The Discouraging World of Online Dating

I’ve had an online dating profile in one form or another for … well… a long time.  And generally, I don’t get much attention, which compared to what some women experience is something of a relief.  But when I do get attention, be it the generic “I’d like to meet you” sorts of features on many sites or an actual message from an actual person (allegedly) I find that I just don’t meet people I’d like to sit near on the bus let alone become intimate with.  I’m not talking about appearance or anything superficial, I’m talking directly about personality.

My friends will attest that I have a long standing track record of not really being terribly particular about appearances.  Sure, there are certain traits that I find more attractive than others, but that’s never held me back from dating someone who was a complete opposite of what I would subjectively find attractive.  Because it’s just not that important to me that the person I fall in love with look like the hunk of my dreams.  So when I say I’m talking about personality being a problem, it’s genuinely a personality problem.

Let me give you some examples.  P. contacted me on a dating site, and nearly immediately wanted to switch to texting from messaging through the site’s email.  He didn’t want to publicly post a photo of himself, but wanted to send me a photo.  I agreed, and he promptly sent me a photo… just an average looking guy.  Then he wanted a “better” photo of me.  I learned long ago not to post photos of myself from the neck down.  I’ve got an extremely ample bust and that just draws all kinds of creepers.  So when a man asks for a better photo, I know he means that he wants a picture of me that shows my figure.  Fair enough.  So I send the most recent head to toe shot of myself I have in my phone, one of me in a new dress I just bought recently.  It’s pretty provocative.  It also very clearly shows that I am a fat woman and not ashamed of it.  He immediately wanted to see “more”.  “More” is a very vague way of asking me to send more revealing photos.  I declined and let him know that I wasn’t after casual dating or casual sex.  I’m genuinely looking for a relationship.  And frankly, if I were looking for casual sex, I have plenty of options with men I already know and trust to treat me with respect and affection.  I’m comfortable with myself and my sexuality and my choices.  Random internet dude seemed shocked that I wasn’t falling all over myself to accept his offer.

I almost prefer this type.  They’re not trying to hide who and what they are.  And much as I hate this assumption that I as a fat woman would jump on any opportunity for a man who expresses a genuine desire for my body, he is at least honest that he finds me sexually attractive and is open about wanting something casual.  He doesn’t want a serious relationship, he doesn’t want to pretend to be interested in my interests or my friends or my life.  There’s a time and place for arrangements like that.  It’s not what I’m after.  And when I declined, he moved on without feeling the need to insult me on his way out the proverbial door.  I respect that.  I have deeper problems with his desire to sleep with fat women but not date them, but he is at least honest with himself and with the women he contacts.

Worse though, in my mind, are the men who do pretend to be interested in a relationship.  C. contacted me the same day P. did, but made every effort to differentiate himself from “those other guys”.  And with the fresh example of P. in my mind, I fell for C.’s game hook line and sinker.  He made a comment near the beginning that was inappropriate, but seemed genuinely repentant when I called him on it.  We chatted for a couple of days, went on one brief date, and continued chatting and talking on the phone for several more days.  Some of our conversations got quite intense.  But there were warning signs that I wasn’t ignoring as our conversations progressed.  He seemed to have zero social life.  He wanted to be in near constant contact with me by IM, text, or phone…to a point that it was becoming inconvenient to do anything in my real life.  If I took a minute or two to reply because I was doing something else, he became anxious and would send multiple messages trying to get my attention.  He seemed aimless in his life, and remarked that I seemed very hard working simply by mentioning the normal day to day things that I was trying to get done while he was monopolizing my time.  C. made a number of comments about himself that pointed strongly to a very poor self esteem.

Then he began doing things that were just too manipulative and potentially signs of emotionally abusive nature.  At the end of an intense phone conversation, he would hang up abruptly then claim that he had heard a man’s voice in my background.  The first time I had Pandora on in the background so I assumed he heard an ad and scrambled to explain and ensure that he wasn’t angry with me.  But when he did the same thing again the next night I suspected that this was just a ruse.  When I expressed that I was very wary of continuing our association due to the things I mentioned above, he was alternately apologetic and accepting.  But he wanted to go on essentially as we had been, but as “friends”.  I firmly declined.  Then he sent this (before reading the next paragraph, please understand that this is a direct quote from his text message, I’ve only corrected some minor spelling for readability.  It’s quite explicit, degrading, and includes some foul language.  I debated censoring it or just summarizing, but that would imply that his words have the power to harm me.)

