Friday, October 16, 2009

Weight Loss Goals and Scams

There are almost two internets- the "Lose Weight Web" and the "Porno-Net". Both industries seem to make more money online than any other. It seems that if we aren't concerned about what we're doing in the bedroom, we're freaking out about how people will perceive who we are there by our weight. The most frustrating thing for me as a woman is knowing that curves make the girl, yet those same curves are frowned upon by the media idea of womanhood.

This blog started a week ago when I started to research the pills, potions, sprays, gums and all that other stuff we're supposed to use to use to increase our metabolisms, lower our hunger, and discover the new skinnier self inside. I read blogs, advertisements, watched online videos, and even visited the top five "diet" sites- Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, EDiets, SparkPeople, and Nutrisystem. Then I spent money.

I am one of millions of women who struggle with the idea that Selma Hayak, Queen Latifah, and Kate Winslet, three of the most beautiful women in the world, are called "overweight" by press. They are each shaped like Venus, and each have seduced the world with their beauty, and yet, I turn on the TV, and eveyr show, eveyr commercial, every newscast features some gal who is built like a 10 year old boy from the neck down, but has the correct Botox dosage, preps brows and jawline with the same aculine approach, and the head itself sits twice as wide and three times the thickness of her waist. I have a woman's body, and complain about it. Diet businesses know this and that changes it all- they get wider bank accounts and I am supposed to get smaller hips. HA!

Nearly ever site I went through came down to two facts- put down the fork and get off your butt. Anything that gets you moving is exercise, including house cleaning, gardening, playing with your kids and pets, and yes, sex. Anything that has a high water content- fruit, veggies, oh and this stuff called water- will fill you up and keep you from being hungry- with very little to no calories. You can eat ALL of the arugula you want, fill up on watermelon, and wolf down celery- and you'll be in better shape than if you reach out for the items labeled Drakes or Hostess. And, best of all- if you want a piece of something - do it. If you don't you'll have the "When I CAN have it, I'll have A LOT of it" going in your head- so having a little now and then is just dandy. Wow, a miracle! Weight in control!

If you're like me, you graze all day. There's a fridge nearby. There is also a sink, which has lovely water. If I start getting in that "bessie-moo'd", I wolf down the water first. Every site states that having a full glass of cold water fills you up and helps keep you from craving foods. Not buying that- I see chocolate on TV, and that's my thought like a bad song stuck in my head for the day. But I know that if I end up indulging, I'm too full to eat much, so it's at least better than having an entire cake. Alone. In the dark. Ahem.

People always said I was "naturally thin". "You can eat all you want, you're so lucky!" But I wanted to scream "I just eat ONE meal a day, it's all I can afford, and oh yeah... I have no dessert!" When I had a job that paid more than minimum, it's amazing how much weight I gained! I went from 104lbs to 119lbs. I stayed there for nearly 23 years, though. Why? Every time I thought I was going to go for something in the fridge- I was too lazy to make it. Then all of the foods in the world started coming in Microwavable containers. Suddenly I went from 119lbs to 127lbs. I stayed there for a full 4 years more. Then a doctor decided he needed to give me Wellbutrin, which ballooned me from 127 to 140. I was miserable on that antidepressant. I go off of it, and SHAZAM! back to 130.

Then a doctor gave me prednisone. I went through YEARS fighting with the mediccal community about the effects. I gained 60lbs in less than 3 months and they actually said to me, "you must have eaten a lot in the last few months". What, a car? This is written about in so many prior blogs, all I will say is, I'm working hard to lose that medically induced poundage, and I thought long and hard about the options. I also figured, as readers, you too may have struggled with the myriad options that are supposed to stop us from eating, make our food fat-free, and all of that. And this blog is my resulting conclusion.

I cannot financially afford Jenny Craig. EDiets has many "coupons", but again, their food delivery services are very pricey, and if you don't spend $300 a month on groceries as a couple, trying to reconcile paying that much for two weeks for ONE person seems ludicrous. Weight Watchers takes one addiction- food- and turns it into another addiction "The Program", so that doesn't sit well with me. I saved up three months and paid for three months of Nutrisystem- they deliver by the month, rather than week, like other programs. I lost 11 lbs, after three months, but the soy based foods and I were incompatible- I got very ill on them, and couldn't fathom staying with them much longer. It also led me to multiple meals a day- which turned out to be a bad habit. SparkPeople charges NOTHING, for nearly everything you get in all the rest, and you can use any method you want. I stuck with them.

