Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Dead yourself!

I watched a "The Walking Dead" marathon instead of the Superbowl. Sounds like I missed a lot of excitement. But look what I learned to do:

This is me as a Walker--pretty cool, huh? You can be a walker too--check it out at deadyourself.com. 
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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

To Live or Not to Live in the District: No Question

I read with amusement a post on Slate which noted that the Presidential motorcade now carries the District of Columbia’s “Taxation Without Representation” license plates. For those who aren’t familiar with the issue, because the District of Columbia is not a state, it has no voting representatives in Congress, and thus no say in much of the policy making that goes on within its very own borders.

Or as I like to call it, Reason no. 457 that I live in Alexandria, and not the District.

Why do dogs hate computers?

My boss dog, Cara Mia, won’t stop barking at me. She hates it when I get on the computer. It starts with a soft grring. Then comes the paw stomping. Finally, the sharp, full-throated “woooof!”

Is she feeling neglected? Perhaps she just wants my undivided attention? 

Here’s the thing. She doesn’t seem to care what I do—as long it’s not on the computer.

Reading a book? Engrossed in TV? Having an animated phone conversation? Meh.

It’s just the computer.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Psychologists Say That Emotions Affect Weight: Millions of Women Say, Duh!!

So, the other day I was browsing health headlines, as I do—because in my other life I am a struggling freelance health and medical writer—and I came across this: Poll of Psychologists Cites Emotions As Top Obstacle to Weight Loss.

 Well, let me just put down my pint of Ben and Jerry’s. You mean millions of us, while sad, mad, listening to Adele, or even celebrating, may over indulge?

C’est vrais. (translation: “it is true”—I like to pretend I am fluent in French).

 This survey of psychologists who work with weight loss issues says that "understanding and managing the behaviors and emotions related to weight management," are essential to long term dieting success.

 We know, we know! But does it really help? Case in point:

This past summer, spurred by a flea/dust mite crisis, I did a massive housecleaning. I'm not a hoarder (really!), I just have a lot of clutter. Who knew I had so much stuff (and dust)? I hefted boxes and bags up and down the stairs, out to the trash, etc. And I started to lose a significant amount of weight. Great! I needed to lose, in order to get back to a healthy BMI, but also because I am vain.

However, this healthy move was offset by an incredible craving for sweets. I tried to keep them out of the house, but to my embarrassment, despite my years of ranting about high-fructose corn syrup, I became a regular at the McDonald’s drive-thru.

 So do I know what emotions may have been playing a role in this sugar crisis? Um, yeah. I think it went a bit like this:

[Sob,sob.] Damn it, my dog is dead, but these fricking fleas (I always gave Houdini flea prevention-these were super fleas) are still here! [ragged breath]

And-now-they’re-attacking-me-and-my-dust-mites-are-making-me-feel-like Miss Havisham-and-I’m-not, I’m-not, and-also-I-don’t-have-any-money-so-I-can’t-fix-my-house-up, including-my-crazy-ass-slightly-crooked-and-cracking-front-walk-and-I-just-know-that-the-neighbors-and-passersby-are-pointing-and-judging. [sniffle, deep breath in]

Or something like that….

 Psychologists say that treatment with techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help (Therapy! But I’m already in therapy.)

 Seriously, though. There are some truly traumatic experiences—such
as being abused or a survivor of violent crime—that can lead to overeating. Body image, stress, depression or just life can also get in the way. So therapy is nothing to scoff at.

 It’s good to hear the message that’s it’s not just about self-control. But I’d like to hear a little bit more about societal factors that contribute to poor body image and self-punishing overeating. Like the omnipresent messages that tell women they should all look like this:


  To quote a friend of mine: “I’m just sayin’”