The timeless practice of “looking busy” has reached new heights, and I suspect this is just a small sample of what’s in store for the world in dealing with the “childhood obesity crisis.”? Massachusetts has taken upon itself to issue “fat letters” to parents when?a child reaches a body mass index that is significantly above normal. Yes, this is really?happening. Accompanying this letter are some recommendations on how to take action against rising body weight. Pretty scary when the recommendations they are advising are most likely to be conscious calorie reduction and?increased physical activity – both of which are well-known and thoroughly proven to increase body fat percentage over time – not to mention increase the risk of many adulthood diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer.
Of course some mom in the video says “Why aren’t they hiring more nutritionists and gym teachers?”? The answer to that question is probably “because educating children about healthy eating and exercise doesn’t work.”? But hey, neither is the guidance given in the fat letters sent out I’m sure. From Gina Kolata’s Rethinking Thin…
p. 198 (results of the Native American children diet counseling study)?
?The children in the schools that had the special programs learned their lessons well. They could recite chapter and verse on the importance of activity and proper nutrition. They also ate less fat. At the start, their diet was about 34 percent fat; at the end, after two years of the program, it was 27 percent fat. But alas, Caballero said, ?it was not enough to change body weight??? But the intervention’s failure to affect the children’s weight was a puzzle. If such methods worked at all, you might expect them to work among Native American children, who have a very high risk of becoming obese.
p. 199-200 (Another NIH study obesity education study amongst 5,106 children)
?It turned out that the children in the schools with the special programs learned their lessons, and their diet-recall questionnaires indicated that they ate less fat. They also exercised more. And they retained their knowledge for years afterward. But their weights were no different from those of children in the schools that served as controls? Even the National Institutes of Health, which sponsored the two large studies on children, is acting as though the studies never existed, starting a new program called ?We Can? to involve parents and schools in changing children’s diet and adding more exercise into their day? it is a way of putting those interventions into action, with or without evidence that they work.? ?
?What, then, is wrong with this picture?? Some scientists, including obesity researchers like Jules Hirsch and Jeff Friedman, suggest an intriguing hypothesis. The origins of people’s recent weight gains may have little to do with their current environment or with their willpower, or lack of it, or with today’s social customs to snack and eat on the run or with any other popular belief. Instead, they say, we may be a new, heavier human race and our weight may have been set by events that took place very early in life, maybe even prenatally.
These “fat letters” are?all an elaborate attempt, like the Michelle Obama School Lunch Program, to address a problem. But the solution to that problem is not clearly?known. The proposed solution to these problems have been proven ineffective,?certainly not worth the cost of shaming young children over their body composition or increasing their chances of developing an eating disorder. But “doing nothing” is not very acceptable to the general public, who are largely to blame for this increasing trend as they are putting increasing pressure on public entities to?”take action.”? Yet, in animal studies, it’s known beyond a shadow of a doubt that doing nothing (never restricting food intake or forcing increased physical activity) has FAR BETTER outcomes than applying the standard eat less/exercise more prescription.
As Jonathan Bailor writes in his very well-researched book The Smarter Science of Slim:?What the Actual Experts Have?Proven About Weight Loss, Health, and Fitness…
“Doing nothing is better than eating less. This study?shows it is 400% better. Researcher D.M. Garner at Michigan State University had this to say about starvation dieting: ‘It is only the rate of weight regain, not the fact of weight regan, that appears open to debate.'”?
?Here is Garner’s report… Title says it all – Confronting the Failure of Behavioral and Dietary Treatments for Obesity.
There is only a “debate” about these BMI Report cards because it is presumed that the interventions recommended are effective. They are not. There is no debate. Making a kid feel bad about a body composition that was set in motion prenatally and pretending to have a consistently successful solution is just another thing to be filed under the long list of useless bureacratic programs – designed to make it look like a problem is being addressed even when the solution is unknown, and the proposed solutions are not only ineffective but counterproductive.
As Pink Floyd might say, “Hey, teacher, leave them kids alone.”?
As Billy Madison might say,?”Massachusetts… More like ASSachusetts. Right?”
This is so awful…
And so is the fact that my coworker has chugged 3 bottles of water in the past 20 minutes. When I asked her why she was so thirsty she said “oh I’m not, its just like really super healthy to do this.”
SOOOO super healthy. “If it sucks it must be healthy,” said pretty much everyone in modern society.
Yeah, I’m about to pull a polite intervention on her non-existant ass. 10+ bottles of water a day, 3+ diet cokes, raw vegetables for lunch and all I see is awful skin, a yellow complexion, slurred speech and delayed thinking (these are the only symptoms that are obvious to me, I’m sure she’s feeling like a million bucks on the inside. NOT)
Actually, I’d love to be able to just drink and drink, even plain water. Too bad it crashes my temps to do so. Incredible how I never noticed that before talking to you. Especially carbonated water and diet soda…HMMMM…
I really enjoy the sensation of drinking too. BUT I love being warm and feeling awesome more, so I don’t drink much unless I’m eating a prodigious amount of non-watery food, anymore.
Oh I know, I love drinking too! But I get cold so easily…
I am literally seething with rage over this. Where the hell do they get the nerve? I think someone forgot to notice all the anti-bullying posters that are plastered on the walls of our schools.
Oh good. I was hoping to ruin somebody’s day with this post. I’m trying to be like the news stations.
Oh but it seems that bullying so called over weight kids is completely ok because it is so much healthier to shame a kid’s body rather than building up their mind.
I’m wondering when it became okay to shame kids about how they look?
My six year old was a big baby and has become a stocky child with a belly. She’s not overweight but according to her pediatrician “pushing the upper limits of a healthy BMI.” She said that even though she isn’t unhealthy, doesn’t look overweight and she knows my kids eat wholesome, homemade foods I should consider giving her skim milk and not allowing her to snack as much. Besides the fact that raw milk doesn’t come in skim she doesn’t like milk anyway and only drinks it in smoothies. She also doesn’t eat half as much as her older, thinner (though still with a belly) sister. I’ve been up worrying at night about it for months. Why do both my kids have such large tummies despite not eating crap, getting enough sleep and watching very little television. I’m tired of worrying about it. I was vegan while pregnant with them and I also have thyroid disease so despite nursing them for 16 months maybe my choices and health issues have determined they will be bigger than the decrepit looking children in my daughter’s ballet class. I’ve learned to let go of my own issues with body image so now I need to overcome my fears for my children.
My 3 year old has quite A belly despite her healthy diet. Try not to worry about it. I was chunky kid and my mom worried me about it constantly and all i got out of that was a complex and self-absorption that took 15 years to heal from. Not until i let go of that stress surrounding food that i lost the weight, all whopping 15 to 20 pounds of it.
Our oldest son was a little chubby when he was young (elementary years). With “skinny” being pushed everywhere as being good, he thought that something was wrong with him and that he needed to lose weight. I was broken hearted to hear him express such thoughts at such a young age. I didn’t know it at the time, but my mother’s intuition told me that the extra weight he was carrying was going to be needed for future growth spurts. I told him that, and that he needed to trust his body because his body knew what it needed to grow. He was a healthy eater and an active boy, so no other explanation made sense. Why I didn’t apply that knowledge to myself at the time escapes me. I can only assume I didn’t apply it to myself because I wasn’t a growing youngster, so I assumed there was a different answer for my excess weight. Anyhow, he believed me and stopped worrying about it. What happened? He had a major growth spurt that had him 6 inches taller in one year. He’s now taller than his Dad and is naturally very lean with a very good appetite. Whew! I got that one right, thank goodness. I can only imagine that dead end I would had led him to if I went along with his thoughts that he needed to lose weight and helped him to diet.
ikr my kids don’t get any sweeets at all, in fact an unhealthy splurge to them is having plain fat free yoghurt with their furit when they see kids with cookies and other crap they wonder what it is
also these kids who eat crap are skinny but mine are fat????
My kids eat all kinds of crap but then they also seem to intuitively know when they need to eat a more balanced meal. They are both very tall and just the right weight for their heights. The elementary school pushes a very healthy eating program and suck all of the fun out of birthdays and holiday parties by not allowing treats. The veggie tray is never touched and the fruit tray is only minimally touched. I’ve tried really hard not to make foods either good or bad.
Now I just need to get my brain washed mind wrung out so I can stop beating myself up over “bad” choices when all I’m doing is just eating because I’m hungry dammit!
You should bring in a bag of cheeseburgers for lunch someday…see how well she resists…
Sorry you are incorrect, ” More like ASSachusetts. Right??” the Northern New England states use the term, Massholes.
I used this term earlier on Facebook. Thanks for the heads up though.
Haha, you got that right, David. Lived there for several years. :-)
Oh boy. I bet Georgia is next. Public shaming in schools is an art down here. Good thing I’m homeschooling next year. Decided to catch up on many years of lost sleep…. My school lunch program will be going to Southern Buffets, Bangladeshi Buffets (love that mango lassi), Brazillian Buffets, …
This ‘correlation’ of calorie restriction and obesity has been going on long enough to come up with a clever argument to take to court. Any lawyers here? Sue the school system. Get a good argument down on record. It’s a start.
I think it’s pretty clear these programs will cause public harm on a mass scale, but that has already happened with other health initiatives. It would be hard to prove any specific damage but a solid case could be made that a program like this is reckless, irresponsible, and not based on sound science. Perhaps a public awareness campaign along with a class action lawsuit against institutions such as the NIH. I would love to help create the supporting arguments in a case like that.
Are they sending letters home to the parents of those children who are below weight on the BMI scale? I bet not! How many children/teenagers are suffering with anorexia with no letters being sent home to their parents?
That’s just brutal.
Poor kids are basically all at Fat Camp now. Sad.
Meanwhile, here I am smashing a pint of full-fat yogurt with berries, sweetened liberally with maple syrup plus added salt plus a big coconut brownie (replace butter in recipe with coconut oil = delicious choconuttiness) for what I now consider a SMALL (and low-carb!) breakfast, then a burger heaped up with mozzarella, tomato, lettuce plus a huge plate of fries and a Coke for lunch. Dumped salt on everything of course.
And I feel great, I’m not gaining weight anymore, and I keep putting on visible muscle in my arms and chest without doing any “real” exercise. Plus I poop 2-3 times a day and my sex drive is as high as it was when I was 19.
I was sweating all morning in just a T-shirt while all my coworkers were complaining about how chilly it is today, LOL. Temps are running a nice even 99.0 F most of the day.
By the way, anybody else ever added salt to Coke? It tastes fucking rad and makes it extra fizzy.
Matt, you saved my life, dude. Seriously. I feel so f’in good except that I’m still stuck at this dumb job for a few more weeks. But I gave notice and I’m taking off to travel all over the USA and live a life of awesome with my wife and dog in a camper van and I am so damn happy! And it’s partly thanks to you, so THANKS A MILLION! :-)
Maple syrup is awesome! Going to try the Coke thing. Not now though, salt right before I go to bed never works well for me.
Going to have a pancake with maple syrup though, too bad the stuff is so expensive. Got some sent over from a friend in Canada.
Yeah, I’ve done that. I also add pickling salt to milkshakes along with Molasses. Sets me on fire.
Salt and Coke is what pleasure is made of.
The first time I tried that I dumped some salt in a can of Pepsi and half of the can ended up on the floor, but it does taste awesome.
Salted coffee is also really good, just add extra sugar too.
Yes to replacing butter with coconut oil, and throw in a couple of big spoonfuls of nutella in the batter too!
I’m noticing the freezing thing more. Girls will wear extra layers or jackets indoors, even above room temperature. All I gotta say to your meals and solid 99 degree temps is damn, I’m not eating enough.
Yay for you! What a great story!
Hmmm, I don’t see what is so brutal or outrageous about this. Sure, if you make a kid feel ugly and negative about themselves then you suck, but what is wrong with people trying to work with students to first recognize that they are at an unhealthy weight, and then try to guide them towards a healthy lifestyle.
A health practitioner would be a great resource for these kids, but many will not see one. Teachers help kids who need reading support get reading support, extra math help, teachers refer kids who need braces, warm coats, and lunch. For many students, teachers are their first/only advocates.
I think we all agree that a healthy body greatly contributes to having positive experiences in our life. I think this all most educators want for students. People try to blame the schools for obese children today, now you are blaming them for trying to encourage healthy lifestyles. Maybe some kids are predisposed to being obese from the time they are in the womb, but that doesn’t mean we, as educators, as a society, should sit back and do nothing.
Instead of criticizing helpers, go stick a thermometer up your ass.
