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Weight issues when interviewing

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by tangeefox, Jul 31, 2002.

  1. tangeefox

    tangeefox Junior Member

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    Okay, this may sound like a bizarre thing to be worried about, but I very much am. I have some weight issues, I'm overweight. Not 300 lbs. or anything, but definitely not as fit as I'd like to be. I'm in the process of trying to lose weight, but anyone who has ever had weight problems understands it isn't easy.

    The thing is, I know all about what is good to eat and what isn't, calories in/calories out, excercise. Heck, I could probably write a book about how to lose weight healthily. But it's a SLOW process.

    I'm very worried about going through the application process overweight. I've looked at pictures of students at different medical schools and have yet to see a SINGLE overweight female. Overweight males, yes, but no women. I know it is frowned upon to not be in the best health if you want to be a doctor, but I AM in good health. Great blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. I excercise. I eat healthy for the most part. I just hate the idea that because I'm not thin I might not be accepted into medical school.

    Anyone else facing this or have input into admissions and weight?
     
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  3. sluox

    Physician

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  4. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat

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    I bet that for everyone that has your concern, there is a blond girl that hopes people don't think she's dumb, a skinny guy who hopes people don't think he's a wimp, and someone with glasses who hopes people don't think he/she is a bookworm.

    Just be yourself -- that's all you can do.
     
  5. poloace

    poloace Senior Member

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    diogenes is right... but, in that thread i started someone else did mention how being overweight may bring a flag in the interviewer's head... maybe they'll wonder how you will take care of patients if you struggle to take care of yourself. i know that weight is primarily genetic, and also environmental.. i think as long as you are who you are and you're confident about your appearance- it should not be a problem. good luck ;)
    peter
     
  6. holler79

    holler79 Senior Member

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    tangeefox,,,I sent you a PM.
     
  7. tangeefox

    tangeefox Junior Member

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    Unfortunately, not just pleasantly plump. I've had two kids, and the way I carry my weight is the biggest problem. I don't carry any in my bottom and legs, just at my waist (the apple shape) which makes it much more apparent than if it was evenly distributed.

    And yes, we do make good mommies, we're softer :D
     
  8. Tweetie_bird

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    well,
    I used to be quite *fat* a couple of years ago, and I decided to do somethign about it. Although one would certainly not call me THIN right now, I am definitely not fat anymore. Food is one of my passions! Cooking it....eating it :laugh: One of my secondaries also talks about food and how i am writing a recipe book. In any case, what matters is how comfortable you are with yourself, and how you pick the right clothes to wear at the interview. Don't wear double breasted coats...don't wear striking combinations...I'd say go with light blue and black or some subtle combination like that. Wear shoes that are not too chunky. Dark hose will definitely help.

    I currently work out almost every single day. I love running now. it's funny because one of my recommenders has even mentioned it in his letter about how health is imoprtant to me and how i like to take care of myself. Be comfortable, have fun. Don't you think that docs are fat also??? Stress is one of the major causes of obesity (even IF you work out, it may not help if you don't eliminate stress in your life), did you know that? There's a ton of literature on that out there.
     
  9. geneman

    geneman The Transgenic Hobo

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    [Please note the following is a scientific argument, not a judgment on appearance.]

    Just curious, but how do you know that weight is primarily genetic?

    Did you know that in the last 50 years, the % of overweight/obese people (using standard definition) has more than quintupled? Genes don't change that fast -- behaviors (i.e., patterns of eating, etc.) do.

    Now being geneman, I don't doubt there is a genetic component (perhaps there was an underlying selection for different types of metabolic rates that was not exposed until diets became heavy in fats and high in calories). But to say that weight is primarily genetic is a politically correct but scientifically incorrect copout.
     
  10. kimosabe

    kimosabe Junior Member

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    Not to take the discussion in a different way, but I'm with geneman, as a side note, i have a problem with medical school admittance that is purely genetic, I'm a white male, i was thinking of trying to play it off like i was an african american woman, but i'm not getting very far with that. peace
     
  11. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat

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    I agree with geneman. Not judging appearance at all, but the gene pool hasn't changed in the last 50 years -- our diet and lifestyle has. Interestingly, there are a couple articles in the current Newsweek about children and what they eat and being overweight. Anyone who is interested should check it out.
     