Well all I can say is I just wanted to use you.  You have freak hair on your face under your double roll chin.  Your gut hangs down in to your pants.  I don’t know how you shave that nasty cunt.  You’re so dang fat how do you wipe your ass.  I was just going to use you.  You’re so fucking ugly.  LOL take care you fat slut.

A couple of points I’d like to make.  He never saw me nude.  Not even any moderately revealing photos.  I was very clear about my body type in our initial conversations, before we even exchanged phone numbers.  I also explained that I’m body positive, practice Health at Every Size, and don’t do the whole dieting thing.  We had a whole conversation about how he found plus size women more attractive.  Not that it matters, but I do have PCOS (poly cystic ovary syndrome), a hormone imbalance that does cause me to grow hair in places that is considered unfeminine.  For the most part I try to find ways to look more socially acceptable, even going as far as having treatments done that are expensive and painful or using products that I can never be sure aren’t going to set off a nasty allergic reaction that could permanently scar me.  That’s a whole layer of effed up I don’t want to delve into right now.

The crux of this though is that I didn’t want him, so all of these things that were non-issues just a day ago are suddenly the most disgusting thing he can think of.  He has to reassure himself twice that he only intended to use me.  I’m not sure how he intended to gratify his desires with a woman he found so repulsive, but that’s his neurosis, not mine.

Is it any wonder that while I do still have two online dating profiles on free sites, I chose never to initiate contact with anyone?  When this is the sort of treatment I receive from men who contact me, I’m sure you can imagine the sort of response I get when I take the time to message someone first.  I’ve come to consider simply never receiving a reply a polite response.  It becomes difficult to really believe anyone who expresses interest in me.  I end up spending the first couple of weeks of getting to know someone wondering when their true feelings will come out.

Fudgy Brownies

Last night I was craving chocolate, since as a single woman I didn’t receive chocolates from a lover for Valentines’ day.  I wanted a recipe that I could easily make grain free, so it wouldn’t upset my system but would still satisfy my craving.  This is a great recipe because it only calls for 1/2 c. of flour.  I used almond flour, which is quite expensive, so the small amount is much easier to swallow than several cups.

brownies

4 oz unsweetened chocolate

1/2 c. (1 stick) butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 1/4 c. sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 c. flour (standard wheat flour is what the original calls for here, but really any type of flour would work.  a good AP GF flour blend would be fine.  I like almond flour for this application.)

Melt the chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat.  When melted and smooth, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.  Mix in sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt.  Then add the flour and mix well.

Pour batter into a greased and floured 8×8″ baking pan and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out barely clean.

The original suggests you cut them into two inch squares… that feels a bit overzealous to me.  9 to a pan sounds about right.

Do You Still Remember Me?

Note: This post is not directed at any particular person.  As an introvert, I’ve lost a number of friends because their life or my life changed and then one day I realized that my friend wasn’t responding to me anymore when I tried to get in touch.  If you see yourself in this post, consider reaching out to that introverted friend you haven’t spoken with in a while.

Do you remember me?  We used to be really close.  We shared meals and tough times and things that changed our lives.  Friends grow apart sometimes, but aren’t best friends supposed to pick up where they left off even if weeks or months have gone by?  I’m an introvert and I’m perfectly content to spend most of my weekends with my sewing or crafts or books.  I used to be able to reach out to you when I was ready for some friend time and we’d get together.  Now you don’t answer my calls, you have to ask who this is when I text, and you changed your email and forgot to let me know.

Its too easy to blame myself for the distance between us, but it’s not entirely my fault.  I kept reaching out to you long after you stopped responding.  I still miss you, even if it’s been years since we last really talked.  You know I don’t make friends easily.  You know that sometimes you have to drag me along to be social at times, and no matter how reluctant I am, I’m always thankful that you helped me get out of my comfort zone and have some fun.

It’s bewildering to me that we aren’t even friends anymore.  Did I do something wrong?  Is it really that easy to forget about me?  Did you think that I wouldn’t want to be friends anymore when your life went in a different direction?  It’s so hard for me to reach out, then when you don’t reach back it hurts so much.

I’m still here.  And I’d still like to be friends, no matter how long it’s been.  It still hurts a little bit every time I think about you.  I miss you.  My friends are part of my family, and losing you in my life leaves an ache that never goes away.  I know I probably don’t do this “friend” thing “right”.  But I’m still here.  I still care.  I hope you do too.