Clearly you didn’t read the article. Doing nothing is much more effective than the interventions most federal entities propose. Don’t get all sensitive because you are trying to help and think that you are morally elite somehow for doing so. A lot of damage has happened over the centuries from people with good intentions creating unintended consequences. In this situation, it’s not clear exactly what a healthy diet and lifestyle is. In many ways it’s highly individual. Wanting the answer to solve this problem doesn’t mean that we have the right to create the solution out of thin air and put it into practice, especially when there are known dangers to those found-to-be ineffective interventions.
I may agree to some extent with iamateacher.
1) First of all, for all the libertarians out there, it’s not scary. You don’t have to follow the advice the schools send out.
2) I don’t agree with everything that schools do; however, I grew up in a poor part of the country, Appalachia, West Virginia to be exact. The schools provided free breakfasts to needy kids. A lot of kids would have gone hungry in the morning without it. My point is that not all of these initiatives are bad. The one I mentioned was a good one. Obviously one can have good intentions, but bad results. That may be the case of the Massachusetts initiative. An initiative is only as good as the information it is based upon. Maybe this one is based upon bad information. Certainly opponents should voice their opinion. However, before becoming too self-righteous, you should check your own history and see how many times you’ve had bad information…and acted upon it as the undisputed truth. Sometimes you (or the government or any other entity) just have to act with the information that you have.
Thomas, that is fascinating that you grew up in Appalachia. I studied it a little bit in college.
We had our son in Head Start. They take “teaching” to the max and even had a State of AZ social worker there in class with the kids about twice a week. I tend to think that there are some things schools can be helpful with…like feeding children.
My son went to the afternoon session of Head Start. The children got fed lunch as soon as they got there. The social worker once told me that many of the children would just go all out and scarf down their lunches. She said many of them didn’t have enough food at home and Head Start was where they ate the best and the most food. :( It is kind to these hungry children that they were able to eat well…and who cares what kind kind of food they were eating.
I think many teachers have their hearts in the right places and try to help, but sometimes the help is too invasive and oversteps boundaries.
Beth, no doubt they sometimes teachers/parents oversteps boundaries, but the boundaries are sometimes a fine line. For example, disciplining your children. Whose business is that? Where is the line between discipline and abuse? Even if you want to allow that light corporal punishment is acceptable, what is the teacher to do when a child comes to her and reports directly or inadvertently (overheard during a child’s conversation with another child) that the parents’ beat him/her. I know of one case where the teacher reported a parent to social workers. Turned out that the parent had done nothing wrong. However, put yourself in the teacher’s shoes.
Where is the demarcation between public and private? It’s not always that clear. Are we supposed to treat children as property of their parents? Some people want to talk about indoctrination at school (sure it exists) , so that they can have the exclusive right to INDOCTRINATE their children at home. They don’t want Darwinism taught to their child, so that they can teach them that the Easter Bunny took a shit 5000 years ago and the turn became earth.
I understand that there are a few (and I mean a few) cases where parents are abusing their children and not giving them the proper care they need. But the majority of parents’ freedoms and rights need not be encroached upon because of the the few parents who are doing a poor job of parenting. Where does it stop? Many one-size-fits-all programs (government, school, etc) do a piss poor job of being efficient and sufficient in helping others.
I don’t think children are the parent’s property, and they are most definitely NOT the state’s/federal government’s property. No one is the property of a government, no matter what that government believes or alludes to. I believe in parents being stewards over their children..who have the responsibility to teach them to become happy, compassionate, productive, self sufficient adults.
That’s the first I heard about the Easter Bunny and Creationism though…kinda funny. ^^^
“Some people want to talk about indoctrination at school (sure it exists) , so that they can have the exclusive right to INDOCTRINATE their children at home. They don’t want Darwinism taught to their child, so that they can teach them that the Easter Bunny took a shit 5000 years ago and the turn became earth.”
While in theory I agree with you, Thomas, just pointing out that Darwinism isn’t exactly an airtight theory, which is how a lot of schools teach it. I do think it should be taught, but I think the holes in the theory (and there are some real holes) should also be taught. And alternative views should at the very least be touched upon, and children taught to examine all views and decide for themselves.
Thomas, in my mind there is a world of difference between feeding kids breakfast and this new campaign. Feeding kids who are hungry is something that has been done for millennia and is pretty much iron-clad in its efficacy. If someone is hungry, feed them, hunger is gone.
This new campaign does the opposite (makes kids hungry), and also institutes psychological and physiological harm. It compares more closely to taking asthmatic people and recommending they smoke (and doctors actually did do this in the past). The key issue is, you should not just implement unproven solutions willy nilly. The rule is always: Do No Harm. We should all remember that, in all situations.
If people just want to “do something” I can think of several things they could implement that at the very least would cause no harm. For starters:
1) Re-institute gym classes so kids can get some exercise (without weight pressure)
2) Go back to making cafeteria meals from scratch instead of importing the pre-made crap full of chemicals in plastic wrap
3) Give kids more time for lunch and have it served in courses so they have time to observe their hunger, supervised by adults who remind them to chew and use manners. (rather than the current system in which kids are wolfing down meals in 10 minutes with other kids yelling, and teachers yelling and blowing whistles)
At the very least this would give kids some physical activity and the opportunity to enjoy food in a non-stressful way, and tune into their hunger cues, and does not cause any emotional harm. Why can’t we start with this stuff instead of diets and shame?
It’s interesting that you bring up giving kids more time to eat. Many parents I know say that even little kids, like 4 years old, get such little time to eat that they often return home ravenous with full lunch bags (I am in Canada so no school lunch programs.) The little ones are expected to unpack, eat and pack up their lunches in 20 or so minutes. On top of that they get woken up way early and rushed to the school bus with minimal breakfast. It’s enough to cause some serious anxiety for some kids.
It’s a big country, we have lunch programs in some places.
Duh, I should have specified. I’ve not known of programs in the cities where I’ve lived.
Seriously? WTF is up with our world?
These are all solid ideas. I’d take it further and encourage parents, whenever possible, to get their kids out of the pseudo-prison stress-factories called schools and educate them at home.
Children who are “schooled” are hammered into a shape that serves the state.
Children who are truly educated become great minds.
True education is not happening in schools.
More time for lunches would be awesome! My son gets about 10 or 15 minutes…and then a short lunch recess.
He has gym class at his school. I like it in some ways, but not in other ways. Kids get graded for things in class like running around the track, sit ups, and other stuff. My son isn’t athletic and felt bad last week after he and his friend weren’t able to run around the track as quickly as some of the other kids…and he told me he probably got a bad grade for not finishing within the time limits the gym teacher gave the kids.
I DO like the idea of more recess time. During recess, my son plays soccer with the other kids, runs around, plays on the equipment and gets his exercise “joyfully”, instead of “under duress and mandate” like he does in gym class. He’s more than willing to get exercise during recess than he is in gym class.
I think lunch for at least 1/2 hour + 1/2 lunch recess would be ideal. But some of our schools aren’t doing too well on test scores, so the Feds, state and school administrators want them to be in class more, so they can teach how to pass the standardized tests. And higher test scores can bring more money to the financially strapped schools, so they keep cramming the information in and there’s not enough time for the kids to eat, play and relax during the school day.
I would argue that time for proper nutrition and play would ultimately lead to higher test scores. These poor kids, no wonder they can’t concentrate well!
I can’t believe kids get graded for gym class these days. We never did. It was meant to be fun. Once a year we would have a fitness “test” to check our endurance and strength, but no grades.
I think more time to eat and play would help with scores also. But it’s hard to convince schools of that. :( Sometimes my son finishes his lunch and sometimes he doesn’t. But he does have a snack time and recess earlier in the day too…and that helps a lot.
One of the reasons my son is still in public school is because he is in an all day gifted program at one of our district schools. His teachers are outstanding…he’s in 2nd grade, in a multi age classroom and has subject-specific teachers. It’s a really a great program and we’re blessed our district has it. If my son wasn’t gifted and in this program, we’d be home schooling him.
And whenever we move, we’ll probably have to home school him, unless we can find something like this again.
Yeah, it’s a bummer about his gym class. Perhaps all schools don’t grade gym class like that.
*The rule is always: “First, Do No Harm.”
How do you know what causes harm and what doesn’t cause harm? Rarely is it clear-cut. At any moment people have to act on what they believe is true. That knowledge is ALWAYS partial (unless somebody here wants to claim god-hood). We are experimenting here with some guidelines. Who is to say that 10 years from now it will not be proven that our experiments here had been extremely bad for us? We can only say that we are doing the best we can on the little we know.
Yeah, it’s hard to know. That’s Matt’s point. When you don’t know, do nothing. There’s enough scientific evidence that what MA is doing is harmful that we do “know.” People just don’t want to accept it, and don’t know what else to do. Tons of examples of this elsewhere. Studies show that full-fat dairy is more associated with healthy weight than low-fat/non-fat, but we’re still advised to consume the latter. There’s no evidence that statins are helpful for women (and men other than those under 65 with existing heart disease), but they still get prescribed – with serious harmful side effects that can ruin lives. People like to “do” something when they don’t know what to do, but in evidence of potential harm they should not.
“We can only say that we are doing the best we can on the little we know.” – Yes, we are all doing that here at 180, and who ever really knows. However, we do know that trying to force down obesity with dieting has been scientifically proved a failure time and time again.
Thomas, respectfully, I suggest that it is very different for us to do experiments on ourselves, and even on our own children, where our and their interests are close to our hearts, than for the state to do an experiment on masses of children, where there is no relationship between them, and no real knowledge of each individual child.
Compassion without wisdom can be harmful. It’s not responsible to act in a way that guilts or shames others, in a way that forces others to do something, or to provide guidelines that are not based on solid evidence. This program does all three.
I agree that knowledge is always partial. Given that, if we want to help, then we should be going with our best understanding of the available evidence as a recommendation with openness to criticisms and suggestions. This program doesn’t do that either.
My husband is currently a teacher at one of our local high schools.
I think teachers can be great “helpers”, but I also think that too much is expected of teachers outside of what their “regular” teaching duties should be. The public education model has changed drastically in the last few decades. One of my older friends used to be a teacher and retired as the education paradigm was changing. She said that she was only interested in teaching and not raising other people’s kids for them and she got the heck out. Nowadays, teachers are expected to not only educate kids, but teach them morals, get involved in their home lives and so much more! All of that gets exhausting for my husband and we are so thankful that he has awesome, supportive administration at his high school.
And…since he’s so darn good at science (he’s a highly qualified physics teacher), he is now working towards going to medical school and might make it into school at Emory U this summer! We decided that instead of spending so much time raising other people’s kids, we’d like him to be home more and spend time with and help raise his own kids. He absolutely LOVES teaching and will probably teach in a medical university setting years down the road, but all the “extras” that go along with teaching in a public school are too much for him and for our family. The education culture of many public schools and teachers is too invasive.
I haven’t heard of anyone blaming schools for childhood obesity. I DO pack my son’s lunch because what I feed him is generally healthier than the menu at his school. But blaming the schools for obesity? No. My son has a very obese friend who also packs a sack lunch. It’s not the school lunches that are causing his obesity and probably what he’s from and at home isn’t causing it. The obesity epidemic goes sooooo much deeper than that.
Since there are many, many factors involved in obesity…Massachusetts expecting that they’re going to cure obesity by sending home “fat letters” to the parents is NOT going to end obesity. It will kick up some bullying, shame, anorexic eating habits, an emphasis on overexercise, and some kids mother or father may even hit him upside the head and blame that child for being obese and “why the hell are you making the schools send fat letters home?!” You of all people know that some children are abused at home and a fat letter isn’t going to help.
While I think schools do some good for the children, I believe that this isn’t going to end well for some children and may even get abandoned quite quickly because it sure won’t be productive for most people.
iamateacher, you are clearly caught in the groupthink that is “healthy eating and lifestyles”. This website and Matt’s books both contain ample reference to resources that show there is no scientific evidence for calorie restriction or dietary restriction of any kind in increasing health or reducing weight long term.
“And I feel great, I’m not gaining weight anymore, and I keep putting on visible muscle in my arms and chest without doing any ?real? exercise. Plus I poop 2-3 times a day and my sex drive is as high as it was when I was 19.
I was sweating all morning in just a T-shirt while all my coworkers were complaining about how chilly it is today, LOL. Temps are running a nice even 99.0 F most of the day.”
You are what I aspire to be :)
Well, I am still kinda fat and my stamina is shit, but that’s what happens when you do almost no exercise for 6 months. Otherwise, yeah, I’m pretty awesome. ;-D
I expect as I get further away from this desk job and more into traveling and spending time outdoors, the fitness thing will sort of happen on its own. You can’t really help building up strength and stamina if you climb trees and paddle boats and stuff all the time. Plus right now I just have no willpower to work out; I’m spending it all just dragging my ass to work!
