23 August 2011

Back on The Badwagon: Now With Added Self-Loathing

While I am quite sure that no one is really interested in my endless food/fitness quest, I am back on Weight Watchers.  A few weeks of the Whole30 thing killed some serious bloat and broke my crazy cravings for carby sweetness, but I know myself and without the structure of the measuring and recording,  I will not keep making good choices.  The great thing is that you can pretty much do both.   A real selling point about the PointsPlus program is that you can eat any “style” you want and as long as you are staying in your points allowance, you will probably* see some benefits.  

Side note: I read Nina Planck’s Real Food and it was really helpful in redirecting my eating goals towards eating “clean” unprocessed food that is actually recognizable as food.  This book doesn’t say anything new, she and Pollan heavily share research and inspiration, but it did present some pretty convincing arguments for not eating  a lot of what Americans consider to be “food.”   Be warned however, that Planck is seriously anti-veganism, even stating that raising kids vegan should be considered neglect and she is toeing the party line about breastfeeding pretty hard.  Also be prepared for complete lack of socio-economic awareness.  Like Pollan’s work, this is what you *should* do, not what is really practical/possible for many people.  Assuming you can temper these quirks, I highly recommend this book.  End Side Note.

So, back to the points I was actually hoping to get into before this post just wandered off the trail….

I was thinking of starting some journaling over on the Weight Watchers’s site.  They allow you some “blog” space (whoooo momma, these people would last about nine seconds out here in feral blog land) and I was going to use that to be a space in which I can blather endlessly about the weight loss thing while not cluttering up this blog with a topic in which you all probably have no interest.  However, reading other stuff over there makes me feel like the program creates a shared space where a feeling of fat loathing is almost encouraged and where the mantra is “thin by the scale is real thin” instead of the more reasonable idea that “fit and healthy is the new thin.”   So many people, quite specifically women, seem to be wrapped up in the idea that getting in that BMI range is the only thing that matters and that the number on the scale is what is making them healthier.   It is somewhat frightening to me that this whole business is based on reinforcing the idea that it is your weight in numbers, and not all the hundreds of little healthy lifestyle changes, that will save you.  

So that raises a lot of important questions about which I will blog here at the Well-Read Mom including, but not limited to:
  • Why are we still so hung up on BMI?
  • Is BMI so heavily “loved” because of the economic benefits it creates in the food industry, the diet industry and the medical sciences?
  • Is there a gender disparity in how modern medicine treats “obesity” in men vs. women?
  •  Is “fat loathing” a gender issue because the only things society hates more than fat is fat women? 
  •  Is the above true because there is still a pervasive norm for womens’ bodies to be considered public domain?
  • Am I just as bad as the rest since seeing that scale go down is pretty darn thrilling?
Needless to say more to come on all of this, but don’t worry, it wont all be anti-establishment ravings, I have some other ideas in the works too. 

*I say “probably” since I stagnated for so very long even with the points counting and working out that I hardly feel the idea is foolproof, but I imagine if you just keep hammering away at it, you will eventually get some results.


ChiGirl said...

I, for one, never get sick of your Weight Watchers postings (and just weight loss in general). It's a topic so many can relate to and I think your issues with how hung up we are on BMI are totally reasonable.

Alexis said...

@ChiGirl Thanks! I am sure I will still blog about it all here quite a bit because it is one of the biggest things I have going on right now. However, I am hoping that this stuff will help me understand the whole "thin" culture as opposed to the "health" culture. Clearly in this country the two are not synonymous...

Alicen said...

Sadly the two are not synonymous. It is amazing how much the number makes someone feel. When it comes to age we are quick to say "It's only a number" however with weight you will never hear someone say that!

The only thing I can think of as to why people are so hung up on the most awful thing ever invented (aka. BMI) is that for years and years and years that is the only thing that was pushed. It was never "get healthy" but almost always "but your BMI...". It's really unfortunate because BMI is not helpful at all. Think about it, there aren't even separate scales for men and women! You can not even begin to argue that men and women are made up similarly.

Anyway, as for the "clean" eating, that is what we have slowly been striving towards. I am not usually one to follow trends or fads but this is a method of eating that almost exactly fits where I was going anyway. I didn't even know there was a name for it until I happened to get a subscription to Clean Eating magazine for super cheap. I just got it because it looked like it had delicious recipes, only after did I read it did I hear about clean eating. If I ever see a good deal on it again I'll forward you the info.

Just keep doing what your doing, you may or may not be in smaller jeans but I can guarantee you that your body is thanking you!

I'm telling you, after the past 2 months, and lots of time at Grammy's house, these kids aren't going to know what's coming once we get settled and in our own house. No more tastycakes for them!