Saw this ad with some graffiti on it in my neighborhood this week and had to snap a pic. It says “Every Body Happy” and someone wrote “All bodies are good bodies” and I couldn’t agree more! Even if we aren’t the smallest size we’ve ever been it’s still possible to love our body and be grateful for how strong it is. 

Here’s to the women getting back to the gym after having their first, second or third baby. Here’s to the men drinking their protein shakes and staying away from the BBQ wings during the football game. Here’s to the single folks prepping their food on the weekend for the week ahead. Here’s to the families getting outside together for exercise instead of watching TV. Here’s to all my clients and friends who make decisions everyday to move the needle towards healthy, happy acceptance and love for the only body you’ll ever have. All bodies are good bodies! #dailyreminder #loveyourself

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Summer time TV – it’s bleak.  Believe me, I’d much rather be out enjoying life than sitting home in front of the TV, but I’m in my third trimester of pregnancy and I have a 3 year old, so let’s face it, the TV is on more than I would like because I can’t get off the couch at the end of the day!

Earlier this week after we stumbled upon a show called, “Extreme Weight Loss”, which until that day I had never seen or heard of.  I knew of the show “The Biggest Loser” but wasn’t sure how this was different.  They told the story of a 39 year old woman named Cassie who was currently 347lbs.  She worked from home in Milwaukee and told the camera she barely left the house anymore since she was so unhappy with her weight.  She did go through fast food drive-thru’s daily and one would assume this is what helped her reach 347lbs.  She also had NINE television’s in her house! This started to make me squirm – because I totally get it, sitting in front of the TV isn’t great for you, and yet I was doing exactly that!  Part of her journey included an accidental pregnancy at age 20 and the subsequent giving up her baby for adoption.  It had haunted her for 19 years.  She ate to stuff down her feelings of guilt and shame about giving up her child.

Over the course of 2 hours (!) she spends a year working with Chris & Heidi Powell (who I had also never heard of) to get her life back.  She goes to boot camp, she works out, she runs on a treadmill, lifts a kettleball, runs outside, and does basically every single exercise you can think of (except yoga).  There are lots of shots of her struggling to do this because of her size, and then eventually mastering it and enjoying it.  There’s a brief mention of her “not having the food she can eat in the house” when she arrives home to Milwaukee – but not any follow up.  I saw in one of the promos that Rocco DiSpirito shows up to teach her how to cook, but I must have gone to the bathroom for 2 minutes and missed that part entirely.  There was almost no mention of food, except that she used to eat fast food and drink alcohol and now she doesn’t.  Her husband still has Pabst Blue Ribbon in the house and she is furious only going so far as to say “alcohol was a big part of how I got here.”

This woman Cassie ends up achieving her overall goal to get back to the weight she was when she gave her baby up for adoption and I commend her for that.  Over the course of the year she changes her entire lifestyle and also her husbands.  At her grand finale she looks amazing, younger, happier and more in love with her husband than ever.  She even reunites with her 19 year old son!  It was very inspiring and I could see how editing can easily manipulate you into caring about someone that you’ve never met.  I admit it, I even cried a few tears.

But once the tears dried, I got to thinking – is this the whole story?

Back in 2009, when I started writing this blog I wanted to contribute to the conversation about weight from the average American woman’s perspective.  I was not 347lbs and and I was not 105lbs, I was your average size 12 American woman who wanted to get healthy.  I had recently gotten married and was not in the health and wellness field at all.  I just realized one day that when I watched tv or looked in magazines there was NO ONE I could relate to.

As of 2010, the CDC reports the average American woman weighs 166.2 – not even close to the 347lbs that Cassie had to struggle with.  For many of my clients 166.2 is a goal weight at this point!  Myself included! These woman that weigh 166.2 probably work out, and definitely watch what they eat.  They indulge occasionally and should cook more, but they are not getting the results that they want fast enough, so they get discouraged and order a pizza. 

I’ve been there – believe me!

I will go as far to say that it’s even harder for us size 12s to lose weight and improve our lifestyle than anybody else.  Case in point, last year when I had finally tried EVERYTHING to lose weight and was getting ZERO results I was at yoga minimum 2x per week, also swimming 2x per week and eating the best diet I ever had.  I was a health coach for pete’s sake!  I was not driving through McDonald’s twice a day, I can assure you!

Here’s the truth that Extreme Weight Loss and the rest of media don’t really tell you, losing weight is 80% diet and 20% exercise.  I probably had the equation more at 50-50 than 80-20.  But watching people eat grilled chicken with brown rice on tv isn’t very exciting is it?  And by the way, we don’t want to scare away any of those food companies advertising dollars, do we?  I mean, the broccoli council doesn’t have the money to pay for commercials like Beef, Dairy or Pork, right? But if we just promote exercise we don’t really offend anyone from Tyson or Smithfield, so let’s run with that!  LOL – run!  

Listen, I’m all for exercise as a means of stress release and conditioning.  When I lose 15lbs last year I completely changed my diet and I barely exercised because I couldn’t do it all at the same time.  My yoga practice faltered, but I still lost weight.  I was totally working the 80/20 groove.  Now that I’m pregnant, I still try and swim 2x a week because I enjoy it and the pool is one of the few places I feel light, but it’s not for weight loss.  I also still enjoy my whey protein shake every morning because it boosts my metabolism and I like it, not for weight loss.  

