Fat Trapped?

OK,  I’ve been thinking about that NYT article, The Fat Trap, and maintenance in general, and overall, I didn’t like the article too much.  Everything I’ve read on the subject, not to mention common sense, indicates that the faster it comes off, the faster it comes back.  Starvation diets just seem to be such a bad idea, torture to go through, trauma to pull out of.  I don’t completely understand the hormone interaction, but I think hormones control weight (and just about everything else), and cannot be trivialized, it’s not just calories in/out. 

Also, I’ve read some critiques that label that Bridges woman as eating disordered, as she monitors and weighs her food, tracks her exercise, is extremely strict with what she eats.  I’ve read enough blogs of maintainers to know that some do that, and while it seems obsessive to me, it’s worth it to many.    Maybe I don’t have to because of the way I exercise (I LOVE high intensity cardio, and do strength training also even though I don’t love it).  I’m not sedentary, even without the gym, and though my dad and his entire family runs overweight, my mom eats lots of crap, exercises a lot, and is thin.  Maybe though I’m not so strict with my diet, perhaps the high fruit/veggie intake, or even just not often overeating is enough for me to stay not too chubby (as opposed to the frequent, habitual overeating that got me fat in the first place).  My on-again/off again cigarette habit.  My weight has been annoyingly stable for at least 1.5 years now, since I began tracking it, though 10 pounds higher that I’d like. 

What I did like about the article is that it showed why “calories in, calories out” isn’t as simple as it sounds.  When the idiot chemists that I work with don’t believe that I exercise, since I’m not thin, I could point them to this article, if I wanted to get into it with them, which I don’t.  It does take long-term dedication to maintain weight, and I do use the scale to monitor my behavior, lifestyle, constantly.  I have to work with myself, though, and accept my limitations.  I definitely tend towards hedonism more than any semblance of austerity, which basically means my will-power sucks, and I’d best not rely on it for anything.  Anyway, a much better post on a mostly political blog, is this one.  I like his sense of humor, and surprisingly agree with his politics (as far as I read of them)


NY day, after a hike, having dinner while waiting for the traffic to die down so I can drive home:  The woman at the next table, upon finding out that the children’s cheese quesadilla comes with french fries, (I could feel her cringe when she heard that), to her boy, who wanted french fries, not the veggies that he was getting isntead:  “The whole world wants to feed you crap.  I’m the only one who ever cares if you eat anything healthy.”

About two weeks ago, at my Sat AM step class, while setting up my barbell for the following class:  An older man thanking the instructor for bringing him from a C cup to a double AA.  She thought that was funny, as did I.  A few days later, different class, different gym, he introduced himself to me, said he quit drinking and joined AA 6 months ago.  My first instinct was to worry that he’s going to want to talk religion, but turns out he was worried about abortion being banned – much less controversial. 🙂

Anyway, he’s 60, he lost 40 pounds from quitting drinking, 20 from the gym, glad his knees are holding out.  Funny guy. 



4 Responses to “Fat Trapped?”

  1. January 27, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Argh. Sometimes I’m sure the social world of media has gone mad. Extremes in judgement about other people’s eating choices, self judgement for gaining weight, or for not being successful enough at losing, a lot of equating health with morality (illness=evidence of poor choices, bad karma, whatever)–it’s like we’ve renewed with a stronger twist the old religious myths about sickness (and now, apparently, size stigma) as apparently fair punishments for *bad* behaviors. What has happened to compassion and understanding for human vulnerabilities, concern for human struggles in the face of stress and fearful times? Looking like a colder and colder world from where I sit, with self-appointed judges and juries ready to decide who is “good” and who is “bad” based on eating choices or on health outcomes. Some can’t even seem to escape the judge and jury in their head. Oh dear that’s a harsh way to live. So I’m very glad to hear you’re giving thought to accepting your limitations! We all have them. We are human after all. 🙂

  2. January 30, 2012 at 5:11 am

    That article had some interesting points, but I did think it painted a very bleak picture for weight maintenance. It would have depressed me had I been in the losing mode when I read it. I agree with you that you have to set limitations for yourself in weight maintenance, and those look different for every person. I’m not a counter or a weigher of food, but I do use the scale as an accountability partner and watch my portions.

  3. January 30, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Well I think you know I’ve written about the hormones, etc, and that I use the phrase calorie uptake verses calorie utilization to account for all the extraneous factors.

    I believe Parker Pope is biased because of her own struggles with weight. I’d rather look to Diane who has been successful.

    I have followed your voyage for quite a while now, and overall I believe your successes could teach Parker-Pope more than she is teaching you 🙂

    I leave you (for now) with this parable (?) :

    My horse is 38 years old! He has already outlived his life expectancy by at least 13 years! When asked how he has done this my answer is, “Nobody has ever told him he should be dead!”

  4. January 30, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Hopeful and Free – I think humans have a natural tendency for dichotomous thinking and moralization, and our culture is getting violent and angry. Just witness the violence and need for massive police presence at the recent football and baseball games.

    Diane – I think you’re a bit of an anomaly. Most who maintain seem to be a bit chubby still, like me, or even still obese, like the woman in the article. Most, as far as I can tell, don’t get “normal” weight and stay there. It’s like my uncle and his wife, who still hold hands and smooch 30+ years later – it’s unusual enough to be very noticeable in it’s exceptionality. I, too, am glad to have lost weight already, otherwise I’d feel discouraged.

    Dr. J – Diane is truly inspirational, and she puzzles me, as I said above. My theory can be summed up in the words of ScaryLawyerGuy, referenced above, when he says “So I’ve sentenced you to a life of boring routine where you don’t get to eat much “fun” food, are going to the gym for hours on end every week and even then, you may not get the result you want. You’re welcome.” Sounds a bit cynical now that I read it again, and really, it’s not so boring and awful, but there you have it. Thanks for your encouragement!

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January 2012

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