Part 1 Create a Better Brain Through Neuroplasticity – Chapter 9 Gutless Fat Shaming, Illness Shaming and Mental Health Shaming

Part 1 Create a Better Brain Through Neuroplasticity – Chapter 9 Gutless Fat Shaming, Illness Shaming and Mental Health Shaming January 21, 2020

Editor’s note: Two weeks of high winds here in Tamarindo has trashed my internet connection. I’m still waiting for Kolbi to come out and fix it. Being that everything here runs on Tico Time I doubt I will have connection again for a few more days. So I pushed on through to break down the next chapter of Debi Pearl’s book, into the most dangerous and disturbing chapter yet that will take days to unpack. So for the next four days we’re looking at Debi’s horrid shaming tendencies.

We’re back in Debi Pearls book Create a Better Brain Through Neuroplasticity and the entire book has just gone from painfully silly to ‘hey someone’s gonna die here’. The book starts to look like a way to blame everyone for what they are living through, mixed with Debi conveniently forgetting her own personal history. The die has been cast, the Rubicon crossed and there’s no turning back now and pretending this is a harmless little book written by a nice senior citizen lady. This is dangerous garbage lies disguised as advice that will get someone killed if you follow it.

This chapter involves gut health. Debi takes all of the recent new discoveries on how the gut and the brain are linked and does what she always does. She extrapolates them out to places scientists have yet to go, right down to making claims about your gut “thinking” Oh yeah, guess what happens when you tell your gut to answer that algebra pop quiz? Nothing. Your gut is important, but it does not “think” as we understand thinking.

We’re not saying here that Debi is 100% in the wrong here, oh no. Guts and gut health is very important. It’s the reason I make sure to take in adequate fiber daily and probiotics. The gut is very important because that’s where your body gets all of the nutrients it needs to keep moving and grooving.

Debi just figures out a way to use everything gut related against most of the population to tell them that this is why they suck so badly. There are over the top amounts of blaming and shaming into today’s chapter.

Yesterday I gave a guy I know a ride home from town. This guy is some version of not normal, and spent the fifteen minute car ride babbling about how only organic magnesium works, keto water taken from the bottom of the sea, and how aliens created junk food. I am pretty sure this guy is a 1960s burn out that fried his brain with too many acid trips. Even if your body cannot tell the difference between a magnesium supplement or natural magnesium in the water Jerry still made better nutritional sense than Debi.

Fat Shaming

Let me just say that fat shaming is always wrong. The science is just not fully established on why some folks gain and some do not. It’s not always selfish overeating. There’s likely a genetic predisposition involved, along with the fact that everyone’s metabolism is different, different medical conditions and even medication factor in. Since you have no way of knowing how that particular person ended up heavier than normal it’s pretty tacky to judge them just for being that way. Be merciful because in all actuality it’s really none ofyour business how too thin or too plump someone is.

We start with a charming and likely very false story of a Pearl grandchild. A miraculous and likely faked grandchild that always turns down sugary cereal for a boiled egg and an avocado. Debi spends a couple of pages yammering on about this miracle grandchild being thin, physically active and devoid of screens while obsessing over the bacteria in her gut. She’s written out a ridiculous scenario where said grandchild talks to the bacteria in her stomach. Yeah, right, like that happens? Insert an eyeroll here.

She claims kids with more gut bacteria are more curious, positive, social and extroverted while those without as much tend towards fearfulness. So she thinks personality traits are hinged on nutrition even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary? Debi never met a piece of pseudo-science she didn’t embrace.

First bit of really stupid dangerous piece of anti-science codswallop? It is not even literally true. One study suggested that hyper obesity might, MIGHT, play a role in brain shrinkage. Not established settled science yet.

As your weight goes up, the actual physical size and function f your brain goes down.” Dr. Daniel Amen

This is all followed by page after page of claims linking thinking neurons in the guts to thinking neurons in the brain. Debi goes on to claim if you eat the wrong foods not only will you be fat, but you’ll also wreck your immune system and develop the dreaded ‘Brain Fog’

It is the result of a malfunctioning digest system that is unable to supply your brain with the proper fuel.”

Yeah, well, Debi, medical science has also shown that you can get that dreaded brain fog when you don’t get enough sleep, if the blood sugars in your body are off for any reason, or if you are sick without knowing why. Many ailments create that foggy brain. Sometimes its stress levels being so high you cannot concentrate, or worrying and anxieties. Medications. There are a laundry list of things that can slow down your thinking. It’s not always eating the wrong foods.

Debi goes on to talk about the many times in the Bible that the word “Bowels” is used for when you might think “Heart” would do better. This is her link as to the Bible establishing the guts can think? Brains, bowels and hearts do very different jobs in the body, all rather important but so diverse.

Back to the Fat Shaming

And then we end up with a fictional George, more of a junk food junkie that Lori Alexander’s husband Ken on his worst potato chip and ice cream scarfing days that Lori despaired over.

George eats almost entirely processed foods. He has brain fog. He feels bad. He is way larger than he should be. Debi claims he has killed off a significant portion of his gut bacteria. That may or may not be true. Science does show that living on a diet of processed foods isn’t good for anyone, but processed foods eaten in moderation aren’t as likely to have an effect on long term health. It’s really okay to have that once in a blue moon bag of chips or ice cream.

..much of the food George eats is now partially indigestible. So it is rotting instead of being digested, which explains why George stinks and has skin rashes..”

Whoa, whoa here! Do you know what happens when you eat something your body cannot digest? That’s right, it’s expelled quickly during the process of elimination through defecation. No worries of months of rotting food backed up in there. I know there are some practioners of the more woo types of medical thnought that think you need to have your colon blown occassionaly, but for most of us our digest tracts take care of undigested foods quickly on their own.

If George is stinking he needs a shower.

And do you know the best way to build up that wonderful bacteria in your gut? Taking probiotics helps tremendously.

Debi then goes on to talk about the importance of eating fish, or taking fish oil supplements. The story she chooses to illustrate the importance compares kids with mental illness, claiming that the kids that got the fish oil were miraculously prevented or cured from psychosis. Again, literally not how those supplements work. All this talk of fish oil supplements, but not one word about eating yogurt or taking live active gut culture supplements. And tomorrow we are onto Chronic Illness Shaming.

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About Suzanne Titkemeyer
Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping the plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. She has been happily married to her best friend for the last 33 years. You can read more about the author here.

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