Category Archives: Serious Issues

We’ll Figure It Out Tomorrow…

A Special Guest Blog By: Courtney Mueller,Co-Producer of
“Finding Thin”

What is it about tomorrow? We always say:

Well, tomorrow’s a brand new day.

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow, you’re only a day away.

Just sleep on it and figure it out tomorrow.

Tomorrow has become a coping concept within our lifestyles. Instead of living in the moment, we settle for tomorrow to have the answer we are looking for. We’ll figure it all out tomorrow.

Especially when it comes to taking initiative on our health.

We always say:

Tomorrow I will start working out.

Tomorrow I will start that diet.

Tomorrow I will start living a healthy lifestyle.

We use tomorrow as a crutch for the inevitable necessities in our life. We’ll hold off just a little bit longer, even by just a minute, in order to put off life’s decisions.

In all reality, tomorrow isn’t just a day away. We will do anything to wait and see what happens, even though life is happening right now.

John Lennon famously said, “Life happens while you’re busy making other plans.” This concept is especially applicable to the decisions we make about our health as we get older, and hopefully wiser, the necessity of making a conscientious decision becomes more imperative. We choose to eat the candy instead of the apple. We choose to take the elevator instead of the stairs. We are constantly choosing the way we want to live and the route we want to take in every present moment, yet our mindset tends to drift off into the future.

Sure I’ll treat myself to a 7-course meal tonight, but tomorrow I’ll be sure to work it off at the gym.

Today needs to be the day where we make the change. We need to stop waiting. We need to stop counting on the unknown and instead stay present in what we know right here, right now.

Empowering yourself to make the small decisions everyday will create many more tomorrows.

It’s a Fight That Doesn’t Have to Be So Hard

When I lost both of my dogs last month, I went into the deepest form of depression that I have ever experienced. Luckily my friends stood by me, but there was not much they could do to help my inevitable pain. To mourn, I wanted food…

and not necessarily the good kind.

I knew if I emotionally ate, the outcome would be a reverse affect of my hard work, and I was very much willing to accept that.

In the end, the pain did subside and I only gained a couple of pounds.

I’m determined to lose that weight and that pain.

Being in control really does aid my happiness. It is great that I have finally had the chance to learn all of this by making this film. I have been given a one in a million chance to have three years of constant advice from the top diet and health gurus in the country. They are helping me fight the fight of obesity. Even through emotional obstacles, I’m still fighting the fight.

It doesn’t have to be so hard…does it?

Diets + Depression = Weight Gain

Just a Spoonful of Antidepressants

A while back, I found out that I was suffering from bouts of depression. I started on the typical SSRI’s and ended up gaining a significant amount of weight. Due to reversing my progress, I wanted to get off of them.

How could I diet if these pills were not giving me a fair chance?

I started to think about genes and the fat ones that I inherited from my family. Just because I was predisposed to becoming obese didn’t mean I had to be obese.

There must be a way to not suffer from negative side effects, especially for drugs that a lot of people depend on.

But I realized that when I started walking for exercise, my endorphins kicked in, making me feel great both mentally and physically. There was something that I could physically do to not only beat the side effects of weight gain, but make myself feel better as well.

Now I am taking a more proactive attitude of not letting things just beat me down.

I know what will happen if I go off the pills; I’ll emotionally eat.

Major weight gain. Major depression.

I can stay on the medication; I’ll just need to keep walking, one step at a time.


 

Is Miss Piggy Promoting Obesity?

You must think I am crazy, but there is a level of seriousness to it.

Miss Piggy is one of the most beloved characters within the crew of Muppets… but she certainly has a weight problem.

The audience can see her as a prototype of the overweight people they like to make fun of. Yet nobody behind the show has done anything to counter that.

I give credit to team Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog. They don’t make fun of the difference in size there. Size doesn’t matter in this case.

Still I question the reasoning behind Miss Piggy being overbearing and loud. Is it because she is overweight?

In all seriousness though, if you look at many of todays animated characters, they are certainly all suffering from an uncontrolled eating problem.

Surely the Cookie Monster changed his ways to promote his veggies; but when we see just a picture of the blue creature, we immediately associate a chocolate chip cookie being devoured and start to perhaps crave one ourselves.

It is time that we control what goes into our mouth and take responsibility. It is time to not stereotype. It is time to promote health along with a healthy image.

If not, I guess we can just cook Miss Piggy for a pig roast and see how the kids react.

Bring In The Clown, The Obese Are On Parade

Recognize This Obese Clown?I have spent too many times in a restaurant or at the checkout aisle in the grocery store embarrassed by what I was buying.

