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October 6th, 2011

Fun time with Crypt Keeper @ 05:27 pm

So, I've really been hitting up the VA for health care lately and taking care of a lot of things that needed attention.

Including my weight.

They offer a "healthy weight loss" class for veterans. You are allowed to bring a guest. The focus is on healthy living and not "a diet." So far, so good. They've done great by me so far, so I give this a shot although part of me is dreading the same regurgitated advice I've been hearing for years. You never know though, right?

It was worse than I could possibly have imagined. First of all, the nurse in charge looked like the Crypt Keeper with a boob job. She was somewhere between 80 and embalmed in appearance, in a close-fitting sweater dress that showcased gravity- and logic-defying breasts. I would guess she was a size 2/4 and rocking a C or D cup. Considering that I had to be 100 pounds overweight before my boobs actually hit a D cup, I was... skeptical. I mean, I guess that size combination isn't impossible... but in a woman of her apparent age and body fat percentage? Unlikely.

I don't know how old she really was, but I'm pretty sure the VA wouldn't let her work there at the age of 80. People do work there as a second career, but I think they force retirement like any other federal agency, which is to say 65 for most and 72 at the latest. So basically, homegirl wasn't the picture of health. She didn't look like a smoker, but rather someone dying of cancer of the everything. So I decided that I would try to turn the bitch voice in my head off for the duration.

Second, her nutritional information was dated. When I first heard it. Over ten years ago. Everything was low fat/cal, with the caveat that the dietitian would talk to any diabetics about carbs. Given that she was flat out shocked that not a one of us fat fucks had diabetes already (repeatedly saying how 'lucky' we were because we hadn't developed it YET with the explicit statement that we ALL WOULD if we didn't lose weight), shouldn't she be telling *everyone* about carbs?

In the nutritional guidelines, they include milk AS A FOOD GROUP.

No one but fucking dairy farmers believe that. Seriously, milk isn't a food group, hasn't been in years. And she told us we should all switch to fat free milk, because that's healthier. Except that it is STRAIGHT SUGAR. (That's right, lac-TOSE is bad for sugar sensitive people. Who, other than chemistry students and anyone whose read a health periodical in the last decade, knew that?) Also, 90% of adult mammals are lactose intolerant. And everyone other than my cousin Joe knows that human beings are, in fact, mammals.

She presented a number of "statistics" about overweight and all its health risks. Except that anyone with a basic knowledge of medicine, or statistics, knows that a "health risk FACTOR" is a mathematical derivative. Not proof of causality. At all. Sloppy attribution of causality is probably my number one pet peeve.

Third, the Crypt Keeper is way, way more animated and interesting. Nurse Death's Head spoke in a quiet monotone with the general attitude that even she was bored and tired of this information. Perhaps if she'd reviewed ANY data on nutrition in the last two decades, she wouldn't have been quite so bored. I don't know, just sayin'.

I was the only person present who knew the number of calories in a pound. Of course, I also think that it doesn't matter nearly as much how much you eat as *what* you eat. After all, a Starter Log has over 10,000 calories but won't make you put on 3 pounds if you eat it.

Fourth, she kept going on and on about how healthy Europeans are compared to Americans because they are thinner.


I thought it was because the majority of them still smoke like chimneys, work 33% less per week than the average American, and have paternalistic regulations that have women *water their own breast milk* to avoid having a fat BABY. Less work = more exercise.

She went on to point out that European portions are much smaller than ours. True. They also eat multi-course meals, which we don't. And Europe has started having weight problems since the last economic crunch, when their work hours per week finally began to climb past 26 (on average) and they started having to resort to fast food sometimes.

Fourth, in response to someone saying that the "obese" weights didn't look that unhealthy to him, she said we would have to leave the country to see people who are a healthy weight.

O RLYx2??

All of us are fucking veterans, lady. We might have seen healthy weight people before. Additionally, by her own statistics, 60% of Americans are overweight. That means 4 out of 10 ARE NOT. So... not that hard to see someone who isn't overweight in real life, unless you live in a cave dedicating your life to the contemplation of the mysteries of the Venus of Willendorf.

Finally, she went on about the "jump" in obesity that has occurred in the last 2 decades without ONCE mentioning that the weight standards were revised down in the late 90's. So a bunch of people who didn't gain any weight went from "healthy" to "obese" overnight. I challenged her by pointing out that 18.5 didn't use to be considered healthy, and now it is (as a result of the change). Also, that most people who meet a person of that BMI think they are viewing someone with an eating disorder. She leapt to the defense of the (formerly) underweight, saying that she was a BMI of 20 or 21 and didn't think she looked that way.

No comment, Nurse Death Head.
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[User Picture Icon]
Date:October 7th, 2011 12:17 am (UTC)
This shit is why I won't see a nutritionist. I've been talking to my endocrinologist for over a YEAR about the Primal Blueprint, and how badly I do when I eat carbs, and how great I feel when I can manage to stay on a low-carb, high-fat diet -- but my problem right now is psychological. I'm still dealing with my mom's death, my dog's death, my dad's new dating life. School just started again, I'm tired, my new dog is crazy, and judging by the stuff I've been reading lately, I have ADD. (No, not some "befuddled" kinda scatterbrained "haha, adult ADD" chain letter -- actual, semi-crippling, ADD.) So I've got a lot going on. AND I EXPLAINED THIS.

"I think you need to see a nutritionist."

"Is she going to tell me to follow ADA standards? 300 grams of carbs per day, most of it from bread that will shred my intestines?"


"I won't go."

Seriously, what part of that 20 minute rant did she NOT understand??

I sometimes think that "health care professionals" are more brainwashed than the masses.

Nutritionist. Shut up and give me my insulin so I can leave.
[User Picture Icon]
Date:October 9th, 2011 12:19 pm (UTC)
I forgot to mention the part where she informed us we would need to diary our food for SIX MONTHS to "get a sense" of how many calories are in things before proudly proclaiming that she knows the calories she eats every day to a margin of error of 100 calories.

In my world, a woman with a BMI of 20 who counts every calorie, every day, and can't stop... is called "borderline eating disorder."
[User Picture Icon]
Date:October 7th, 2011 07:34 pm (UTC)
I wonder what these people do in order to use the VA as an opportunity to spout their outdated info?
[User Picture Icon]
Date:October 9th, 2011 12:17 pm (UTC)
This particular nurse is what I like to call a "true believer." She got the info from the Ohio VA, didn't question it or do any research of her own. She really believes that all of us are dangerously stupid for not knowing and living the low fat, low cal lifestyle already.

My husband's favorite part was her confusion over why so many ex-military were fatter than the rest of the population. Well lady, let's say we put you in a secluded environment, work you hard, deprive you of sleep, and feed you 6000-8000 calories per day. Once you get used to eating enormous quantities of dense food and STILL BEING HUNGRY, we put you back in a more normal environment, except you get up super early, go home late, and get either no lunch break or 20 minutes. We give you access to fast food and vending machines, but not fridges or microwaves or even tables you can eat at.


Surprise! That's a good way to make thin people fatter.

All wisdom is plagiarism

Everything else is studipity