I used to be very politically liberal, until I started learning about diet, nutrition, and health.
Then I realized that so many of the insane, unsustainable, counterproductive, and ridiculous ideas about health that abound in mainstream culture have been at least partially incubated and propagated by bureaucratic government agencies whose main mission is to LOOK BUSY. They accomplish this mainly through stupid programs like the above, which end up hurting people by pretending that a definite solution exists where in fact there is none.
Now I tend to side more with the people who believe the government’s primary role is maintain infrastructure (like roads and such), and that government should stay the hell out of the people’s personal business, including what they eat and how fat they are.
I dread the day that the government will try to tell me that I have to stop eating butter or take Lipitor (some people want to put it in the drinking water!!) in some idiotic effort to prevent heart disease.
Wow-what a great revelation.
Only a genuine truth seeker, is willing to change their views after considering new facts. I applaud you. Humanity was made for freedom and free-will. My kids doctor had me fill out a form recently (government mandated) asking questions that had nothing to do with their health and made my think of Nazi Germany.
When I was a kid, normal weight, I used to eat 50 pancakes or 8 pieces of cinnamon toast for breakfast. I was a hero at school because my lunches were: A 3-pack of ding dongs/hoho’s/twinkies, fruit punch, money for ice cream, a sandwich, chips, and pudding. (mom died when I was 5, so dad was responsible and fed me the way he ate and how my husband eats now-An entire pizza, an entire cake at a time-no guilt, no weight gain.).
Only when I started listening to girls in HS and restricting did I start to feel bad. I was so joyful before dieting and naturally active. What freedom to think I can go back to that place. Thank you Mr. Stone.
YES YES YES I too have made that change, and gun control is another I add to the list.
To clarify, I was responding to Brendan’s statement.
Daniel Steinberg wants to put it in drinking water. He jokes about it twice in The Cholesterol Wars. The first time you’re just like “whatever”. The second time you’re like “ok, seriously not funny”.
Me too (former liberal)!
This honestly makes me not want to have kids. My boyfriend wants to send them to school, and I definitely do not, especially reading stuff like this. This seriously primes kids for an eating disorder even earlier, like there isn’t enough pressure already to be thin at a young age. I stopped eating my lunch at school when I was 13 because it was ‘cool’ to eat less and ‘be anorexic.’ Kids get plenty of messages that thin is ideal from their peers, let alone the government adding to it.
Yeah, I stopped eating in high school as well. And then I had an eating disorder for over 10 years, and I had to get glasses and deal with violent mood swings and a lot of other unpleasantness. That being said, I am planning to homeschool my kids for at least a couple of years, and for now while they are little (4 and 2) let them eat and sleep as they wish. Our line of work allows my husband and I to be at home most of the time, and since we are in an unusual situation we figure, why not. I know other kids that have serious anxiety surrounding school, so much that they make excuses to stay home when they can, and I am talking pretty young kids, like 5-6 or so.
It’s interesting because a lot of people blame the media for eating disorders, but for me it was school. I wanted to be thin and tiny like a lot of my friends. I wish I would’ve had this information when I was a teenager and maybe I would’ve realized that doing nothing is much, much better than trying to control your eating. And the years of my life that I didn’t do anything to control my size I was the thinnest. That’s great that you and your husband can keep your kids at home. My boyfriend was one of those kids that pretended to be sick for weeks to stay home from school, and later in middle school he was bullied very badly. I know that a lot of kids don’t have that kind of experience, but it’s still sad and I wouldn’t want my kids going through anything like that.
My sister is 8 and she often has to be woken up for school, eats breakfast, has 20 minutes to buy milk, sit down and eat. So she comes home with basically a full lunch at 3:30. I can’t imagine this is good for her to be so rushed and go all day with so little food.
I was one of the thinnest girls in my class and I still felt pressure just because dieting was seen as cool. I think it even worse today, though. I just hope the tide will turn soon.
That is interesting Stephanie. My journey to fatness began also when I started to compare myself to the thinner girls and felt fat in comparison, after that is when my first gain occurred, in tandem with puberty. I went from 115 in 7th grade to over 150 by 8th I think. Lost 25 lbs and slowly regained by the middle of college. Then the diet cycling began in earnest.
My parents, who for some reason thought they were on the front lines of the battle against obesity, are by far the worst influence in my life, dietary or otherwise. All the people I have met with series eating disorders (life threatening) have parents who have weird eating habits in the name of health. So it’s a slippery slope.
How about ditch the boyfriend instead of not having kids? We need more well balanced people who think in this world. :-) Maybe he needs to take a hard look at his own past and how school messed him up, get rid of any preconceived notions about what homeschooling looks like, and THEN come to conclusions about keeping the future kiddos home. You don’t have to completely shelter them even if they are home. There are plenty of opportunities for kids to navigate real life and real social situations with your help even while homeschooling. There are so many resources, so many social opportunities nowadays. I don’t really understand why people would not at least consider it. Just an idea.
FYI, I was homeschooled, and I have homeschooled my 4 children since day 1.
We have Google now. Homeschooling is a no-brainer.
Matt – What should be done, though? Is there a way to turn the tide? Surely you don’t advocate for the kids to keep doing what they are doing and getting/staying fat. If eat less and exercise more is not the answer, what is?
The first 2 things I would propose would be…
1) Rid our food chain of excess PUFA, as this seems to have one of the strongest influences over that “prenatal” development of obesity-proneness
2) Help the public equate dieting/intentional weight loss with known threats to individual health, like smoking cigarettes
We don’t let kids smoke because we know it’s unhealthy. Why are we encouraging them to cut calories and increase exercise in the context of a reduced-calorie diet?
No GMO foods is a reasonable prohibition.
Rid our food chain of excess PUFA? We’d have to change our whole agricultural model. All we grow is corn and soy and almost any fat source not intentionally chosen in a modern meal is soy, corn, or canola. Is showed that graph from your Paleo Myths book about increase in veggie oils vs. decrease in pork and butter over the last century to one of my coworkers. His response was that oils are a very small part of the diet so increases by 800 or 1000% here or there are not a big deal, but the 74% increase in sugar was probably significant since sugar already represents a much larger portion of the diet. I didn’t have numbers to pull back at him so I just left it. There is total unawareness, even amongst well educated people.
This is so wrong. I hate the way public school oversteps boundaries. Another reason I homeschool.
“Pretty scary when the recommendations they are advising are most likely to be conscious calorie reduction and increased physical activity ? both of which are well-known and thoroughly proven to increase body fat percentage over time ? not to mention increase the risk of many adulthood diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer.”
…and stress, and shame, and low self-esteem. This is damaging to kids, not just physiologically, but also psychologically. How do they expect these kids will respond (and internalize) to such an official letter? What lack of empathy to ignore the child’s thought process.
Yeah, I agree with this:
The response of most kids to such a letter would be shame and embarrassment;
and that could only lead to two things;
either a child that eats more and is stuck in the eating cycle , from self hatred
or a child that is driven to diet through shame and fear of stigma,
and ends restricting food, over exercising etc.
A path that seldom works in the long run,
and even if it does, it is governed by fear and self-hatred,
starvation and bondage to the diet/exercise treadmill.
Good grief Charlie Brown! Is this real life?
Hmm, at a kids bday party last weekend there was one very obese girl, about 6 or 7. She hovered over the cupcakes and candy dishes for the entire party. Literally just stuffing her face with junk. She’s the fattest kid I ever saw. She could perhaps use these guidelines, I think.
Maybe she was stuffing her face because her parents keep her on a restricted diet and she can’t eat the stuff at home.
I used to stuff my face at parties, too. I ate more cake than anyone. My mom would come pick me up and I’d still be eating while the other kids were playing. I ate like a horse at home, too. But I was a twig so I guess no one judged.
While I’m throwing around Gina Kolata quotes, might as well squeeze in another one appropriate to your comment Amy…
?The conclusion reached by Stunkard and others who were doing similar experiments was unmistakable: There is no psychiatric pathology that spells obesity. And there is no response to food that is not shared by people who are not fat. You can’t say you got fat because you, unlike thin people, are unable to resist temptation. Both fat and thin people are tempted by the sweet smell of brownies or the sight of a dish of creamy cold ice cream. You can’t say you got fat because there is a lot of stress in your life. Thin people are just as likely to eat under stress. You can’t say it was because you used food as a reward. If that is the reason, then why do thin people, who also use food as a reward, stay thin??
But there’s a difference between having a cupcake or two, like the rest of the kids, and hovering over the cupcake table for the entire party. Giving in to temptation does not have to mean gorging. Eating one brownie is not the same as eating 10.
The point is this: The parents probably restrict how much she eats at home, so she’s chronically starving. So when she does get out, she self corrects.
i was responding to Matt’s quote, obviously.
When my son was in 4th or 5th grade, they had a field trip that I chaperoned. The field trip was one that the class walked to. There was one girl in my son’s class who would probably have been classified as morbidly obese for her age/height. I knew her mother and knew that she constantly had her on a diet. Because she couldn’t keep up with the rest of the class, I hung back with her and walked and talked with her along the way. She brought up weight and I asked her how she felt about it. Of course, she didn’t like how it made her feel different from the other kids, etc. She also mentioned that she didn’t like always being on a diet and having her mom monitor what she ate. She told me that it never worked because she would just find ways to eat what she wanted when she wasn’t at home. I felt so bad for her and wished that I could do something to help her. That was the closest I’ve been to experiencing the dynamics of a parent trying to control the weight of their child. It just doesn’t work, and creates so much damage in the process. Instead of this mom and daughter having an open and close relationship, their relationship turned into a tug of war, with the daughter lying to her mom and being sneaky and secretive so that she could get the food she was being denied at home.
Yes, because I’m sure she chooses to be disinterested in everything but the cupcakes. Perhaps food is always restricted and this was a restriction-induced binge. I do that too when I haven’t eaten well for a prolonged period of time, or try to eat a sugar-free diet. Once when I went sugar-free for 44 days I ate hundreds of cookies, a 20-pound brick of chocolate, and about 20 pounds of Halloween candy in the first few weeks following that experience. It’s not so simple as “Aw, look at that little fatass pig out. Do the truffle shuffle bitch!”
I’d say that to every fat kid I see, but I’m pretty sure the reference would just go right over their head. Wow, are we really in a time where no child understands a good Goonies reference? Sad generation =(
her parents are both hugely obese, and certainly weren’t doing any restricting.
Do you know that as a fact, Tierney? The story I told above about the overweight girl, her Mom struggled with obesity and did not want her daughter to have the struggles she had throughout her whole life, so she was trying to help her daughter avoid that by having her diet. Just because it doesn’t appear that any restrictions are going on, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.
Tierney, you brought up a lot of interesting ideas, and I’ve read the back and forth on this up to this time…something I’d like to add is the idea of inconsistency. In some families mealtimes are inconsistent and chaotic; kids don’t know when they will eat again. I think it is possible that this can contribute to obesity in those predisposed to it. Perhaps underlying the girl in your example’s focus on the cupcakes, was scarcity. Related to this there was some study that talked about the phenomenon of the fat poverty mom with skinny kids, and no, mom wasn’t gobbling up everybody’s food.
As an aside, I know an obese child who is the heaviest in my child’s grade. I have seen this child be very disinterested in food at times, and eat a lot at other times. The parents are heavy. I haven’t seen them restrict. Once I asked about when the child would need to eat during a playdate, and I don’t know if they were trying not to bother me, but it seemed that there was no need to provide a snack for the time from 3-6pm. My kid always has some kind of snack around 4pm, so they both got it. Friend hardly touched it. Maybe they don’t eat often normally…the kid is in a ton of sports and activities.
Another thought has to do with eating out of social anxiety. In the past (but under a generally restrictive eating regimen) I would be glued to the buffet at a party or event. I think my body was excited by the variety and also eager to get all it could, not sure when food was coming again. But psychologically I was aware of it being easier to stand there focused on food than trying to engage socially.
And I am glad that you added that this really isn’t the government’s business!
I guess I should explain that her parents were there, and I see these people yearly at this b-day party. I am not “judging” her by pointing out that maybe she is fat because her parents let her eat like crap. Clearly there is something different between this girl and my own kids, who ate a cupcake and a few pieces of candy and then went to jump in the bouncy house.
Tierney, as Emma pointed out above, you don’t know. Her parents also could sit around all day talking about how awful it is to be fat and how much they hate themselves for it. It gets in. Or there could be some other massive stressors going on.
