Another cross-post experiment.
One of my favorite internet sites, feministing.com, posted this today:
Stop Being a Sucka for the Diet Industry
News flash of the day you already knew: diets don’t work.
The world's largest study of weight loss by a group of researchers at the University of California has proven, once and for all, that two-thirds of those who diet gain the weight back and put themselves at risk for a host of scary side effects—like heart attack, stroke, and diabetes—in the process. Diets also commonly lead to eating disorders, afflictions which affect 10 million Americans and rising.
The fact that the diet industry holds steady at $35 billion a year with such a ridiculously low success rate and such obvious side effects is not only criminal, it’s pathetic. How do we let ourselves get duped in this way?
For starters, we live in an extreme makeover culture. We are socialized to believe that if we just had enough will power and/or money, we could all look like Mischa Barton. Reality shows feed this delusion daily—The Swan and I Want a Famous Face being my personal anti-favorites. Women aren’t happily pear shaped or curvy or petite anymore. We aren’t aware of our “set point”—the weight range which your body automatically adjusts your metabolism to stay within. We conflate thinness with happiness, success, power, when really it is just a number on a scale. It is your emotions about those numbers, not the numbers themselves, that have the power to make or break you.
While I agree with a lot of what the author had to say after the headline, a number of commenters including me were disappointed that the message was "don't diet." Others thought that feminism should have nothing good to say about losing weight whatsoever, because feminism shouldn't be telling women how their bodies should look. I thought about this all day, and wanted to post my second, more thoughtful comment here:
Feminism shouldn't be about fat-shaming any more than it should be about shaming people who strive for unhealthily thin body weight or body shape (which I often find myself doing, falsely thinking it is feminist because these thin women's bodies are a visual reminder of patriarchal demands on my own).
The feminist in me who says "fuck the beauty myth" also says "fuck the industries that encourage me to pollute my body." So while I agree that the diet industry participates in both the beauty myth and body pollution, so do those that put out defeatist messages about overfatness (that it's my fault but/and/or there's no use dieting) and sell me expensive "plus size" clothes along with my unhealthy dose of shame. I think a lot of commenters who reacted negatively to this post feel the same way I do--that feminists should be encouraging (not forcing!) women to take care of their bodies without buying into either side's lies.
Of course I live my life falling short of all these high ideals (not just physical fitness but also avoiding hipocrisy), but the closer I get, the better I feel.
Yesterday was so awesome. Not so much in the diet category, but in the spending time with family category it rocked.
On Saturday night my parents arrived and we went out to dinner, where I had prosciutto-wrapped grilled shrimp with asparagus risotto. It was rich, but not an overwhelming portion. We went grocery shopping and then made our traditional Easter lasagna. Traditional?, you say--yes, for no apparent reason my parents started making lasagna for Easter, before I was born. No, we're not Italian in the slightest.
We improvised with mushrooms, spinach, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, and green onions. Plus, the usual tomato sauce, ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, and lasagna noodles. The veggie filling smelled so good when we sauteed it that my mom decided she should repeat it as a pasta topper in the future, and I agree. If not for the three pounds of cheese, it would have been pretty healthy, too! My parents and I all collaborated, and since we all enjoy cooking and there was no pressure, it was really fun. My dad also made "mexican" brownies (with cinnamon and chili powder, like mexican hot cocoa) and they brought fresh strawberries the size of small apples from Santa Maria. Last, we marinated some olives.
We went to my cousins' church in Oakland for services, where we were recruited to be in the choir. Nothing makes us feel at home like that, so it was great. Then we picked at the remains of the Easter Brunch while chatting with my cousins before heading to Santa Cruz with our half of the feast. We went to DH's parents' house, where there was ham, asparagus with homemade hollandaise, salad, and almost corn cake in the works. Pretty much everyone pitched in in the kitchen there as well, and we generally had a grand old time. I'm really lucky that my in-laws and my parents hit it off.
So I'm feeling overstuffed but happy today. Tonight I'm going to try out the wok we got for our wedding (yes, six months ago) to stir fry udon noodles, broccoli, and Aidell's teriyaki & pineapple meatballs. I'll let you know how it goes!
