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May 09, 2007

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Lots of studies are cited, and I think we could assume that exercise would keep you thinner, too, but you'd end up with the same result, i.e., starving your body of some sort of pre-destined # of calories it needs to rest happily in your weight range. As my friend the gym teacher/pilates coach told me, the way to stay thin via exercise is to burn more calories than you consume. It's that simple, even if the trainers tell us all the cool stuff about improved metabolisms, burning fat instead of muscle, etc.

The thing that's frustrating about this article is that it is not really about being healthy - i.e., having a healthy heart, avoiding hypertension, Type II diabetes, etc., having some muscle/tone to your body (And not the "skinny fats" as David I calls them) - but instead about this notion of dieting and being thin. I'd really like them to define "fat" and "thin." I'd also like to know what an average weight loss overall is. I know that when I was only 10 lbs lighter, but still within what I think is my normal range, I loved it but almost felt on the verge of too thin. Having those 10 lbs on again, which is where I usually sit at this point in my life (so it's my average weight?), it seems, I don't like it too much. But I could keep those 10 lbs off with ~4 gym visits/week, I am sure. So what exactly are we talking about when we're talking about weight loss? I.e., I'm both pleased and not pleased within my normal weight range. So there is some degree of figure shaping within my control. This article should be clearer about what it's talking about.

As for the pain of dieting, I don't know it well because I rarely do it. (The pain of working out, this I know better.) I have almost no self-control to be so disciplined. If people are like me, then every time there's free cookies at school/work it feels like a treat, a rarity, a special occasion, and thus "ok just this once," even if it's literally once a week or more. I'm pretty good at making trade-offs in my own kitchen, or in anticipation of consumption (e.g., I know I will have two pieces of birthday cake tomorrow - I'm a 2-piece-of-cake kind of girl - so I will avoid desert today), but I also find that the best way for me not to eat too much is to just avoid being around food. I'm definitely a social eater and I'm lazy in certain ways, so waiting lines/distance are weighed carefully against nutrition. (Though what this means is that between the things within reach, I'll typically eat something I don't like that much if it's healthier than something I'd definitely rather have.) I'm usually thinner when I'm single and lonely because I'm working out more because I have more time on my hands and I don't eat as much because I can't be bothered to cook/feed myself beyond meeting sustenance needs.

Again, I've never been one to deny myself food, it's more about choosing when to put what in my mouth, and I think that's why programs like Weight Watchers are good, because they technically don't say no, but get you to think about your food consumption more holistically. And this is where/how the psychologically crucial notion of control kicks in.

Nonetheless, as a Virgo, I'm daily filled with anxiety and calculations re: what I'm eating, how I'm not working out enough, how I'm fat, how I need a haircut, how I need an entire new wardrobe, how I'm dying, having a heart attack, going crazy, catching parasites while on vacation in Florida, developing carpel tunnel syndrome, or rheumatoid arthritis, or...just feeling totally out of shape or out of control or unhealthy generally. All this and 2 pieces of cake too!

I could easily be convinced that wieght is genetic-I am the only thin person in my family and since I see what the outcome is I know that I have to do something to remain thin. For me, and I can only speak for myself, being thin is of paramount importance not for health reasons-I am a fashion person, above all I want to wear the clothes that are in fashion and now that I am at a weight I am comfortable with I fight my body's tendency to eat every minute of every day. I'm also a foodie so I am always reading or talking about food/restaurants or going to them. For me it will be a fight every day for the rest of my life. I am determined to win that fight using my size 8 clothes as my sole inspiration (below an 8 is too thin for me and my head looks gigantic).
Getting settled in the program of Weight Watchers might be a little 'mathy" at the beginning but once you get used to it it is mostly common sense. Obviously, a bacon cheese burger and fries has many many more points that a few pieces of sushi. Make the successful choices, which is what, I believe Weight Watchers teaches you to do-eat the bacon cheese burger if you want it, but eat a salad for dinner (with no cheese or fried things in it). The beauty of Weight Watchers is that you don't feel deprived because you can eat anything you want and being forced out of so many food groups would not be successful for me (partially because I'm a vegetarian). I need my chocolate. Weight Watchers gimmick is small portions-thats all. And now it's time for breakfast, oh and to re-write...again...for the third time, the comments about the Met's gala (it's disappeared twice now).

My old roommate in NY did Weight Watchers and lost 40 lbs that year. She definitely put some of it back on, but kept most of it off. She likes cooking so it really worked well for her, because she knew how to maximize it.

I think it's a great program and essentially follow my own version of it in my head, as I was trying to explain last night.

My father's side of the family is obese, and one of my very heavy aunts said to me once, when I was your age I looked just like you! YIKES! Fortunately, I have at least inherited their height. But it does sometimes feel like my Size 2 bust and my Size 12 hips were inherited from the 2 different sides of my family! (Mom's = Petite; Dad = BIG)

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