I hope this doesn’t sound mean, but I am surprised you are not more understanding. I think you’ve said you gained weight due to medication – not eating too much cake. How would you feel if someone sat watching your habits and judging that you gained weight because you were eating too much of the wrong things?
Which actually brings up another point. A lot of kids are put on psychiatric meds today. There is no way to be thin when you’re on risperdel, and SSRIs and other meds cause huge weight gain, too. A friend of mine who lost 100 pounds and had kept it off for almost 10 years went on SSRIs recently and has gained back at least 50 pounds if not more. Another (lifelong thin) friend on SSRIs is now up 40 at least, and I could give several more examples. I’m sure people judge their eating, too, but it’s the meds.
I hope it didn’t come off like I don’t feel compassionate for this young girl. Certainly many reasons exist why people can be fat. (Yes, I have gained 30 pounds on SSRIs. Switching to Lamictal right now and hopefully will lose some weight. Lamictal is the shit and should be a front-line treatment instead of SSRIs.)
However. It is starting to sound like Matt & Co. are claiming that obesity can NEVER be caused just by poor food choices, and that I just DON’T believe. When you see the fat people at the grocery store with the piles of junk food in their cart- you really think they got that way from too much dieting? I think we need to bring a little common sense back into this. Surely very low-cal diets are harmful, but a lot of people really are just eating like shit and either they don’t know better or they don’t care. I am not advocating for the govt or the schools to do anything about this as that does not fit with my political beliefs. But I don’t think it’s helpful to pretend it’s not an issue and we can all be perfectly healthy eating nothing but crap.
I agree. Just as there are variations in all aspects of life, this would be true in this issue as well. After all I’ve learned though, I tend to assume the best of someone in those circumstance…medications, dieting, feeble/sporatic or dictatorial restriction from parents, health (thyroid, etc.). I think the majority of people fall in these types of catergories, and very few fall into the category of truly not caring at all and not doing anything to be healthy. I think that’s where our surprise at your comment is coming from…but, you are right.
Yup agreed. And I think a healthy diet (3 squares of good food) should always be the foundation.
This may be somewhat geographical. When I shopped at Whole Foods in Palo Alto, I did not see the kind of people I am talking about now. But walk in to any HEB or Walmart in small-town central TX and oh my god. You will see people who just plain don’t care. I mean entire shopping carts of nothing but soda and doughnuts. There is no way anyone will make me believe they are obese because they got too much exercise.
That doesn’t mean I judge them morally, though. In fact I’m married to someone who is pretty hefty.
It is very geographical, even within cities. But even that diet does not guarantee obesity. I had some druggy friends back in college that had nothing but Twinkies and Mountain Dew in their apartment. They weren’t fat though (could be the drugs). I know they also ate things like Hardee’s.
Thing is, the body doesn’t even feel good on a diet like that. Three squares is the best.
yes, sure, I have lived with both heroin junkies and meth-heads who “grocery” shopped exclusively at 7-11. Of course they were skinny as hell. But the ones who didn’t croak are now fat esp. the tweakers.
The best thing I ever did for myself was to loosen the reigns and just eat exactly what I wanted. No restrictions.
I do not agree at all with the public schools taking over this function though. With the ACA and M Obama’s misguided mission things could get a lot scarier, too. I send my kids to private school to avoid this BS.
I am so grateful to you Matt and to all of you here for showing me another way to think.
I have six kids and at this point one of my 13yr old boys (a twin) has put on weight, my 11yr old daughter is quite “thick” in parts and my 8yr old daughter still has a big pokey-out tum. The other three are thin. That’s 50% of my kids that don’t fit the stereo-typical thin norm. If I hadn’t started reading books and blogs like this one about six months ago I could be panicking about my kids physiques but you know what? I aint gonna panic. I’m gonna feed ’em the best I can (which is not perfectly by any means) and love ’em the best I can. I have struggled with weight since I was 16 (now 38) and the one thing I would have sold my right eye for was a parent who loved me unconditionally regardless of what I weighed. Especially a daddy who would do that. But no, I got a neglectful father and a mother who bought me diet pills (she was always skinny and looks are very important to her – I imagine I must have been a source of embarrasment to her). It’s so hard to let go of this shit and get over it. I’m just glad I caught onto this stuff just in time for my kids to go through adolescence so that I won’t ever shame them or encourage them to diet. Bloody hell we need a revolution and what beauty actually is. I am so inspired by the so-called “plus size” models out there and for anyone in the public eye who is proud of themselves and their body regardless of how curvy it may be. Even those not in the public eye, those practising self-acceptance YOU R AN INSPIRATION TO ME.
Yes it is very good not to shame your kids into diets!
My mother did that, and is still trying to do that (I am now 44).
Needless to say it has led to a lifetime of dieting and feeling crap..
I love Massachusetts. I really do. It also happens to have some of the best social outcomes of any state in the United States.
Matt Stone for president!
Well– one thing I have noticed is that some of the kids with the worst diets are the skinniest. I do mean worst– as in, will only eat chicken nuggets, white rice, milk, kool-aid, candy, pasta with tomato sauce. I’m not saying any of those things are horrible in the context of an overall well-rounded diet. But when that is all a kid will eat (and I truly know two girls who only eat the above–with maybe a few things like goldfish and fruit roll-ups thrown in), this seems unarguably– mainstream or 180 philosophy– unhealthy. The kids I know that skew to this kind of eating are UNDER not overweight. Furthermore, they don’t seem particularly healthy.
Yes, I think this is interesting. Something I read on youreatopia suggests that different people react differently to undereating.
Some people, after a period of undereating, get hungry and feel miserable until they eat enough. Then they feel better.
Other people, when undereating, feel good, energized, and focused. Eventually they get hungry enough to overcome that, and they’ll eat.
Stimulants generally make people less hungry — perhaps the 2nd group is simply more affected by the stress hormones their own body makes versus their hunger drive. Or perhaps the stimulation of modern life (caffeine, lack of sleep, fast-paced TV and video games) causes enough stress hormone release that some people end up eating less than they should.
I am very interested in this because I wonder how people who are not worried about fat gain, and thus don’t consciously restrict their eating, can still end up unhealthy, perhaps also undereating.
… (hit the return too early) so, it seems to me that using weight as some barometer of a child’s diet and lifestyle is absurd. Plenty of skinny kids are inactive and eat poorly. Many of these kids have all sorts of health issues– asthma, adhd (whatever that is), cavities, frequent colds, etc… but the schools wouldn’t send a letter home.
This article made me think of Noam Chomsky’s observation that smoking is becoming more legislated as the upper classes have rejected it. This is essentially to say that obesity (in this case) is viewed as a lower class problem of sloth and gluttony and thus something the state should intervene. Whereas the other issues you mention are viewed as genetic or otherwise intractable and thus private matters.
So much great stuff here…
My school stories mirror those of many people here. I was a skinny, active kid and ate a decent amount of “junk” food. I became negatively obsessed with dieting and weight as early as first grade, though, when our class went to an anti-obesity assembly. Afterwards, the teacher said, “I wish Geoffrey had been here today.” (Geoffrey was the “fat” kid.) So we all got the message that fat was “bad.” Shortly after this I became afraid to eat McDonald’s, pizza, etc. Ironically, our school participated in the Pizza Hut Book It program, where if you read a certain number of books you got a free personal pizza with your family. I loved reading, but then reading became a source of stress because if I read, my parents would turn in the Book It certificate, and then I’d “have” to eat pizza. :-( So yeah, tell a first-grader to like reading, encouraging reading by offering a yummy food treat, and then tell the kids that the yummy food treat is actually bad? How warped.
Matt used to have a post about the Pizza Hut program.
We need to stop moralizing food and eating practices so much…
sad state of affairs. at least we’re not in japan, where they measure the waists of adults and fine the companies they work for.
Gawd! We live in an insane world.
Off-topic, but I post here anyway. Apologies. I’m eating for heat/eating for recovery. I know PUFAs are bad. I REALLY WANT A FUCKING CHICK-FIL-A SANDWICH. What to do?? excuse my language.
Eat it, enjoy it, don’t stress. Resist the urge to make new rules to beat yourself up with.
yeah, chick fil a is the highest quality junk food, real meat, not too greasy-
too bad there ain’t one anywhere near my town
My wife and I had the same dilemma… Our solution was this: Get the sammich (Might I reccomend: ADD provolone), skip the PUFA sauces you could, skip the PUFA soaked fries, and ADD on BONUS milkshakes :)
chick fil-a always tastes good. the people working there also seem happy, which is a cue that it’s safe to eat.
a few times i’ve eaten food from places where the people seemed miserable, and i felt a bit off. this can be true of different locations of the same chain restaurant.
I live in MA. My son came home with a printout featuring a healthy heart and Hefty Heart. He is by no means hefty himself, but I made sure to tell him not to worry and just eat when he’s hungry and stop if he’s full.
Has anyone watched Supersize vs Superskinny?
It is a series from the UK. Very interesting to watch,
at least a couple of times. It is on you-tube.
I would love for them to check back with the participants
in a couple years and, see if they made any lasting changes.
At first I was interested in that show, until I realized that it just propagated eating disorders. Case in point, the “doctor” allowed his appendix to burst because he was terrified about having surgery, getting a scar and not getting to work out. Here’s a quote: I suppose my biggest issue is my body dysmorphia; my issues with weight. I obsess with the gym and my body weight and how I look. Not in a completely superficial way, but what I see in the mirror is not really how I look.
I think the skinny people they get to eat more are healthier as a result and they will check back on them in the future. The larger people don’t do well, and I think the show does a real disservice to them.
I have only seen a couple of the series.
Are you saying the doctor on the show allowed his appendix
to burst? Or, a participant that was a doctor? Do you know
what series that particular show is? I would like to watch it.
Dr. Jessen himself got appendicitis and put off getting medical treatment because he was afraid of the physical ramifications. It wasn’t in an episode.
“But the gym addict, who works out for more than an hour and a half a day, six times a week, is the first to admit it was not the only reason he was reluctant to get it checked. ?It was partly a vanity thing,? he says. I didn’t want a scar on my body and I didn’t want to accept that I wouldn’t be able to go to the gym for a while. -http://bit.ly/15W95wJ
I think the sociological impact of having our medical professionals and caregivers (esp. teachers) buying into this damaged understanding of human health deserves further documentation.
Thanks for the info. I googled the topic and, found a great
article on the piece.
After reading it, truly his biggest problem was fear. This is
very common in health professionals. They have seen it all.
They know the risks first hand. I am an RN. I can tell you I
too would steer clear and, hold out hope I might recover on
my own. Not because of a scar. Plain old fear.
In nursing school one of my instructors was teaching on
cervical cancers. In the lecture she told the story of one
of her friends who also was an RN. Her friend was diagnosed
with cervical cancer. She was married, young and, had a
small child. After her appointment she went home, got the
gun, went outside and, shot herself in the head. She had
left a note explaining that she knew what the future would
hold for her trying to fight the disease. She chose death.
I do think Dr. Jessen was brave to say he also worried about getting
a scar, or not being able to work out. Those are pretty normal
fears too. We all want to feel in control of our lives.
Yes, an hour and a half six days a week is excessive. However,
that in context too doesn’t seem strange. Think of all the hours
professional athletes put into training. I myself when I was 18
went into the armed forces. We trained well in excess of 1.5
hours six days a week. When you are young and, healthy it
feels fantastic to train hard.
All that said, I don’t know that the show has made any real
head way in dealing with obesity. However, in the shows that
I watched each participant said that they have been amazed
at the volume of food they eat. Or, for the skinny the minuscule
amounts they consume.
I guess I am wondering how much of it has to do with what’s in
our head. Much like Matt’s latest book Diet Recovery 2. He ends
the book telling us to get our minds on fun, productive things.
I think he is right. :) So, I wonder too if this will work with the obese.
They need to get their minds on fun, productive things.
Certainly, focusing on the fat will only make it worse. As, some
of the participants stated the worse they felt about themselves
the more they ate. I think that right their will tell us that sending
out fat letters is not going help.
Oops! Not “cervical cancer” Ovarian Cancer.
I can appreciate that there is an alternative way of reading Dr. Jessen’s behavior. Although, he admits to body dysmorphia and so I don’t think that his overexercising should not be rationalized. I think my point about the show’s dysfunctional premise is important, as they show a linear relationship between caloric intake and body size. The fact is that they are cherry-picking candidates who fit their ideas about how the human body works and reinforcing a damaging social and medical myth. I would argue that this ideology deepens the obesity epidemic.
The book on metabolism may be more useful then the most recent one for addressing obesity.
