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Society in Denial

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Although I’ve only been active on SP for a few weeks, I have been quietly lurking for over 3 years. Lately I’ve been aware of the differences between the insulated environment of SP and the larger society we live in.

On SP there are differences in approach and disagreements on various topics, amount of carbs or other nutrients, intensity/frequency of exercise, and even the appropriate shoes when beginning to run, but we are united in striving for the common goal of living a healthier life. Moving more and eating the right foods in appropriate quantities are the methods we use to get there. We also realize that the ‘one size fits all’ approach is not reasonable and we find our own modification to achieve success.

Then there’s the world outside of SP, the world increasingly accepting of the new size of America.

We meet them personally. “You don’t want to be a size 0, do you? It’s unhealthy to be too skinny.” (Like that’s right around the corner or even an option)

We meet them anonymously through the resizing of the fashion industry. “Don’t worry, see, you’re still a size 10” (Even though you’re 30 lbs heavier than you used to be)

Finally, we’re beginning to meet them in print – the apologists for obesity, subtly denigrating those striving to change.
(Source: www.theglobeandmail.com/comme
ntary/surprise-a-little-fat-is-good-fo
r-you/article4560312/
) Thanks to Watermellen’s recent blog

While the title “A little fat is good for you” is reasonable. It also states that:
“Taking and keeping weight off is next to impossible” (So why try?)
“Entire empires – commercial, government and academic – have been built on our morbid fear of fat” (Looking around, we must have conquered our fear pretty well)

All of this has led to fat becoming the new normal
(Source: www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health
-and-fitness/health/how-fat-has-become
-the-new-normal/article4576071/
) Again thank you Watermellen for finding this.

This is reflected in the adjustments in our environment.
• Home furnishing companies make their products larger
• Urban buses need reinforced frames
• Hospitals re-engineer their equipment to be able to serve patients
While these are necessary to deal with reality, they also mask the problem

As the weight of our nation increases, our image of ourselves is changing. With 66% of us overweight or worse and another % struggling with anorexia or illness, normal BMI or slim people are currently an ever shrinking minority.

A generation ago America didn’t look like this. Scare tactics may not work but putting the statistics out there is necessary. Making us happy with the status quo is not helpful either individually or as a society.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSUSRIVERRAT 10/8/2012 7:45AM

    Excellent blog. Very thoughtful and interesting. Thanks for taking the time to make the entry.

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CRYSTALJEM 10/5/2012 9:56AM

    "Making us happy with the status quo is not helpful either individually or as a society. "

Very powerful point. I agree totally (aren't Watermellen's blogs awesome!). While I don't believe in being mean about it, or nagging people that they have to change (take the viral video/email about the Denver anchor), but turning a blind eye, saying that gaining weight to an unhealthy degree is the new normal is just as wrong and very unhelpful.

Thank you.

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JENNYR0506 10/5/2012 8:15AM

    "No matter what your weight, you can achieve striking benefits from eating well and exercise. Just don’t expect that diet and exercise will cause you to to lose a meaningful amount of weight, because (unless you are among a tiny sliver of extremely lucky and determined people) they won’t. For most of us, losing weight and keeping it off is next to impossible."

This was the whole quote on weight loss from the article "A Little Fat is Good for You".

It is amazing how quickly she can go from achieving "striking benefits" to "losing weight ,,, is next to impossible."

So many of us on SP have proven that eating a healthy diet and exercising DOES result in striking benefits in weight loss and health. We are not lucky but we are determined. And that is not a bad thing!

emoticon Jenny



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WATERMELLEN 10/4/2012 9:14PM

    Great blog! There's lots of pressure to accept being fat. . . . and to pressure those of us trying to be healthy just to give up.

(And: thanks for the shout-out!)

I'm glad that after "lurking" for 3 years you're becoming more active and speaking out!

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ROSEWAND 10/4/2012 2:04PM

    It is a strange new world out there. Even though
my BMI is around 20, many people think I am too
thin. 30 years ago, I would be perceived as normal

I, too, have noticed how the idea of just
adjusting to larger sized people is become the
norm in our culture and advertising.

I had the strange experience of going to a pot-luck
recently where there was nothing I could eat accept
what I had brought. What was there was mostly
manufactured "food", and everyone seemed so
comfortable with it. I feel as if I was in a different
country!

I am very grateful to this community of like-minded
health conscious people who are committed to
changing themselves and become a model of
what we can be.

