Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lessons from the Fat-o-sphere by Kate Harding

I only knew my weight from the times I went to the doctor. Mostly, I just knew if my clothes were fitting or not. If they weren't, and I was to cheap to go buy new ones, I would hop on the treadmill just a little bit more than usual. Then I discovered online food tracking and "helpful diet hints". While I got down to a skinny weight, I ended up gaining it back (plus more when I had thyroid surgery and my meds got out of whack). Even though I've never been obese, or even heavy, I beat myself up on a regular basis. 5 more pounds, 10 more pounds....

After starting the Biggest Loser at work and having to weigh myself every week, I got even more down about myself. Two and a half months of diet and exercise and I lost 1 pound. Seeing my doc, we discovered my thyroid meds were again messed up so my metabolism was messed up. Bloody hell. At this point, I decided I wasn't dieting anymore. I missed cooking my big feasts and baking and well....eating. I love food, dammit. I didn't want to throw exercise out the window because I actually like my treadmill and feeling good afterwards. I liked the extra energy because obviously my thyroid meds weren't going to help me there.

Lo and behold, I found a review for this book, which is all about accepting your body for what it is. Bless you authors. The 2 ladies go over all the reasons to give up dieting and wishing for a body that you just don't have. Major studies have shown that your body will do what it needs to do, meaning it will stay in the weight range it's meant to be in, regardless of how much you yo-yo and push it to change. Diets don't work. Anything that alters how you eat, portion control, calorie restrictions, etc, just don't work. At least not long term. So why put your body through that?

This book encourages learning how to be healthy at any size, doing exercise that you enjoy doing and eating when you're hungry and stopping when you're full. Revolutionary! They also emphasize that food is neutral, it's not bad or good. It's whatever you want. There are too many messages from our culture out there telling women (and men) how they should look if they want to win at life and frankly, they're just wrong. Not everyone is meant to be a size zero and people shouldn't be humiliated to be the size they just are.

The authors don't want you to give up on yourself. They're just asking you to be kind to yourself and go out and quit worry about that last 10 or 15 pounds. You are perfect the way you are.
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