You are gonna hate me but i feel like alot of the problems people on this site are facing is iodine defiency. iodine is the most importasnt factor of the thyroid and no food will change how fast or slow your thyroid works as well as iodine. Matt i have an experiment for you, buy some nascent iodine and take the reccomended dosage for adults (4 drops in a glass, 2 times a day) and see how much better you tolerate water, salt cravings and mood. Give it like two weeks. The brand is nascent iodine with a little flame on the bottle.
I can vouch for what Catherine is saying: Iodine is one of the best ways to add some quick heat on (and is needed for soooo many other reasons). Everyone really should take it… I think a lot of people here do indirectly supplement iodine though, through using junk loads of iodized salt. If you’re not – switch to it, or start supping. You do need to also take 200mcg Selenium with it though, or it can create an imbalance after a while. You can get Potassium Iodide for VERY cheap (called SSKI) and you get a TON of iodine; one drop a day will do. Nascent is the best, but for thyroid SSKI is fine. (different organs prefer either the elemental, or the salt)
I have not found iodine to make any difference to my weight or temps.
I have experimented with different doses and taken it with selenium and also tyrosine,
and also just on its own.
I cant say I have had success with it!
Watch out. I tried Iodine. It was a disaster.
My health issues spiraled out of control after
supplementing with iodine for one week.
If you take the wrong kind, this is true. There are good forms of iodine to take, and bad forms to take. I researched iodine supplementation thoroughly before deciding on which form is safe to take, which is why I ending up settling on Nascent iodine. Here’s an article on it if you’re interested in trying again.
I used to read the Iodine yahoo group every day for about a year. One of the most common refrains was people who had started taking iodine and were concerned about the weight they were gaining. (At which point they were told it would “come off later”… sound familiar?) Anyway I never tried Iodine so I have no personal experience to share because the general craziness on that yahoo board scared me off. A lot of people were having bad experiences and were just kind of blown off.
Plus I read that “book” by Dr Browstein (sp?). I don’t think I have ever read such a poorly written health book, which is saying a lot.
By the way those people all took Lugols or Iodoral. Nascent may be different.
According to Peat, iodine is very anti-thyroid, which is one reason why Peaties are very careful to avoid even iodized salt. Just passing that on. Don’t know.
It depends on what iodine camp you agree with. I’ve been taking it for over a year and I have not had any negative side effects with my thyroid. My thyroid levels have remained stable and my medication has not needed to be increased. Maybe that’s because of the type of iodine I take??? Like I said, some forms are not good at all to take and CAN cause problems.
Iodine is only anti-thyriod if you’re allergic, or have some sort of co-factor deficiency. I’ve been on Nuclear Holocaust levels of SSKI for a couple years now and am fit as a fiddle. I’m a hardcore peatie… but alas he read the same bad research that most doctors did.
My thyroid swells uncomfortably whenever I take iodine – even in small doses of less than 1mg. Any suggestions? Best to avoid?
I must have hit the wrong reply button, so my reply to you is down below.
the standard answer to this among the Iodine afficinados is that your thyroid is so desperate for Iodine that it swelling to be able to grab on to more. The solution, of course, is to take more. (sounds like total BS to me, but who knows.)
I have heard that before too – I am equally skeptical.
Just wondering if you’d heard about this appalling story mother??
sorry that was supposed to read ‘appalling story’ not ‘appalling story mother’ (although she is pretty appalling but I was trying to avoid saying so. :)
Are you taking Nascent iodine? I’ve heard about people having thyroid swelling with other iodine supplements, but not with Nascent.
BTW, everyone is different, so naturally not everyone has amazing results with iodine supplementation. I’ve been supplementing with iodine for at least a year, and although it’s helped with my energy level, I can’t say that I’ve noticed any other benefits.
Emma, thanks for your reply. I have used Lugols, and I reckon you might be right that nascent might be more helpful. I will give it a go and start slow. I get awesome results from selenium, so I guess I logically extended that to a hope that iodine might be helpful too. Experimentation is always good!
I’m so happy my iodine comment wasn’t just blown off by everyone! But i have something else to say. I have been taking nascent iodine lately (the most effective one) and guess what! When i don’t follow advice from matt and make sure my temps are warm and i feel good and energised with a high metab, taking the iodine won’t work. expecially if i take it with a glass of water. But if i take it when i’m all warm and high metabolism, i take it with just a little spoon of water and it has such an amazing effect! i took it at night and woek up in the morning not feeling groggy gor the first time ever. the reason i took it at night was cos i normally warm up at night. i think the thyroid just doesnt pick it up unless its working properly.
Thanks for the tip. I’ll give it a try.
So what if they send home fat letters. They are for the parents not the kids. Some parents might not have any idea that their kid is overweight or they might be in denial. When I was young me and my sister were both on the chubby side my mother kept telling my sister it was baby weight until she was in high school! Plus it doesn’t matter it matter if it is not fat letters it will come from some where else I can’t even count the number of class mates, coworkers and even family members that have picked on me and my sister about our weight. Why worry about fat letters if a kid is overweight or obese its going to be the least of their problem.
For laughs, I calculated my son’s bmi last evening. He is 4 feet, 9 inches tall, and around 98 pounds, at almost 9 years old. He is a moose. The calculator says he is obese! Laugh, I did. Look at him and, yes, you will see a husky kid. But grab his arm and you will notice that he is very solid and even his padding is firm. Obese, my eye.
Clearly these BMI calculators do not take body composition into consideration, or the child’s growth curve (this guy has always been in the 95th percentile for height and weight). Below the calcluator, there was a note to parents, that learning the “truth” about your child’s BMI can be shocking (NO!really???) but basically, you need to man up and take, so that you can act…you still have time. Laughing some more. Better act quick so that my obese child doesn’t grow up to be obese.
As a note, I also followed this pattern as a child, my chubbiness peaking around the age of 9. I started to mature after that, and by 11, I was a different person, ending up tall and much slimmer by the time I was 13 or so.
I live in France. You can forget the book, “French Women Don’t Get Fat”. That was then, this is now with European industrial food mirroring what we get in the states. France has the #1 pesticide usage of any European country and 40% of its produce tests over the limit for pesticides. Add to that the increase in processed foods, sodas and snackfoods. We actually do
ingest GMOs through meats, because GMO feed is authorized in Europe for livestock feed. Anybody visiting here will see the signs: aduterated food.= obesity.
This suggests increasing rates of obesity in France are primarily attributable to increased sunflower oil consumption…
Link can be found in the article here… http://180degreehealth.com/2013/01/the-biggest-dietary-change-ever-made
I don’t know that large use of sunflower seed oil is new in France. When I was going to school there in the early 80s, sunflower seed oil was the main oil that you got in the supermarkets. Yeah, people cooked somethings in butter, some in olive oil, but I think most of your everyday cooking was done with sunflower seed oil. Don’t know how long this had been the case.
At that time it was rare to see a fat person in France. My point is that I have some doubt that the culprit here is sunflower seed oil, since that’s been used quite a bit for some time now in France.
That study shows that it has little effect until the next generation is born, as it discusses mostly breast milk composition and prenatal influences that increased PUFA intake has over the development of fat cell number and size – two of the most major factors known to influence obesity proneness.
Here, check this out. According to this report Sunflower seed has been the dominant oil in France since the 1970s. Before that groundnut oil was the dominant cooking oil in France. Groundnut oil = peanut oil. It does turn out that Sunflower seed oil is about 69 percent PUFA as compared against 32 percent PUFA of peanut oil. Still I don’t think the Sunflower seed oil theory holds up: http://tinyurl.com/aeo8gjx
Sunflower oil has been the most consumed vegetable oil in France since the 1970s,
conquering a market which was previously dominated by groundnut oil. While the French
food industry appreciates the oil for its nutritional and technological qualities, consumers
also resort to this oil in their everyday cooking needs, because it is considered to be
healthier and more sustainable than other oils. If you want to learn more about vegetable
oils and sustainability in France, please refer to the websites of France-BIO –
http://www.france-bio.fr – and Agence Bio – http://www.agencebio.org -which might
Yes but the theory does then hold up that it’s the next generation that suffer the most from PUFA use. So if it became widely used in the 70’s then we’ll be seeing the effects now, makes perfect sense Matt. Really tragic that the french would stop using butter as their no.1!!
Ugh, they didn’t stop using butter as their Number One. They stopped using Peanut oil as their Number One. I need to check how far back peanut oil was number one.
Of course, maybe the report that I included above did not take into account butter…maybe the compilers did not consider it an oil. I don’t know.
Also peanut oil is comparable to canola oil, about half the PUFA as in sunflower oil. If this were the primary reason, you might expect the French to be worse off than the Americans, vis-a-vis obesity. I don’t think that’s the case. My thinking might be off about that, but it’s worth thinking about.
I know people on these types of forums like to force everything into the procrustean bed of their pet theory (that’s how all orthodoxies are formed). The sunflower seed oil theory might hold up, but I’m not buying it yet
I wouldn’t be surprised if all these these things were implicated. The epigenetic changes wrought by increased PUFA consumption, plus the pesticides and GMOs.
And don’t forget the widespread use of hormones (both in meat and contraception pills). Any girl who’s been on the pill can tell you those hormones are fattening, and who knows what it does to babies.
No doubt it is, as they say, overdetermined. By that I mean that it is a complex of factors, not just one. And those factors could be synergetic (I hate that word, but allowed myself to use it this time).
I think that electricity may also effect development due to the interference with the sleep cycle. We recognize the effects of lack of sleep personally on weight management, but I wonder if these may also be cumulative.
What I meant was people used to mainly cook with fats like lard, tallow and butter. Widespread PUFA use has only happened in recent times. Sometimes it takes a few generations for all the fall-out to be seen. I think not only are our bodies trying to cope with PUFAs, they’re also missing out on all the goodness in natural fats. Seems like a big double whammy to be sure.
The French surge in obesity is certainly multifactorial. They consume the most prescription drugs of any European country – increased usage of antibiotics for people AND livestock: antibiotics are a known plumper.”
Currently, hardly a whisper about transfats. Margarine isn’t demonized yet.
Many years ago I was on a flight sitting next to a French gentleman who told me he and his colleagues were on their way to attend a food trade fair in Chicago. He worked for the Monoprix chain of markets. I looked him straight in the eye and said, “Frankly, you’re coming here to find out how to make the food cheaper, aren’t you?” To that he said, “Yes”
How did I know? Prepared foods in supermarkets already tasted adulterated.
I have a question, does anyone know why my otherwise slender 8yr old daughter still has a pokey-out tum?? She asks me sometimes and I just tell her how gorgeous it is and how much I love it (it is really cute). Still, it’s obviously something she notices and I was just wondering if there’s a scientific reason behind this? Thanks
I have no scientific explanation for you. This might sound silly but part of me wonders if it’s how their organs and intestine fit into their small frames. Anyone with an anatomy/physiology background want to chime in? But both my kids have the pokey-out tums, and they are lean, sturdy and dense.
Good for you telling your daughter her belly is gorgeous!
Andrea, how old are your kids? I did a google search on this and they reckon kids should grow out of their big tum by age 3-4. I don’t think I buy that really.
Ah, interesting, my oldest one just turned 4.
I wonder the same thing about my slender, sturdy eight year old. Both her and her six year old sister (more sturdy than slender) have tummies and I have no idea why.
My sister had one. She was thin…except for her tummy. She’s 34 and very tall and slender now, with no tummy.
My 5 year old daughter has one too. She’s somewhat tall, very slender, with great muscle tone and a tummy. She loves poking out her tummy as far as possible. ;) Unless, there’s a medical problem, I think kids grow out of it.
Man oh man…am I the only one so confused? Matt I want to believe ya, trust me. But the more I think about it, the more I don’t know. If just “eating the food” is helpful to the body than why do I know so many people who are overweight in my family? We are not known dieters and we enjoy an abundance of flavor and freshness in our diets. Yet we can’t lose weight for anything.
I only started to lose weight when I dieted. Which not shockingly backfired and I’m back where I started and more. So I swear off dieting and claim it to be criminal, only to remain at a heavier weight that I don’t enjoy.
If dieting doesn’t work, and all that “eat less,move more” is nonsense…and if eating what your heart desires ,when your heart desires doesn’t work, and leaning on your own hunger and emotional cues is not working, then what? I’m thinking about joining weight watchers because I think it might be the lesser of the evils. But again, I don’t want another backfire.
It’s all just boiling down to hopeless my friend, and I for one can’t seem to change that silly fact.
If all you say is true, then you are probably at your natural weight, whether you like that weight, or not. Dieting is only going to make you gain more weight. The goal is not to lose weight. The goal is to get to our healthy, natural weight, whether that means a person needs to gain weight or lose weight to get there by stopping dieting. Have you read Health at Every Size by Linda Bacon? All I can say is, DON’T diet.
