You can do it!!

For the third week in a row I’ve lost weight. Each time I’ve been shocked.  Shocked! I say. I don’t know why I’m losing weight. I’m less than a pound away from my first 5lb star. But I feel like I need to apologize every time I get on the scale. I didn’t join WW to lose weight. I joined because I started a book and I’d forgotten how the whole thing worked, what the meetings felt like, how people talked. I needed dialog.

I assumed I would gain or stay exactly the same when I signed up.  I’ve barely tracked points since the first week. When I do track points I don’t track the fats. I’ll track the bacon, but not the bacon grease I cook the eggs in. I don’t track the milk (whole fat of course) in my coffee. Hell, I don’t even track the coffee. I could say I haven’t eaten any sugar, or bread so that’s why I’m losing. But it was Pie Day last Friday for god’s sake and I partook fully (which made me kind of ill honestly), and I eat bread almost every day. I didn’t get much exercise last week either.

I think I actually want to stay the same when I get on the scale. That would make sense. I could link my behavior (and really isn’t that what it’s all about? That’s sarcasm, btw) to what happens on the the scale: I’m not doing the program so I’m not losing weight, or I’m not eating low carb, so I am not losing weight. But I am losing weight, so it makes NO SENSE.

I feel like I’m cheating. The women who come to meetings are struggling to stay on track, and if they don’t, they lose nothing, possibly gain. I’m not supposed to be losing weight, according to anybody’s theory. I’m assuming it will stop soon. But I’ve discovered I kind of like going to meetings.

When I’m at meetings, everything seems possible. WW meetings are really about self love, which is the #1 principal for the self help addict. They’re a self help addict’s dream. They talk about putting yourself first, asking for what you need and want, dreaming big. There’s constant encouragement from the leader and others who’ve lost weight, are losing weight. Basically the whole vibe of WW meetings is an infectious “You can do it!”

But there are still the drawbacks. The little sayings that dig deep and stay there. One of the women who got a star for losing another 5lbs, said “this isn’t a diet” which is WW’s tagline, “this is the way I’m going to eat for the rest of my life.”  Then she added, “I’ve realized, ‘Oh this is the way normal people eat.'”  People nodded. One, do people honestly believe that this is the way “normal” people eat? Normal people don’t measure every single morsel they put into their mouths. And two, in order to believe that this is a way of life, that this isn’t some temporary diet, you have to believe that you’re not normal.  There was also another round of “Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.”

Feeling normal, feeling good because you’re thin is about two things: feeling fit and feeling acceptable. The feeling fit part I get. Although for me it’s not necessarily true that I feel more fit when I’m thinner. I’m smaller now than I was about 5 years ago when I was doing triathlons and biking a lot. I was definitely more fit then than I am now at a lower weight.

Second, a lot of the good feelings about being thin is really being desperate to fit in, being desperate to be “normal”, to be one of the accepted. But when I extend this thinking to other issues, I don’t like what I come up with. There are so many “normals” that I don’t fit, most of which I’ve tried to fit into. Most black women straighten their hair to fit in, to have “normal” hair. Strict timelines, large budgets and limited activity all devoted to trying to get “normal” hair.  Skin, teeth, eyes, boobs. What lengths will people go to seem normal? To be accepted? To feel good about themselves because they’re accepted, instead of just feeling good about themselves, period?

I’m not sure how this will end. I assumed I would go for a month or so and then stop, not losing any weight, but I think I’m going to be going to WW meetings for a while. I think it may be the best self help book ever.

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February 13, 2010. Tags: , , , . Weight Watchers Experiment. Leave a comment.

New Year, Old Me

I’ve spent the last year gaining weight. It started with Holiday Season ’08, when I did my usual overeating of sweets and I stopped going to yoga 4 times a week because I got pissed at one of my teachers. I decided to branch out to other teachers, which has been awesome and enlightening, but I only went to yoga 2-3 times a week.

