Monday, October 29, 2012
Arrived at client's house. She is holding back a barking beagle. "Do you remember her, boy?" She says. I reach out my hand and he sniffs it and licks me.
"Wow!" she says. "That was great! He's an attack dog. Good boy, not biting!"
Which, yay. But WHO DOES THAT?! Shouldn't there have been a "careful, he bites"?!
Friday, October 26, 2012
Well, I made my 2,000 miles of biking goal before the weather turned really nasty. In fact, yesterday I had one of the best rides ever--it was twilight, and very still, and I felt like I was sort of floating along instead of actually pedaling.
But tonight is the monthly Critical Mass ride, which I intended to do. Except it looks like it's going to be chilly and rainy. And I'm not sure I'm so dedicated to biking that I'm willing to go out in the dark AND the cold *AND* the rain.
Maybe two out of three.
It does make me extra glad that I finished my pledged miles, though, because I don't think I'm going to be one of those cyclists who keeps going despite of snow and ice and such. There's simply nothing fun about riding in those conditions, and at that point the control of drivers starts to seriously scare me.
Still, I can hope for another mild winter and that biking season is nice and long.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Answer every question with just one word
Where is your cell phone?
Your favourite thing?
Your dream last night?
What room are you in?
Where do you want to be in 6 years?
Where were you last night?
Something that you aren't?
Wish list item?
Last thing you did?
What are you wearing?
Something you're not wearing?
Your favorite store?
Your favorite color?
When is the last time you cried?
Where do you go over and over?
Five people who email me regularly?
Favorite place to eat?
Favorite place I'd like to be right now?
Friday, October 12, 2012
There's a lot of debate going on regarding the Health At Every Size (HAES) movement. Most of it seems to focus on the idea that HAES is just a way of giving fat people permission to stay fat, or that it encourages people to get fat by not shaming them for not being perfect.
Setting aside the absurdity of thinking that HAES makes people get fat on purpose, let me explain *my* understanding of what it means. I'm not the expert, and other people may have differing views of it, but here's what I take from it.
First of all, the success of long-term weight loss is pretty miniscule: 90-95% of people who lose weight regain it within 5 years. Programs like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig are *required* to put that "Results not typical" disclaimer on their ads because, hey, the success stories they are touting are NOT the usual outcome of the program.
Now, no one WANTS to regain the weight they fought to lose. Kirstie Alley had the additional incentive of a million-dollar salary, and she still couldn't keep the weight off. So assuming that Joe and Jane Average regain their weight only because they are lazy and gluttonous is pretty naive and arrogant. The shame and pain of being overweight would be enough to keep people thin, if it was the least be effective.
But research has shown that weight is not the predictive factor for health. Fitness is. Yes, obese and unfit people have a much higher mortality rate than normal weight, fit people. But for obese, fit people? That mortality rate drops down to almost the same as normal weight, fit people. And it's half the mortality rate of normal weight but unfit people. The link to the study is at the end of this entry, but this graph really illustrates the differences:
So instead of trying to sell us on all being thin, a goal that eludes most the people who attempt it, HAES emphasized being FIT, a goal that is within the grasp of many more people, and that will actually improve their health.
Most of the time, overweight people are sold on exercise and fitness as part of the whole "get thin" package: "You should work out and eat healthy food AND THEN you'll get thin!" Fitness is treated as a means to reach the Holy Grail of a size 4 dress, instead of something that is an inherent good in and of itself. HAES is about unlinking fitness from thinness and emphasizing overall health, rather than an elusive goal weight.
Why is this important? Because most people won't succeed at getting thin, but CAN succeed at getting healthy. And if people only associate exercise and fitness with "the time that I'm on a diet" then they don't learn to think of it as something good on its own, only as something that they have to suffer through when they are in the dieting phase of their lives.
Furthermore, HAES is about saying that it's okay, and safe, and *fun* to work out even when you don't look like a magazine cover. It's about providing a supportive environment where people can work on their fitness without feeling embarrassed or pressured into conforming with someone else's ideal of beauty. It's about encouraging people to get moving and enjoy the body they have, without some hidden agenda that judges them if they don't lose weight.
Do people practicing HAES lose weight? Some of them do. Some of them don't. I have, over the last year, and I will probably lose more. But if the Weight Fairy came to me and said that I wasn't going to lose another ounce, I would keep on living like I'm living because this is about my health and how good I feel. It takes disconnecting fitness from the "...and then you'll lose weight!" message in order to make it something that discouraged, unfit people can learn to practice and enjoy.
And that, to me, is what HAES is all about.
Sunday, September 30, 2012
I've had a pretty successful year, and I am pleased with my progress. But Friday and yesterday were the kinds of days that fill me with frustration. If it wasn't nailed down or actively running away, I was eating it.
I'm not sure what set off this raving hunger, but it was definitely a bad couple days. Now I'm all jazzed up on sugar and will have a couple rough days getting it worked back out of my system.
But I made myself do the two things I most didn't want to do: record it all in my food journal, and get on the scale. When I do that, I feel like I still have some control over my life and my decisions, and that I'm being accountable.
Today? There will be ice cream. Very special, limited edition ice cream. But I will be biking 30 miles to get it, so I'm okay with that!
EDIT: Oops, no ice cream trip after all. DD is not feeling well enough to ride, and I don't want to go out there alone. Ah well, next weekend.
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