Sunday, September 11, 2016

Determined

Well, since I published this post saying I'd better accept my fatness or live in the delusion of future thinness, I've chosen the latter. I was a skinny kid and stayed thin for most of my adult life, so I simply refuse to accept permanently the weight I put on as my marriage fell apart in 2012 and 2013.

Besides altering diet and adding more exercise, I've been seeing a nutrition response testing professional, Claire Boye-Doe. She adjusted my nutrition, diet and exercise, and told me I'd start losing weight in a few months of working with her. In eight months her treatment has done wonders for improving my energy, mood, digestion and sleep, but I haven't lost any weight. Apparently I'm the very first of all of Claire's clients to not lose weight with her nutritional help. Great. In spite of my overhauled diet and exercise, my fat has refused to budge.

Extra weight often has an emotional component that can be complicated by food addiction, so I've also been working on my emotional reasons for holding on to these pounds. With Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) I've tapped and tapped and tapped on my sugar addiction and slowly the layers (a word that always makes me think of cake) of my fear have peeled away. Two weeks ago I had yet another session with EFT/hypnotherapist practictioner Lili Betancourt, who has helped me a lot over the years. We tapped on sweets, marriage failure, weight, sugar and coffee. The session went very well, but the weight didn't change.

Meditation has also been part of my healthy habits. Meditation has been shown to help with addictive behavior, including food issues, but it hasn't been the key for me, either.

What the hell? So this month I added an acupuncturist. I've had lots of acupuncture done in my life, but Brent Garcia says he specializes in problems with which you've tried everything and are about to give up. That's me! On my first visit he identified my weight problem as being related to weak spleen energy and told me to eat 8-10 cups of vegetables a day. That's a lot! Fortunately Claire Boye-Doe has me on wheat grass juice and green essence pills, so she says I can make it four cups of vegetables a day. Whew!

So for the past week I've been doing that, but I also found that in the days following my session with Lili, I had less interest in coffee. Weird. In fact on a couple of days I forgot to finish it and had to come back to my one, small cup of coffee later in the day. Then on Wednesday, Claire suggested I go one week with no sugar at all, not even fruit, which meant cutting coffee because I can't drink it without milk and sugar. And it didn't elicit an emotional response from me at all. In fact, I've had no coffee since Wednesday and haven't missed it. Very unexpected. 

I saw the acupuncturist again two days ago. Brent said my spleen energy is better and he needled some major spleen points, so I feel really turbo-charged now. I also read up on spleen qi. According to traditional Chinese medicine, weak spleen energy occurs with too much cold and "dampness" which can cause weight to stay on no matter what you do. That sounds familiar! So I'm off chilled drinks and foods: good-bye yogurt, ice cream and ice in my water. Other things that weaken spleen qi are coffee, alcohol, fried foods, sugar, wheat and dairy. Yup, all the fun stuff. But that's okay. I don't think I need to eliminate all of it, and certainly not permanently. Just while I'm healing.

Of course, my weight hasn't budged a gram even though I've spent the past week replacing half my food with vegetables and keeping up the exercise, but I guess my spleen isn't strong enough yet. At least I hope that's it. I really hope the acupuncture does it. I knew there was more going on here than food, exercise, sugar addiction and emotions because I've really tapped those out. The acupuncture has to be the final piece of the puzzle. Damn it, I'm determined to lose this marriage-going-down-the-drain pudge!

Friday, September 09, 2016

LLAG: Love Life of an Asian Guy

My post about (the bigoted) Dr. Christiane Northrup got some response from regular readers, but I got even more response to it when I shared it on Facebook. Specifically, I follow a page called Love Life of an Asian Guy which is written by a Filipino-American man who calls it "LLAG: Commentary on Racism, Sexism and American Culture." He recently posted on how Lena Dunham exemplifies the blind spots of white femimism and it led to a long chain of people discussing beauty standards, privilege and viewpoints that white feminists often don't understand. I linked my exchange with the good doctor and got a lot of support. A couple of women even joined the Northrup page so they could support me. I love the LLAG community.