When I got off of the cycle of having 9 meals a day, (thanks nutrisystem- meals and snacks inclusive), stuck to 1200-1400 calories a day, and moved a bit, the weight started coming off. But, like everyone else, I reached a "We ain't leaving" poundage. The infamous Plateau arrived. I stopped losing. I went to WebMD, my physician, and every website I could and came to the conclusion that the only "magic pill" that would help me would be Alli. In a weird twist- I started as a tester for their website years ago, and never took the pill because at the time, I was on prednisone, and not able to try the product. That, and it was very expensive.

I started taking Alli this week, and I'm still watching the portion sizes of everything I eat. I eat what I want, though, and that's never changed. I just eat less of it, which I have worked on for a year now. I drink a LOT more water- which I gather is the biggest problem in weight loss failure. Most people have no idea how dehydrated they are by drinking sodas and coffee and nothing else. Neither the hubby nor I drink alcohol so I don't worry about those calories. I do crave orange juice, but I drink half as much as I normally would and have more water. None of the side effects have touched me at all, and in fact, I feel a bit energized because the program requires vitamin supplements. In the last three months I already added calcium and D, which I will blog about next week, but the increase in the rest of the minerals has changed my skin, hair, nails, and even sleep patterns.

At 45 years old, I can't waste time on fad TV-toys like bouncing weights, and chairs that twist. I can't waste money on capsules full of hot pepper sauce or cinnamon sticks. Having a Niacin makes me blush, but it doesn't do much to burn off those pounds. The one product that I do seem to respond well to is Green Tea, which I drink whenever I crave sweets. If I am jonesing a cheese pie, or a chocolate cake, I'll have a cup of green tea, or a capsule, and I just don't feel hungry enough to bother with it. At night when I think I'm heading for grazing mode, I will pop on the tea kettle and relax with some chamomile. Tea is a great product for so many reasons.

I read every single ingredient in the "Fat Burner" pills and the only thing I see in all of them is Caffeine, a natural diuretic, which may keep you in the rest room, but doesn't really change your eating habits. I also see quite a bit of Niacin- which gives you a warm feeling, and the B vitamin is good for your mood but isn't the big deal it should be in flushing those pounds away. You either get antsy on these, or irritable. What's the sense in being grouchy when you're trying to look your best? You'll scare all the people you're trying to attract away from you.

Finally the "natural" juice products are an interesting choice. People elect to "cleanse" the body of toxins. Water does that, with the digestive system. Anything else is just hype. I even read a blog from a guy who was angry because people were calling liver cleanses "a crock". He claims people were upset because they don't understand the green waste was cholesterol, gallstones, or other such biology. He complained that the olive oil solution is misunderstood. You pass bile, waste, and it comes in all shapes and sizes. This guy was actually furious at people for not believing that the bile waste wasn't gallstones. It's not, but he was pissed. According to real science, none of those cleanses works the way they're hyped to do. Studies done on the products we pass prove that the appearance of the waste may seem similar to the stones visually, but the fact is- it's bile in different forms, and we just pass that naturally. You cleanse yourself by eating greens, drinking water, and letting time pass between red meat sessions.

Noni juice, Acai, fruit tape and all of that is working just as every fruit does. You eat fruit which has water, and fiber, and you will pass waste that also has fiber and water. It's nothing miraculous, and it isn't going to make you lose weight faster. If you eat that stuff instead of a hamburger, you've cut 300 or so calories, and that is probably what makes the difference for you if you believe that works. Grapefruit is shown to have a natural appetite suppressant, but if you add spoonfuls of sugar to the fruit, you aren't really helping yourself.

Go to Ebay and type in Weight Loss. You'll find the craziest methods known to man. And, you'll find that people are buying them. Conversely, there are women and men who cannot seem to gain an ounce who are just as crazed in finding the solutions via potions, pills, and magic powders. Get your thyroid checked. Test your resting metabolism. Get your blood work done for hormone changes. Most issues not directly related to what you put on the fork appear in those tests. Keep the Koala Fat and Kim Chi diets, I'll stick with the safe path of being wise about what's on my plate.

So this week's questions- What crazy things have you tried for weight loss? What is the worst food you tried as a weight control? Have you found that your age has much to do with your weight? What do you think your doctor does to add or detract from your weight control?

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