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You Want It, You Do It

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Many people have very unrealistic expectations about weight loss.

Myself included.

Back when I weighed 160, the number on the scale was all that mattered. When you have a lot of weight to lose, it is probably a good enough measure. But if you keep going, eventually body composition is what matters, and that isn't measured on a bathroom scale.

For the movie "Black Swan," Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman both lost about 20lbs for their roles. These women were already thin. A good portion of those 20lbs were a loss of lean mass in order to achieve their svelte ballerina profile.

Natalie Portman said she barely ate anything. Mila Kunis weighed 95lbs. "I had no shape, no boobs, no a**," she told E! Online. "All you saw was bone. I was like, This looks gross."

In contrast, Hillary Swank gained 19lbs of lean mass for the role in "Million Dollar Baby" in order to look like an athletic boxer. According to some reports, she ate almost 4000 calories a day, 200 grams of protein, and 50 grams of carbohydrates. She also had a very intense weight lifting regime, but very little cardio.

Whether one or the other is more attractive is subjective, but it illustrates that scale weight alone does not determine body shape. What you eat and how you train makes changes in body shape.

Here's another example. Christian Bale weighed 120lbs for "The Machinist". He ate coffee and an apple.

He weighed somewhere between 190-220lbs for his role in Batman eating chicken, tuna, and steamed vegetables.

[Note: Bale is a vegetarian, and I had difficulty finding his exact diet for Batman. He has been quoted saying he ate chicken and fish for other roles like "Psycho."]

After getting the part for Batman, Bale said, "I couldn't do a single push-up and so we had months [of training] ahead of us."

According to his personal trainer: "He worked harder than anyone I've ever trained. Every morning he would look different from the day before."

This is where I got to when I made my push to lose the 'last 10 lbs.' If these people can change their shape, why couldn't I?

Where I am currently, my weight staying the same or going up slightly is probably what I want. And yet, I still have a mental block against it. Old habits die hard.

These actors all have specialized nutritionists and personal trainers to make them look this way. Most of us will never have this kind of personalized help.

If you want it, you have to do it yourself.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wait! I thought you "semi-retired"!

    Glad to see you amongst the Sparking masses!

    Thought of you the other day when I was about drink a diet coke. I know you wrote a blog about that and how it effected you. I put it down...and picked up my water and herbal teas!!

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    1789 days ago
    You have written a great blog. You can do anything you set your mind to and you are smart enough to set your goals realistically with the best version of you in mind. Good going!
    1789 days ago
    It's all so true, it does depend on what your final body comp goal is, do you want a lean, lithe dancer look, or a swole, muscular lifter look, or something in between. Any are valid for whomever wants that particular look. The trick is figuring out the best way to get there! And those actors have folks that can get them where they need to be. It's still hard work for anyone though.

    1790 days ago
    That's so interesting about Christian Bale -- I don't really follow actors and actresses so much, so I never even realized he was doing that. wow. You are right though -- those people have all sorts of people working full time to make them look like what they need to be for roles, etc. So yep, if you want it, you've got to do it yourself, for the rest of us at least.
    1791 days ago
  • PURPLE180
    Great blog!
    1791 days ago
  • BOSS61
    I maintain that I am realistic. My plan is to weigh zero. To stand sideways and cast no shadow. To be invisible, viewed edge on. Don't tell me I have a distorted self image...
    1791 days ago
    You nailed it....and this is one of the toughest things to realize until you are committed to a balanced lifestyle of good nutrition and fitness, with both cardio and ST as a part of your fitness regimen.

    I still struggle with this. My weight has been stable between 180-185, down from 205 when I started SP. My brain thinks I should be at 170-175. Yet my body continues to change as I eat clean and workout. belt notches tighten, shoulders broaden, arms become vascular....I like it (and more importantly, so does SWMBO), but my brain keep wanting the scale to dip below 180.....sometimes a mind is a terrible thing!

    BTW, I'm flattered that you Phtotshopped Christian Bale's head onto my forearms....you really cant' tell it's been retouched!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1791 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/27/2013 8:53:36 PM

    I love that moving heavy things means I don't have to starve myself.
    1791 days ago
    You caught me: my real motivation for writing this was Christian Bale! ;) If I lived in Gotham, I might have gone into a life of crime just for a ride in the Batmobile!

    1791 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/27/2013 6:11:52 PM
    Yes Ma'am! THAT's real motivation! Also, Christian Bale ;)
    1791 days ago
    1791 days ago
    Ah yes, old habits die hard... but they do die! ;)

    I could never emaciate myself for a role like that, for fear of the metabolic damage I might not ever be able to fully un-do!

    Thanks for weaving this visual story that makes me want to go and pump some iron right now - well maybe after a mega-hearty-healthy-meal ;)

    1791 days ago
    I definitely agree. I have been down to 145-150 before and now at my second attempt to get BACK down there i'm currently around 180 & look way slimmer than what i did at 150 because of strength training with my cardio and eating well this time around instead of eating very little and lots of cardio.

    Great post!
    1791 days ago
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