  12. tangeefox

    tangeefox Junior Member

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    You mention that the % percentage of overweight people has increased over the past 50 years, not because of genetics, but weight. A-I think you somewhat misinterpret why that is, and B-You seem to blame solely overeating as a cause.

    My point: No, genes don't change that quickly, but society does. Certain races ARE and have been for a long time genetically predisposed to carry excess weight because of the types of lifestyles they descended from. You touched on the fact that when high calorie, high fat diets came about there was a change. You didn't mention the fact that society is consideribly more sedentary now than it ever has been before.

    A person can be genetically pre-disposed to need more excercise than he can reasonably accomplish in society today.

    On the reverse side, there are some people who can partake of the same high calorie, high fat diet and do very little exercise but not retain weight.

    So yes, genetics DOES play an important role in determining why some people are overweight. It isn't just poor diet choices and it isn't just lack of willpower. It is because they cannot be as active as their starving, hunter and gather forebearers and their metabolism hasn't caught up to that yet.
     
  13. geneman

    geneman The Transgenic Hobo

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    I didn't say the % of overweight people increased because of "weight". I don't even know what that means. I said it increased because of changes in behaviors -- and I mentioned diet, etc. Lack of exercise and all of the other ills of modern society were implied through the term ectera.

    And if you'll read again my second paragraph, you'll see that I agree with the genetic component.

    But let me again re-emphasize my original evidence. 50 years ago, there was NOT an epidemic of obesity. Today, there is and it's getting worse. What changed? In a nutshell, people are eating more and exercising less.

    This would suggest that the problem we are having *is* primarily due to poor diet choices, lack of exercise, and perhaps even lack of will power. The differences in the genetics of metabolism was PREEXISTING -- the eating/no-exercising combination exploited and made apparent this difference.

     
  14. time quaker

    time quaker Senior Member

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    Interesting debate that has sparked up here.

    Tangeefox, you're right. We are a great deal more sedentary than our forebearers, BUT as geneman says, we're talking about 50 years. Not Stoneage man versus us. I don't think we are a great deal more sedentary now than we were 50 years ago.

    The calorie is simply too available here in the US.

    Looking over some interesting Biochem today. Supposedly, I can live for 70 days without food before dying of starvation (presuming that infection or something else doesn't get me first). Pretty interesting. :)
     
  15. kimosabe

    kimosabe Junior Member

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    Ok, What ethnic group has a predisposition for being obese due to where they came from, this should be interesting, Of course different people have different metabolisms though, i don't think anyone can argue otherwise, but it does come down to choice, and ultimately people have to take responsibility for their own choices, But the big picture is that you are applying to an intellectual institution and hopefully the people evaluating you will not pass judgement on your asthetics, stay confident and don't worry about it. It may not be such a bad thing, if your confidence shows through, showing that your weight doesn't bother you I think you'll be fine. Good luck Kimo
     
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  17. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member

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    Genetics does not stop anyone from being a healthy weight. This is what genetics does: two people of the same hieght, age, race, gender, etc... eat the same # of calories everyday... one weighs x lbs, and the other weighs x+20 lbs. That's it. So one person might be a little heavier than another.

    But genetics do not ever condem a person to being obese or fat. No matter how "bad" your genes are... if you watch your calories and exercise, you will not be fat. It's that simple. No women/man who only eats 1500/2000 calories a day and excercises regularly is going to be fat. Maybe if you have unlucky genes eating 1200-1500 calories a day (depending on hieght) might not make you model-thin... but you certainly won't be fat or obese.

    Tangee... I think that if you want to loose weight, you should do it for your overall health and self-image... not just for some med-school interview.

    Good luck :)
     
  18. jot

    jot

    i think shes got it covered:)
     
  19. lola

    lola Bovine Member

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    for the most part this is true, but i strongly believe genetics along with other factors (e.g. thyroid problems) can cause a person to be overweight who eats a normal diet and exercise. in most cases, weight problems are due to poor diet and lack of exercise. however, there are overweight people out there who do eat healthy diets and exercise but are still overweight.
     
  20. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member

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    Lola: The "I have hypothyroid" excuse is nonsense. For hyporthyroid, and all those other metabolic disorders, there are medications you can take to correct it.

    I have particularly bad hypothyroid... but you know what? Everyday I take a high doze of Synthroid that totally corrects the problem.

