telerib: (Default)
So I went for my yearly Well Woman exam, this time to a new GYN instead of my PCP. I admitted that I don't exercise and haven't since Spud was born, because in the four hours per weekday I have with my family, I'm not sure which one to sacrifice to hit the gym.

"Have you considered eating less?" the GYN asked the nursing mother.

"No," I said.

"Because you know you need to. Your weight is too much."

And I laid it out for her. The whole sordid history, the regular workouts (3-4x a week, 60-90 min each) for the majority of 2003 - 2007, the good eating habits, even the period of calorie counting and gradual restriction, how a 1500-calorie a day diet left me constantly hungry, distracted and without enough energy to exercise, and how the only time I lost weight via exercise alone was when I was doing my workout before my boxing classes, so that I was in the gym for 120-150 minutes/day, 3-4 times a week.

Do I need to get some exercise? Absolutely. I loved the gym. When the weather's better, I can take the kids outside to play more, although even that isn't exactly a real workout. But damned if I can figure out when to pencil it in. And when I start it up again, I'll maybe lose five pounds or so, but that'll be it.

And I am eating a richer diet than normal right now, because of the "nursing mother" thing. Not on purpose, but I'm finding myself wanting food I don't usually want, and more of it. And, because I know I don't usually binge out on rich food, I'm willing to believe that this is a genuine call from my body for more carbs and fats. So it gets them.

She backed down. "I talk to all of my patients about weight. Maybe this is your body type."

Booyah.
telerib: (Default)
Ever since I read this (NC's state employee 'wellness' program) I've been worried about this (similar proposed federal legislation for the health care reform bill).

"Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee approved a healthcare reform amendment that would penalize employees who are not following “healthy lifestyles” and participating in wellness programs. Employers will be allowed to raise healthcare premiums by as much as 50 percent for workers who are fat, smoke, don’t exercise, are noncompliant with preventive care, and not meeting certain health measures, such as lower cholesterol levels."

So... even if I'm eating a healthy 1800 calorie/day diet, complete with whole grains, fresh veggies and lean meat, and getting my RDA of exercise, and if my cholesterol and blood pressure and other vitals are all in the healthy range, because I'm obese, they can still charge me for it.

Please no "but you're not fat!" comments. My BMI is 31.7 - that's medically obese, folks. I are the obesity epidemic, oh noes.

Now at this moment - hell, for the past two years of moments - I haven't been doing the healthy lifestyle thing all that well. Something about the small person who needs my love and attention more than I think I need the gym. I'm trying to figure out a way to do it all, but have you ever tried taking a brisk walk with a two-year old?

But, from 2003 - 2007, I was living la vida healthy, including a stint of calorie-counting. See, to my personal trainer's amazement, despite 3.5 hours of cardio and 3 of weight-training a week, I wasn't losing any weight. Clearly, I must be snarfing doughnuts at home, right? So we started monitoring what I ate. We tried a 2,000 calorie diet first, which was *more* food than I was used to. No loss. 1800 calories - 5 small meals a day - felt great most days, no weight loss. 1500 calories - I started to lose. A little. And I was always hungry. Always. Even right after I ate, because a 300-calorie "meal" (5x/day) was just not enough food.

So you know, screw that.

But there I was - eating healthy, exercising - "all" you have to do to lose weight, according to some people - and it wasn't happening. It's never going to happen. At most, at very most, I've lost 5-6 pounds when I've adopted a more active lifestyle. That's not uncommon. But that's not even enough to change my BMI by one point, let alone 5 or more.

And the BMI is crap anyway. But that's another topic.

But they still want to use it to determine my insurance premiums.

Here's to really hoping the 'public option' does not become the 'single payer option' anytime in the next few decades. Or that my current insurance decides to jump on this pseudoscientific bandwagon.
telerib: (Default)
Double X gives the impression, with its pink banners and cross-linking with Slate.com, the Washington Post, The Root, Big Money, etc., of being a woman-themed e-news magazine. Usually, your woman-themed mags come in three major flavors: domestic (Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle), fashion (Glamour, Cosmo), and political/feminist (not typically found in supermarkets). Double X, by not appearing to be one of the first two, I rather assumed would be of the third type.

I would also like to point out to the uninitiated that, despite the fantasies they're pedaling on every page, even the fashion mags like to talk a "girl power" talk. I don't really read the domestic mags, can't say if they provide much beyond stain-fighting tips and recipes.