Numerous times I gave up going out to lunch or dinner with my family out of the same fear. People said that this fear was all in my head, but realistically, I feel like I am a walking billboard for obesity.

If I have dessert at a table, people look at me with shame. Yet those same people can have the post-dining treat without even a thought of judgement from my end.

I feel like I am the circus act that dares to enter the places that I am supposed to stay away from.

It drives me crazy that everyone looks at dieting as a form of will power, but it can’t be further from the truth. After all, who would WANT the lifestyle of a person battling obesity ?

For instance, how many people watched Kirstie Alley on ‘Dancing With The Stars’ for the prowess of her dancing? They watched because they wanted to see the side show, and had the opportunity to witness when or if she’d fail. She had the potential for just that… right?

We have view those who are fighting obesity in a different light. Whether you consider it a disease or not, bigotry and verbal abuse should not be tolerated in any society.

 Wouldn’t it be a great world if everyone was treated equal?

Obviously this equal outlook isn’t going to happen immediately, but at least we can educate people about the emotional harm that their ignorance brings.

Here’s The Skinny On Shopping, Part 2.

A Special Guest Post By: Courtney Mueller, Co-Producer of “Finding Thin”

I went back to therapy.  And by that I mean I went shopping again.  I thought I’d give Nordstrom a chance to make me feel better.

This time I didn’t go alone. I brought a friend for support.  It was a good idea but ended up going awry.

We were working our way through every department- from shoes, to jewelry, to makeup, our joint therapy session seemed to be heading off to a promising start.

Then we ended at clothing.

It was regular sized woman and super thin person tackling the sometimes torturous world of fashion.

I am generally comfortable in my skin and love to use my retail therapy to show myself off. But as soon as we entered the dressing room, my confidence waned. Each shirt or pair of pants was modeled to get the other person’s approval. We trust each other’s opinions and usually can usually tell what the other is thinking as soon as we stepped out of our private rooms.  Every time I tried on a new piece I smiled at myself at the mirror and then walked out for the friendly review. We stepped out and gave the look, the thumbs up or down, or gushed over how fantastic or hideous the clothes were.

This time though, I found myself suddenly self-conscious. While I would try multiple sizes in search of the perfect fit, every piece my friend tried on fit her perfectly or (even worse) was too big on her. I felt like her only problem was trying to pick what to buy from her stash while I was trying to pick out one or two items from my stash that would fit. I was jealous.

Regardless of our sizes, the retail therapy modeling session remained the same for the both of us; some tops looked great, others didn’t. And even though I was self-conscious, in a way, so was she. She didn’t love how she looked in every single thing she tried on, even if I thought she looked great.

She disproved my theory that the size zero girl didn’t existent. She existed alright, and she had the same problems as a size regular like me. She experienced the same issues, just at a smaller size. Our experience together made me realize that regardless the size, every one has their own body type issues.

Here’s The Skinny On Shopping, Part 1.

A Special Guest Blog By: Courtney Mueller, Co-Producer of “Finding Thin”

I love shopping. Shopping can is sometimes little addiction for me in fact.

Heading over to the department stores to check out the latest fashions and perhaps treat myself to a new shirt or pair of pants is both an adrenaline rush and a release for me. It truly is retail therapy.

But lately my therapy sessions are ending poorly.

It feels as if clothing designers are unaware or uninspired by the realistic size of the average American woman.

I’m a real woman with curves. I’m not a twig, not obese- just
regular when it comes to size. But when I’m trying clothes on, I
feel as if I’m squeezing into what my normal size should be. I’m not trying to fit into a smaller size for the vanity of a tag with a smaller number; I’m just constantly battling my standard sizes thinning down.

I wonder what Michael Kors or Diane von Furstenberg would do if they traveled the same locations as “Finding Thin” and really took note at what Americans really look like. Not everyone is a size two… let alone a size zero (what I refer to as “size non-existent”). The average American woman can’t squeeze into the unrealistic expectations that clothing designers create…

and I can assure you that she doesn’t feel beautiful when she tries.

Of course designers design for all sizes, but as soon as we reach a
select size we go from model material to plus-size clothing. There’s a reason why the racks are always full of smalls and extra smalls; the larger sizes are selling out.

Dear Designers-If all the larger sizes sell out first, doesn’t that give you an indication of what the public wants?

As for me, where is the regular? Why is there no in between?

I think everyone should occasionally indulge a little retail therapy.