    I know it's terribly un-PC, but the truth is, no one is forced to be fat. All people have at least enough control over their weight to not be fat or obese. Maybe you'll always have that chub around your ankles... or maybe you're like me, and you'll always have thick thighs... but no one has any excuse for being obese.

    In fact, I think that this is a case when PC-ness has done more harm than good. If people's general attitude is "well, I can't help it... it's my genes" and everyone else accepts that... then people won't even try to make a change. They'll just give up from the start and continue their unhealthy lifestyle.
     
  21. DrBravesgirl

    DrBravesgirl Surgeon for a year

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    i used to blame my extra poundage on genetics (my dad's side of the family is huge...my mom's side isn't, but so far, i've displayed no traits from that side). and to an extent, it was true. i never ate a lot, but couldn't lose weight. however, the little i did eat was complete crap (taco bell and i were good friends), and never exercised. after making some major lifestyle changes (not really with the intention of losing weight, just with the intent of being healthier overall), i've lost 55 lbs in a year. this after 20 years of never really being able to lose weight. so don't blame stuff on genetics..it certainly plays a role (i'll probably never be a size 0..but that's just fine with me), but you can always overcome it.

    edited to add: no, my major lifestyle change was NOT anorexia or bulimia. it was exercise and a balanced, healthy diet
     
  22. poloace

    poloace Senior Member

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    geneman-
    i think you read my post wrong. i was simply stating that the TWO primary factors in weight gain are genetic and environmental. i did not mean to place more emphasis on one than the other.. and yes, i agree- the fact that every fast food joint offers you to supersize for 39 cents (CAN'T RESIST!!) is a great reason why we're all lard asses. environment and corporate america breeds fat fukkers.
    p
     
  23. lola

    lola Bovine Member

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    R.P.,
    I do agree with you that PC-ness has done more harm than good. There is no excuse for being obese. Close to 100% of people who are obese are that way because they consume too many calories.
    I do believe, however, that being overweight is something entirely different. It is really hard for some people to lose that last bit of extra weight. For me, it's the last 5 pounds. For some other people, it may be the last 20 or 30 pounds.
    The hypothyroid thing is an excuse if someone isn't being treated for it. One of my friends had struggled with her weight for years before being diagnosed with hypothyroid. I'm sure there are loads of people out there who have a thyroid or other metabolic disorder and don't know it. All they know is that they're overweight and can't lose weight!
     
  24. well said!:clap: :clap: :clap: I think genetics does play a role to a certain extent though; with parents who are not small people and a whole bunch of overweight relatives I know there is no way I am going to be 5'0 and <95 lbs like some of the women in my med school class. I'm 5'7 1/2 and have not weighed <140 lbs. for over 5 years. I weighed 132 lbs (after losing a bunch of weight my freshman year of college) for about 2 seconds during my sophomore year and fit into a size 7 pant for a few weeks of my life. I do exercise quite a bit (run for 45 minutes outside 5 days/week if the weather is good) and eat well. But I still felt very self-conscious when I arrived at med school and noticed that I was much bigger than many of the other girls. I wore baggier clothes than they did during orientation week to camoflauge what I thought was a huge stomach. After I met a friend in my class who weighed 180/ 5'6 at the time she entered medical school because she was very curvy and had a LOT of muscle tone in her arms and legs, and realized that she had a lot of confidence in her appearance and self, I felt kind of foolish for covering up my shape. I started wearing slimmer-fitting clothes and some people even told me that I was {gasp} THIN as a size 8-10. My point is that it shouldn't matter what the scale says, as long as you are taking good care of your health and EXERCISING on a regular basis and feel confident about the way you carry yourself. And in spite of rumors to the contrary, there ARE men who like women with breasts and hips. good luck at your interview!
     
  25. poloace

    poloace Senior Member

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    ... i like women with breasts and hips. mmm... breasts and hips ;)
     
  26. poloace

    poloace Senior Member

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    p.s.-
    i dated a girl who was bulimic... i'd take a normal girl over her psychological roller coaster ANY DAY- thin, fat.. tall... short- its some serious stuff.

    p
     
  27. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat

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    It's not just how much one eats, but what exactly one eats also. High fructose corn syrup is BAD, especially when one drinks a 64 oz. big gulp. Everyone eats white bread; nobody eats whole grains (well, I do, and some other people I know, but not a majority). I could go on and on....

