Archive for July, 2013


So, first of all, I totally thought I posted last week. I weighed in at 158. Well, I thought that was PMS, but today when I weighed in, I was at 163. So, some of it may be PMS, but I was there last week. I had free pizza, earned some points from the McDonald’s Monopoly game. I believe there was some movie popcorn. I won’t beat myself up.

I mean, I went to the farmers market, I finally replaced my faucet water filter. So right now, anything else would be BS, right? My goal is to lose five pounds by next week.

A Little Late

This week, my weight was 157.5, so I’m down a pound. And yes, I’m a little late posting. I actually saw my weight dip to 165, but the official number on weigh-in day was 157.5. More later.

You know how you see those infomercials on TV that say, “Before beginning any nutrition or exercise program consult with a physician?”. They should say, “Before you begin a nutrition or exercise program, figure out what healthy means to you.” Far too often, we let the media and society (the somedia) decide for us what healthy means.

Healthy is not a look

Between reality shows and news sound bites and the billion dollar weight loss industry, it is easy to think that body fat = unhealthy. People die from complications due to having too much fat. Although it may seem like semantics, hear me out. Illness comes when the fat keeps their bodies from functioning efficiently. Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, all of those illnesses scientifically linked to obesity (or too much body fat) occur when parts of your body starts to work overtime – your heart, your kidneys, your hormones. Body efficiency is not measured by a number on the scale. When you visit your doctor, they run all these tests – blood tests, urine tests, etc. and read very important numbers and say things like your blood sugar is high, which will make you sick. Your triglycerides are high, you need surgery. Research shows that fat is not a sole indicator of good health. The point is, consider what your idea of healthy is, and it may or may not have to do with the number on the scale.

Skinny does not equal healthy

We can improve our bodies’ efficiency by what we eat and how we move. I am not arguing with that. But weight loss is a side effect of living healthy, not the goal. There are “skinny” people whose bodies run inefficiently. Skinny people have heart disease, diabetes and high cholesterol. Some folks may have the metabolism to support unhealthy food, but that doesn’t mean that the blood is flowing through their arteries at maximum efficiency. It doesn’t mean that their hormone levels are normal and it doesn’t mean that they are going to live longer than someone who takes care to nourish their body. Skinny people don’t always live healthy and shouldn’t get credit for doing so just for looking a certain way. If you’ve ever busted your ass at the gym or traded in your favorite chicken/burger/pizza/pie for a vegetable or fruit – you know how hard it is. So many people say they want to lose weight to be healthy, so they exist on a diet sodas and 100 calorie snack packs as if that is the key to better body efficiency. But those foods with preservatives, fillers and artificial “stuff” present a different host of health concerns.

Healthy is not sexy

One of the reasons you hear less about good health than weight loss is that a chart of recommended blood levels is BORING. Only Dr. Oz is willing to don a pair of gloves and show you a fucked up liver. And to keep it real, we’re all kind of making faces at the TV. It is a challenge to turn a salad into action shot. You’ll see the nutritionist work with the contestants on the Biggest Loser, but we’re all really tuning into see Jillian yell at them as they flip tires. The media is challenged to take this thing that we’re all so concerned with and turn it into drama and sex. So we get a distorted view of what’s healthy. Because the realest part of the show is when the contestants visit Dr. H.

Weight loss is an industry

As long as you think that weight loss is the key to health, you will keep coming back for more. When you accept that exercise and balanced nutrition will support the efficient function of your body parts, they’re afraid you’ll realize you don’t need the pills, you don’t need the gimmicks. Heaven forbid you accept your body the way it is and make it its best instead of trying to turn it into something its not. This probably deserves its own post, but the point is as long as you define weight loss as good health, someone is getting rich.

Believe it or not, the point of this post is not to attack the somedia, it is to encourage you to define for yourself what good health is, and to seek to attain that.

I can’t begin to decide for you what good health means, but for me, it means possessing a body capable of managing the things I want and need to do. I want energy at 2 P.M., I need to climb 3 flights of stairs to get into my apartment. And I’ve seen people skinnier than me winded at my front door. I want to do yoga, so good health to me is possessing the body that supports that. I’ve discovered, much to my chagrin that when I am dehydrated my body does not function as well in yoga. Many of you reading this will want to chase after children or grandchildren. That’s healthy – not a number on a scale.

Obviously, my coworkers don’t read my blog. If they did, they’d know that at last count I’m up a few pounds. Just this week though, two of them told me separately that I look like I’ve lost weight.

WHO DOESN’T WANT TO HEAR THAT!

Yet, how hard is it to say “Thank you. I’ve been quite hungry lately, and I’m glad to know it’s not in vain.” Instead we say, “oh it’s the dress”, or “Really, I feel like a pig”.

When I got the first compliment, my instinct was to say, “Really, because I’m up a few pounds”. I caught myself and said, “I haven’t but thank you for saying it. We’ll just pretend I did.”

By the time I got the second compliment, I could say, “Thank you. You can tell me that as much as you want because it never gets old.”

It is important to give and receive compliments. When you get one, don’t deflect. Simply say thank you, I appreciate your kindness. That person took the time to notice, and the time to verbalize. They took a moment out of their own thoughts to verbalize something nice about you. ACKNOWLEDGE IT.

Give compliments

Having the occasional job dealing with the public, I’ve learned how compliments can break the ice. But more than that, how often have you left the house in a hurry wondering if that new hairstyle was a good idea? Did you really master that smoky eye or do you look like a raccoon? Do those striped leggings really look as good on you as they did on that girl on your Pinterest board. Isn’t it a relief to hear validation that you hit the mark? Give that to someone else. Turn their day around by telling them something nice.

This week, my number was 158.5. I’m on my way back down. I managed to do two things: drink more water and stop acting like I can eat anything I want. So I’ve been paying attention to my portion sizes and asking myself if this “splurge” is important. Since my weigh in, I’ve hit the grocery store and my refrigerator has whole foods and produce in it now. On the right track.

Life, no excuses

This week I’m up to 162. It looks like a 4 lb weight gain. It has been one hell of a week. I’m going through what a professional might call a life transition. My work situation has changed, so I’ve taken a part-time job – being on my feet for minimum wage. Well, since it is summer, coworkers are on vacation causing me to jump in with both feet — 8 hour days.

Budgeting is real

Add to that job transitions usually mean money changes. It’s tight right now. Eating healthfully on a small budget is different than doing so on a medium budget. Highs: I hit the farmers market and got some plums, tomatoes and eggplant for less than $10. I’ve been able to purchase eggs, tuna and other whole foods while managing a tight budget. So I won’t sit here and say it can’t be done. I will say it requires more planning than I anticipated. Because I have to cook it. I will get a chance to hit the reset button on my next check…Lows: If you have to stand up to read the menu, I’ve been there.

I don’t stress eat.

I’ll be the first to say that I don’t eat out of stress. If I’ve have a hectic day, I won’t say, “Mmmm, some fried food will really take the edge off.” That’s not me . But I do like fried food, and after 8 hours of doing something I have to do, I’d like the small pleasure of eating something I want to – chocolate, fried, fatty, salty. At first, it wasn’t a big deal because my budget wouldn’t allow a binge. But according to the scale, I’ve gotten too comfortable. I suppose the solution for this is planning. Planning that I’ll have a hectic day, that I’ll want a “reward”, and to have a luscious mango already cut up, or a tad hummus.

In the short term, I can drink more water — that’s still affordable, right? A few limes and I’m in business.