Grain Free Cookies

I just finished my first batch of grain free cookies and they were an unqualified success.  I can’t even tell you how happy I am right now.  I started with a standard sugar cookie recipe that I love, and made some alterations.  The end result is this:

Please do no lick the screen.

Please do no lick the screen.

And yes I used leftover mini-m&m’s I got on clearance from Christmas time, don’t judge me.  :p  These aren’t strictly Paleo, but I don’t really care about the refined sugar part of it.

Sugar Drop Cookies

1 1/4 c. sugar

1 c. butter at room temp

3 egg yolks

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 c. coconut flour

1 c. almond flour

1/2 c. tapioca starch

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

1/4 tsp. salt

1/3 c. coarse sugar crystals or 1 c. mini m&m’s

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cream together butter and sugar.  Add in egg yolks one at a time, followed by vanilla.  Mix until well combined.

Sift together flours, starch, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.  Add to butter/egg mixture and mix until well combined.

Use a cookie scoop to portion out cookies (about 1.5 inch balls) and roll just the tops in the m&m’s (or the whole thing in the sugar), you may have to press the candies into the dough.  Bake about 12 per standard cookie sheet.  Press down slightly onto the pan so it’s more like a thick disk rather than a ball of dough.

Bake about 12 minutes.  Allow to cool on cookie sheets 5 minutes before transferring to cooling racks or stomach.  Try not to eat the entire batch yourself.  Go on, try it.  🙂

 

I’m quite excited to have these lovelies grace my lunch box this week.  They’re just as light, and chewy as can be.  There is a mild coconut flavor to them, which I don’t find unpleasant at all.  In fact, I think it adds to the charm of these fantastic cookies.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a plate of cookies getting cold on the counter and I need to warm them up in my tummy.  😉

 

Why Gluten Free?

I practice Health at Every Size.  Which means that I’m concerned with actual measures of my health like fitness level, blood work, lifestyle choices (no tobacco use, limited alcohol consumption, no illegal drugs, prescription drugs only as directed, etc), and eating a balanced but varied diet.  I’ve committed to not using restrictive eating habits or excessive exercise routines as a means of controlling my weight.  There’s quite a bit of research to back up the idea that this is the best approach and zero evidence that dieting for weight loss actually works in the long term.  (I don’t really care to go through all of it for you, so if you’re curious about the science, feel free to read Health at Every Size or check out some of the many fabulous posts from Dances with Fat who goes through the research as well as addressing some of the common questions that come up with Health at Every Size or HAES.)

With all of that in mind, you might be wondering why I’m following a gluten/wheat free diet.  Why, if I genuinely believe in not using restrictive eating habits to modify my weight, I would severely restrict my eating habits in such a way.  To answer that, I have to start by reminding you that my weight isn’t a consideration when I make decisions about my health.  I chose to remove wheat and gluten from my diet at the suggestion of my doctor after considering many factors, primarily my allergies.  We actually discussed removing all grains from my diet, but compromised on starting with wheat due to the difficulties involved in making such a drastic change in my diet and my lifestyle.

Several years ago my severe hay-fever morphed into something more serious.  I actually started going into anaphylaxis and had to be taken to the emergency room.  What happened?  I was sitting in a lawn chair at the park in closed shoes, long pants, and a fairly conservative blouse, late at night, watching the fireworks on the fourth of July.  My nose was flowing, my eyes were watering and swelling to the point that I could barely get a blury idea of where I was going and I was starting to wheeze and have swelling in my mouth and lips.  I hadn’t eaten anything for hours.  Pollen levels should have been at their lowest for the day.  I hadn’t used any new skin care products or put on any new clothing.  Yet the ambient levels of pollen combined with the proximity of grass was enough to trigger a medical emergency.  Luckily I was with friends who immediately loaded me in the car and found the nearest open store (a mini-mart almost 10 miles away), and got a bottle of liquid Benadryl for me to sip while we made the 20 mile drive to the nearest hospital.  When I went through the whole allergy panel several weeks later, they used the more diluted version of the grass allergen for the test and it made half my arm swell up, plus reactions to half a dozen other environmental allergens.

