Sexual Assault and Obesity

Friday, April 26, 2019

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Livliga asked one of our affiliate partners to share her insights on the link between sexual assault and obesity.  In a recent article posted on the Obesity Action Coalition website this was stated: “The CDC reports that approximately one in six boys and one in four girls are sexually abused before the age of 18. In 2005, the US Department of Health and Human Services reported that 83,600 children were sexually abused. Sadly, children and young adults with extreme obesity, who have histories of sexual abuse, may be more common than we think.”

He Said-“It’s OK, I’m Catholic, too.” 

My client choked out these words, tears streaming down her face. It had been over 30 years and she had never been able to forget the shock of the experience. This was the afternoon in her freshman year that the formerly polite exchange student from Spain had pinned her down on his bed and attempted to rape her saying, “It’s OK, I’m Catholic, too.” It happened in a flash! She was helpless; she could not move under his weight. She could not believe it was happening! She was saved when his roommate unexpectedly came in. She took that millisecond to escape and run back to her dorm room and lock herself in, where she sat for hours, heart pounding in her chest. How could he???!!!! And Catholic??? Hell would be too good for him, she thought, as she sobbed.

Sexual Assault and Obesity

For years she blamed herself for believing that he really only wanted to show her something in his room. She shamed herself for believing that his intentions were honorable. After all, they were not even dating. For years, she was “jumpy” and hated herself… even contemplated suicide. For years, totally humiliated and ashamed, she told no one. She felt so STUPID! Even worse, her body gained weight…adding to her shame and feelings of helplessness. No matter how hard she tried, the weight always returned.

I find that many women have been completely manipulated and duped into tolerating unwanted or unsought sexual advances...or like my client, ambushed! … and then BLAMED for it! Worse, they blame themselves!  This is nothing new. Mozart’s 1790 opera Cosi Fan Tutte (which translates roughly to “All women are like that”) asserts that women are, by nature, fickle, untrustworthy, and there to be seduced. If you don’t know the story, two soldiers accept a bet that they will be able to seduce each other’s fiancées. They tell the girls that they are going away on military orders. They return in disguise and start seducing in earnest. The girls, who fully intended to be faithful, are further manipulated by a maid, who stands to gain financially if the guys can pull off this deceit…which they ultimately do. In the end, the true identities are revealed, and the girls are blamed for their infidelity. So, now they are at the mercy of the guys who perpetrated this scheme upon them. Never mind the obvious fact that the guys were being unfaithful as well. It is the young women who are shamed and disgraced…after all, that’s how women are. Such was the world in 1790. Sadly, not much has changed.

Just like in Cosi Fan Tutte, much of the sexual coercion is perpetrated by men who are known to their victims. Here are the shocking statistics about sexual assault and date rape:

  • Between 20% and 25% of women will experience a completed and/or attempted rape during their college career 
  • More than half of raped college women tell no one of their victimization 
  • 30% of the college women who said they had been raped contemplated suicide after the incident 
  • About 1 in 5 female high school students report being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner 
  • College freshmen and sophomore women appear to be at greater risk of being victims of sexual assault than are upperclassmen. 84% of the women who reported sexually coercive experiences experienced the incident during their first four semesters on campus. 
  • Students living in sorority houses and on-campus dormitories are 3 times and 1.4 times (respectively) more likely to be raped than students living off-campus 
  • 38% of college-aged women who have been sexually victimized while in college had first been victims prior to entering college, making past victimization the best predictor of future victimization 
  • 80% of sexual assault and rape victims are under the age of 30; 44% are under the age of 18 
  • 99% of people who rape are men 
  • Victims were on a date with the perpetrator in 12.8% of completed rapes and 35% of attempted rapes 
  • 43% of the sexual victimization incidents involve alcohol consumption by victims and 69% involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrators (1 in 3 were drunk)
  • 90% of acquaintance rapes involve alcohol
  • Fraternity men have been identified as being more likely to perpetrate sexual assault or sexual aggression than non-fraternity men 
  • College men who participated in aggressive sports (including football, basketball, wrestling and soccer) in high school used more sexual coercion (along with physical and psychological aggression) in their college dating relationships than men who had not. This group also scored higher on attitudinal measures thought to be associated with sexual coercion, such as sexism, acceptance of violence, hostility toward women and rape myth acceptance. Cosi Fan Tutte!
  • Only 2% of all sexual assault accusations reported to police turn out to be false. This is the same rate of false reporting as other types of violent crimes. 

I have found, over and over, that sexual trauma is often at the root of persistent obesity. The underlying unconscious belief is that it is simply not safe to be thin or attractive. Fortunately, my program addresses this very effectively and clients are finally able to lose the weight (and the shame and guilt) for good.

To get immediate HELP after an assault- Call 800 656 HOPE (4673) The National Sexual Assault Hotline. Or contact your local organization, like MOCSA in Metropolitan Kansas City, for immediate support, counseling services, and other programs.

