Math is Hard!

Ha! Just kidding, math isn’t hard. It’s logical and follows basic rules of operation. What is apparently hard is tracking days. I weighed myself Wednesday thinking it had been a week because 5 days back at work feels like a week on vacation I guess! And I found I’d only lost a pound and I railed and moaned because I was hoping for more. But reading back, I didn’t start out by weighing in last Wednesday (how could I? I woke up in an airplane over Cuba), I started weighing in on Friday.

So fine. I weighed in this morning. Down a pound and a half. That’s much better. I credit it to two things: 1) yesterday I finally felt up to my usual 3-mile run again after shaking that cold I had, and 2) Thursday night is my usual “cheat” meal, because I have dinner with some friends on Thursdays and relax my rules a little bit and also have wine. Actually the second one probably has more to do with why I didn’t drop more, but it’s a good mental health activity so I’ve refused to give it up.

This morning’s exercise was Jillian’s HardBody DVD, which is one of the harder workouts I do. I still have the occasional tickle in my throat and coughing fit, but I consider myself well enough to push hard. It’s better for me to work hard, it will clear out the dregs of the sickness better than anything else I know.

Speaking of Biggest Loser trainers (was I?  I guess I was), I’m sure you  heard about Bob Harper having a heart attack while working out. He’s ok, but in general it’s kind of a reminder that all the exercise in the world can’t really overcome genetics. Although, being in top physical shape probably had a lot to do with him actually surviving that rather than just dying on the spot (I am not a doctor so I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about and just made that up with zero evidence or knowledge to support it, just thought it sounded good but seriously this freaks me out that you can do everything right and still almost die if your heart just decides it can’t even).

Have a good weekend everyone. Remember to track your food choices, keep your portions reasonable, and work your body a bit every day.


NYT Thinks They Just Discovered What I’ve Been Saying For Years

They should just hire me to write their articles on weight loss. Today the New York Times published a follow-up story to the one on Monday about the Biggest Loser (I wish so hard I didn’t have to have a tag for that bloody show), and in it they confirm just about EVERY SINGLE THING I’ve been saying here on this blog for years. Their article:

Short Answers to Hard Questions About Weight Loss

You guys, I’ve said all of these things, but years ago! I’ve been here saying this stuff all along.

Like, for example, it doesn’t matter if you lose weight slow or lose weight fast – I said that in 2012. Although, granted, their reason for why it doesn’t matter isn’t quite the same as mine. They do, however, confirm that losing it fast gives a higher chance of keeping people engaged long enough to actually meet their goals.

I’ve said again and again that strength training doesn’t do much to increase my metabolism (nothing really does). They agree.

They say you should try one diet after another until you find the one that works for you. I said the same thing in 2011.

The only hope they have to offer is that of constant vigilance. Hell, not only have I said that forever, I even told you where to find the handbook for long-term weight management in 2011. So that, you know, if you wanted to try you’d have a handy reference guide that lays it all out. As well as talking about the day-in-day-out steps I take to implement that vigilance for over 13 years.

I should write a book. How do I get a book contract? These people…acting like they just discovered long-term weight management. That’s just getting annoying now to those of us who’ve been practicing it for years.

Fixing Myself, and Ruminations on the Biggest Loser

I’m coming to the conclusion that the last couple of weeks of depression and exhaustion that I’ve been experiencing were the result of over-training and under-eating. In an effort to counteract that I’ve take the following steps:

  • I picked up some healthy fats yesterday to incorporate into my diet – avocados for my salads, sour cream for my baked potatoes, nuts for…just eating, a very little bit at a time. You have to be careful with nuts!
  • I’m scaling back my workouts. This morning I ran my usual 3.2 mile route. That’s enough for today. Pushing for longer distances was probably more than I needed to do at a time when I’d drastically reduced my intake.

I also ordered some new running shoes, that’s nothing to do with the rest of it, just more of a treat for me and it was time. Running in new shoes is so great, I’m really looking forward to getting them next week and running on clouds for a while!

I’ve been having some further thoughts on the Biggest Loser report that came out earlier this week. And, well, the show in general. I’ve never watched the Biggest Loser, so obviously I’m not in the best place to critique it, but let me just tell you why I’ve never watched it and maybe that will help explain why I find it distasteful.

The Biggest Loser, far as I can tell, is predicated on the principle that fat people should be ashamed of their bodies and work like hell to change them. Further, it appears to be a platform for fat-shaming with a nationally televised reach. The appeal of the show seems to be based solely upon the desire of a national audience to see fat people understand how wrong their bodies are, and be forced to change them. The whole idea of the show assumes the obvious underlying statement that fat people must be humiliated into changing their ways, and the most entertaining way to do that is to set them to compete against one another like animals. To make them into a spectacle. I abhor every single part of this message. As a person who grew up fat, I am disgusted by the very premise of this show. It wounds me viscerally to be reminded that for the first 30 years of my life the only value many could see in me was as a figure of pity, scorn, and to serve as a warning to others.

Add in the complete lack of support and follow-through for the contestants inherent in a reality TV show, and I firmly believe that the show is not about “helping” fat people, it’s about making them into a spectacle for gawking, mockery, and derision. When the contestants inevitably gain back the weight they lost – because they haven’t learned the skills, tools, and behaviors they’d need to keep it off, and they haven’t received any long-term support – the publicity around their failure humiliates them yet again, meanwhile driving ratings for the show up, up, up. Because any publicity is good publicity for the show. But not for the humans upon which it preys.

So there you have it. My uninformed views on a show I haven’t seen and likely never will.

Vindication! Yes – Bodies Fight to Regain Weight.

Did you guys see this article in the New York Times about the follow-up study on Season 8 competitors of The Biggest Loser?

After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight

I sympathize so fiercely with the feelings they’re expressing, and I fully appreciate and understand exactly how frustrating this all is. I read this whole article nodding my head and going, “Finally! I’ve known this all for years! Finally science is validating my experience! I knew it!”

I lived this, and I’m still living this: “The body puts multiple mechanisms in place to get you back to your weight. The only way to maintain weight loss is to be hungry all the time.” Yes, for several years! It’s true! I got through those years with careful food choices and always picking high-satiety and high-water-content foods. But it’s so, so hard.

And now, even knowing that all the things I’ve suspected for years are true, what does it change for me? Nothing. Until they come up with a cure for those of us with messed-up metabolisms, I’m not just going to throw it all away and give up. I can’t.

One of the things that drives me crazy about The Biggest Loser, is that they don’t seem to give the contestants long-term support and tools to build the skills they’d need to even attempt to maintain their weight. The things we do to lose weight are almost always unsustainable long-term. I feel like it’s a moral failing to put people on TV, work them to exhaustion to lose large amounts of weight for the camera, then turn them loose with a hearty handshake and a “Good luck!” What does that prove? Only that yes, if you give up everything else in your life you too can lose weight. It doesn’t show you how to transition to a life that’s worth living. Now THAT’S a show I could watch. Or star in. Whatever.