I admit that I didn’t read the whole post because I don’t have quite enough of a fascination with the subject, but from what I did read, I also agree. Except with one thing. She says that she disapproves of altering your caloric intake if the main purpose is to lose weight (I hope I’m paraphrasing that right). Of course the best reason to cut back on calories is to be healthier/feel better etc., but unfortunately some of us are suckers for feeling bad and not being fit if we can eat as much as we want of whatever we want. I’m grateful that there’s such a thing as putting on weight, because I feel like that’s my body’s signal that I need to watch it. And I have a strong desire to fit into my jeans and not “let myself go.” So I have ocassionally altered my caloric intake in order to lose weight. Slightly vain, I know, but I also understand that weight gain means that there is something wrong with my diet. Still, it’s the fear of getting fat that really makes me watch calories. I think this is a good thing.
Lisa, I think her point was that she disagrees with restricting calories to lose weight purely for the purpose of attaining the societal/cultural (i.e., artificial, contrived) expectation of slimness, rather than health. There are certainly instances where calorie restriction may save someone’s life, but if your sole purpose is to be a certain size or shape because it has been defined by the general population (or media, or health establishment) as desirable, then this is where she objects. If a person controls her caloric intake based on fear of what others will think of her, rather than her body’s needs, then she has partaken of the idea that she can’t be acceptable as a human unless her physical appearance meets certain criteria.
And I agree. I detest the idea that we should all be a certain size or shape. I regret the way our mothers were raised, with their sense of self-love thrown through the ringer every time they gained a pound, or ate french fries. They were conditioned to believe (thanks to the huge explosion of Hollywood and media-driven advertisement) that there was one way to be, and if you weren’t, then you were worthless.
Whether intentionally or not, that generation passed on their fear of fat to their daughters, and the trend hasn’t slowed down, as evidenced in the most popular of the mass-produced girl toys to be found.
So the issue is, are we going to believe that we’re ugly because we don’t look like the people in the movies (who really do go to insane extremes to achieve their appearance), or other members of our families, or the women across the street? Or are we going to take care of ourselves, love our bodies for what they can do, and not berate ourselves for what they can’t?
We’re going to take care of ourselves, love our bodies for what they can do, and not berate ourselves for what they can’t. (That’s my answer to your closing question, since of course, you were asking me specifically and literally)
I was facinated by what she had to say… and agree with the gist of it.
But… and baby, I gots me a BIG butt! But I think that caloric restrictive dieting combined with rigorous workouts to lose weight is a grand idea if someone is quite obese. We are talking straight health here, and it didn’t seem like she took that aspect very seriously. And she chose to bag on the particular method that has really worked to help me get a grip on a problem that has been very squirrelly for me. Weight Watchers was helping me get to a place where I was able to do the kind of running that I loved, and I will be going back to the WW and my love of running after the baby comes.
I am sure she is just having a problem with folks who are angsting over being five pound from “perfect”… but honey, if a gal is a hundred pounds from healthy? I am gonna be getting behind her efforts (if she feels so inclined) to get to a place where she feels free. And you know I know what I’m talking about! I am talking about playing tag with the kids, and teaching them how to jump rope without giving yourself a coronary.
Yes, Bon, I totally get it. I really think she was talking about the pure cosmetic, cultural aspects, and not real, true health issues. Yeah, women who think they need to lose 5 pounds, or worse, don’t need to lose any, but think they do because they don’t look like the latest installment of Gwyneth Paltrow (ew), that’s what she was beefing about.
But when you can’t play with your kids, or walk up a flight of stairs, or whatever, that’s a totally different issue.
Bon is right, of course, but I’M one of those people that only needs to lose 5 (okay 10) pounds (not to look like Gwyneth, but to be as thin as I want)and I reeeeeally don’t think dieting to get there is wrong! I think I mostly have a good general understanding of what the ideal is, and I’m NOT getting breast implants, having my vericose veins stripped or getting a nose job. I just want my clothes to hang on me better. Is it wrong to dye your hair? (I never do, although I’d like it lighter ’cause I’m a natural sort of girl–kinda) but I think wanting to improve your image is a good thing. We should NOT try to shape ourselves after someone else or obsess over it, but trying to eat right foods in hopes of looking more the way you want is a GOOD thing. Even if the way you want to look may be colored by cultural norms. My nose will always be crooked, when I’m not nursing my breasts will be all that Hollywood says they shouldn’t and my upper arms will always be fat. Those things are part of me, too! But I don’t feel like this extra fat on tummy, thighs and rear ARE part of me. And I CAN fix that, even if it doesn’t turn me into an hourglass size 2. Cutting calories to lose weight is NOT EVIL! (although if I saw someone in the supermarket my size loading up on jenny craig frozen dinners, I’d raise an eyebrow)
As I say, not obsessing over it or letting it control your life, but just trying to be your best YOU.
Lisa, I hope you’re not feeling attacked here, because that is not my intent. I know exactly how you feel, with my own extra pieces of fat hanging where they didn’t used to. And inside myself, I too wish I could drop about 10 pounds. But really, my body works just as well this way as it does 10 pounds lighter. The only reason I care is because someone else told me that skinnier is more beautiful.
No, no, no–I don’t feel attacked, even if I’m showing all the signs! 🙂 I’m kind of like that. I think we agree but I’ll nitpick one little thing that I think MIGHT be different and turn it into a big deal. You should pity poor Greg!
I think we agree that if you’re going to cut calories, it needs to be for a good reason and not because of some unhealthy view of how things should be. I personally think it is healthy for me to want to be thin like I was not too long ago, because I liked being that way for ME. Oh dear, I’m starting again, so I’ll stop. I’ll just say that we probably agree 95% and I’m sorry I got a bit nitpicky. But I enjoyed the debate! Thanks!