Wednesday, October 10, 2012

cheap, fast, or good--pick any two

I got an email a couple of days ago inviting me to write a few paragraphs about my experiences with weight loss, for L.A. Bariatrics of Marina Del Rey, and what advice I would give others trying to lose weight.  I don't really know what they want, but here goes.

When you want to lose weight, you have to take stock of your life and your environment and see what variables you can control and what ones you cannot.  I believe there are 3 major components to weight loss; I see them as sliders on a big mixing board:  food quality, food quantity, and exercise.
Maybe you really hate to exercise, or you've blown out your knees trying, or you're just so fat it's not possible right now.  So that slider is set to the minimum.  That means you have to concentrate on your intake.  If you eat good quality food (fruits, veggies, fiber, complex carbs) , you can usually eat more food--those sliders seem to move together.  If you eat poor quality food (processed, simple carbs, fried), you'll have to eat less of that food.
You need to play around with the balance.  Obviously the optimal setting would be mid-range for all.  Once in a while, you have some poor quality (but tasty!) foods in small quantities and you get a small amount of exercise each day.  If you like to eat a lot all the time of all foods, then you need to ramp up your exercise.  Something's gotta give.  It's like the repair shop sign my uncles used to display:  "Repairs can be fast, cheap, or good--pick any two."  You can eat a lot, you can eat poor quality food, or you can be lazy.
junk food + lazy = not much food
Lots of food + lazy= no junk food
Good quality food + exercise = lots of food
Obviously you can play with the balance day by day.  If you're going to a fair and you'll be walking around all day, eat some horrible fried thing (this year I saw fried Kool-aid!  Yuck), but just a little of it.  If you're going to the all-you-can-eat buffet, make good choices if you want to load up your plate, or be prepared to hit the gym extra later on.  It's really common sense.  And it's YOUR body and YOUR sense of what works and what doesn't.  The scale will tell you.  How you feel physically will tell you.  (I crave ice cream but when I eat it, although it tastes great, in an hour I feel like crap.)  How your clothes fit will tell you.
And here is a weird bit of advice from someone who blogs her every thought & deed (no filter between my brain and my typing fingers!) might not want to tell anyone you're trying to lose weight.
But, but, but...I need support, Rosie, you cry to me in an email.  Fine, I will support you, my email address is below.  In person, though, it's a different story.  People don't understand.  They don't know the details of the regime you're on (whether it's the 3 part slider scale I offered above, something assigned by a bariatric doctor, or surgery, or a commercial weight-loss program) and they make assumptions.  Maybe you're having a heavy-exercise, bad-food day.  "I thought you were on a diet.  Why did you order dessert?"  and "Why do you work out so much, you're going to hurt yourself."  When you're having a quality food day, "All that rabbit food is no good for you." "you've lost enough weight, eat some real food."  "Why don't you treat yourself?"
People think they are helping but they insidiously undermine you.  They  might not even realize it.  You'd think your fat friends would be the most supportive, but no, nobody wants to be the fattest friend, they want to keep you fat as possible.  Your thin friends don't want you to get thinner and prettier than them and be in competition.  
You are losing weight for YOURSELF. It's nobody's business how or why you are doing it.  If someone says, "hey you look good, did you lose weight?" You can just say yes and change the subject.  In fact a friend of mine (who is doing the same weight loss program I am) posted an article that it's really in bad form to compliment people on weight loss.  To say "you look good" implies that you looked like crap before.  And what if the person isn't dieting, what if she's sick and pointing out her weight loss is a faux pas of massive proportions?  Can you imagine: "Hey, Marie looks so good, how much weight has she lost?"  "She has cancer."  Oops.

So I hope this is of use to you, my loyal readers, and also to the people at L.A. Bariatrics.

If you are reading this ANYWHERE but on, it's stolen; please let me know. wholelottarosieyoung at yahoo dot com. Thank you.
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Wednesday, October 03, 2012

strength as a bad thing

I went out with a good friend of mine today.  We have a lot in common.  We are both fat (she had weight loss surgery but it didn't really take) and we have no fathers and we've been through a lot of medical stuff with our families.  My dad had dementia and when we finally put him in a nursing home, my grandma had a stroke and had to move in with  my mom so we were dealing with both of them at once.  They are both gone now and yes, it's a relief to have a breather after 9 years of care giving.   My friend's mom used to be in the military and after she broke her foot she just kept walking on it until she was crippled, and then once she was in a nursing home she got dementia.  She died, and then my friend's aunt got dementia (and her aunt had no children, so my friend cared for her too)--we were both going through all this at the same time.  So, totally, been there, done that.  For both of us, this is our first year of holidays free of caregiving.
And now enter the problem with my mother in law.  We spent a lot of time talking about it tonight.  My friend had this to offer, and she is so right:  that she and I are very strong willed people, who see what needs to be done and step up and do it.  We have (or had) very strong willed mothers also.  My mother-in-law is weak (she sees herself as a victim and as helpless and always has) and she didn't raise strong children.  Confronted with her ongoing medical issues, they have basically just caved in.  My sister-in-law admitted that the family is afraid of my "clarity of vision" and strength of will.
So instead of depending on me, leaning on my strength and experience, they are turning on me and using it against me.   That baffles me.  But I think my friend is right.   She said that I should just say, "Why don't you just leave her alone in the hoard, don't clean it up, don't run over there every 5 minutes, don't do anything. Let nature take its course."  Because she'll die in that hoard and maybe that's what she wants.
It just really hurts me that they can all look me in the eye and say "give whatever advice you want, we're not going to listen because she's sick and we have to follow her wishes exclusively."  Yes, even when those wishes are detrimental to her health!
Except in jobs with weak bosses, this is the only time in my life I've been punished for being strong and seeing what needs to be done.  It's crazy.  But I'm going to keep thinking "let nature take its course" and taking a deep breath....

If you are reading this ANYWHERE but on, it's stolen; please let me know. wholelottarosieyoung at yahoo dot com. Thank you.
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