Or the Obesity Myth by Paul Campos is great too, and will shatter all your preconceived notion on “overweight”.
I actually believe it is possible to lower your set point a little, probably. But dieting won’t do it. It will raise your set point.
Some potential ways to lower it all have to do with stress reduction and meditation and stuff. And eating good healthy food.
Billy Craig seems to think it is possible to lower setpoint.
Seth Roberts too (shangri la diet)
From all my readings, I have understood that setpoint is not a fixed medium, but can be change;
and if setpoint can be raised by dieting,
then theoretically it can be lowered by correct eating, and giving the body reasons to feel safe and get the message that it doesnt need to store fat as a protection??
What if there is just permanent damage to the hypothalamus or something. And set point can never be lowered. That’s the kind of thing that worries me.
Lowering of the set point certainly seems elusive. Those who do it remain an anomaly not the rule. Truly and permanently lowering it that is.
Ouch, that is a bit depressing! ..
If it comes down to accepting a setpoint that is higher than u desire,
or endlessly battling your body.
I personally think I’m above my set point. I’m obese and have never weighed this much before. Therefore, I think others’ set points could be lower than now, and that long term weight loss is something that happens when we are eating well, not so stressed/sleep deprived and not dieting on purpose.
It took my 3 years to reach the weight I’m at…after years of extremely chronic stress, crazy diets and hardly any sleep.
Kate, I haven’t gotten around to reading this yet. I would like to though. I wonder how it compares with The Dieters Dilemma? I found TDD at the thrift store the other day, and although it’s an older book, much of it seems to still apply according to what we know today. Have any of you read TDD? It appears to me to be among the books that was at the forefront of this issue and probably helped to pave the way for our current understanding on this issue.
Thanks for the info and advice. I am currently not at my natural weight, this I know. I know my natural weight is higher than most women, I’ve got to account for bigger breast size and wider hips and fuller thighs, which I’m ok with. I’ve learned to love it. But my current weight is not healthy, and i feel a tad uncomfortable. My range of motion does not feel as good. Which, is probably from dieting for 2 years. But it’s been 2 years since I ended dieting, and it won’t go down, it just creeps up and up. My weight before I started to diet was creeping up and definitely was making me buy bigger clothes. I am waiting for results from my doctor for some health stuff, but honestly I am not so sure what’s the answer anymore. I’ve tried all that I know.
oh and thank you both for the book suggestions! Should be a fun read, if nothing else.
Okay, well, the only other thing I can think is to consider if you are eating when hungry and stopping when full/satisfied. I mean, I know that those who are healing from an eating disorder/long term dieting need to initially eat more than they are comfortable with, but once healed can follow their hunger cues again. Since it’s been two years since you’ve dieted, I’m assuming you’re at a place where you can simply follow your hunger signals. Maybe pay attention to how often you eat when you’re not hungry. Maybe you’ll find that it’s more often than you realized. I hope you can figure it out. I know how frustrating and uncomfortable it is to not be at your normal weight. I’m just now venturing into re-learning to follow my body’s hunger cues instead of external cues. It’s harder than I thought it would be because I grew so used to following external cues with dieting and find those thoughts constantly trying to take over again. I have to actively fight against those habits in order to eat instinctively again. Which reminds me, have you ever read Intuitive Eating http://www.intuitiveeating.org/ ? This is where I’m at in my journey – learning to eat intuitively.
Just wondering Nicole if you have taken your temps??? I am interested because you sound exactly the same as me. My temps are a little low but I still haven’t found time to read DR2 and follow the directions. Maybe once I do that, get my temp up, things will change????
The other person I would recommend reading is Geneen Roth. I’ve read 2.5 of her books and can’t get enough. It’s a whole mind-shift around food and weight.
Also meditation and practising acceptance as a sought of spiritual path is helping me enormously. I still struggle everyday to accept my body as it is but practicing meditation and acceptance just seems to give you a different perspective on it all. It helps you to exhale and just to chill. Actually I wonder sometimes whether my history of anxiety has contributed to my weight. All that cortisol???
Yes, all I can say is that you have my sympathy!
When repeated dieting doesnt work, and eating just makes you fatter;
where is the end to it all!
I ask myself this all the time.
How to navigate the path to something better?..
That’s exactly how I feel Nola, where is the end to it all? You’re in my mind! :)
You should do what Linda Bacon says, move on to something else in life besides trying to lose weight. Especially if you are going to continue to do things that have already been proven NOT to work.
I agree with this. This is why l like to regularly read the post by Julia on happiness and weight loss. http://180degreehealth.com/2012/12/happiness-and-weight-loss . Worrying about whether or not my weight will go back down to normal without dieting leaves me anxious some days because I don’t feel comfortable in my skin right now since it’s not my normal size, but it would really help if I had something to do on a regular basis that took my mind off of that.
Now, to figure out what that is for myself. Money is a limiting factor, and so many things require money to some degree in order to do it. I was thinking about giving indoor rock climbing a try, but the cost for that can add up quickly.
You’re right. It would probably be better for the mind to do that. It just seems easier said than done at this point. It’s probably pathetic to admit, but I don’t want to move on to something else. I just want to figure it out, once and for all, put on my skinny jeans and leave the uncertainty behind.
Oh my gosh, Nicole, I have the same problem. I want to put my attention on something else, but because I have to eat throughout the day, it just reminds me endlessly of where I’m at and where I want to be. It really is hard not to think about it and search for answers, but I try to remind myself that the stress of doing that is not helping either. BTW, how is your body temp, sleep, and overall stress in your life. Those are all things that affect weight as well.
I know! Every meal feels like a new opportunity to “get it right.” These diets are like a siren’s song, I’m telling ya!
Well, body temp wise I’m not miserable. it’s somewhere around 98.1 in the am, and 98.4 by bedtime. But I am working with Matt a little bit through Rob. Because I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome when I was 17, Rob’s having me follow Eat for Heat as best I can.My hands and feet are toastier when I eat the S’s and drink less water.
NMFM- thanks for the advice! I love Geneen Roth too, I’m glad you’ve heard of her. I have her book Women Food and God, and I’m thinking about checking the others out in the library sometime.
I’ve heard of Geneen Roth, but haven’t gone in the direction of reading her books because it seems like her focus is more on the emotional aspect of food and eating. I’m sure there’s more to it than that, but is that correct in general? I know that some people have a disordered relationship with food because of some emotionally charged event/circumstance in their life, but that’s not my issue. I don’t like it when people try to make an emotional connection to why I’m “emotional” eating when there isn’t one. Through this process I’ve learned that the “emotional” eating I was doing previously, if anything, was my body’s anxious-filled response to eating and wanting more food because there was an opportunity to eat more than I was giving it. It was my body’s normal response to not getting enough to eat. The more I eat and relax about food in general, the less I feel anxious around food and don’t have “emotional” desires to eat for whatever reason. Does that make sense?
Yes I do think that makes sense Emma, yet it does remind me of some of what Geneen Roth says too. I find her approach very multi-factorial and she has some great tips and how to start to learn to listen to yourself and tune in to what you are doing. She is emotional based, I suppose, but her books just make me do a double take all the time. Like each sentence sometimes really moves me.
I feel like my case is different too. I have been binge eating since I was little but it was never in response to deprivation (which I think goes against what Matt says???). We had food laid on all the time but whenever I was alone I would sneak-eat and stuff as much food in my mouth as I possibly could. Even though nothing at all was restricted and I could eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. So it was either emotional or it was the candida, which I had all my life until about four years ago.. The candida is gone now but the food issues remain. Slowly improving around food thanks to Matt, Geneen Roth and a few blogs. Letting myself eat what I really want but that’s scary!! Have put on a lot of weight. What I tend to really want when I think about it is pancakes with syrup and icy cold chocolate milkshakes!!!!!!! Maybe coz I was low carb for a few years?? Like really low-carb, wouldn’t even touch a carrot or I’d put on weight. Mostly am only eating when hungry now and I do experience satisfaction coz I eat what i really want, mainly pancakes!!!! Hilarious!! Scary though, gaining and eating pancakes is a massive mind shift for me and I think if I told most people I know they’d think I’d flipped.
Well, I have thought about your comment Matt.
Technically I think it is a good idea, but emotionally I find it impossible.
It is hard to move onto anything when you feel paralysed with self-hatred and loathing,
and when cellulite is completely overtaking your legs,
and the shape of the face and figure is disappearing under a cloak of fat..
When you have grown out of your clothes and find it increasingly hard to find anything to look good in as the figure loses its figure!
When you dont want to get up , or walk out the door because you feel like shit.
If I could be completely Zen about all these things-
and give up any notion of wanting to look like how I want to look like,
and give up any notions of attractiveness altogether,
then maybe I could move on!
But I cant, I have tried really.. turned myself inside out trying to accept weight gain, and all the accompanying thoughts and feelings,
and make it ok for myself.
But at the end of the day it just isnt.
I think for myself it is better to starve, in truth, than to feel like this.
But starving doesnt feel right either- there comes a point in that where it just feels so wrong too- and becomes such a battle within the self.
I saw a movie last night and it said-
“whats important is, finding that one thing that truly puts your heart at rest”.
And I thought- for me it is that;
I dont want to be fat, it is not my idea of myself and I will never feel at rest with it.
I cant seem to come to a point of acceptance of it,
however to this point in my life,
the choice is either hunger,
And I still cant see a way that might change.
Well, when all else fails lift weights, cycle carbs, and take the weight off in a 2 steps forward, 1-step back fashion. Slowly. Intelligently.
That is the best dieting advice, that is the way I lost weight the last time, and I thought I had really cracked the nut! (I did cycle calories rather than carbs though, though it does amount to a similar thing.)
It worked better than everything else.
I will probably do the same this time though it just about kills me to have to do this again, AGAIN!!
And knowing that at the end, the same result may come,
ie, the body starts fighting back and weight slips on.
The disappointment and pain when the weight started creeping on again last time, even while I was still sticking to the regime,
just about killed me:
its not just having one experience fail on me, but the cumulation of 30+ yrs of effort fail on me.
I know this sounds highly negative, and in some ways I dont like putting it out there. But it is nothing less than the truth.
I cant even talk about this stuff to most people, even those closest to me,
because they cannot understand the depth of how I feel, or why it should be so.
Eeegatts!!! Matt, am I reading that correctly? You actually recommend Carb cycling for weigth loss?? Now that I have higher body temps of 98.6 and higher, would it be ok to do something like what Dave Asprey at Bulletproof Exec recommends of eating very low carb for two days then on the third day do a huge Carb Refeed day and then do two days of low carb and so forth? If so, should one keep monitoring their body temps to make sure the low carb days are not affecting the metabolism?
Oh, Nola, my heart goes out to you. I’m having a hard time too! I keep waiting for my weight to start going down, but it’s not. Like you, I don’t feel comfortable being over my normal weight because it doesn’t feel good or normal for me. This is not based on some arbitrary number, it’s based on the weight I was normally before I began dieting. I have no problem with accepting bodies being different sizes, etc., but this is about each person being at their normal body weight. A personal who is naturally 170 pounds is not going to feel comfortable being 200 lbs. A person who is naturally 130 pounds is not going to be comfortable being 160 lbs. It’s not about the weight/size, it’s about being comfortable in your own skin, and if you are 30 pounds over your normal weight, you’re not going to feel comfortable in your skin. This is what I’m struggling with. I’m committed to healing my metabolism, but feeling alien in my own skin is making it sooooo difficult. I wish I had never begun dieting to begin with, and that frustrates me, but the reality is that I did, and now I have a screwed up metabolism to show for it. I need to get myself back to where I was before I started dieting, but how to do that with as little pain as possible is the answer I think we’re all searching for. I find it extremely frustrating that others only gain 10-15 lbs. and then immediately start losing. WTF??? Why isn’t this happening to me??? Was my metabolism really that screwed up? Are some people’s metabolisms simply just genetically slower than others (mine)? I’m frustrated beyond belief right now. How I’m hanging on throughout this process I honestly don’t know. All I know is that at this point I still want to heal more than I want to give in so I keep chugging along. BUT, I understand your frustration. I can’t tell you how often I thought to myself that if things don’t change soon, I’d rather be thin and cold than fat and warm. What I want the most though, is to be completely healed and be naturally thin and warm. I wish there was an answer for those of us who aren’t responding to this process as anticipated. There seems to be something different going on for some of us. I can’t deny that I’ve had improvements in so many other ways, but why not weight? How is my weight continuing to go up and/or not beginning to go down yet if my metabolism is getting better? Yay, I keep telling myself that my body is still healing itself, but is it really??? Healing what? I didn’t have an eating disorder (anorexia/bulimia) to begin with where I was severly deficient in basic nutrients. I was just dieting.