Thanks for writing such a good blog.

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CELIAMINER 10/4/2012 11:00AM

    I really resonate with the clothes sizing issue, as I have in my closet clothes ranging from an XS sweater to a size 14 pair of jeans...and they all fit.

As for redefining "fat," I am happy that I can now fit comfortably in a coach class airline seat, that I'm not the one getting "why me" eyerolls when I sit down next to someone on the commuter bus, and that I can do so many more physical things so much more easily than I could 75+ pounds ago.

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SWAZY33 10/4/2012 10:49AM

    Great info :)

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MJZHERE 10/4/2012 10:31AM

    Same thoughtwave here - yesterday at the store, the sizes on clothes really got me going in this direction. Having recently read The Influencer, I was struck with how the two effective methods of influencing change are modeling (actual) and vicarious modeling (presenting an example so real that the person can put themselves there in the story). Unfortunately education doesn't usually work unless the person strongly trusts the source and is already heading that direction (according to the book and reinforced by my own experience - how often does "do what I say, don't do as I do" work with our kids). My mom ate healthy (from her own 1 acre garden mostly), and was still riding her bicycle at age 80 (with severe arthritis). She has strongly influenced me. Also why I look to those who have been successful here at sp and read their posts, blogs.

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SUZYMOBILE 10/4/2012 10:02AM

    Bravissima!!

Love this: "'Entire empires – commercial, government and academic – have been built on our morbid fear of fat' (Looking around, we must have conquered our fear pretty well) " !

I'm lucky to have found a little coterie of new friends here in Florida who are constantly seeking to become thinner and healthier. In NH, our neighbors viewed me as a freak and often asked, "Is Sue all right?" emoticon (A lot better than you, honey!)

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BIGDOG18 10/4/2012 9:18AM

  emoticon

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Why women can’t “keep up” with men or heels in the workplace.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

I mean the ‘heels’ on our shoes, not what you may want to call an obnoxious male boss.

Every day I drive past a billboard advertising surgery for varicose veins. The caption is “Love Your Legs Again” and the picture is of a woman, seated with legs crossed, wearing stilettos.

So the comments I’ve been reading on blogs and message boards about foot pain from shoes got me thinking. The business attire of women tends to hobble us.

My job as a teacher/computer coordinator required me to be on my feet quite a lot. One day a male colleague and I were hurrying down the hall to provide tech assistance. I literally could not “keep up” with him. As a runner, cardio wasn’t the problem, but even my sensible shoes with the low (less than 2”) heels impeded my stride.

Soon after that, I began wearing running shoes to work for daily activities and stashed my ladylike pumps under my desk in case I had a visitor, meeting or trip to central office scheduled. Then the official directive arrived. We were all to dress professionally – no “sneakers” although orthopedic shoes were allowed. Fortunately, I discovered that my running shoes came in black so unless you had your nose on the floor for a close-up view, I was OK.

In this respect at least, men are fortunate. They can go about their daily work comfortably even in their “dress shoes.” Society expects a lot of women. We have many more body image issues than men do and are overwhelming targets of the fashion industry. I’ve always been a bit of a rebel in that department so my fashion shoes are limited to special occasions. I won’t offend a bride by showing up in sneakers at her wedding.

Women have told me that yes, their shoes are uncomfortable, but they “make my legs look so great.” I hope they don’t end up as the customers of that billboard ad someday.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 10/3/2012 8:38PM

    I keep telling myself my silly shoes are comfortable but . . . gotta admit, sneakers would be more so!

Thanks for your comments on my fat kids blog. You have certainly done great wtih your maintenance!!

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SOUTH_FORK 10/3/2012 1:23PM

    I can identify this post... Over the past few years working in an office my shoes went from something very sensible, but "masculine" to a more petite shape. Living in Florida, sandals and open-toed shoes are acceptable in a business casual office. After all summer of wearing cute flip flops and sandals, I woke up every morning with a pain on the top of my foot (not the classic plantar fasciitis) that would dissipate after I hobbled around for a few minutes but still nag all day. Guess what, switching to mary janes and my old clod-hoppers did the trick... my feet are thanking me for it- and I'm thankful that I don't work in an environment where heels are required! Sitting at my desk in a skirt and a pair of men's oxfords right now- and they look pretty cute!