But that’s not the end of the story.  Most people with a grass allergy react only to the pollen.  I react badly to the plant as well, dormant or not.  And the variety of grass doesn’t matter.  Living in an area where grass, wheat, oats and similar crops are grown, I have tested my reaction to various relatives of the common fescue.  I react just as badly to wheat grass as I do to a common lawn.  And when you stop to think about it, all of the grains are cousins really.  They all started from selectively breeding grasses for particular traits.  Why then is it so strange for people to talk about food allergies in the context of a grass allergy… many varieties of grasses are used as food sources!  Why would the skin on the inside of my body (my digestive tract) be any less sensitive to these allergens than the skin on the outside of my body is?

My body is so sensitive to some of these allergens that I also have a problem called “oral allergy syndrome” which is where your body confuses certain compounds in food for very similar compounds in allergens and reacts as if it were an allergen.  Several foods are associated with grass allergies in particular; celery, melons, oranges, peaches and tomatoes are all potential problems if eaten raw.  Cooking seems to offset the effects for most people.  But I happen to react strongly to melons which are almost never cooked.  People with Birch pollen allergies may react to apple, almond, carrot, celery, cherry, hazelnut, kiwi, peach, pear, plum.  And those with ragweed allergies may react to banana, cucumber, melons, sunflower seeds, zucchini.  Unfortunately, because it only occurs in about 1/3 of the very worst allergy cases, many allergists never discuss the possibility with their patients.  I had a random stranger suggest I look it up after overhearing me mention that watermelon makes my lips itch.  She asked if I was allergic to grass as well, then suggested looking up Oral Allergy Syndrome.  My doctor had never heard of it.

When I started questioning my doctor about possible food allergy connections, as well as my thinking on the grass allergy-grain foods connection, he dismissed my concerns and my research out of hand.  His attitude was ‘people with a wheat food allergy aren’t fat, it’s not possible.’  Of course, because I was poor he also dismissed any research I did out of hand, I clearly couldn’t tell a valid source from a crackpot since I didn’t make very much money.  Ugh.  I had no other healthcare options at the time so I just shut my mouth, kept thinking critically, and muddled along as best I could.

Things have gotten better.  I found a doctor who treats me as a thinking human and listens when I say I feel like something isn’t right.  She doesn’t assume that she’s a better witness to my own experience than I am.  And she validated much of what I had been discovering by trial and error.  And then she suggests things that I never would have thought of because that’s what she’s there for.  I feel much, much better when I at least avoid wheat.  I’m certainly not perfect.  Life is messy, I get exhausted, and I order a pizza for delivery because I can’t even consider standing in the kitchen to fix something.  But that’s ok.  I know what happens when I make that choice.

At the end of the day, I shouldn’t need to justify what I choose to eat.  I eat food that makes me feel good, gives me energy, and supports my health.  Whether that’s a bacon wrapped corn dog or a big salad with all of the trimmings, none of those choices are any more good or bad than another.

My new favorite GF Bread recipe

So, I try to eat gluten free as much as possible, with the goal of going grain free once I’ve gotten the wheat free thing under control.  But as a life-long baker, it’s hard to give up some of the fantastic things I’ve always made, like home made bread.  And let’s face it, it can be difficult to figure out what to pack for lunch at work when suddenly a sandwich is no longer the easy option.  I ran across a bread recipe in a Facebook-shared article (that I sadly did not note the website when I jotted down the recipe) and decided to try it.  It turned out fantastic with a few alterations and substitutions I made on my own.  Here’s my version.

A quick breakfast of ham slices and GF toast...soon to have a dusting of cinnamon sugar.

A quick breakfast of ham slices and GF toast…soon to have a dusting of cinnamon sugar.

Gluten-free Oat Bread

Makes 1 9-inch loaf

1 c. brown rice flour

1/2 c. GF Oat flour (take 1/2 c. GF oats and process in a food processor for about 1 minute until it resembles flour, you can leave it a little coarse for texture if you like)

3/4 c. AP GF flour mix (original recipe calls for sorghum or millet flour here, but I was unable to find either at my grocery store and didn’t want to go to the specialty store the day I tried this)

1/2 c. tapioca starch/flour (it can be labeled either starch or flour, it’s the same thing)

1/4 c. corn starch (original calls for potato starch, again I couldn’t find this at my grocery store so I used what I had on hand)

1 pkg or 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast

1 1/2 tsp salt

(2 tsp xanthan gum is called for in the original recipe.  I don’t think it’s really all that necesary, and it’s quite expensive. I skipped it and my loaf turned out fine)

2 eggs + 1 egg yolk

2 Tbsp honey (maple syrup or amber agave nectar could also be used here)

1/4 c. shortening, melted

1 1/4 c. milk, warmed to 110 to 120 F (any type of milk works, nut milks, soy, dairy, etc)

for tops of loaves:

1 egg white, lightly beaten (a couple of drops of water can also be added)

1/4 c. (apx) GF oats

 

Prepare a 9 inch bread ban by greasing well and dusting with some additional brown rice flour.  Set aside.