I don’t have an answer; I’m just as frustrated as you, but still trying to trust the process. I don’t know how much longer I can hang in there though. At what point do we decide that the process, for whatever reason, is not working for us? Is there no doubt that it WILL work for EVERYONE? If it doesn’t work for everyone, then what? What’s the answer for those people who are still trying to figure out how to get back to their normal set point weight?
For others reading this, Nola and I have been frustrated with this process for a while. I don’t want you to be discouraged by our struggles. We have been trying to push through and are simply venting our frustration. I still believe that this process works for most people, but it’s also a reality that not everyone follows the typical path in this process. The chances are, you’ll do just fine. You’re not likely to be among the small percentage that struggles more than expected.
The basic information of this site suggests that if you follow the general ideas here with your own personal customization based on the information, that you will indeed see a rise in metabolism and many of the characteristics of a high metabolism accompanying that rise. I would say that’s true for at least 90% of people.
I would then say that most people can do what they need to do to raise metabolic rate without ballooning up and becoming genuinely obese. I would say that is also true for 90% of the people who see a rise in metabolism.
But as far as estimated stats on who then loses weight and looks the best they have even looked while maintaining a high metabolic rate? MUCH lower. For many, body fat is like a scar. Once it’s there, it can fade away slowly over a long period of time, but it’s mostly there to stay.
This is the general consensus of the scientific community and what obesity research indicates. But this is an ongoing research project destined to become increasigly fine-tuned over time. We’ll see what the future reveals.
“For many, body fat is like a scar. Once it’s there, it can fade away slowly over a long period of time, but it’s mostly there to stay.”
Is this true whatever the reason for the weight gain? I’m trying to figure out the fine tuning aspect of it for myself because I don’t want to lose all the other benefits I’ve gained from doing this. The weight is really the only thing that is the issue at this point.
Thank you for your help, Matt. I really appreciate all that you do, even if I’m not one of the 90%. I’m still holding out hope that I am among the 90% and it’s just going to take my body longer, for whatever reason, to turn around. I’m waiting for the 33 week turn around point, which is about 1 month away for me. That’s the one thing that I’m holding onto at this point. If things don’t begin to turn around at that point, I’m not sure what I’ll do. One thing I know for sure, whatever I do decide to do, I’ll monitor my temperature to make sure that I’m not being negatively impacted.
Thanks for the answers Matt.
And it is honest;
for some, the weight stays..
This is my observation too, from reading these kinds of boards over the years.
My only question was :
did the weight just stay for them because they did not follow the process thoroughly, or long enough, or eat enough to trigger the needed healing changes.. and so on..
But it seems that weight loss and return to a normalized weight is not a given, regardless.
I don’t think it’s from lack of adherence, but I do think jumping off and back into dieting too early is very fattening and has happened to many people.
Well that breaks my heart a bit
Doesn’t it, Nicole? My heart sank when I read that line, but then also thought that it can’t be totally true if the body does everything it can to keep our body at its normal weight. If someone becomes underweight or overweight, the body still works to get back to normal, right? So, there has to be an answer that they just haven’t discovered yet.
I hope so. I’m just gonna wait and see for now I suppose
Yeah, I think we are all looking for answers that havent been found yet.
Good luck to us all!
I hear you!
If someone was to say;
In 2, or 5, or 10 weeks, your weight is going to normalize and start dropping off again;
it would be ok!
But we dont know. And even as Matt has said below, for some it doesnt.
(“for many, bodyfat is like a scar”)
I know I feel physically better eating more food, in a number of ways.
Particularly this time I noticed over the weeks of high intake,
that my sleeping was better, and I was waking later and later during the night to pee – a noticeable change.
Now that I have cut back a bit again, my sleeping has deteriorated again;
waking more, waking sooner to pee, and sometimes not sleeping properly or deeply.
Its just dealing with the higher weight that comes-
and feeling emotionally miserable.
For myself, I am coming to the conclusion that I am happier dieting, even with the physical detriments,
than eating more and having the emotional distress and the weight gain.
And I dont know if the weight gain would stop, and where.
I am not one of those who gains 10-15 pds.
If that was all- I could live with it.
My temps are still low, and I am closer to the 30 pd gain mark.
Like you, I want to be healed and be a weight that I am comfortable with.
Being healed for me means being able to eat to appetite without gaining
and gaining –
and not having brain fog, lowered mental function , bad sleep, crashing out, etc..
But what if it is not possible to have both?
What if the healed bit and better functioning only comes at the expense of a permanently elevated weight?
Could you live with it?
I dont think I can.
That’s my struggle, too. I’ve improved my temp, sleep, sex drive, energy, nail growth, hair loss has decreased, etc. The list goes on, but I just can’t stand the weight gain. I don’t know if I can live with the weight gain, but I don’t want to lose what I’ve gained in other ways, so I’m still trying to figure out how to have both.
I might give the carb cycling a try as Matt suggested. You mentioned calorie cycling. I personally think it would be better to keep the calories up and do the carb cycling vs. doing calorie cycling. You would have a better chance of keeping the improvements you’ve gained if you continued to keep your calories up, and work on the weight loss with carb cycling. Don’t you think?
I think if you can keep calories high, and carb cycle, and lose weight;
this is the best option.
But for me I do have to drop calories to get a weight loss effect.
Just lowering carbs creates no weight loss for me,
unless there is a calorie drop as well.
Try carb cycling first and see?
Just be really careful ladies. Maybe there is something else thatt would help with speeding along the metabolism like accupuncture (I know I’m always talking about it, but it works!). If you jump back on the diet cycle you may potentially send te message of starvation again (I know you know this already).
I appreciate the warnings.
Just feeling caught between and rock and a hard stone here.
And I know you have said a couple of times that you would not let yourself get overweight Amy?
But in the case of both Emma and I, continuing the path of eating the amount for healing the body, and appetite satisfaction ,
What would you do then?
I have tried much to try and effect changes in metabolism so I can just eat to appetite without gaining- but no luck..
Good day, Nola. I’m mentioned just below your comment that I weighed myself this morning and gain another 5 lbs. I think I’ve reached my breaking point. I can’t blindly continue to gain weight with the hope that it won’t go too high. I don’t think I would gain endlessly, but I’m not comfortable gaining anymore than I already have at this point.
I still worry about you cycling calories. Have you ever tried only cycling carbs to know for sure if that doesn’t work for you without cycling carbs as well?
I mean without cycling calories as well? A low carb diet is different than carb cycling, so I’m just trying to understand what you mean when you say you’ve done low carb and it didn’t work without also doing lower calorie. Were you carb cycling and that didn’t work, or just doing low carb and it didn’t work without lowering calories as well?
Yeah, I know it’s tough and I can only imagine what you’re going through, and I have not been in your spot so cannot say I am the best person to give advice.
If it were me, I would do some stuff like accupuncture, stress relief, meditation, gabriel’s method, re-read french women don’t get fat, try to work with my mind to re-calibrate and work on ways to tune in and feel satisfied with food. I do think there’s a point at which positive self-image will create less stress than ongoing weight gain, I fully acknowledge that. And maybe the stress of doing RRARF is causing more issues. At the end of the day, happiness perpetuates itself in our lives, so I always think you should do what’s going to make you most happy. I am very much a believer in mind-body connection.
What led to weight gain in the first place? How do you fix that? Maybe there’s a reason your body is trying to gain weight to feel “safe.”
I too am a great believer in the mind-body connection,
and so have worked on this one for myself for hundreds if not thousands of hrs;
and have also had other people working with me on this issue to try and effect the inner shifts,
or find the key that might enable my body to normalize itself in terms of weight, diet etc.
Though I have seen changes in other areas of my life,
and have achieved a kind of wholesome neutrality to food,
I have had no success in terms of weight regulation.
(nor in neutrality to weight gain!- it still fills me with negative feelings of many sorts).
And it is this that fills me with despair.
I have tried so many things on the physical plain,
and on the metaphysical plane,
and gone deep to places that most never go:
but still! ,
I am enmeshed in this issue,
and have not resolution.
I have not tried accupuncture- but worked with sustained accupressure combined with intense nutrition,
(body electronics- by John Whitman Ray),
for a few years.
I find it very hard to pull myself out of the gutter to try anything else at this stage,
and it even erodes the inner connection or desire to foster and continue to seek for answers because of intense disappointment/breaking of hope .
I know my hunger is physical, because of the signs of my body, and observation and experience over the years.
I have explored the possibility that it might be some emotionally generated mirage,
but physically, my body calls out to me in a way that cannot be ignored.
I have tried different foods or diets to try and lessen appetite to try keep it within a level that would enable a lower weight without hunger and physical discomfort – but no luck.
I first gained some weight at the onset of puberty (12yrs), at which point my mother started making pointed negative shaming comments and suggesting diet..
Which I did, dieting down to a thin weight, where my periods stopped for a short time (before my weight rebounded faster than lightning!) ,
and I was eating negligible.
Oh Nola, I am so sorry. My heart really goes out to you. I can only imagine how hard this is for you. Your body has probably been starving since age 12, and that must indeed be a tough thing to recover from. I’m sure your body is calling out for food in a big way. Parents have no idea what they can inflict on their children in terms of self-esteem, and I’m sure this must be a factor, too.
Nola, I think you’ve tried harder than anyone I’ve met to figure this out for yourself. I completely understand you not wanting to try anything else after so many years of not having permanent success despite everything you’ve tried. What to do, what to do??? I just doesn’t seem like it whould be this hard. HUGS!
Thanks Emma and Amy,
I appreciate the emotional support.
I guess at the end of the day I have realised that despite the profound discouragement, and knowing that I may not meet with success,
I still have to get up and try again,
because I cant/dont want to , live with the weight gain.
And a part of that is my mothers imprinting re weight, and esteem.
In my mothers world, a person is much lesser when they gain weight,
and weight gain is a sign of overeating,
and is shameful,
and a person is “wrong” when they gain weight or are fat.
I will be careful, Amy. I’m going to watch my temps closely, and on the days that I’m eating fewer carbs I’m going to be sure to consume easier to digest proteins and fats. I remember Matt saying before that harder to digest proteins can slow the metabolism. Believe me, I’m not going to be crazy about it. I don’t want to lose the progress I’ve made in all the other areas of my life. I just can’t keep gaining. Actually, I’m amazed at myself that I’ve allowed myself to gain as much as I have so far. I decided to weigh myself this morning to see where I’m at and I’ve gained another 5 lbs., putting me at a 35 lb. gain so far. I just don’t think I can emotionally deal with it going any higher at this point. I need to do something, but I won’t be stupid about it. If maintaining my progress means that I can only get away with one low carb day a week, then that’s what I’ll do. I’ll see what my body can handle, and take that path.
Emma, shame your blog doesn’t allow replies/chat .. I’m guessing you’d benefit from comparing notes. I’m still inside the 33 week cutoff (about 27 I think) and not stopped gaining yet either. Gone from 148 to 208 hehe, so I leave your 35lb gain in my dust.
This is for Emma and Nola –
I hear how hard it is. It is so frustrating. I may soon be feeling just like you do. I am well over my normal high weight (currently 182, was 185 for a week; used to be a pleasantly chubby 157 before kid no.2). What’s carb cycling?
I’ve been reading a lot of posts over on the MyFitnessPal group Eat More to Weigh Less about figuring your TDEE and eating at that for a several weeks to reset metabolism (I’d imagine you both are past that point already if you’ve been ETF), then lift weights with small amts of cardio while you take a small amount off of your TDEE for a few weeks. The numbers vary but are based on what works for you. I’ve kind of incorporated that with the Youreatopia recommendations of no less than 2500 cals, though I haven’t gotten that high yet consistently. Similar to GoKaleo there’s a focus on slow sustainable changes that represent how you would like to eat and move for the rest of your life, not a quick fix.
There are lots of people losing fat and toning their bodies, getting leaner while maintaining muscle mass. Would they all have lost weight anyway? Do they keep it off? I sure don’t know, but some of them sound really happy and look great too. But it’s given me some hope and the amounts they eat long term, having built up more muscle, are in the realm of 2300 cals a day (Whereas Amber eats as much as 3000). Some may be more restrictive than I’d like to see, others are not, and many are stunningly slim and I’m like, What? Lose more? Huh? My weight gain *seems* to have stopped, but I only weigh once a week or so, so I don’t really know. I lift weights once a week and do little cardio other than walking, like intervals now and then for 15 minutes. I’ve only really upped the calories for a few weeks. Most of the gain came before that, since last Spring when I was very stressed and didn’t sleep well and skipped meals and ate very little processed food.
