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nina alter

I am not really looking to simply argue with you, but you seem to be on the attack here and using a lot of misinformation to do so. Such inaccuracies prompt me to respond.

For many years I had to closely monitor my weight day by day, vigilantly on the lookout to ensure I didn’t slip into the “Karen Carpenter Zone” threshold of <110lbs, that would render me too underweight to safely experience a sustained heart-rate increase without putting myself at an increased risk for a heart attack.”

This is WAY off beam. In a modern world where people try to normalise “Plus size” such claims are merely a wishful justification. Every time I see the nonsense about Karen Carpenter (who is one of my favourite singers) I shake my head. Karen Carpenter did damage to herself by forced weight-loss using drugs, it was NOT a low body weight that killed her. Her autopsy found that her death was due to emetine cardiotoxity which caused cardiac arrest. Emetine is a drug used to induce vomiting and she used it because of her obsession with losing weight. (That’s as close to anorexia killing her as it gets.) Several years after her death the Doctor who conducted the autopsy apologised for allowing people to think that anorexia itself killed her. He made a video in ’85 explaining that repeated use of Emetine (Ipecac syrup) destroys the heart muscle and leads to failure and death.

I grew up in the ’60s on a surfing beach. The average weight of the girls I dated/knew was around 100 to 110 pounds. Seven to eight stone. Those were fit, active, healthy girls, not anorexic. I never heard of a girl dieting in those days, their mothers might - usually just switching from sugar to Saccharin and eating fewer scones - but never the girls. The big, no make that HUGE difference was in the fact that junk food was so uncommon then. No McDonald’s, no Kentucky, just milkshakes, fish & chips or hamburgers. Sweets (Candy) were an occasional treat, not an everyday indulgence.

Which of these ’60s girls is anorexic?

My wife was 105lbs when I met her in the ’70s, and she’s recently muttering about dropping a few pounds. She is 112lbs now (& still looks gorgeous). None of my daughters weigh more than 50kilos (110lbs) and none of them diet. They are all fit, and very capable of maintaining a sustained high heart rate without increasing risk of a heart attack. Their running (several of them are runners) with sustained high heart rate actually reduces their risk of a heart attack. I run, as well as surf and sail, and I have a body-fat ratio of under 7% (Immersion test.) Do you think that I am anorexic, or have an increased risk of heart attack when running up hills?

“…to normalize our monthly weight fluctuations that otherwise appear incorrectly.”

This intrigued me. I edited a Heath & Fitness magazine for some time and had not heard of such a thing. I asked a sports Doctor associate about it and did some searching through medical databases. The consensus seems to be that SOME women tend to eat more and move less when menstruating, so such weight gains are a result of personal behaviour and hardly “a part of their cycle”. The second reason for my curiosity is that I have always lived in an all female household, wife and daughters, all of whom now own Fitbits, and who run, ride and swim as well work out in our Gym daily. Part of their routine is using the Fitbit scale every morning on rising and those records show no variation associated with menstruation.

“The branded FitBit device, for practical purposes, is purely a pedometer — but it’s far more exciting (and hey, growth-hacker-y!) to market such a device as much more.”

Which one of the various Fitbit models are you actually denigrating here? Those that I have experience with are much more than a pedometer. They monitor heart rate, sleeping patterns, food/calorie intake and calories burned, liquid consumption, GeoMap your runs, record many exercises other than walking or running. They also tell the time. How is that “purely a pedometer”?

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