Mix dry ingredients just to combine.

Whisk together wet ingredients.

Add wet to dry and mix until well combined.  Mix for 5 minutes on medium-high speed.  It will be a very thick batter, like cake batter.

Spoon batter into prepared pan.  Be careful that the batter doesn’t go past half filling the pan, if it does, the batter will spill over during rising.  If you have excess batter, you can prepare a few muffin tins as you did the loaf pan and make a few rolls.

Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top of the dough with the egg white.  Sprinkle GF oats on top.

Let dough rise in a warm place 40 minutes or until nearly double in size.  Pre-heat oven to 350 F.  (This dough will actually double in size!  Loosely cover with plastic wrap before draping a kitchen towel over the pan unless you want a doughy kitchen towel!)

Bake apx. 40 minutes, internal temp should be 200 F.  I actually used a clean meat thermometer to double check my loaf.  It was golden brown looking, but that can sometimes be deceiving.  Rolls may take about 10 minutes less.

Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto cooling racks.  Be gentle when taking out of the pan.

 

I baked mine in a clear glass loaf pan so that I could check browning on the bottom as well.  I was perhaps a bit overzealous with the greasing and flouring of my pan, but my loaf didn’t stick at all.  I found that the slices were a little prone to breaking into large chunks when I attempted to make a sandwich for work.  Slicing was a fairly delicate task.  But the bread it’s self tastes wonderful, and lacks the flat, grainy texture of so many wheat free concoctions.  The loaf didn’t dry out when left in a ziploc bag on my counter all week without refrigeration.  And it made pretty respectable toast this morning a week after baking.  My slice did break into two pieces coming out of the toaster, but I think that was a function of my particular loaf.

I’m definitely going to try this again and use some different flours and starches.  I’m curious how it will work with an exclusively non-grain line up of flours and starches.  I’ll be picking up some coconut flour, almond flour and more tapioca starch tomorrow to try this out with a “paleo” bent.  (Tapioca starch is made from a tuber grown in South America and fits into the general guidelines of the Paleo diet.  My concern is avoidance of grains, for which this starch fits the bill.)

Fat Bias and Health Care

Just over two weeks ago, I had to make an unscheduled visit to my local health care facility.  And by local, I mean the hospital that’s literally across the street from me.  At 1 am.  After waking up my roommate who had to be at work at 8 am that morning.  D’oh!

The night before, my stomach had felt uncomfortably full to the point where I wasn’t able to sleep at all.  I had vomited early that morning.  Not an immediate concern, but something that catches my attention.  Throughout the day I felt a little better but couldn’t even think about food.  When I got up off the couch to go to bed around midnight, I noticed that the all-over uncomfortable feeling had settled into some serious pain right along the bottom of my stomach.  I thought perhaps it was just some serious PMS cramps and decided to try to go to bed.

I tried some home methods of managing pain, under the assumption that it was cramps.  That….didn’t help.  In fact, it might have made it worse.  So an hour later, in intense pain, I woke up my roommate and had her drive me to the Emergency Room.  Yes, the one that is literally across the street.  She was thoroughly unimpressed until she saw me try to walk.  When we got into the ER, I knew it had to be serious when the receptionist did little more than get my ID and pull up my medical records from when I had been a patient of theirs before.  They immediately took me back to a treatment room, offering me a wheelchair.  I declined.  I shouldn’t have.

