Monday, June 30, 2008
Did you know that dieting may carry a greater health risk than staying overweight? That it can cause its own health problems? That studies haven't shown that fat people who lose weight are just as healthy as people who were thin to begin with?
That most weight-loss studies aren’t long enough? They study the subjects only during the beginning of their successes. They don’t publish the fact that they go on to gain the weight back, plus more. They don’t like to tell that dieting lowers the metabolism so that it is that much easier to gain the weight back. Because then they can sell them the next gimmick. They can peddle their new pill, or program, or a new compound of liquid protein.
Eating less calories to lose weight can cause people to be fatigued, dizzy, anxious, and lose their hair. I should know, I have suffered from all of those things in the past few months. (You’ll be happy to know my hair loss hasn’t exactly been a huge amount and I had anxiety before I started dieting. Although the lightheadedness, dizzy spells, and fatigue are new and not that pleasant! In fact, I pretty much never feel hunger anymore. I will get sorta lightheaded and nauseous and think, it's only been about two hour since I ate, what the heck? But I always feel better when I eat a little something. Which basically has me eating more than normal.)
I guess I would understand if I truly was eating too few calories. Usually thishas been shown to happen to people who eat 600-1200 calories a day while dieting. My average range is more like 1600-2000. Yes I exercise, but I usually burn 200-500 a day, eating more when I burn more. The problem with this is that my weight has basically stopped coming off. The plan I’ve been following this whole time says I should be eating 1200-1550 calories while burning 300 calories a day. But I know I am not able to eat that little while burning that much. It probably doesn’t sound like I’m burning a lot and it probably sounds like I’m eating way too much! If you are nodding your head along with that statement, you probably think I'm nuts!
I’ve lost over 90 pounds. Yes, that’s cool and all. But I guess I did really hope that I would able to transform my body into something I wasn’t ashamed of. And I’m just simply not there yet. My problem is this damn “apple.” What apple you may ask? Well, ladies and gentleman, I am “apple-shaped.” Which is the unhealthiest shape to be! (boo-yah! Wait….that isn’t something to be proud of). The book I’m reading now is supposedly comforting me saying that it’s mostly middle-aged men who are shaped like apples and “us pear-shaped women” are much healthier. Having your weight on your hips, thighs, and butt is much healthier than having it on your stomach. Unfortunately, I can’t quite convince my fat to get up and move to the proper place. I probably would have been done with this dieting thing already if I wasn’t still in a size 14/16. I mean, aren’t after photos supposed to at least show the “average woman size” of a 6/8. It’s not like I thought I’d be a 2. Hello, I’m not delusional. But I mean, can’t I at least be the plus-size model size of 12!?
Lifestyle change or diet?
Encouraging people to exercise more while also eating more fruits and vegetables can help some people to lose weight. Those are “lifestyle changes” that don’t involve restraining your food. If you are not eating when you are hungry because you can only eat X amount today, that is a “diet” not a “lifestyle change.” “Dieting” involves counting calories, eating a certain amount with little or no regard to hunger, only eating “good” foods, staying away from all “bad” foods, and only feeling good about yourself if your efforts are rewarded with pounds or inches lost.
I’ve gone back and forth on whether I am “dieting” or am simply making “lifestyle changes.” In reality, I have to admit that I’m doing both. I am restricting my calories in order to lose weight. That’s a diet. I am eating more fruits and vegetables and making it to the gym 4-6 times a week, that’s my lifestyle change. I weigh myself and think about how my clothes fit often to ensure that I’m making positive changes. That’s a diet. I love the energy exercise gives me and the taste of my favorite foods. That’s my lifestyle!
Being a healthier person shouldn’t be wrapped up in exactly what size I am or how much I weigh, but how I feel! Does that mean I shouldn’t be a part of a “dieting” community? I feel very at home there and have met some amazing people. I think I’ll stay. Besides…it’s me, I’ll probably change my mind about everything in about a month.