The best news here though is that I lost an inch on my waist and another inch on my abdomen, I feel pretty good considering, and I fit in all the same clothes that fit before I put on the 15 or so pounds I gained. That indicates to me that there is some replacement of fat with muscle going on. I am hoping I am reaching a tipping point, and I am trying to lift heavier, adding weight each week if possible.
You might want to check it out. I also like the idea of eating the calories that suit your activity level and goal weight maintenance and hoping your body adjusts. I would suspect if that number is too low you just screw yourself though.
I just wanted there to be a place where I compiled the information I learned so that it would be easier for those who are just discovering the process. It’s difficult being new and having to gather the information from all over the place. It’s easier just to direct people to my blog and let them know that I’ve compiled a lot of the information there instead of re-telling every new person about all that information over and over. I didn’t intend to actually run a blog, or want to spend time dealing with spam, etc. I don’t want the work of that. Plus, I come here to get support, advice, etc. already.
How are you dealing with the gain? I’m just having trouble accepting that I “need” to gain so much to heal. It’s just not making sense to me. I was never overweight to begin with before dieting so it doesn’t make sense that my body would be “trying” to get heavier when that’s not normal for me. Dieting is what caused me to screw up my metabolism and gain weight (trying to lose weight after pregnancy caused my thyroid to go wonky). I would think that once I got my metabolism up, my body would get itself back to its normal weight set point. Everyone says that the body works really hard to keep you at your normal weight range despite our most valiant efforts. If that’s true, then I’m beginning to think that there’s something else going on in my body that’s preventing that from happening. I would say that my efforts have not been near what a lot of women put themselves through in order to stay thin. I never had an eating disorder, I never dieted while pregnant, and I NEVER have been an exercise fanatic. I really have not put my body through the wringer. I really only did basic dieting. I’m truly stumped.
Because of my “simple” dieting history, I thought for sure I’d be among those who would gain 10-15 lbs. and then begin to lose and get back to my normal weight within a relatively small amount of time. My assumption being that surely my metabolism isn’t as damaged as someone who did struggle with an eating disorder and/or excessive exercising. My temperature started out at a low of 97.1. That’s high compared to so many who’ve mentioned that their temps started out in the 95-96 range. So, how can it be that I’m just gaining and gaining? Why isn’t my body trying to get itself back to its normal weight? I don’t expect you to answer my questions, I’m just thinking out loud.
I’m not in a race with my body. I just want to get back to my normal weight. I have no illusions of getting out of this quickly.
Thank you for reaching out. “Been there, done that.” I’ve already calculated my TDEE and I’m at the lowest calorie count for myself already. It’s about the same as Gwyneth’s recommendations. I’ve been doing this for almost 8 months now and I think I’ve looked at every angle I can think of. I really don’t know what else to do except to try Matt’s recommendation of carb cycling, which I haven’t done before. I hope that works for me because I don’t know what I’ll do if it doesn’t. I don’t want to go back into full-fledged dieting/calorie restriction.
It sounds like you are in a good place, and that what you are doing is going to work for you. I doubt you will gain more if you have started losing inches like that.
I love weight training, and do lift heavy- it does help improve body composition, but I have already had all the help I am going to get from that source, since I have weight trained for 15 yrs!
I like the ideas of eat more to weigh less. That kind of approach has not been enough for me though.
I wish it was, because I would have been there by now then!
Carb cycling is changing the amount of carbs that you have every day.
ie, one day you eat 50 gms of carbs
the next day 300, the next 200,
or whatever format you choose.
If you are keeping calories level,
what it means is that on the days you eat fewer carbs,
you eat more fat and protein to fill in the calorie gap;
and on the days you eat more carbs,
you eat less fat and protein.
Some people carb cycle and calorie cycle;
which you can easily do by keeping fat and protein amounts steady, then just add varying amounts of carbs on each day, so calories are fluctuating up and down.
I was thinking of doing the carb-cycling too, but I don’t think I can. Just yesterday I ate “healthier” and I got soooooooooo COLD and my pee ran clear as water, and weird enough my body started craving chocolate cake. Only one day of trying to lose weight. So I got out of my bed, so freakin’ cold that I decided to make some french toast with plenty of maple syrup, a small handful of pretzels and salted almonds. 20 minutes later I was toasty and happy. It looks like dieting is not gonna work for me right now. If I didn’t have such fatigue I would just chose the exercising route.
My plan for now : Eat 3 square meals with plenty of S’s….no snacking inbetween unless I get freezing, and just see what happens.
Yeeks, Nicole. It does sound like you are truly not ready for a diet stage yet.
Let us know how you go with your plan, and we can all compare notes!
Oh wow, Nicole, your body is very sensitive to change. You’re right to follow your body’s lead. It sounds like you need more healing. It’s amazing to me how dieting even once can mess us up so much.
I’m paying close attention to my body’s signals while doing the carb cycling. My temps are staying up so far, my pee is remaining yellow, and I’m still sleeping through the night. If any of that changes, I’ll adjust how I’m cycling. Please keep us updated with how you’re doing.
BTW, I’ve put all this information on my blog in case you’re interested. I’ve put it all in once nice tidy spot so that it’s easy to access the information at any time.
Thanks Emma, I will check out your blog. I hope you find what works for you and makes you happy. Another thing to watch out for, unexplained moodiness.
I will update ya if I have anything to update, hopefully soon!
You know when you said it’s amazing how dieting can cause some many problems, even just once. I was thinking the same thing. But it also makes me wonder why people who diet extremely for years, even borderline anorexia, and then when they get better eating habits, then don’t balloon up. What gives?
I know, Nicole. That’s a big thing that bothers me – not knowing why I’m ballooning up even though I haven’t put my both through half the torture that so many women do. I wish I knew the answer to that.
I carb-cycled without lowering calories, and low-carbed without lowering calories and neither works for weight loss for me.
Though from my readings on various board does work for some.
For me it does seem to all boil down to calories .
I have played around with calorie cycling, carb cycling and low carb diets quite a bit.
The best calorie cycling that worked for me was a drop of 1750 cals a week, averaging about a 250 cal drop a day.
When I would try to drop cals more than that, weight loss would come to a halt- my metabolism would down-regulate fast..
I can understand that you have reached your breaking point.
I would say I have reached mine.
I know dieting is not a good answer, but am not happy living with the gain (to understate it- lol).
Gentle carb cycling may work for you without having to put your body in starvation mode. I hope so!
Okay, so you’ve “been there, done that” already. I wish there was something I could tell you that would help. I haven’t carb cycled before, so I’m curious to see how it works for me. Like I said before, I’m going to be careful about it and not do anything crazy. I hope this cautious approach works for me. Time will tell.
Carb cycling might work better for you because your dieting history is shorter and less extensive than mine.
Because I think it is a much better option than dropping calories.
There are ways to restrict one’s diet that can lead to weight loss. The checklist you should use if you are pursuing intentional weight loss should be…
While losing weight I am…
1) Not hungry
2) Not experiencing an increase in cravings
3) Not freezing cold, constipated, having trouble sleeping, and other obvious signs
4) Not losing strength or muscle mass
And finding the scenario that permits weight loss fitting that description will most likely be found by…
1) Altering meal frequency
2) Altering macronutrient ratios
3) Altering type, quantity, and frequency of exercise
4) Altering what you are eating (whole foods vs. refined for example, raw vs. cooked perhaps)
I can only hope. I swear, this better work! :)
Thank you, Matt. I appreciate the extra info.
Yeah, a good list to follow,
I hope I can find a way to lose the weight without hunger, affecting sleep etc..
Tis like the Holy Grail quest for me..lol
damn hard to find!
I agree Nicole, we still don’t understand some things. I’m down with the 180 philosophy of unrestricted eating for health (hell, my blood sugar has dropped from 100 to 80 by doing so), but I’m not sure that it’s the only factor in modern health problems.
While I agree the skinny, idealized body is not, and should not, be the goal for most people, I’m not quite willing to say that people 50+ pounds over a reasonable weight must simply accept that they are naturally that heavy.
The thing that bothers me about all of this is the gross assumption that just acting like someone else will make you like them. The underlying notion is that if I run a marathon and eat like a vegetarian that I will look like one of those runners who is skinny, runs marathons, and is a vegetarian. I won’t. I look like me, why? Because we have different bodies. Pure and simple. This juvenile desire to sort everyone based on a simple visual is ridiculous and primarily fueled by advertising. After all, if we were all satisfied with our selves we wouldn’t need to buy products, would we? If you keep us unhappy, we will buy things that make us feel better in the short term and also things that we are told will make us feel better in the long term, not to mention politicians that tell us they know what we are going through and will fight for us (not really, its the food lobbyists that own them.) in congress.
I think its really funny that the foods which were promoted as weight loss or dieting foods only served to make me obese and gave me diabetic like illnesses.
Btw, I am 1/4 native American.
Ombre: is a French word that literally means shaded; a graduation of color. The color gradually fades from dark to light from roots to ends. Think gradient color, like you’d see on a swatch of fabric or skein of yarn.
Ugh, America just needs to quit! Seriously the more we have focused on weight the fatter we get! Now they are after our children? I have four boys. My oldest is overweight, my second is very thin, my 3 rd is on the high end of medium but a healthy size, my youngest is really thin. We only buy whole milk. Can you believe our Pediatrician had the nerve to question our use of whole milk at my thinnest child’s check up? I’m saying he is in the 10% for weight in his age group ( he’s 12). And he drinks th most milk of all my sons! My oldest( he’s 14) drinks the least and he is the fat one! I firmly told her that whole milk is more nutritious and we will not use skim, and that he(12 yr old) needs it. She quickly retracted and agreed with me. I’m through with western dietary dogma. I made the mistake of dieting for years,20 years! I Also ignorantly tried to put my oldest on a diet, which he hated, so I left him alone. He now lives with his dad who has always been really thin. I’m curious to see how he fares with unrestricted eating. I hope I didn’t s
Do to him what my mom did to me. :( hopefully living with his dad will alow him to have normal eating patterns again.
I’ve been following the your conversation above with nola and some others and noticed that you had mentioned you had messed up your thyroid with dieting. Is it healed now? I’m asking because I also have thyroid issues and was wondering if ETF had fixed those issues for anyone.
No, I didn’t mess up my thyroid because of dieting. I had a messed up thyroid before ever dieting. My thyroid went south during my first pregnancy. Instead of simply beginning my medication and then allowing my body to lose weight naturally, I jumped into dieting as well to lose the excess pregnancy weight. I think most women make this mistake. They immediately begin dieting after giving birth in an effort to lose the excess weight as quickly as possible, and unknowingly set themselves upon the disasterous road of dieting. Sadly, most women don’t realize that they are making the worst mistake by going in this direction. They simply follow the advice that’s out there, “eat less and exercise more” if you want to lose weight.
So, I do still have hypothyroidism (hashimoto’s). Nothing I’ve done over the years has made any difference whatsoever with my thyroid health. Then again, being hypo as a result of having hashimoto’s is different than developing hypothyroidism from non-autoimmune causes. I think whether or not someone can heal their thyroid is dependant on many factors. I’ve heard of other people who have healed their thyroid after ETF.
Thanks for responding, Emma, and clearing that up for me. I guess I was wondering if the hashi’s could be a factor in the weight issue. I have it also (seems to run in my family ? my sister has it, too) and am taking Armour thyroid. I’m also steadily putting on the weight and trying not to freak out too much. I can’t seem to get my morning basal temps above 97.2 though. And my daytime temps seldom go above 97.9. Are your temps good?
Well, I’ve had the hashi’s for 20+ years now and I’ve been able to keep my weight down for the most part with dieting, but of course, the weight would always creep back up and then I would diet again to get it back down, etc. So, I would think that if my thyroid was the reason for my weight issues, I would not have been able to get my weight down all those times that I dieted. I really think that my main problem is that I messed up my metabolism with all that dieting. Why the weight isn’t coming back down now, I don’t know. It may be that my body simply needs more time than others to stabilize. But, it could be because of my thyroid as well. That’s one of the reasons I decided to give Matt’s carb cycling suggestion a try, because in the back of my mind I’m not sure what’s going on and I know that I don’t want to continue to just gain.
My temps are good and stable now. I’m maintaining an average morning temp of 98.3 with a high of 98.8. I began this journey with a low of 97.1.
Wow ? those temps are great! Perhaps there is hope for me yet! It’s been discouraging for me to have my thyroid levels be ?normal? now that I’m on medication but to continue to have low temps. I probably just need to give it some more time :/
Probably. It took me seven months to get my temps to consistently stay above 98.