Biggest Loser

Last night was my fourth Biggest Loser finale. I’m not sure why I didn’t watch it the first two seasons, but I’m hooked now. Every time I watch the finale I’m amazed at the amount of weight people have lost in 4 or 5 (or 6? it’s hard to tell) months. It’s incredibly motivating, and as I watch I always think, “I can do that”.

But clearly I can’t, because I haven’t. Yet? I baked cookies during the show. Mexican wedding cookies to be exact. I’ve been craving them and they are delicious. And I’d had lasagna before the cookies, meat and pasta which I’d also been craving. But still I watched the finale thinking: I can do that. Really I can. I could eat right, get up and workout for an hour in the morning and then for another hour (or what the hell! 2) after work. Easily.  I have the time. I’m not married, I have no kids to take care of. I’m not someone who doesn’t take care of herself because I’m too busy taking care of others. That’s not my story.

So what is my story? I’ve decided to just eat what I want for the holidays. The frustration of trying not to eat any holiday goodies is too much. But as I lay in bed last night, my stomach hurting, I couldn’t help wonder what my freaking story is? How is it that I can eat things that I know are going to make me sick? I’m not even talking about weight loss at this point, although being a Biggest Loser wannabe clearly that’s the goal too. I’m talking about eating something that I know will cause me physical pain, learning yesterday, post colonoscopy, that the tests really aren’t that accurate.  What makes me do that?  If I were diabetic would I say “Oh I’ll just eat sweets during the holidays and then I’ll stop”? Honestly at this point I think I would. Even though I could lose a foot. I could lose my eyesight, kidneys, the list goes on with diabetes.

But I don’t have diabetes. I have only my inner voice telling me what hurts and what doesn’t. Why won’t I listen?

p.s. I’m so glad Vicky didn’t win! Michelle rules!!!

December 17, 2008. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

The Dieting Life

I posted this over at Divine Caroline

Life Out of Balance

There’s no such thing as The Balanced Diet. I’m convinced it doesn’t exist.

The balanced, also known as “healthy,” diet is inescapable. If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you know what the balanced diet is: lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein, all with a soupçon of olive oil and a daily Omega 3 supplement. It’s essentially a low fat diet. Add to this “portion control” and you’ve got the balanced diet.

Women’s magazines are full of tips for creating the balanced diet for you and your family. There are whole magazines devoted to eating low fat eating. It’s light and “clean”—whatever that means. I’ve never seen a recipe or menu called “healthy” that didn’t also claim to be low in fat, even if it means making the portions the size of silver dollars.

This diet is the end all, be all for those looking to lose weight. It’s perfect. Except … There’s one little problem. It’s a small problem. Tiny really. And it just occurred to me after, what? Almost twenty years of dieting. The low fat diet is not a balanced diet. It’s just as unbalanced as the much maligned low carb diet. I know I’m going to have to explain this.

The low carb diet, as every dieter knows, doesn’t make any pretense of being balanced. It asks you—no, commands you—to give up bread, the staff of life itself. This diet is the one that elicits outrage from nutritionists and dieticians everywhere. Low carb diets, especially the fat-loving Atkins, are the bastard children of the diet world, considered illegitimate and unwelcome to the obesity epidemic. They argue, “Humans have been eating bread and rice and potatoes for millennia. How is it that all of a sudden they cause an epidemic of obesity? Carrots are a vegetable! It is not balanced. The French would never give up their bread.” You know something’s up when Americans use the French as an example of the way things ought to be.

But honestly, the same could be said for the low fat diet. It’s asking you to cut out fat, a whole category of food, one of three macronutrients. How is that balanced? “Humans have been eating fats of all kinds for millennia. How is it that all of a sudden they cause an epidemic of obesity? The French would never give up their fat.” Oh. The French again.

I don’t see the balance in either of these, and yet these seem to be my only two choices if I want to lose weight. So am I condemned to a life out of balance, giving up one thing or another, either choice dooming me to crazed cravings both physical and social, real and imaginary? The short answer: yes.

Welcome to The Dieting Life.

December 14, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.