So, when I see there's an article/blog entry entitled "Why the Plus-Size Model in Glamour Isn't Really Progress" in Double X, I admit that I'm kind of expecting to hear that "plus size model" means "bigger than a size 4" or that it was a stunt/tokenism or similar, and that the magazine isn't really making an effort to show beautiful women of many shapes.

No, no: the author's opinion is that fashion mags are a fantasy and she doesn't want these 'normal' people messing it up. And isn't it awfully narcissistic of normal people to want to see themselves as beautiful?

What.
The.
Fuck?

I suppose I'll give her points for honesty. Even the most Photoshop-happy magazine editor knows enough to pretend to support a wider ideal of feminine beauty. (OK, except maybe the one over at Self.)
telerib: (Default)
"That's because the hormones that make women physically stronger, more competitive and better able to deal with stress also tend to redistribute fat from the hips to the waist."
- LiveScience.com reporting on a study in December's issue of Current Anthropology.

I have no idea how sound the science is (or is not) but it's nice every once in a while when "studies show" that I'm not clearly a lazy slob with no impulse control.
telerib: (Default)
NY Times slideshow of US Olympians of a wide variety of body shapes.

The female weightlifter can lift almost 500 lb in a squat, do full splits, and her 32" thighs are 32" of muscle. I'd like to see what she'd do to the person who told her she was "unhealthy," "contributing to the obesity epidemic" or "needs to lose weight for her health."
telerib: (Default)
I must confess that I've put back on almost all the weight that came off while I was breastfeeding. (Should that be "assisted breastfeeding"? Whatever.) And the strange sciatica-like sensations that prompted me to start walking, back in 2001, are back, because I do nothing but sit on my butt all day now. There is no time for the gym with the baby around.

I've brought a rubber mat in to work; with some hand weights and some standard calisthenics, I can at least get some strength training in. I also ought to start emerging from this windowless warehouse during the day and walking for a bit; that would help with the legs.
telerib: (Default)
I don't usually go in for the LJ-confessional style of writing, what [livejournal.com profile] rivka tags as "random self-disclosure." Nothing wrong with it; it's just not something I usually feel compelled to do. But this has been rattling around my head for some weeks now, so I suppose it wants to get out.

Diet-vendors aside, there seem to be two major health and weight camps out there. One, the "eat right and exercise" group. "Calories in, calories out" is the mantra, and it holds that if you eat healthily, and in reasonable portions, and exercise adequately, you will lose weight (if you are fat) and be healthy. Two, the "weight set point" group. They claim that everyone has a natural weight that we gravitate towards, and that any attempts to change it (say via exercise) will instead cause our metabolisms to compensate to maintain the setpoint weight. They don't diss exercise and healthy eating, and recognize disordered overeating as a problem, but are extremely weary of one's height and weight being used to diagnose the entirety of one's health.

My experience fits into neither category, which is frustrating as all hell.
Cut to save your f-list )
telerib: (Default)
Dear Prudence,
I'm 24, and I've been with my boyfriend for about 18 months. We were friends in high school, then met again after college, and started living together almost immediately. We have been talking about marriage lately, which I am beyond excited about; however, my boyfriend has informed me that I need to lose 20 pounds before he will propose. He claims that's the only reason he hasn't asked me yet. In his words, he wants "a hot wife." Am I crazy to think that unconditional and true love still exists? Everything else in our relationship is great. I don't want to walk away from something so wonderful, but this just seems a little ridiculous. Help!

—In Love With Mr. Vain

Dear In Love,
I have a plan that will make both of you happy. It begins with you starting on a new exercise program. Get a comfortable outfit and a pair of excellent workout shoes. Then put all your worldly possession in a suitcase, pick it up, walk out the door, and keep on walking.

—Prudie

- Dear Prudence. Normally, I'd only have posted her reply, which is the Quote of the Day, but all of its effect comes from the preceding question.
telerib: (Default)
Yes, fat blogging. There is a subculture of blogs about fat. At a glance, they seem to range from "fat activism" to "fat acceptance" to a more general "body acceptance." And of course, I came across this from Manolo for the Big Girl, only one of many plus-sized fashion blogs.

Two big fat gems to share:

Joy Nash's Fat Rant on YouTube.

KateHarding's full Illustrated BMI Project. Real people, real pictures, real evidence that "medically obese" doesn't necessarily mean "you should've bought two plane tickets for that fat ass."
telerib: (Default)
I need new pants. These no longer fit.

They are too big.

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