I'm having a awful, terrible, no good, very bad day. Just like in the silly children's book, because nothing really heinous has happened, I'm just really grumpy. And I made the poor choice to eat a slab of bread and butter to make myself feel better in the afternoon. I'm not going to feel guilty about it, but of course it didn't really work, that's all. I also ordered dessert when I ordered dinner, but I think I'll try to give it away or at least share with someone. Chocolate bread pudding is delightful, but it's not really a solution for my headache and self-defeating attitude.
My parents are coming for Easter! I'm excited, but also afraid I willend up working a lot of the time they're here. They are staying until the middle of next week and while I'm good enough at setting boundaries to refuse to work on Easter, I may end up staying late(r than usual) next week to make up for that.
Don't tell anyone in my family, but I don't really like Easter food. My mom always makes lasagna, but I'm not fond of ground beef or tomato sauce so that's never been a big attraction. And my in-laws are big eaters and traditionalists, so while they are taking up mom's and my offer to bring a lasagna to dinner (we're all going to their house), they are also making a traditional ham dinner! I pretty much hate ham, too (except black forest ham & swiss sammiches, but that's not at issue), so I guess I'll eat a lot of asparagus with not so much hollandaise and some of the WW friendly trifle my SIL is making for dessert. And chocolate, of course. Because it's not a holiday with my mom unless there's a lot of chocolate consumption. And I love chocolate and my mom.
I really wanted to work on my resume this weekend, but I ended up working at my current job instead. Hrmph.
No time to blog but I'll try to comment later.
Missed yoga on Monday because they called a meeting for 5:30, but I went to the same instructor's Level 1 & 2 class yesterday and she said I needed to move on from the beginners' class anyway. Yay!
158.8 today. I am going to a big firm dinner tonight so I didn't want to weigh tomorrow. So 2 lbs in 2 weeks, assuming I didn't just happen to weigh on a low-fluctuation day. That's the problem with weighing once a week, but as long as it keeps going down I won't complain too much.
Monday, fun day
It was a quick tour around the blogs today . . . not many people blogged this weekend, I guess.
I got a new assignment on Friday afternoon, so I spent the weekend cleaning my apt. and working. I suppose that's okay, though I pouted about it the whole time. I did manage to finally go bridesmaid dress shopping, and ordered dress style 6223 in tea rose (I can't direct link it but search the style #). It's a size 12, but there's always alterations assuming I get skinnier. The dress I tried on (size 10) zipped, but was tightest around my shoulders, and those aren't getting a lot smaller no matter what I do.
Today is yoga day! Although lately a lot of days have been yoga days. On Thursday night a friedn from work and I did a workshop and, while we were definitely the only beginners, we made it through and learned a lot. I have been enjoying yoga immensely and I feel like I have more energy to accomplish things and less nervous evergy on days when I've done my yoga in the morning. And holy cow did I sleep well on Thursday night! The woman from work who went to the workshop with me is really fun, and we've been getting coffee and/or water after classes together and just chatting. She's really exactly the kind of friend I've been missing since I started here.
Gotta run--my day is full today--but I hope everyone is having a good start to their week!
one week, one pound
Well, 9/10 of one pound, but since the goal is to lose 1/2 lb or more per week, this is right on track. Plus, that puts me out of the 160s, if only just, which was my goal for March. Goal for April is to be in the mid-150s.
I have been in a meditative mood lately, and this morning while I was making my cream of wheat it occurred to me that doing my best to eat only whole grains and plenty of vegetables without actually doing Core or some other official diet is a way to take the feeling of "work" out of the equation. When I started WW, the points were like a game, and also I was ready and willing to work hard to get to a healthy weight. These days, I'm not so interested in working hard. My tastes have changed, and I do want to lose weight, but the mental energy and the work ethic simply aren't there. At first I thought that this was diet fatigue and I would get over it, but the more I contemplate the situation I realize that I need to make this effortless in order to make it sustainable.
Effortless doesn't mean conveniently packaged foods and no exercise, though. It just means that I do exercise because I like exercise and have fitness goals, and that I eat healthy foods because I like them, as opposed to working hard at those things for the purpose of being skinny. It's another variation of the oft-paraphrased maxim that you should live your life like you've already made goal. No waiting till I'm thin(ner) to have fun or make healthy food and exercise a habit insteadof a chore.