    There is also evidence that as one puts on weight, one's body changes metabolically -- basically, once you have gained some weight, it is easier to gain more than it was to gain the initial weight. That's practically a positive feedback loop...
     
  28. geneman

    geneman The Transgenic Hobo

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    To Katie and DrBravesGirl:

    I love it when people take responsibility for themselves and then succeed in overcoming challenges in life. Thanks for sharing your great stories.

     
  29. qweewq11

    qweewq11 Smiley orgy organizer

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    I wouldn't worry about it too much. Lots of interviewers are like Sir Mix-A-Lot (Baby Got Back!) or 2 Live Crew ("I like a lotta booty that's big n plenty!").


    Ok seriously, people come in different shapes and sizes. Just dress in slimmin clothes for your interviews and I doubt they'll even notice. It's not like the med schools want a bunch of anorexics in their class.
     
  30. poloace

    poloace Senior Member

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    yeah.... med schools generally don't care about mcats or gpa or undergrad- they just want hotties to make out with.
    p
     
  31. DrBravesgirl

    DrBravesgirl Surgeon for a year

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    anytime! :D
    does this mean i get to bring this up at interviews when asked about things i'm proud of? (being complimented by geneman..and i guess i could mention the weight thing ;) )
     
  32. geneman

    geneman The Transgenic Hobo

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    I heard a great idea a few months ago, floated on Bill Maher's Politically Incorrect:

    Put a tax junk food!!! Who's with me!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

     
  33. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member

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    lola: Yeah... I hear yah... it's more like the last 10 for me... I guess it aslo depends on how you define "overwieght."
     
  34. daisygirl

    daisygirl woof

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    We've been there and done that in NY. All foods deemed unnecessary (ie. pringles, soda, McDonalds- junk food) to your well-being are already taxed via sales tax. I am surprised that non-healthy foods are not taxed elsewhere...
     
  35. WaitingImpatiently

    WaitingImpatiently Long Member

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    So that's what it is like in NYC, eh?

    Here in CA, Pringles, candy bars, or any other junk food you buy at a supermarket isn't taxed. Fast food restaurants, however, do charge sales tax, but it's pretty obvious that 8.25% tax isn't going to stop anybody from eating at McDonald's.
     
  36. racerx

    racerx ASA Member

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    That's what it's like in all of New York State! One of the highest income tax rates coupled with one of the highest sales tax rates. Mmmm...really great incentives to stick around after my education is complete.
     
  37. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member

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    Like that's going to help anything... like I'm going to stop eating candy bars because they're 71 cents instead of 66. :rolleyes:
     
  38. lola

    lola Bovine Member

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    Remember the good old days when candy bars were 25 cents?!

    I think snack foods in Cali are taxed. But RP, you're right. It doesn't stop me from buying them!
     
  39. tangeefox

    tangeefox Junior Member

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    Geneman, sorry, I didn't post what I meant very clearly, and re-reading sounded somewhat confrontational. I was really thinking about my specific situation which to a great extent IS genetic. I have an insulin resistance problem (very genetic-runs all through my family and most of them became type II diabetics later in life) after treatment with glucophage to get pregnant (PCOS) I had gestational diabetes while pregnant and gained WAY too much weight, which I'm currently still trying to drop.

    I'm very aware of my eating and excercise habits, but I also realize that because of my genetics and the way my body uses insulin (or doesn't as the case may be) it is more difficult for me to lose the unwanted weight. Yes, there is treatment for people with styroid problems

    As far as what race has genetic factors that lead to obesity, American Indians have an unusually high proportion of people that are obese and/or diabetic and some research fingers insulin resistance as the culprit. (BTW, I'm not AI)
     
  40. jot

    jot

    tangeefox: game, set, match.
    good luck - you'll do great!
     
  41. WaitingImpatiently

    WaitingImpatiently Long Member

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    Nope. Unless something changed in the past week or so, I'm positive that you can buy a Snickers at the market without sales tax. There was a period when snacks were taxed in CA about 8 years ago or so , but that passed after a few years. I remember because that small bag of chips I bought everyday went from $0.25 to $0.27 (a REAL pain if I had no pennies) and then back to a quarter again.
     
  42. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat

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    I thought the intended point was that there are no races where every individual, regardless of diet, is obese. American Indians eating western diets do have very high obesity and diabetes rates. But one must wonder if that would be true if more traditional diets and lifestyles were pursued. It is an open question at this point, I believe.
     