Liz Bull helps women (and brave men!) who are fed up with weight loss programs that don’t work to finally get a body and a life they love. A Medical Intuitive, Master Theta Healer, and Certified Virtual Gastric Band Practitioner, Liz  has long been fascinated by the important role mind, body, and beliefs play in our lives. Her other studies and certifications include EFT, Psych-K, Matrix Energetics, Access Consciousness, QiGong, NLP and Transcendental Meditation. You can visit her website at


Food Portions Explained

Friday, April 12, 2019

Understanding our portions is a must if we want to live a healthy lifestyle. It is the “101” of weight management. Not calorie counting. Interestingly, this is not something we are ever taught. Our only reference for portion sizes are super sized references of Big Macs, Double Quarter Pounders with Cheese and all the other foods we see advertised in magazines, on TV, in restaurants, and even our grocery stores.

So how do we figure out what a right-sized portion is? This is another source of ongoing confusion. A portion is what we are served and typically eat. It can be any size. In fact, think about the portions we are served at restaurants. They tend to be huge, right? That is because a portion is what we are served but it can be made up of any number of servings. A serving is what we need to become familiar with because that is how amounts are measured and how we are provided information in terms of ingredients, nutrients, calories, pre-packaged portions and recipes.

Servings are based on the amount of calories an average person burns in a day and then is broken down into specific amounts that a person should eat per meal.  It is an average based on consuming 2000 calories per day and assumes a “net neutral” outcome…meaning you will burn in a day the same amount as you consume. This is how we keep from gaining any weight and how we can also lose weight, if that is our goal. This is a great place to start. In reality, according to a recent report provided by The Food and Agriculture Organization, Americans eat an average of over 3,600 calories a day. This is well above the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommendations and why people are becoming increasingly obese and facing a whole host of health challenges from heart disease and diabetes to many cancers…and these are just a few examples of obesity-related diseases.

So what are those standard serving sizes? Serving sizes are different according to the different food groups. Take a look at the back of a Livliga dinner plate. Measurements are broken down by each food group: Fruit or Vegetable (1 cup), Starch or Grain (¾ or ½ cup depending on age, gender or activity level), Protein ( 2- 6 ounces) and we even show the suggested serving size for sauces, gravies, dips, condiments and salad dressings (⅛ cup)! For drinks the standard serving size is also shown (8 ounces). And for foods you put in a bowl like cereal, soups, chili, yogurt, etc., you can see the standard serving sizes as 1 cup (first fill line) or 1 ½ cup (the second, higher fill line). It is important that we know what a standard, recommended serving size is so we can be mindful of how much we are eating and the impact it will have on our health and quality of life.

Livliga Serving Sizes according to Food Groups

To get control of our food environment it is imperative we learn about serving sizes. We also need to understand the difference between a serving size and a portion. It is equally important that we take steps to right size our food environment. One way to do that is to cook and prepare more meals at home. That way we can control what foods we eat as well as the amounts served. Additionally, we need to have tools and a system in place to help us right size our meals. Experience and research shows that it is virtually impossible to eat right sized amounts from super sized glasses, plates and bowls. To make portions look like enough we’ll end up filling up those super-sized dishes. If we right size our tableware it becomes much easier to right size what we eat.

From portion size to serving size and from super sized to right sized we are faced with creating a new norm that will support us in a healthier and happier life.

Create a Right Sized Food Environment with Livliga


Livliga Vegetable Rub—Simple and Savory

Friday, April 5, 2019
There is nothing better than a home cooked meal. What I have learned over the years is that when preparing a meal simpler is usually the best. Often a mixture of herbs and spices to add flavor to your food is all you need.

Previously I have shared recipes for dry rubs for your meat as well as squash.  There are so many health benefits to adding herbs and spices to your meals in addition to adding mouthwatering flavors. People often get marinades and rubs confused. The main difference is that the marinades tend to tenderize the meat as the protein marinates whereas a rub is more of a flavorful coating that adds texture and taste to the protein.

Just as your meats can benefit from a flavorful rub, so can your vegetables. Here is a rub recipe I have developed that makes just about any vegetable taste yummy and works well if you are roasting a medley of vegetables too. Make a batch of it, put it in an airtight container, and then you can have it ready whenever you want a quick rub to spice up your veggies. Typically I use about a teaspoon for a “serves 4” recipe. Make sure to adjust the amounts according to your palette and preference.

Simple and Savory Vegetable Rub

Livliga Vegetable Rub


  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
  • ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic, California style
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cumin


  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Store in an airtight container. Make sure to label it so you know what it is.
  3. Use as desired. Should provide 4 or 5 uses. Make bigger batches if desired.

Looking for other savory rubs? Try these on our blog.

Enjoy! And Live vibrant!