So here's to an effortless April.
vicarious diet joy
My mom and I talked for a long time on Sunday and she told me that she has lost 15 pounds. I just about danced around the living room! For those not keeping track of my extended family, my mom and I have always had a strange relationship, and her relationship with fat and food really affected me growing up. I saw her reach goal with WW only to gain it all back within a few years, out of frustration with the impossibly low (for her) goal range.* It cemented in my mind that diets were painful and stupid, and that if you were meant to be fat that was also sad and painful but there wasn't much you could do without resorting to the evil diet. She told me on Sunday that her first diet was when she was 8 years old, and that it was speed pills. Can you imagine an 8-year-old on speed? Yeah, that diet apparently didn't last long.
So anyway, sometime last fall she and my dad went to a new primary doctor and had their first physicals in years (mom also hates doctors, probably because they put her on speed) and the doc said that they didn't have to lose 80 pounds, but he expected them to weight a little less the next time he saw them (dad has been active and skinny all my life, but he eats too much and doesn't run every day anymore so he's been gaining). So since about November, my mom has lost 15 pounds. And she was asking me about diets and exercise, and in the "I might want to try it" way instead of the "young lady, are you taking care of yourself?" way. It was so great! I know she won't be at a healthy weigh tomorrow and she said heartbreaking things like "I don't care if I ever look good, I just want to be healthier," (subtext being that looking good is not an attainable goal) but it's amazing to hear her talk about it after seeing her give up on herself and make dieting taboo in our house 20 years ago.
* I just checked the healthy range for her height--5'10"--and while she said that her goal--at the top of the acceptable range-- was 153 back then, the current healthy range tops out at 167 for her age then, and 174 for her age now.
Let's just call those two posts I deleted a failed experiment in cross-topic blogging. Forgive me? I'm not as radical or pessimistic a feminist as all that every day, but I have my moments.
I canceled my WW membership this weekend after skipping again. I can still go to meetings until the end of next month and renew if I want since I had an auto-payment thing going, but it just seemed ridiculous to be paying for something I'm not using. I still love WW, but it's not working for me right now. What is working is yoga and not beating myself up. I'm not going to weigh myself very often, just going to try to be good to myself for a while.
I haven't been around to everyone's blog in a while so I'll try to make that happen tonight.
So I've been skipping WW, but I was brave enough to hit the BAN this morning: 160.8. Not a huge drop, but lower than it was last WW WI, and close to the 50's again. I want to be in the 50's! Remember last June when I said 150 was going to be my new "alarm" weight? Heh.
I need to be at a healthier weight (read: under 150) by mid-August, so I have time to alter the bridesmaid's dress I'm wearing in mid-September. That means 20 weeks to lose a little over 10 lbs. Easy, right? It doesn't sound so bad. I'm not worrying about getting to 135 by then, but if I could hit 145, that's the weight at which I have felt best about myself, ever. I don't even know if I'll ever bother with 135, but reaching and sticking to 150-something is a good goal for March and April.
I had to take DH to an urgent care doctor over the weekend--some kind of weird pain in his stomach that isn't any of the usual things but it had gotten worse over three days so it was time to see someone. We still don't know what it was but he's feeling better. I wonder if it isn't stress over his renewed job searching? The good news is he has two interviews and a meeting with a temp agency this week! It took him a while to get serious, but he's back with a vengeance.
So the long and short is that I made some poor food choices and didn't go to the party or WW, but I did enjoy my weekend except for the part where I was waiting to find out if he had appendicitis or something. I read half of a novel and played video games, then worked most of Sunday.
I made a list of things I needed to do this week, and if I finish a decent number of them (half?) I am planning to get a manicure and pedicure this weekend and buy some makeup I've been eying. I have to do the bridesmaid dress shopping this weekend too, because I have to order teh dress before the end of the month. I can choose anything full length from alfredangelo.com in tea rose. Any ideas?
I did beginning yoga again last night. I know I meant to graduate but I love the class so I've decided to just do vinyasa in addition, not instead. Plus I still learn things there, I just can also handle a faster-paced class these days. We did some exercises to focus on drawing the shoulders down, not just onto the back, and my middle back and sides are screaming about it this morning. But it feels good, like I accomplished something. I also need to call the dude at Equinox and set up a time to try out their pool--maybe on Thursday morning--and decide whether to join, now that my Y membership has expired. If I don't like it I think I'll save the money for more yoga instead. There's cardio equipment I can use for free in the "gym" at work, and it's more conveniently located than any other gym anyway.
Hope you all are doing well!