Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente thinks that the obesity epidemic is an overblown crisis. She says research shows being a little bit -- even quite a bit -- overweight can be healthy. Certainly it's better to achieve cardio fitness despite some extra pounds than to be thin and unfit. A 5'4" woman, she says, could still be healthy at a weight of up to about 227 pounds. We've got a "morbid fear of fat" because various government, academic and commercial "empires" have conspired to brainwash us and to make "normal" plumpness socially unacceptable. Exercise and eating healthy is a good thing, she agrees: but taking weight off and keeping it off is next to impossible.
Hmmmmm. I think she's excessively pessimistic. Here at SparkPeople, the At Goal and Maintaining: Transitioning to Maintenance Team offers the strategies and the support to sustain weight loss. And most people do feel more comfortable physically at a leaner weight than she suggests is still "healthy".
But about one thing I think Wente is absolutely right: the discrimination and social stigma attached to being overweight are utterly unconscionable. And in broader society, outside the supportive community of SparkPeople, the implicit endorsement of such discrimination by government, academic and social pressure groups doesn't assist anyone to eat healthy or to exercise or to sustain weight loss.
I was a the golf course Sunday with DH and noticed a potato chip bag in one of the garbage containers on the 10th tee.
The chip bag was open and I looked in. There was a whole chip in the bottom of the bag, uneaten.
My first reaction: who could ever leave a chip uneaten in the bag and throw the bag out? Not me: I would have eaten them all, shaken out the crumbs, licked the inside of the bag . . . you get the idea.
My second reaction (shameful): I wonder if anyone would notice if I reached in and ate THAT potato chip?
Even worse: it was a BBQ chip. That's my least fave! But: I was still tempted. Seriously tempted.
And no: I did not eat the chip from the bag in the garbage.
But: I thought about it! Which is a clear illustration of how irresistible chips are. For me. I have never met a chip I didn't love. Sure, handmade kettle chips are better. But even those ersatz "Pringles" type made from reconstituted potatos. Even BAKED potato chips. Yeah.
And the only reason I didn't eat that one chip is that the one chip would have given rise to . . . buying a bag of chips . . . eating chips furtively every second day . . . buying chips every day. With graduation from the "single serving size" to the "industrial size" in, say, a week.
Moderation sets us up for failure, says an article in today's Toronto Globe and Mail..
Why? Because moderation requires us to make too many choices. If I tell myself that I can eat potato chips moderately, then I have to ask myself: how many is a moderate amount? And how many times a week is a moderate recurrence? If I don't eat potato chips at all . . . if I have a "no potato chips" policy for me . . . then I don't have to exhaust my decision-making power.
So: moderation becomes a form of tyranny.
In that sense, an inflexible rule is less tyrannical!
Feeling a little blue about nothing in particular today so . . . Charlie and I went to the swampy woods which reliably has gentians at this time of the year.
Not my own picture . . . because I'm not a skilled photographer at all . . . but this image captures perfectly the unique blue that I look for every year at this time.
Charlie had a wonderful run along the trails, ears flopping and tail wagging and yipping occasionally with sheer exuberance. He races ahead, turns around to make sure I'm still with him, runs back just to smile joyously, and then takes off again.
The yellow goldenrod and wild asters (every shade from palest mauve to deep deep purple) were also in bloom. There were just a very few bright red maple leaves. And the "BEARS HAVE BEEN SIGHTED IN THIS AREA: Keep your dog on the leash" sign had been posted: didn't see that one until Charlie and I were getting back into my car! I don't know how brave Charlie and I would have been if we had known!
If definitely feels like fall. Last weekend was sleeveless top and shorts: this weekend jeans and long sleeved Tshirt and jacket, with warm socks and duckboots. I made a huge pot of French Canadian pea soup, and some apple crisp with new season Paula Reds.
And: definitely left my blues in the gentian patch!!