1/04/2008

Political dieting

I've been catching up on my blog reading this morning and noticed a chain of bloggers, blogging about a similar topic: Weight Watchers. It started here: Weight Watchen, which lead me to Cranky Fitness and then I landed at Elastic Waist Band. Which leads me to: In the beginning of December I noticed that the ads on my daily ride on the R train went from beer advertisments to Weight Watchers advertisments. I've read each of the catchy slogans at least 50 times in the past month and I kept thinking "oh, its only a matter of time until this pisses someone off and they are blogging about it". I mean, are advertisments ever based on truth? Marketing and capitalism is about creating a want and convincing a lot of people that they need it. And because its a new year people want to lose weight and not go on a diet. Or at least be told that they don't have to go on a diet to lose weight. And there you have it.

To me, the concept is obvious (although I am still fat, and lessons are hard to learn) that if my diet that keeps me fat doesn't change I will never lose weight. Diet is a term used for what you eat day to day, regardless of what it is. You can have a diet of McDonalds or a diet or lettuce. It's all a diet. So, common sense tells me that you cannot have changes by doing the same thing over and over. A change in current diet is needed to lose weight. IE: Learning how to change your diet so that you can live with it and get new results. Now, diets in the losing weight sense really should not be simply called diets they should be called diet changes or modifications. And that is what Watcher Watchers is, or Atkins or South Beach or Jenny Craig, or calorie counting. They are all different ways to lose weight and they all work for different people. So, can we now stop politicizing "diets"?

I am pro-blogging and totally love the idea that the internet gives everyone a voice, so this post is more reflective than anything else.

After reading a lot of the comments on Elastic Waistband, I become increasingly annoyed by the very obvious lack of personal responsibility people want to have for their weight "issues". A lot of women were blaming Weight Watchers for making them spiral out of control and into eating disorders. My first thought is, if you're going to weight watchers because of a weight problem, you already have an eating disorder and you are using food for more than it is intended. Others were mentioning that they would save their points and binge on junk food at the end of the day. Again, no changes were made and no personal responsibility is taken.

A huge lesson that I am still learning about losing weight is that you cannot expect a diet company to change how you eat. There are no books, dvd's, or programs that are the key to losing weight. They are all tools to help you lose weight, but actually doing it is a decision you have to make yourself.

I agree, that a lot of the time when it comes to changing my diet into a healthier one I just want to throw my hands up and say "enough is enough, this isn't a normal way to live". And then the little logical bug in my head says "eating how you were taught to eat, and eating the way you have always eaten is not at all normal". It just isn't normal to fill our bodies with chemicals, processed foods, or deadening natural flavors with salt, oil and sugar. That is not normal or natural. At times, it can seem as though eating in excess and feeling comfortable in that is what is normal, but again I don't think it is. It's just comfort, and feeling uncomfortable at times can not feel normal.

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10 Comments:

Blogger Krissie said...

I really like this post. I think the keys to being healthy is being natural. I was watching Oprah today, and she was all about being green. And she got me thinking about food. I'm not ready to only buy locally or anything, but I'm cooking now. I'm using fresh salad stuff and eating fruit instead of running through Chic-Fil-A. And I'm doing pretty well with this diet thing, and not following any diet in particular except really listening to my body and eating based on what my body tells me to.

I love your "all natural" approach. I think that's going to be the key for me.

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Betsey C. said...

Great post! It seems like people have stopped taking personal responsibility for their actions in all aspects of life -- it's ridiculous. I am fat because I eat more calories than I expend, not because Weight Watchers or some other corporate diet guru failed me. Nobody else is shoving food into my mouth.

Thanks for the reminder, and good luck to all of us as we learn to make healthier choices.

1:07 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

Loved this post!
It is so true - and a good reminder to me.
I recently read The China Study and tho I don't follow that plan perfectly the general plan is a good one - vegetarian foods,soy, legumes and grains rather than processed carbs (such as white bread, etc).
But the author said what you have said - he presented the evidence supporting the plan, but it is up to each individual to accept it or not, and work it or not.

9:19 PM  
Blogger Nona said...

"There are no books, dvd's, or programs that are the key to losing weight. They are all tools to help you lose weight, but actually doing it is a decision you have to make yourself."

A hard lesson to learn.

10:05 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

Great post, I totally agree.

11:29 PM  
Anonymous justoofat said...

"A huge lesson that I am still learning about losing weight is that you cannot expect a diet company to change how you eat."

"It just isn't normal to fill our bodies with chemicals, processed foods, or deadening natural flavors with salt, oil and sugar."

Amen.

I've been reading a lot of so-called "weight loss blogs" these days and I have to say, yours is one of the few that has made all that much sense to me. People do crazy, desperate things in order to lose weight... I know, I've been there. Anyway, it's heartening to see something sensible being flung into the blogosphere.

Thanks.
j

12:38 AM  
Blogger Elsha said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:36 PM  
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7:00 AM  
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5:58 AM  
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3:40 AM  

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