I haven’t gained tons of weight, just the usual 25-30 pounds, that range between 175 and 200-205 that I’ve been bouncing between for the last 25 years. I just wrote over on my other blog that I’m sick of making the same new year’s resolution to lose weight, but it’s always there whether I make it officially or not.

Dieting sucks, and it just feels like a futile act because I know I’ll be doing the same thing a year or two or three years from now, wondering how I can get even smaller if I haven’t gained back the weight, or how to lose it again if I have. Exercising for hours a day takes up too much time and exercising for 30 minutes does nothing for me. Really. I’ve tried it. I might a well just watch TV.

I made a delicious New Year’s Day dinner yesterday (yeah, I know it was January 2nd): Pork, greens, black eyed peas, rice, and cornbread, with ice cream sandwiches made with molasses cookies for dessert. Yum!! Cooking it made me happy. Eating it with friends I’d invited over made me happy. Am I supposed to ignore this happiness for some unknown, slimmer happiness? Why am I not supposed to be happy with this?

So this is my dilemma. I know I’m supposed to be all fat acceptance-y, but I don’t feel good.  I feel weak and tired a lot, just bloated. My knees will not stop hurting and my hips and lower back are starting to get into the act. My skin is all broken out. And my boobs are just huge. (I realize that some may not consider this a bad thing, but carrying 10 pounds on your chest 24/7 is exhausting).

If I’d lost the use of my legs for example, I wonder if I would understand self acceptance better and know that I would never walk again. That would suck, but I would have to deal with it as it is.  But weight is different. I can lose weight. Can’t I? I have lost weight. But it’s interesting, no matter what the diet, I can never get below about 170. Any diet I’ve ever been on just stalls there, even when I’m still on track. So maybe I should say there’s the illusion that I can lose weight and re-gain the use of my metaphoric limbs.

Where is the line between self acceptance and trying to change myself to feel better?  How do I love myself as I am, fat, yet try to lose weight so that I feel better physically. I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t.

January 3, 2010. Tags: , , . fat acceptance. 3 comments.

A theory

I’ve been thinking about fat and why it has a tendency not to go away for good once someone has packed it on. (You know, other than the obvious we’re all just greedy lazy gluttons who sit around all day eating sweet, fatty, salty Doritos.)

When I read Elizabeth Kolberts article, Why Are We So Fat in the New Yorker, I was reminded once again that fat is not longer considered a symptom of disease (or even a side effect) as it once was.  Every single book, author and study she mentions says it’s all about the calories we consume, not the kind and/or quality of the food we eat, or non-food factors that my have affected the American populace as a whole.  Disease is a byproduct of being fat, which is caused solely by our overeating/underexercising (it might as well be a word).

But let’s say fat is a symptom or side effect, which never goes away, even when the body has healed itself of the disease that caused it.  Emphasis mine, of course.  The assumption is always that we now eat more calories, so that’s why we’re fat.  What if we assumed that we eat more calories now because we got fat as a side effect, and we need those extra calories to maintain our higher weight.

Think about it this way:  If you have breast cancer and you have mastectomy, after your treatment, the cancer, the disease is gone. But you’re not going to grow your breast back. It’s kind of that way with fat. There’s some hormonal imbalance for whatever reason (puberty, pregnancy, high sugar diet), you gain the weight.  You change your diet or go on or off birth control pills or stop using hairspray, so your hormones are balanced again. But you don’t lose the weight, because it’s not important or your overall health.

Emphasis mine, again.

July 15, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

New Theory

I know I’m a bit late on this but this Nick Kristof column is scary on many levels.  Lady pee (as Stephen Colbert called it) is going to turn everyone female!!! Forget about marriage only being between a man and a woman. There won’t be any men! No more babies!  It’s going to be all Children of Men!  But that’s just the half of it. It turns out I could be fat ’cause I drink tap:

This month, the Endocrine Society, an organization of scientists specializing in this field, issued a landmark 50-page statement. It should be a wake-up call.

“We present the evidence that endocrine disruptors have effects on male and female reproduction, breast development and cancer, prostate cancer, neuroendocrinology, thyroid, metabolism and obesity, and cardiovascular endocrinology,” the society declared.