It looks like the author of LLAG is named Ranier (not sure) and he's an excellent writer. He slings the truth like Wonder Woman's lasso on fire and calls out white privilege, racism, sexism, homophobia and whatever else pisses him off. He's funny and insightful and if you're not easily offended, you should check him out.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

What to do when you see Islamophobic harassment

A Paris film maker and illustrator who goes by Maeril created these graphics so we'll know what to do the next time we see someone harassing someone else for appearing to be Muslim. The strategy is to create a safe space for the person being harassed and ignore completely the person doing the harassment. 


And in French.

Please share these graphics with others. You can read more about them in this Buzzfeed article.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Dr. Christiane Northrup, MD

Dr. Christiane Northrup, MD is an internationally known expert on women's health and wrote the bestseller The Wisdom of Menopause. She has appeared in hundreds of podcasts, radio shows and television shows, including Oprah. Her writing encourages women to take control of our health, cultivate a positive outlook on aging and empower ourselves through self-care. I have greatly appreciated her books and started following her on Facebook last year.

On her Facebook page, Dr. Christiane Northrup regularly posts encouraging messages that are accompanied by graphics of women. For months, I've been commenting on how these images are only of stylized skinny women's bodies and are almost always of white women's bodies. Here's one from August 31, 2016 that exemplifies these posts:
I got tired of commenting on the exclusionary nature of these images and getting no response from Dr. Northrup (who I figure must occasionally glance at her Facebook page) although I did hear plenty of pushback from her followers (few of whom see my point). So, this is what I posted in response to this graphic:

I agree with this statement, but I'm ready to take public action about the exclusionary images Dr. Northrup uses in these graphics, and the way my criticisms about it have been ignored for months. These images are usually of white women and always skinny. Such imagery is alienating to women of different sizes and women of color (I am both). I'd welcome a response on this, Dr. Northrup, at reginarm24@gmail.com. Anyone else who wants to defend these graphics, thanks, but yours isn't the response I'm looking for.



Most women who responded to my post didn't like it, but you can see that I got three "likes," so I wasn't completely alone. Dr. Northrup, for the first time in almost a year, finally answered my ongoing criticism:

Hi, sweetie, when the Hay House artist first came Up with these stylized images years ago, I liked the look and feel Of them. They were never meant to depict Reality in any way. Just be interesting graphically. I totally get your point here. And so do many others. And at some point we'll probably change to something else. But for now, they're working for us. Please Know that your sentiments have Been heard and appreciated! Bless you!


Many women chimned in on this and none of them supported me. My response was:

Dr. Christiane Northrup, thank you for responding to me. All imagery is stylized, but do you not see how your skinny fantasy images enforce the dominant culture's belief that women are only healthy and beautiful if they are skinny? Or maybe you agree with that opinion. Your comfort with your skinny images make me suspect that you don't think fat women can also be beautiful and healthy. If that's true, then I'm very disappointed and will include this exchange when I talk to people about your wonderful books.


Dr. Northrup wrote back:

Well I am a huge fan of Melissa McCarthy if that means anything. Of course I don't believe that only tall impossibly skinny women can be healthy. Beauty takes so many forms.

I didn't bother to tell Dr. Northrup that no, it doesn't mean anything that she's a fan of Melissa McCarthy (damn). In the meantime, others weighed in, including with the response in the graphic above:

Enough of the racist crap Regina. Best you move along and stop TROLLING this profile before you get reported for harassment and hatred. Dr. Northrop does not owe you an explication on why she uses the pics she uses. Thank you Dr. Northrop for all you do to educate on here and all your books which I have them all.

More responses are below:


I felt real disappointment and hurt that so many people felt disgusted and angry with me for raising this point, although I'm sure I shouldn't have been. Dr. Northrup seems to have a very white-identifying Facebook community. I finally left it at this:

I am very disappointed by the lack of understanding from Dr. Northrup and the anger I've received from her followers. I have only tried to point out how the whiteness and skinniness of her images make me feel left out and ignored as a Mexican-American woman. Sadly (and I really do feel sad), there isn't much sympathy in the Northrup FB community for these issues of inclusion. Do you want a community where all women feel welcome or just some? If pointing out racial dynamics counts as "trolling" then I guess there's no room for me here.


I'm tempted to unlike her page, but I want to see if she makes any changes and, if she does, how long it takes. So I've decided to stay because I can't monitor the situation if I'm not there.