Go ahead and buy that new shirt or skirt to show off whatever you are
proud of, even at that “regularly plus size”.

Maybe I need a new form of therapy.

This Has Been the Worst Month Of My Life

This has been the worst month of my life.

I lost two family pets which were my near and dear to my heart…practically children to me, regardless how others may feel.

I’ve really gotten to know who my true friends are. As for the phony ones, they are dead to me.

I thought I would emotionally eat during this time but I’ve only had a few bad days. Perhaps I even lost a few pounds, though that was not my intention.

After meeting with so many celebrities in the last few years making this film, maybe it is rubbing off.

I think back to Jillian Michaels, Ruby Gettinger, Dr. Judith Beck and even Bob Harper. Each and every one of them were so human and gave me strength. Even Michelle Bouchard from Dr. Oz’s Health Corps. was a positive influence.

Everyone wants to help but when you are in such emotional turmoil it seems like a lost cause.

I wake up in the morning and my little ones are not there.

Isolation has become my best friend.

It is ironic that all of this should takes place at the end of production. It has been over three years of my life that I have felt like I have forsaken so much.

I just always felt if I could effect just one person’s life other then my own, then it will all be worth it.

On this journey I have learned and experienced so much I can’t wait to share with you all on the screen.

It just never entered my mind how long and life changing this would be.

I now make two promises.

The first, is to finish this film for everyone.

The second, is to help the great foundations representing this very cause that I so believe in.

There has to be good that comes from this film and I will do whatever it takes to make it happen.

So She Thinks She Can Dance?

 

 

A Special Guest Blog By: Courtney Mueller, Co-Producer of “Finding Thin”

The pressure was on for Natalia Mallory. 18-year-old Natalia and her sister Sasha made it through the first round of auditions and headed to Las Vegas to compete on the television show, “So You Think You Can Dance?. For their primary
and perhaps most important audition the sisters performed a duet.

Upon initial review, you wouldn’t think these two were actual sisters.

Natalia and Sasha MallorySasha Mallory was thin, very fit, and had a traditional dancer’s body. She represented the energy and beauty that an audience has come to expect from a dancer.

But Natalia was not typical. She was tall and stocky with a big personality. She was the bigger sister. She was the bigger dancer.

Her size was further emphasized when she had to switch partners- the first, more slight partner could not lift her during a jive routine.  Natalia persevered with the grace and smile her audience had already come to expect of her.

After the jive, Natalia became dizzy, felt chills, and ended up being
hospitalized for blood sugar issues.  Instead of speculating about whether or not her size played a role in her health problems, her fans just rooted for a quick recovery.

She rallied, and came back to the auditions where she performed once more before the next cut.

It was down to the last dance. Her sister had already made it, but
Natalia’s future was at stake and the odds were stacked against her. She was
already being compared to her sister as well as the rest of the traditional dancers.

The truth is, Natalia was more than just your typical dancer. She was
bigger in size, but she was fit, talented, and had an essence that
captured the music and the hearts of the judges and fans. She broke barriers. She broke the stereotype of what a dancer looks like.

Natalia showed that a larger sized woman can dance just as well as the skinny willowy girls we’re used to seeing.  She showed there was more to performing than a dancer’s body type.

She made it through to the next round.

We look at people like Natalie and are often quick to judge. We think
they are overweight instead of built. We think they are weak instead
of strong. We think the thin dancer has more talent than the thick
one. We judge the book by its cover.

Surely Natalie doesn’t look like the typical dancer; but her strong
technique, passion, and talent speaks for itself. Forget the cover,
open up the book and read the pages.

The first chapter title reads: Real Women Can Dance Too.

Isn’t It Too Hot To Exercise?

Too Hot To Handle?

As part of my workout routine-specifically for cardio-I have started walking. But lately, the temperature has been boiling hot. Walking outside is my favorite activity for keeping up with my healthy lifestyle and losing weight, but I am at a loss.

It’s way too hot to even get in the car and drive to a gym. There must be some exercises that I can do at home without spending money. I constantly hear about activities happening all around the area, the city, etc. but there are so many obstacles of actually having the will or strength to get out there.

I have so little time to exercise regardless and with the weather hindering my normal work out regime… I have to find a house workout. Even an office workout would suffice! Can I even do Tony Horton’s P90x in my computer room? Yoga? Zumba? Pilates? I’ve even heard of a “Yoga Booty Ballet” video…

It is frustrating to start something you can’t maintain. So if anyone has some great suggestions, I would love to hear them.

In the meantime, stay cool.