pudgy heads of state

The standard of “beauty” for men is clearly different.  Not that anyone is calling these men beautiful, but I highly doubt that Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin would have risen to the top of the political arena if they were “fat.”  Too bad Sarah Palin’s not fat…

Hail to the Chef: 4 American Presidents Who Loved to Eat

Feeding an appetite for power rarely fills a guy’s belly. These four pudgy heads of state were as happy raiding the pantry as they were creating policy.

Grover Cleveland: The Glass is Always Half Empty

Large, jovial Grover Cleveland – also known as “Uncle Jumbo” – enjoyed his beer. In 1870 (15 years before he became president), Grover ran for district attorney of Erie County, New York, against Lyman K. Bass. It was a friendly contest. In fact, it was so friendly that Cleveland and his opponent drank and chatted together daily. In the interest of moderation, they agreed to have no more than four glasses of beer per day. But soon they exceeded that and started “borrowing” glasses from the next day and the next day until they’d exhausted their ration for the whole campaign – with the election still weeks away. The solution: Each brought his own giant tankard to the tavern, called it a “glass,” and went back to the four-a-day ration.

An Extra-Cuddly Teddy

The standard scoop on Teddy Roosevelt was that he was a scrawny, sickly weakling from New York City who built himself up into a rough, tough cowboy type through vigorous outdoor pursuits. What’s seldom mentioned is that Roosevelt went from skinny boy to robust young man to plump (though vigorous) president to obese (though still active) ex-president. While running on the Bull Moose Party ticket in a 1912 attempt to regain the White House, Roosevelt was described as “an eager and valiant trencherman” (it meant he ate a lot). If the main course was roast chicken, TR would consume an entire bird himself, in addition to the rest of the meal. Not to mention the four glasses of whole milk the portly prez routinely threw back with dinner. Photos and films show an aging Roosevelt carrying a decidedly wide load.

W.H. Taft and His Presidential Privileges

William Howard Taft often dieted because his doctor and his wife told the 290-pound president that he must. But without supervision, Will “the Thrill” didn’t just give in to temptation, he sought it. Once while traveling he asked a railroad conductor for a late-night snack. When the conductor said there was no dining car, Taft angrily called for his secretary, Charles D. Norton, who had probably – under instruction from Mrs. Taft – arranged for the diner to be unhooked. Norton reminded the president that his doctor discouraged between-meal eating. Taft would have none of it. He ordered a stocked dining car attached at the next stop and specified that it have filet mignon. “What’s the use of being president,” he said to Norton, “if you can’t have a train with a diner on it?”

Bill Clinton: With an Assist from Helmut Kohl

President Bill Clinton, who famously frequented McDonald’s, was known for eating whatever was put in front of him. He showed a more discriminating, if just as hungry, side in the company of Germany’s chancellor Helmut Kohl, though. Kohl was called “Colossus,” at least in part because he carried 350 pounds on his 6-foot-4 frame. But, in Kohl, Clinton found a gourmand soul mate. In 1994, Clinton hosted the chancellor at Filomena Ristorante of Georgetown for a lunch at which both consumed mass quantities of ravioli, calamari, and red wine, as well as plenty of antipasto, buttered breadsticks, Tuscan white bean soup, salad, and sweet zabaglione with berries. Each ended the meal by ordering a large piece of chocolate cake to go. Clinton once remarked that he and his German counterpart, though the largest of world leaders, were still too slim to be sumo wrestlers.

please allow me

…to harp on this theme for the rest of the day.  A slight diversion from the usual mixed-race programming that I feel important (and even related) in terms of how we’re sold on ideas of good or bad, clean or dirty, fat or beautiful, so that we can buy something to fix ourselves.  It’s really bad today.  It started long ago.  There’s not much money to be made off of self-acceptance and inner beauty, I suppose.

intuitive eating

This kind of goes with a couple of youtube videos that I posted recently.  I like it.  It seems like it’s for both those who struggle with eating too much, and those who struggle with eating too little.  I don’t think those problems are too far removed from each other.

boxes of berries


10 Principles of Intuitive Eating

1. Reject the Diet Mentality Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently. Get angry at the lies that have led you to feel as if you were a failure every time a new diet stopped working and you gained back all of the weight. If you allow even one small hope to linger that a new and better diet might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from being free to rediscover Intuitive Eating.

2. Honor Your Hunger Keep your body biologically fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise you can trigger a primal drive to overeat. Once you reach the moment of excessive hunger, all intentions of moderate, conscious eating are fleeting and irrelevant. Learning to honor this first biological signal sets the stage for re-building trust with yourself and food.

3. Make Peace with Food Call a truce, stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. If you tell yourself that you can’t or shouldn’t have a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings and, often, bingeing When you finally “give-in” to your forbidden food, eating will be experienced with such intensity, it usually results in Last Supper overeating, and overwhelming guilt.

4. Challenge the Food Police .Scream a loud “NO” to thoughts in your head that declare you’re “good” for eating under 1000 calories or “bad” because you ate a piece of chocolate cake. The Food Police monitor the unreasonable rules that dieting has created . The police station is housed deep in your psyche, and its loud speaker shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases, and guilt-provoking indictments. Chasing the Food Police away is a critical step in returning to Intuitive Eating.

5. Respect Your Fullness Listen for the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry. Observe the signs that show that you’re comfortably full. Pause in the middle of a meal or food and ask yourself how the food tastes, and what is your current fullness level?

6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor The Japanese have the wisdom to promote pleasure as one of their goals of healthy living In our fury to be thin and healthy, we often overlook one of the most basic gifts of existence–the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience. When you eat what you really want, in an environment that is inviting and conducive, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied and content. By providing this experience for yourself, you will find that it takes much less food to decide you’ve had “enough”.

7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food Find ways to comfort , nurture, distract, and resolve your issues without using food. Anxiety, loneliness, boredom, anger are emotions we all experience throughout life. Each has its own trigger, and each has its own appeasement. Food won’t fix any of these feelings. It may comfort for the short term, distract from the pain, or even numb you into a food hangover. But food won’t solve the problem. If anything, eating for an emotional hunger will only make you feel worse in the long run. You’ll ultimately have to deal with the source of the emotion, as well as the discomfort of overeating.

8. Respect Your Body Accept your genetic blueprint. Just as a person with a shoe size of eight would not expect to realistically squeeze into a size six, it is equally as futile (and uncomfortable) to have the same expectation with body size. But mostly, respect your body, so you can feel better about who you are. It’s hard to reject the diet mentality if you are unrealistic and overly critical about your body shape.

9. Exercise–Feel the Difference Forget militant exercise. Just get active and feel the difference. Shift your focus to how it feels to move your body, rather than the calorie burning effect of exercise. If you focus on how you feel from working out, such as energized, it can make the difference between rolling out of bed for a brisk morning walk or hitting the snooze alarm. If when you wake up, your only goal is to lose weight, it’s usually not a motivating factor in that moment of time.

10 Honor Your Health–Gentle Nutrition Make food choices that honor your health and tastebuds while making you feel well. Remember that you don’t have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy. You will not suddenly get a nutrient deficiency or gain weight from one snack, one meal, or one day of eating. It’s what you eat consistently over time that matters, progress not perfection is what counts.