledge
    ?Today, I will try to feed myself when I am hungry.
    Today, I will try to be attentive to how foods taste and make me feel.
    Today, I will try to choose foods that I like and that make me feel good.
    Today, I will try to honor my body’s signals of fullness.
    Today, I will try to find an enjoyable way to move my body.
    Today, I will try to look kindly at my body and to treat it with love and respect.
    p. 225
    ?Research indicates that parents who restrict access to certain foods are actually more likely to have heavier kids! This fact makes sense: The kids lose their ability to self-regulate as a result of parents? interference.
    Promising a child dessert if she eats her vegetables or encouraging a child to clean his plate can also contribute to developing unhealthy eating practices.
    p. 242
    ?’there is research that suggests that larger people, on average, have fewer receptors for dopamine, a ?feel-good? hormone, which means that the pleasure signal has fewer places in the brain to attach to and work its magic. Maybe, then, these individuals eat a lot to stimulate the pleasure centers that do exist as much as possible, leading to weight gain, in an eternal search for the same satisfied state others take for granted through daily life. If this attribute is genetically rooted, it explains why heavy alcoholism, drug abuse, and compulsive eating tend to run in families: Less ability to experience pleasure makes people vulnerable to anything that provides it.
    p. 251
    ?Let’s face the facts. We’ve lost the war on obesity. Fighting fat hasn’t made the fat go away. And being thinner, even if we knew how to successfully accomplish it, will not necessarily make us healthier or happier.
    p. 253
    ??we need to stop making weight an official concern. Health officials, researchers, physicians, dietitians: Lay off the fat people. It is time for the health-industrial complex to acknowledge that science and reason do not support the value of a weight focus. We need to practice evidence-based medicine and use it as a basis for determining public health policy.
    p. 255
    ?Don’t be a sucker for the cultural version of beauty. And don’t impose it on yourself or others.
    Short and Long Term Changes in serum lepin in Dieting Obese Women
    Height and Weight and Mortality: The Norwegian Experience


    Linda Bacon brings out very important points. They bring me back to my basic premise: How did you start gaining weight in the first place?
    For the vast majority of people I interview, stress precipitated the weight- and it could have been early in life (being teased, abused, neglected) or these or other stressors at any point in your life.

    Stress changes your physiology; and can make you gain (or lose) weight, even though you haven’t changed your eating patterns. It can also start you on binge eating, or addictive dieting- orthorexia.

    I agree with Linda Bacon- stop the hyper-vigilance on what you’re eating; stop the obsessing about your body, and start living a life that has a purpose focused outside of your perceived physical attractiveness. You will see changing your focus improves your mood, your health, and eventually your weight! Because the things you resist persist!

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