“The rise in the incidence in obesity,” it added, “matches the rise in the use and distribution of industrial chemicals that may be playing a role in generation of obesity.”

Emphisis mine. There are only two theories really about the so-called obesity epidemic: calories or hormones.  But both of these theories are firmly rooted in food. In both camps there’s at base the idea that you can control your weight: it’s either how much or what you eat that’s causing you to be fat.  It’s your choice.

Kristof’s column goes way beyond food.  If you’ve read other posts you probably know I’m with the endocrinology people, I’m in the hormones crowd.  It’s all about how foods affect hormones that regulate fat accumulation and burning. But it’s still about food. It’s always about food.

This isn’t about food. Could obesity really be caused by water and hairspray?  Holy shit. Really? It’s not the processed foods? Or butter and eggs? It’s not the commuting to work by car and sitting at your desk all day? Really? Can I quit the gym if I just stop drinking tap water?  (You know how many diets insist that you drink 8 glasses of water a day. Oops! Psych!) And hairspray? Where did that come from? Who still uses hairspray?

It’s fascinating and it may be a conversation changer, if it turns out the science is strong behind this (although it looked like the science was strong behind low fat diets so really what does that prove?).

Let’s be honest: what to eat may be an ever popular topic in America, but nothing gets the attention faster than phrases like “undescended testicles” and “genital deformities.”

July 8, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

results

It hasn’t even been 24 hours and already my stomach isn’t bloated up at the top of my chest. It’s still fat, but not bloated.

I went back to scrambling eggs in a little cast iron skillet. They taste even better!

April 28, 2009. Tags: , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Here I go again

I want to avoid this. Really I do. I want to be all “hey I’m confident in my body right now as is.” But I’m not. I’m really not.So here I go again, because I don’t really feel that well.

I’m getting headaches again, waking up with them. My knees are suddenly killing me. I’m tired all the time. I feel heavy, like I’m just dragging myself around. And my skin, my skin is not flawless. So. The dreaded D word. I refuse to call it a “lifestyle”. First of all I hate the word “lifestyle” and second, it’s not a lifestyle. A lifestyle is living on the beach and surfing every morning, or a farm and taking care of your animals. This is a diet, plain and simple.

I’m all over the fatosphere, reading the fat positive blogs, so I know that diets don’t work, if by “work” you mean solely that you lose weight “permanently”, then no diets don’t work. But what if by work I mean other things like, having flawless skin, no headaches, no bloating or stomach pain, and no uncontrollable farting. No uncontrollable farting is a goal to work toward.

So this whole situation doubly sucks. Because now I have to give up all the foods I truly truly love, and I’m not even going to fucking be skinny.  What’s the point?!?  See above.

I love sugar, I love bread, I love jams and jellies and crepes. It’s not fair, it’s not right. What am I suppose to do for fun and pleasure now? Pooh was right, Pooh was right.

April 28, 2009. Tags: , , . diet, fat acceptance, weight loss. Leave a comment.

They’re trying to kill us

The current dietary “conventional wisdom” is going to be the (pre-mature) death of us all.

Public Policy That Makes Test Subjects of Us All explains what’s been going on for years.  Someone finds a study that suggests something and then they stick it in all the food and if you can avoid that they stick it in the water.

In the past year, researchers led by Salvatore Paterna of the University of Palermo have reported one of the most rigorous experiments so far: a randomized clinical trial of heart patients who were put on different diets. Those on a low-sodium diet were more likely to be rehospitalized and to die, results that prompted the researchers to ask, “Is sodium an old enemy or a new friend?”

They act as if substances act in isolation in the body. It’s all connected. If you lower one thing you’re going to raise something else. And vice versa. They’re the scientists. Why don’t they know this?

Plus, lowering salt in foods is pretty silly.  It’s not like the trans fat ban. Restaurants will just make sure they have plenty of salt shakers on every table. We’ll probably end up eating more salt. Maybe we would be healthier!

And once more  Gary Taubes is all over it!

April 7, 2009. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.