Saturday, February 06, 2010
It seems to be that time again. The very unplanned and unexpected time where I'm NOT HUNGRY. This sounds a lot better than it is, even to me (at least, that is, when my appetite is quite voracious). I seem to get into periods where I don't want to eat. The idea of eating anything, even my beloved junk food, is enough to make me nauseous. This has happened pronouncedly on 2 separate occasions prior to now, first at age 15 and second at 18. Both times have led into months-long periods of anorexia. Not in a clinical sense, since I've always been overweight to start, but in the sense that my initial lack of appetite has spiralled into my refusing to eat for days at a time and getting obsessed with the weight loss that began so easily and unintentionally. The second time, I took up purging when I was unable to maintain the "willpower" to starve myself further. Now don't get me wrong, I am NOT accepting that the past will repeat itself again. But I AM a bit fearful of the possibility; because both times before, the crossover from not eating due to lack of hunger to not eating due to a desire to lose weight was so subtle that I still can't pinpoint it in retrospect, let alone have identified it at the time. This go around, I am forcing myself to eat even when I don't want to. I don't need my godforsaken metabolism to drop even lower (that certainly won't help me when my appetite inevitably resurfaces). Why does eating normally have to be so difficult for me? Why do I have such difficulty maintaining a healthy appetite? I either want to eat everything in sight because I feel like I have such a huge void in me that I need to fill, or I don't want to even think about getting near food. I think I know what normal eating is, but man, am I lightyears away from it coming naturally.
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
(from a magnet of my mom's)
It does not take a new year to make a new beginning
All it takes is a deep desire to turn losing into winning
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
If youíve read previous blogs, youíll know that I auditioned for Season 7 of the Biggest Loser. The show was actually part of my initial interest in trying to become active; not just lose weight, but exercise consistently for the first time in my life. But after 4 seasons of viewership, I have some real beefs with the Biggest Loser that Iím going to air out. Be prepared that these are my opinions, and what follows below is a very lengthy rant. One to which I could add more, but I will leave it at this for the time being.
- Telling contestants to push through the pain or that they can definitely do something and are using pain as an excuse to quit. No. Sometimes you are limited in what you can accomplish. I can certainly understand feeling like you canít do something because youíre physically and mentally exhausted, but in reality being able to do it. But pain is there for a reason. Itís the bodyís way of telling you to slow down or that somethingís not right. I absolutely disagree that you should push yourself through the pain the way the trainers and contestants make you sound like you should.
- B&W thinking. Like when Danny said during the marathon on tonightís episode that he couldnít stop and walk because stopping is what led to being 400+ pounds. No, stopping and then sitting on your butt for years did that. Stopping to take a break or slow down when youíre bodyís telling you youíre pushing too hard is not going to lead to 400+ pounds. Refusing to listen to your bodyís message can lead to injuries. When youíve ripped or torn a muscle, ligament, or tendon or dislocated a joint and are FORCED to stop so that you can heal, how successful do you think youíll be at losing weight?
- Last-Chance Workouts. In theory, this makes sense. The week is ending and you want to make sure you put 100% into the last workout. But the trainers use this concept to promote the idea that this last workout is integral to the weight loss reflected on the scale for that week, when in reality, it can take several days for added OR lost weight to register.
- Instilling and pounding home the idea that weight loss at home is next to impossible. Now, I know all too way that it is extremely difficult, but that doesnít mean that it canít be done. The trainers talk about how important it is to be on the ranch to lose the weight (e.g. Shay), and contestants cry at the mere thought of doing it at home. Now, I understand that some contestants carry dangerously-high weights and dropping a lot of weight quickly seems preferable. (Iíll get to this point in a moment.) I also know that people may not all be adequately educated in healthy lifestyle choices. But there are resources available; look at Spark for example!
- The drastic change from being sedentary to working out 6-8 hours a day. Thatís an incredible amount of stress to put on someoneís body that can lead to injuries, and I would imagine, very easily to dehydration. Not to mention the fact that it goes back to the B&W thinking. Youíre either sitting on your butt or working out like a fiendóno middle ground. Iím sure itís necessary for contestants to work that intensely for the purposes of the showís season, but itís setting them up for failure. In the real world, itís unrealistic to be able to work out obsessively. And people have more success maintaining weight loss when itís done in a gradual manner. This, to me, makes a lot of sense; since, for a lot of people, striving toward and maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires a complete overhaul of deeply-ingrained habits, choices, actions, etc.
- The trainers giving contestants advice and lecturing regarding nutrition. Now you can obviously know about a topic without being an expert, but it would seem much more trustworthy coming from a nutritionist, or, preferably, a dietitian. I canít remember any specific examples off the top of my head, but Bob and Jillian have both spouted off facts in the past that are just flat-out wrong. And Iím pulling not this out my butt; Iím basing it off information Iíve attained from my dietitian mother.