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SUZYMOBILE 10/3/2012 9:12AM

    I am so glad I work at home and can walk around barefoot all the time. I'm in trouble only when I have to go to a conference or the home office, and discover that I don't have any shoes.

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WILLOWBROOK5 10/3/2012 8:50AM

    Great blog! I love shoes but over the years (decades), while I still want my shoes to be cute, support for my feet is my first concern. I have bad feet and worse knees. The other week, I tried on a pair of shoes that I know are great support and I also thought they were cute (but not in a high heel, make your legs look great way). My friend commented "They aren't very feminine." I said, "I love them." She said, "They're cute." LOL.

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MJZHERE 10/3/2012 8:34AM

    My daughter, who is a runner, wears the heels like they are sneakers. My mom the same way. Me, not so much...sneakers for this girl.

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MABTE52 10/3/2012 8:04AM

    Yep you are so right. They haven't yet figured out how to make sexy comfy shoes for women yet and we women continue to wear these uncomfortable shoes.

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Cardio, balance, flexibility and that thing I always forget about.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

I know there are 4 types of fitness.

Cardio – check! I like all kinds of cardio. They make me feel great!

Flexibility – Nature didn’t give me much naturally, but I’m working on it. I always stretch each day and Yoga helps too.

Balance – Not bad for an old lady.

Then there’s that other thing - the one I never find time for – the thing I ignore as much as possible. STRENGTH TRAINING! or ST – especially upper body stuff - UGH!

The closest I get is an aerobics class that incorporates weights, but they changed the times to a schedule that doesn't work for me.

I’m aware of the benefits and the necessity of doing this, but I just don’t like it. Many Christmas’ ago my daughter gave me a complete set of dumbbells, from 4 lb to 15 lbs. She had great hopes for me obviously. Hah! I’ve started and stopped many times.

Now I’ve placed them prominently right in front of the TV. The current plan is to pick them up during commercials. This is week 2 and I’m up to 5 whole minutes 3 times a week (5, 6 and 8 lbs).

Maybe that aerobics class will switch their times back again. Sigh!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 10/3/2012 8:42PM

    Maybe if you develop some serious arms/shoulders with your weights, you'll be able to freak 'em out at work: muscles AND sneakers!!

Gotta admit . . . love to flaunt the sleeveless and flex a bit . . . . can't say I LIKE ST but I do like the results (and I'm no body builder).

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MJZHERE 10/2/2012 11:37AM

    I believe something is always better than nothing. Mine were sitting right in front of the tv and nothing was happening to them - they sit there quite efficiently. For me at least, doing very little with them was quite a lot (for upper body). Maybe it is all where you start from. Give yourself kiddos for dusting them off, putting them in a good spot, and picking them up! You're on the way.

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BREWMASTERBILL 10/2/2012 10:26AM

    I learned the hard way that ST is the worst thing to neglect. ST has the unique ability to increase all 4 fitness types when done properly and consistently.

What you're currently doing with them probably isn't doing much though. You might want to investigate effective strength training routines.

http://www.sparkpeople.com/
resource/fitness_plan_generator
.asp might be a starting point.

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SUZYMOBILE 10/2/2012 10:04AM

    Good for you! I kept mine in front of the TV for quite a while, because that's where I do my evening pilates routine and throw in some upper-body ST every other day. I have the same problem with ST, though, and am now committed to adding some lower body every other day. It isn't much, but hey, it's better than none.

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My frame size went from small to medium to large…yeah, sure.

Monday, October 01, 2012

I defy the norm. It was my positive body image that caused me to ignore the added pounds.

Before BMI we had height & weight charts on the doctor’s wall. At 5’6” the range was 117-154. In high school I was at the lower end and always assumed I had a “small frame.” Gradually I decided that was wrong and by retirement I was content with my “large frame.”

During each of 3 pregnancies in my 20s, I gained exactly 25 lbs. Back in the day that was the upper limit. If you were on a pace to gain more than that, the doctors and nurses would actually yell at you. Of course we also drank coffee, ate chocolate, alcohol was OK in moderation and so was smoking, although my book did advise women to cut down. Fortunately, I never smoked and when I realized the amount of calories in alcohol, I quit that too. I didn’t want to push that weight limit. I lost all my baby weight within 6-8 weeks of giving birth.

