Those Scientists!

Even though I don’t write about it much any more, I think about diet and losing weight and healthy living all the time. I watch you tube videos, read online and magazine articles, and sometimes even buy a book.

And I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but I get exasperated at those scientists! They are so gung ho on their theories that they present their information as FACT. They seldom use the word theory in their presentations. So even though you may watch two doctors giving two OPPOSING presentations about the best way to eat and lose weight, both of them will be presented as fact, not as theory.

I listened to one UC doctor who said that sugar was the enemy. His concluding thoughts were reasonable–stop drinking sugared soda. Then I listened to a very popular doctor who thinks that fasting is the solution to all our problems. As a nurse, he made statements of “fact” over and over that I know to be untrue. And aside from his enthusiasm for fasting, he actually adhered to a paleo diet.

Then, I decided to buy the book “Body Respect,” because I realized that I was having issues with feeling very poorly about myself and I did not like that. The title was something I was looking for. However, the author, who is also a doctor, presented pretty much the same message that she has in her previous book (Health at Any Size.) And as a doctor she presented many “facts” about why being overweight does not affect your health. To be fair, the goal of this book was to try to convince health care workers to be more compassionate in their care of the overweight person. But being very overweight does take a toll on your health, IMO. Also, to be fair, just reading this book, which did not really teach me anything new, did manage to calm myself down about how I feel about still being overweight.

And then I got my Nutrition Action Healthletter. Before I got it, I had thought that I would say that I still appreciate Marion Nestle’s advice about healthy eating. And there was an interview with her about how scientists can be swayed by industry funding and their own points of view! One quote from her: ” All researchers have intellectual conflicts of interest.” 

Bottom line: Read a lot, but don’t believe that everything in print is truth. Experiment and find out what works and doesn’t work for you. Later this week I’ll write more about what is working for me now in living the healthiest life possible at age 62 🙂

Thin Enough

“Thin enough.” That’s how I described myself after seeing the trailer for The Quilt Show episode that I am going to be featured in this coming Monday. There are so many layers to those two little words. Because “thin” is not a word any normal person would use to describe me. At 5 ft. 1/4 inch, with my weight regularly fluctuating between 155 and 168, thin just doesn’t come to mind.

But following up on yesterday’s post, I am working on being satisfied with the weight I am. I am fast approaching 60 years of age (I KNOW, I can’t believe it either 🙂 ). I don’t want to spend the next 20 or so years being unhappy with myself.

I also feel a little pressure to meet a certain expectation–after all, this blog is about “living a whole and healthy life.” And on The Quilt Show blog, I am a semi-regular contributor as “The Healthy Quilter.” I think that pressure is a good thing–a form of accountability that I can’t escape. So I was relieved to see that I looked “thin enough” (and healthy enough) on camera.

I went to the doctor last week. We talked about my ongoing knee pain (yay–finally got the referral to go back to the ortho doc) and I told her all the things I am doing–walking, riding the exercise bike, P.T. exercises. And she said mildly, “well, maybe you should lose a little weight.” I took no offense at her statement. Its a good idea. Its just a little more complex than that. Because really what she should say is “maybe you should LIVE at a lower weight.” And to live at a lower weight would mean restricting my food intake to a degree that I am unwilling or unable to do at this time. I reminded her that it was not on her computer record that I had lost 100 pounds before she became my doctor. I’m not sure that meant anything to her. And so for now, even as a person who is facing eventual knee replacement surgery, I am thin enough.

Anyway, it is a very good feeling (make no mistake, I don’t feel like this 100 percent of the time) to be content with the way I look. Sometimes I try to think about what my perception as a 20 year old was of what a 60 year old woman should look like. I think I look better than that 🙂

Thin enough is definitely a term that needs to be seen in perspective. For a woman who spent well over 20 years weighing 257 pounds, I am thin enough.

I Like Me

I like me.

I like me, being what no one else can be.

Yes, I like me.

I had a little cross-stitched pillow with this saying on it. I started thinking about it when I thought about this topic. I couldn’t find it to take a picture for you guys. Either buried in clutter, or eaten by dogs. Either way, that’s a completely different post.

Back to what it says–“I like me.” The last set of AIM posts got me to thinking about this. Forgive me if this has been written about elsewhere, but I don’t recall that it has:

What if “self-acceptance” is a key component when it comes to long-term weight loss maintenance?

The National Weight Control Registry is often quoted by the experts as the definitive gathering of information on what it takes to maintain weight loss. I am a member of that society, so I know the questions they ask to gather this information. They don’t ask any questions about your psyche. I think that they would say that, as scientists, that kind of data is hard to quantify. Its simpler to say things like

    • 78% eat breakfast every day.
    • 75% weigh themselves at least once a week.
    • 62% watch less than 10 hours of TV per week.
    • 90% exercise, on average, about 1 hour per day.

Its not so easy to report what these weight loss maintainers think about themselves.

But it seems to me, in all my reading, that the people who have been successful at maintaining their weight loss either went into it already thinking well of themselves, or else they did a lot of work during the weight loss or after they reached “goal” on self-acceptance, or “liking themselves.”

I was very overweight for a very very very long time. I was one of the lucky ones. I had parents who loved me and thought I was clever. They encouraged me to be whatever I wanted to be– “you can do anything you want to do with your life.” And then when I got to that age where you have to decide for yourself what you really believe about yourself, I worked very hard at “being content in whatever state I was in” (Phil. 4:12) and believing that God made me the way I was ON PURPOSE, and he liked me this way. Egads. Could there be a bigger ego booster than that?

I didn’t like being fat. I didn’t like looking for clothes that would just “cover me up.” I didn’t like being tired and sore all the time. But for sure I liked me.

I do read quite frequently the story about the (usually younger) woman, who thinks her life will be wonderful, and she will finally love herself (because everyone else will love this thinner person,) and they are devastated when they get there and find out it is not the golden ring after all. And many many times they regain all the weight that they lost. This young blogger wrote very well about this experience here. Fortunately for her, she recognized the problem, and worked on it before she regained the weight.

Anyway, its just something to think about, whether you are starting on your weight loss journey, or you are “maintaining.” Do you like yourself?