- The show seems to promote unhealthy habits. By this, I mean that some contestants start off focused solely on the weight loss and are not in it for the money. But as the season progresses and contestants see how successful theyíve been, they have hope and sometimes confidence that they can WIN. And the focus shifts, for at least a number of them, from losing weight to be healthy to losing weight to win a title or a crap-load of money. Dehydration, possibly starvation before weigh-ins. And excessive cardio! This can even happen (and Iím sure it does) while at the ranch. Look at Jillianís team earlier this season as an example, when they stole the Spinning bikes and brought them up to the bedroom to work out at night. Your body needs sleep to work properly and regulate your levels of leptin and grehlin (appetite and hunger hormones). And working out during the night can royally f* up your metabolism.
- The rampant product placements and product infomercials. I realize it takes a monumental amount of money to produce this show, not least of all because they do everything on such a grand scale. (Trip to DC, anyone?) If I had to hear about Extra Sugar-Free gum again, wellÖI wonít, because I mute the TV during these infomercials or talk/leave the room/etc. This practice doesnít actually cause harm, but I find it extremely annoying and epitomizes the rampant commercialism of this society.
- The length of the show. Itís not necessary to stretch this out for 2 hours. They could easily cut this down to 1.5 hours or even 1 if they stopped showing ďwhatís coming upĒ, cutting to commercial at ďdramaticĒ points, and then re-showing the footage from before the commercial once the commercials are over. Plus every episode has to flashback to some previous footage, like we all have dementia and donít remember what happened already. (Disclaimer: I mean no disrespect to those with dementia.) Doing this occasionally is ok, but itís unnecessary to do it every week. If I had a TiVo, Iíd skip through these and the product placements. But I donít, so I canít.
- Promoting certain sugar-free products (*ahem* Extra gum) while banning others (like soda). Artificial sweeteners can actually lead to increased cravings for real sugar. If youíre going to ban artificial sweeteners, be consistent. Better yet, teach contestants how to work through cravings.
-The showís acting like inspiration is its main goal. BS. I call you out on that right now. Networks create shows to make money, plain and simple. Iím sure you may feel satisfied helping people, but thatís NOT the main goal. If it were, you wouldnít be opening a ďSpaĒ in Utah (god knows how much that costs), creating and promoting games, DVDs, books, calendars, apparel, nutritional supplements, and weight loss accessories (scales, water bottles, bodybuggs, etc). Yes, I know SP sells items too, but unlike the BL, this site is 100% free to users and Iím sure itís not pulling any kind of profit akin to the BL without it.
- The food temptations. I think this may well be the worst. The show interviews the contestants, finds out their food weaknesses, and then develops temptations in which they stick those foods right underneath their noses and gives them financial or luxurious incentives to eat. Yes, in life there will be temptations and challenges along the road. But it's simply unrealistic that someone's going to say to you, "If you eat more cupcakes than anyone else, you could win a vacation/$$/contact with your family!" I actually find this practice to be an incredibly cruel exploitation of these people's weaknesses. It's like if Intervention stuck a loaded syringe in front of an addict's face and told them they could win money if they did the drugs (if, of course, they had doctors standing by in the event of an OD). Simple statistics tells you that you probably will not win the prize, but you most certainly will be handed a setback on a gleaming silver platter. Literally.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Iím feeling pretty proud of myself right now.
About 3 weeks ago, I started going to the gym regularly (at least 3x/week) again for the first time since February. I had visited sporadically throughout the summer, even sometimes as often as (gasp!) twice a week. But it had been 2 months since my last appearance and my mom noticed that I needed some motivation, so she joined just so that Iíd have a workout buddy. Itís been working. Iím even back to strength trainingówhich I havenít done since at least February.
However, even back when I had been exercising regularly before, my eating habits were crap. Iím a creature of habit, and furthermore, Iím a picky eater, so making positive changes in my eating habits was way more difficult for me than breaking my ass on the elliptical. I just kind of ignored the dietary part of the equation.
Back to why Iím proud of myself today. Iím cramping pretty badly and I was in a rather pissy mood due to the pain. I decided ďIím eating Tombstone pizza. Iím pissy, Iím in pain, and Iím eating comfort food.Ē (Keep in mind that I never eat just 1 serving; I eat half the pizza [2 servings].) So I pre-heated the oven until it was up to temp, and was about ready to pop the Tombstone in. And I didnít.
I hate turkey. My momís been trying to get me to eat turkey sandwiches for years. Itís a lean, healthy meat. It doesnít have all the fat and calories of my typical PB&J (or Tombstone). But like I said, Iím picky and I hate turkey. Well, a few days ago, my mom bought some turkey breast crusted with black pepper. This sounded quite interesting to me, and upon trying a bite I was surprised to find that it was actually okay-tasting. So today, I turned the oven off and made myself a healthy sandwich: lite wheat bread, a little mustard, some peppercorn turkey breast, and 97% fat-free ham. 136 calories and 3 grams of fat versus Tombstoneís 780 calories and 40 grams of fat.
Iím not saying Iíll never eat Tombstone again, or that Iíll always choose the healthy meal. But something thatís such a small step in the grand scheme of things is a really huge leap for me right now. (And now maybe I won't feel so guilty when I'm driving on 2 wheels to get to the store for a chocolate bar later on tonight. lol)
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