09
Jan
13

does less = more?

As those of you who have been reading this blog for a while probably know, I would usually like to weigh a little less* and fit into my clothes better. I oscillate between wanting to live life fully, enjoying good food and wine and meals with family and friends and striving for better habits in terms of eating more healthfully, getting more exercise (yoga, walking, an occasional training-for-a-theoretical-5K every once in a while) and drinking more water (and less scotch). To varying success, all of it.

When I recently realized that I was even “outgrowing” my “fat pants” I decided that drastic measures needed to be taken. I am now 5 days into the 14-day first phase of the South Beach diet — no potatoes, no bread, no rice, no pasta, no sugar, NO WINE or alcohol or any sort. Lots and lots of water.

Today I actually find myself 600 calories under what I’m allowed/supposed to eat, and I don’t even want them. I had kale for dinner (Only Daughter conceded that it “wasn’t awful,” high praise from an 11-year-old gymnast-turned-ballerina. It’s a long story. Another time.) I’ve lost a few pounds, and feel pretty good, and am not actually starving, etc. etc. But I don’t want to do this by starving myself either, because I know then I’ll just put it back on.

kale

At the same time I’m reading Hungry, the book/memoir (if one can call a book written by a 23-year-old a “memoir”) by the “plus-size” (12. As if.) model Chrystal Renn. Here are “before” and “after” photos: before, contrary to the usual arrangement, being when she had managed to starve herself into a 98-lb vacant-eyed, non-menstruating version of her former self, and after being when she had begun to eat again and had returned to a healthy weight, where she now stays and has a wonderful modeling career as a vibrant, healthy, voluptuous woman:

;

crystalrenn

The one on the right is “plus size”? Seriously?

So, I am my usual conflicted self. Am I eliminating carbs and sugar to regain some control over my food cravings and get my body to a healthy weight, or am I succumbing to the pressures of society and trying to conform to a weightmeaningimage imposed upon me by people whose only concern is that they make me feel badly about myself so I buy their product/join their gym?

Husband was not home tonight, so I sat on the couch after a very long and busy day and watched Frasier reruns. Amongst the awful and incessant commercials aired during an hour and a half of television there were 11 commercials for diet programs and/or “diet” foods, 2 commercials for anti-aging makeup, as well as one commercial each for an artificial sweetener, the “Curves” exercise facility, and for Gorton’s grilled fish, “only 80 calories per serving.”

Is it any wonder we’re all so filled with self-loathing? Does makeup really keep me from aging? Is aging such an awful proposition? Is buying processed, pre-grilled fish really a healthy alternative for someone who cares about the food he or she is putting into his or her body? (I should just say she/her — in all of those commercials, only ONE of the “protagonists” was male — and he was having his powdered donut being crumbled into bits by his loving and “supportive” significant other.)

Maybe it’s just me, but the one on on the left in the photo above is clearly starving; the one on the right is vibrant and strong and sexy and alive.

And not that far off from where I am right now.

Maybe if I just lose 5-10 more pounds.

Sheesh.

*Is it Freudian? I actually just started to proof this and realized I had written “I usually want to weigh a little more. . .” Pah.

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5 Responses to “does less = more?”


  1. January 9, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    This really is a complex issue, isn’t it? It’s therefore beyond me to contribute much, except that I really do believe the health risks of being “underweight” are understated in our societies (yours & mine – I don’t know about others). The balance of public comment seems wrong and distorted, especially for women.

    I can understand your feeling that you want to enjoy life – and eating and drinking are surely two of the major pleasures of an older person’s life. I reckon you should only cut back on those pleasures if you can see that you are actually suffering in some way from being overweight. For example, if you can’t reach your feet to do up your shoes, or if you get uncomfortably breathless when you take what should be a pleasant stroll through the bush. Appearance would have little role in deciding on optimum weight, in my scheme of things. As you say, too many other people have their (financial) interest vested in your appearance

  2. 3 Curious
    January 14, 2013 at 10:02 am

    can you remember what the commercial with the man eating the powdered doughtnut was advertising?

  3. January 19, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    I too am trying be healthier and happier. I am doing the 17 day diet. Small set back today, I’m ill, I don’t want eat veggies and protein. I want to eat toast, crackers, and drink ginger ale. The comforts for sickness from childhood ;-) Monday I’m sure ill be back on track lets hope this weekend means maintaining and not gaining. Good luck on your journey!


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