Then life happened and the pounds gradually piled on. In my 30s I decided I had a medium frame. The only negative comment I remember was at a family gathering when my aunt remarked to my mother, “ooh, Eileen got FAT!” Looking around the room, I responded, “Compared to WHOM?” See, no body image problem here.

Fast forward 2 more decades and my now LARGE frame was edging into the officially overweight category. Finally, I was beginning to express concern. However, American society had been gaining weight at a faster pace then I was and I was told not to worry because I could “carry it.” .

Finally I decided I didn’t want to carry it anymore. While skipping dessert made sense, most of the popular diets sounded wrong to me. I didn’t have any dieting history, but I sure knew that I couldn’t stick to any of them.

I had always been active so my only option was to analyze and change my eating habits. Fortunately, my running forum had a “healthy eating” group and although it took nearly one year to lose 20+ lbs, here I am approaching my 3 year anniversary of maintenance (132-135). No, I’m not trying to get back into the 120s. Maybe it’s that lifetime habit of being content with not being perfect, but I’m OK right where I am. However, I intend to keep tracking and paying attention. I don’t want those extra pounds to sneak up on me again.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANOE10 10/2/2012 7:17AM

    That is wonderful that you are approaching your third year of maintenance!!!!! I went through that whole large frame issue. My husband told me I need more meat on me as I had a large frame. I choose to remain at my healthy weight.

You have done a great job of keeping those twenty pounds off for 3 years. That is very inspirational.

Keep tracking..keep paying attention. Great advice.

emoticon emoticon

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MAHGRET 10/1/2012 9:42AM

    Thank you for sharing. I think it is good that you kept a positive self image, I don't feel like we should have to hate ourselves to wake up and decide to get healthier.

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SUZYMOBILE 10/1/2012 9:29AM

    Yeah, I've noticed the frame size calculations changing over the years, or maybe it's me! I used to think I had a small frame, even given my height of 5'71/2". But now they tell you to measure it according to whether your thumb and pointer finger can touch when encircling the bony part of your dominant wrist. Mine can't, so I think that makes me large. I don't much care. I'd rather be 120 or lower, but can't seem to get there lately.

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SHADOWROSE45 10/1/2012 7:45AM

    I'm okay with not perfect, too. I'm only 5'2", but when I get to 135, I will be content.

I am small framed, but I dispute weight everywhere, so never look quite as heavymasmImam.

Good for you for the three years staying where you want. Isn't it within healthy range at your height?

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Never on Sunday

Sunday, September 30, 2012

That was a 1960s movie and popular song. It’s also fits my exercise plan.

No, it’s not a religious thing. I just take one day a week to give my body a complete rest and Sunday seems to fit in well.

It’s not that I don’t move at all, although I must admit to several hours on the couch during football season, but my fitness tracker is empty. I may take a stroll with DH or take a leisurely canoe ride together. We live on a lake. Considering our pace and the time spent being still and observing wildlife, both on land and in the marsh, it’s not about the calorie burn.

It’s time taken to recharge - body, mind, soul and spirit.
Wishing everyone a good day, regardless of how you choose to spend it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MJZHERE 9/30/2012 9:53AM

    Alright so you've got this one and it is only a dream for us - living on a lake. Also my dh might want to know how he can find the one who is sitting there watching the game with him - cuz it ain't me. But the recharging - pretty much Sunday for me unless we've been on the road so much recharging that I need to catch up at home. Thank you for the support on my last few blogs - really appreciated right now.

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GHOSTFLAMES 9/30/2012 7:47AM

    RIGHT THING TO DO SPARK SAY ONE OR TWO I TAKE ONE ALSO SUNDAY. GOOD LUCK ON YOUR SPARK JOURNEY.
WE ARE ALL HERE FOR YOU IF YOU NEED ANYTHING AT ALL JUST ASK.
REMEMBER TO TRACK DAILY YOUR FOOD AND FITNESS TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE.


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MOMMYFAITHE 9/30/2012 7:37AM

  Tuesday and Saturday for me. It lets my muscles rest....and gets me ready to hit the gym hard once again!

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RIDLEYRIDER 9/30/2012 7:31AM

  We all need a day of rest, don't we?
Enjoy!

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KANOE10 9/30/2012 7:22AM

    Hope you have a good day with your husband. It is nice to relax and enjoy the day. How lucky you live on a lake.

emoticon

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SUNNYRUTH 9/30/2012 7:19AM

    I think it's a great idea to take a break, for both the body and the mind!

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