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The Narrow Path - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal

Oct. 27th, 2006

12:07 pm - The Narrow Path

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http://naamah-darling.livejournal.com/219531.html?style=mine


....trying to lose weight has to deal with these issues to some extent. These things are the toll you have to pay, and though any given individual may have an easy time with one part of the road, other parts are going to be really rough. It costs. It costs money. It costs time.

And above all, it costs mental energy.

You see, it's not just correcting a problem. It's correcting a lifestyle. It doesn't help to lose 20 pounds if you just gain them back because you go back to doing the things that made you fat in the first place. And let me tell you, it's really fucking hard to get up and exercise every day knowing you're going to have to do it not just until you lose 10 pounds but for the rest of your life. It's hard to take time to run or swim or lift weights every day when you would rather be doing something else because exercise is utterly stultifying. It's difficult being cheerful about mealtime when your meals are small and boring compared to what other people eat.


Via smjayman.

Comments:

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From:istar
Date:October 27th, 2006 05:35 pm (UTC)
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Well... this is an interesting perspective. personally, if faced with the choice of being fat or facing a full-time "utterly stultifying" life devoid of any pleasure, I'd choose the fat hands-down!
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From:gentlemaitresse
Date:October 29th, 2006 10:07 pm (UTC)
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But there are so many fun ways to be active, I don't think anyone has to choose between exercise and lack of pleasure. Unless you only find pleasure in sitting on your butt all day every day.

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From:kirinqueen
Date:October 27th, 2006 05:38 pm (UTC)
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It's even more depressing when you don't lose weight as a result of doing all these things, like anyone else would.
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From:gentlemaitresse
Date:October 29th, 2006 10:08 pm (UTC)
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Then you need to see a doctor.

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From:kirinqueen
Date:October 29th, 2006 11:30 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, it's hypothyroidism and something else to do with having type 1 diabetes.
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From:fishsupreme
Date:October 27th, 2006 06:22 pm (UTC)
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Losing weight can be very simple, but that doesn't necessarily make it easy. After all, our brains evolved over millenia where our chief problem was lack of food, so no matter what our conscious minds tell us, the limbic system is always going to be encouraging us emotionally to eat more.

I do agree with the "correcting a lifestyle" comment, though -- rather than "dieting," my wife and I have both taken the approach of "adjust our eating and exercising habits to what would be a lifetime-sustainable level." The result is rather slow weight loss (I've lost 50 pounds over the course of the last 30 months -- most people dieting are looking for at least 1-2 pounds a week), but we've also not made nearly as drastic changes to our lifestyles as described in this person's post. (I do an hour of exercise, mixed cardio and weight training, 3 times per week, and eat 1500-1600 kcal/day. I would never have the patience to devote 20 hours/week to healthy eating.) Indeed, my eating habits are almost undoubtedly less healthy than hers, as I don't track even macronutrients -- I pretty much just target a calorie range and eat whatever I want to get there (though the range is low enough that eating, say, a sack of candy is pretty much ruled out on account of the fact that I wouldn't have enough calories left to eat any actual food.)

Honestly, I think much of the difficulty for people dieting today comes from the facts that we eat out a lot, and restaurant portion sizes have become absolutely mammoth over the last several years. Most sit-down restaurants' individual meals are more calories than a modern, sedentary American needs in a day. This puts me in the ironic position of finding that the easiest place to get a low-calorie meal is a fast-food restaurant -- sure, it's non-nutritious, calorie-dense food, but at least there's not much of it. Presumably due to the aforementioned evolutionary factors, I find it far easier to just not order much food than to get a pile of it and not eat it when it's sitting in front of me. (This is particularly true in sit-down restaurants wherein I'll be there talking to other people for half an hour after I'm done eating and tend to munch on leftover food... whereas at a fast food place, when I've had enough I can just throw out what's left.)

As for the issue she mentions of people not accepting refusals to eat more and repeatedly trying to foist food upon her, I think that comes from two sources: 1.) people who have been parents seem to try to feed everyone around them; I think they get used to trying to get their kids to not starve out of pickiness and forget that adults do not need to be treated that way, and 2.) people who are overweight themselves but not doing anything about it, who subconsciously see someone else's refusal to eat as proof that their own weight problems are their fault, and thus try to undermine others to prove to themselves that it's "impossible" to lose weight.
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From:crasch
Date:November 2nd, 2006 04:58 am (UTC)
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I agree with you. I know for me, one issue is not "wasting" food. I hate throwing away food, even if I'm stuffed.

BTW, this guy appears to have lost weight, eating only McDonald's for a year.
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From:smandal
Date:October 27th, 2006 11:50 pm (UTC)
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I think if you exercise/train for the expressed purpose of losing weight, that's a tough discipline to carry. Rather, better to think of it as becoming stronger, fitter, more healthy.

Perhaps it's easy for me to say -- I gain weight (muscle mass) when I train, and lose weight when I don't. But my brother, who has the opposite problem, has sustained his fitness with the mindset above.
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From:bigleeh
Date:October 30th, 2006 03:32 pm (UTC)
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Do you know those horror movies where our hero discovers that the well-liked local priest is actually Satan himself? The one's where our hero is unable to convince anyone -- and the gruesome killings continue while all his neighbors think he has gone mad and stop talking to him? I have a bit of that problem with dieting right now. I have become a heretic, a pariah if you will. I no longer believe the most central tenet of the received wisdom of the dieting cannon. [Cue the creepy music.] I have come to doubt the statement that "There is no diet pill that works."

Not content with being a quiet heretic I confessed my heresy in my blog. When I saw the link at the top of this posting I followed it and, in a moment of weakness, posted a link to my heretical ideas as a comment. I have now been added to naamah-darling's list of things she hates. I comfort myself that it seems to be a long list, but on the other hand, I may have made my entry on her list rather near the top. *sigh*

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From:crasch
Date:November 2nd, 2006 04:46 am (UTC)
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Don't feel too bad. Given the snake oil historically associated with weight loss pills, you have a huge mountaint of prejudice to overcome.
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 2nd, 2006 05:19 am (UTC)
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I keep a file on my computer with the names, doses and prices of the various supplements that constitute my daily handfull of pills and the name of that file is "snake oil." It's funny, I think, that we have so little regard for the patent medicine dealers of the turn of the last century for selling snake oil tonics when we swill down fish oil with pretty much the same objectives.
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From:h_postmortemus
Date:November 7th, 2006 02:38 am (UTC)
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Excellent entry, and your snipped quote is pretty much the core issue that so many people fail to understand. The worst being the medical profession and its total unwillingness to admit that People Are Different.

Seriously, I'm overweight. But I know people who weigh as much or more than I and yet are generally not labeled overweight. Their bodies muscle/fat ratio isn't any better either. Yet they are perceived as "healthy" and I am "obese". Why? Because they are taller than me.

Magically, the unique expression of thousands of different genes resulting in literally millions of phenotypes gets reduced to a handful of numbers saying "If you are this tall, male and this age than you should weight his much!". No accounting for race, body type, existing medical conditions, etc...

Her advice is spot on. You find what works for yourself and commit to it. You face that they are lifestyle changes, forever. Stop worrying about what others think of you. Don't waste time on magic pills.
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