Because I try to follow a Health at Every Size (HAES) approach, I usually decline to be weighed at the doctor’s office.  This time, I allowed them to weigh me because there was a strong chance they’d need that information for medication or treatment.  I’m fairly used to the old fashioned balance type scales and typically step on them and find a point on the wall to stare at after getting the nurse or CNA in the right ball park.  Now, the hospital I went to is brand new, it only opened a couple of months ago.  The ER didn’t have a balance scale.  The only scale in sight was a wheel chair accessible digital scale (pretty cool actually, it folded up against the wall when not in use).  Not a peep from the person gathering this information.  In the treatment room, some pertinant information was written on a large white board next to my bed so that any of the nurses, doctors, or other staff had urgent information readily available.  My weight was included in that information.  But it was written down in kilograms rather than pounds.  It’s fairly unusual to see weight noted in kilos here in the US.  And for some reason, it didn’t cause the mental stress that it normally does seeing my weight in cold hard numbers.  Like many Americans, kilos just don’t mean very much to me.  If asked, I could probably give a rough estimate of a kilo to pounds conversion, but it might take a minute or two.

No one mentioned my weight at all in relation to my current health care concern.  Not even when it became clear that I would need to have surgery.  Abdominal surgery at that.  Before we go any further, be aware that I’m going to be very matter of fact regarding my physicality and health concerns.  Some of the following descriptions may be “too much information”.  The anesthesiologist didn’t paint a doom and gloom picture of what might happen putting a “morbidly obese” person under for surgery.  It’s not unusual for fat people to be given such a bleak picture that even routine procedures seem like life and death.  Mine was just super happy that I hadn’t eaten anything for more than 12 hours prior to surgery.  They didn’t waste time once appendicitis was confirmed, they immediately began calling in a surgery team to take that appendix out as soon as possible.  And they gave me lovely drugs to make the wait bearable.  🙂  They were wheeling me into surgery by 6 am.

Once I woke up, they got me up to a hospital room fairly quickly.  I never had to ask for the right size blood pressure cuff, or a bed or chair wide enough for me, or when I left, a wide wheelchair.  When I was unable to bend far enough to clean myself after using the bathroom, I was never made to feel uncomfortable by the staff assisting me.  And when I vomited all over myself and the bathroom the next morning, the staff went out of their way to make the experience less awful, getting the OK for me to have a shower rather than just a wipe down.  I loved that rather than getting whoever happened to be wandering by each time I needed assistance, I got either my CNA or my nurse.  And I’m not sure if it was coincidence or not, but my CNA was always female, which is my preference.  Day two I struggled with the return of nausea and a raging case of heartburn.  Despite my requests, the most I could get was a single tums-type tablet.  But I had to hold down food before they would release me to go home.  So I struggled to get some jello down, ignoring that my stomach was yelling at me, with a plan to get some pepto once I got out of the hospital.  Sure enough, once I got out of there and got some antacid on my stomach, I felt much better.

Two weeks later, I had a follow up appointment.  I might have just cancelled and let them know I was feeling fine, but one of the instructions I had been given was to avoid exercise including riding my bicycle for a full month.  As you might know from my previous entries, I don’t have a car anymore, and I’ve come to rely on my bicycle for getting around my neighborhood.  Not having it was a serious hardship.  So I went to the follow up appointment mostly to get that all clear.  They didn’t even ask to weigh me at the appointment.  The assistant was in something of a rush and did take my blood pressure with a standard size cuff on my forearm rather than connecting the large size cuff that was present with the machine.  Thankfully my blood pressure wasn’t something we were looking closely at for this appointment.  Now that I’ve done some research, I’ll decline that in the future.  Anyway, I got the approval to start riding my bike and had a nice (quick) conversation about listening to my body as I return to normal tasks to avoid injury.  I looked through my after appointment paperwork today and noticed there was some generic information about being active in the paperwork, probably something that prints for all patients.  It started with talking about how exercise can lower risk for diseases… but it didn’t list obesity as a risk or weight loss as a goal.  In fact, the whole thing was really sensible and HAES friendly advice!

Overall, I was extremely impressed with how my weight was a total non-issue through this whole process.  I’ll soon have to purchase health insurance, and I’m doing some research on local health plans to find the most HAES friendly plan.  The hospital I was treated at is part of a HMO, and initially I was skeptical of getting HAES friendly care from them.  After doing some further digging, this HMO is moving towards the top of my list of options.  Rather than having “obesity” as one of the major health issues they have special treatment and management plans for, they list “weight management” under their healthy living initiative.  All of the advice is reasonably sensible and inline with HAES, but of course they expect weight to go down.  I don’t really expect much better than that at this point.  The only downside for me is that the fantastic naturopath I’ve been going to for my healthcare needs for the last year wouldn’t be covered under the plan.  Lots of pros and cons to consider.