  43. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat

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    This is difficult to do because elected officials control sales taxes (the state legislatures). A state rep from CA tried to introduce a tax on soda, but it was voted down -- the food lobby is too influential -- probably more influential than the NRA or the tobacco lobby.
     
  44. lola

    lola Bovine Member

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    no, nothing's changed in the past week or so! 8 years ago, huh? it seems like just yesterday that they started taxing junk food! well, i've been out of the state for most of the time, so i guess that's why i never heard they stopped taxing it. plus i don't buy junk food too often and when i do i don't really notice if they tax me or not... obviously :)
     
  45. geneman

    geneman The Transgenic Hobo

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    When they meant tax junk food, they weren't referring to $1.99 becomes $2.11. They meant seriously upping the price to where money becomes a major factor in the decision to buy them.

    Think cigarettes. Ever since NY recently increased cig taxes again (as high as $8 a pack), there has been a spike in the sales of cigarette-quitting aid products.

    They could even funnel the tax proceeds towards health-awareness programs.
     
  46. daisygirl

    daisygirl woof

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    There has also been a spike in the number of people buying cigarettes from the internet. I cannot tell you how many people I know who have started to purchase cigarettes in this manner. As the proverbial saying goes- when there is a will there is a way. People know how bad cigarettes are for them, yet many will continue to smoke because many don't tend to look at the long-term effects of their behavior.

    On a side note- the only reason NYC (not all of NY) increased taxes on cigarettes is b/c of the economic crisis in NYC. The politicians in NYC could care less about funneling that money into health-awareness problems, they are primarily concerned with not raising the taxes of the majority.
     
  47. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat

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    I know a lot of people who are well aware of the long-term effects and are quite afraid of them. They are addicted and are having a hard time quitting. Nicotine addiction is no trivial thing.
     
  48. daisygirl

    daisygirl woof

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    I understand that because I am an ex-smoker. It is very difficult to quit, but it is a lot easier to make believe that your behavior really won't get the best of you in the end and that you have plenty of time to quit. I am speaking from my experience when I say that it is easier to think short-term rather than long-term consequences. I know of many people who quit shotgun once they were told that they were developing pre-emphysema (sp?). It is a lot easier to confront and overcome a nicotine addiction when devestating health problems are staring you in the face.
     
  49. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat

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    I have to defer to you on this since I've never been addicted to nicotine. But then there's that anti-smoking commercial with the old lady smoking out of the hole in her trachea (or whatever, I don't know anatomy). I have read some interesting things about the addictiveness of nicotine varying from individual to individual.
     
  50. geneman

    geneman The Transgenic Hobo

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    Or they go drive 500 miles and buy them from Indian reservations. :) But the net effect of these measures is the good one -- getting people off cigarettes or their potato-chip-eating arses.

    PS - Who cares why politicians do what they do, as long as it does good.

     
  51. Ripley

    Ripley Dr. Wannabe

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    Tangee~~

    I had/have the same problem as you. (PCOS) It caused me to gain ~50 pounds in a little less than 3 months...it took me a few docs and several very unhappy years before we figured out what was up. It's very frustrating when people tell you to "just do it".
    When I was FINALLY put on Glucophage, the weight started to come off, though pretty slowly. Until I started working my butt off. I have had a LOT of luck with Body for Life, in fact I am starting again on Monday to get me from a portly 8(on my body) to my old size of 4. (I was at ~size 14-16 2 years ago) I'd like to encourage you to try it...I think the key to success for me is cutting out any processed foods ie anything with flour or sugar. I think with your insulin resistance(which I also had) you will find this to be VERY helpful.

    *Ripley* <~~~who is very grateful to have finally shed most of her fat
     
  52. daisygirl

    daisygirl woof

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    All right since I am anal, I have to reply :) ...

    The Indians are keeping up with technology; the Indians sell their product on the internet and that is where people are buying their cigarettes. People don't have to drive ;) . I don't believe that you will really see a net effect- people will (as many have) change their supplier to get what they want.

    I care what politicians do since I am an active participant in our democracy. I am also not a big fan of punishing a minority group (ie. smokers) via taxes in order to fill a budget gap that is, in part, due to the fiscal abuse perpertated (sp?) by those very same politicians.
     

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