Once I deliver this beautiful baby, I will require to lose weight.  I will not have a ton of time to be in the gym, but I will still need to eat everyday.  I will go full force into 80/20 and resume eating the way I know I should for weight loss.  I think the best exercise is the kind you love and can do consistently.  If you love taking walks then do that!  If you love swimming as I do, do that for 25 minutes and it’s better than nothing at all.  This is not about being in the gym for hours a day, this is about consistency and maintenance.  I loved Bikram yoga, but when a class is 90 minutes it’s really hard to fit into a schedule sometimes.  You have to find what works for you.  

If you’re planning to get your weight down, focus on the diet first and foremost.  Don’t worry about the fact that your gym membership is basically a “charitable donation” at this point.  Just get your diet to a place where you’re eating right for your body type.  Eventually the exercise will start to happen, but it’s not required to lose weight, especially at the beginning.

Here’s the crazy thing, a quick Google search led me to this recording of Cassie from Milwaukee talking about her transformation on local radio.  She says the show portrays her journey as all about exercise, but it isn’t.  I wonder if the execs over at ABC know this?  She’s still a very inspiring woman, and I liked her message in this interview especially.  Losing weight is so much more than calories in/calories out, but about filling a void inside of you with love and not excess of food and drink.

I doubt I’ll be watching Extreme Weight Loss in the future, but I was glad to see Cassie’s story and to be able to reflect on the 5th anniversary of this blog on why I started it in the first place. Thanks for reading for the last 5 years!

On the heels of Jessica Simpson’s new show “The Price of Beauty” where she retaliates against the media for calling her fat last year (when she claimed to be at her biggest – a whopping size 6- puh-leez) this story pops up in the NY Post.   A woman actually attempting to be 1200lbs and become the world’s fattest woman (click or scroll down for article).  She lives in New Jersey!  Which was only ranked 40 on 2008’s listing of the fattest states in the USA. I really don’t know what to make of this.  Should I be disgusted that she is eating 12,000 calories a day – ok yes.  But on what point shall I be disgusted?

1. There are people in the world with no food to eat -at all- and she is eating 600% more than the daily allowance

2. She has no regard for her health, or the health care needs she will have when reaching 1200lbs. P period S period: who is paying for this?

3. She has a daughter who reportedly keeps her thin (she’s at 600lbs now) because she runs around so much and has to be looked after.  This poor daughter has to watch her mother get around in a motorized chair because she CAN”T WALK.

4. Currently, she CAN”T WALK.

5. She supports herself with a website where men pay to watch her eat.  That’s right, men are paying to watch her eat out of some sexual deviancy that only our fat-obsessed culture could create.

Read it for yourself and then you decide, do I really need that jar of Nutella in my house?

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NJ woman attempting to become world’s fattest lady

By CLEMENTE LISI

Supersize me, please.

A New Jersey woman who already weighs a whopping 600 pounds is on a mission to double her girth in a bid to become the world’s fattest woman.

Donna Simpson, 42, said she has her sights on reaching the 1,000-pound mark over the next two years.

PHOTOS: DONNA SIMPSON GUNNING TO BE WORLD’S FATTEST LADY

“My favorite food is sushi, but unlike others I can sit and eat 70 big pieces of sushi in one go,” she told London’s Daily Mail in an interview published today. “I do love cakes and sweet things, doughnuts are my favorite.”

Simpson insists she is healthy, even though she can’t walk and has to move around with the help of a motorized scooter.

James Ambler / Barcroft USADonna Simpson, who wears XXXXXXXL clothing, eats McDonald's takeout at her home in Old Bridge, NJ.

James Ambler / Barcroft USA
Donna Simpson, who wears XXXXXXXL clothing, eats McDonald’s takeout at her home in Old Bridge, NJ.

Photos: Gunning to be world’s fattest lady

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Simpson, who wears XXXXXXXL dresses, said she gobbles up lots of fast food like hamburgers and french fries. She also said she moves as little as possible each day in order to keep on the pounds.

To reach her goal, Simpson said she’s been eating up to 12,000 calories a day — although the average woman should only consume about 2,000.

To pay for her gigantic $750-a-week food bill, Simpson runs a Web site where men pay her to watch her eat.

“I love eating and people love watching me eat,’ she told the British newspaper. “It makes people happy, and I’m not harming anyone.”

Simpson already holds the Guinness World Record as the world’s fattest mother, when she gave birth in 2007 to her daughter Jacqueline.

“I’d love to be 1,000 pounds,” said Simpson. “It might be hard though. Running after my daughter keeps my weight down.”

Simpson said her boyfriend Philippe, 49, has encouraged her to eat more — even though he only weighs 150 pounds.

“I think he’d like it if I was bigger,” she added. “He’s a real belly man, and completely supports me.”

The Death of Facebook.

October 22, 2009

Yes, I did it. I deactivated my facebook account. I’m not the first, certainly not the last to do it. I’ve freed myself from the social networking chains that I’ve held onto for almost 2 years.

I owe facebook a debt of gratitude because it was some poorly placed photos of me on f’book that actually led me to begin my weight loss journey back in February of 2008. I saw my huge belly hanging over a pair of already size 14 jeans, my full face, and decided, I could no longer live this way. I signed up for Weight Watchers immediately.

But since then, facebook has become this albatross hanging around my neck. I don’t want to be friends with everyone I went to high school with, or elementary school with, or work with, or people I barely even know. I realize that this might sound terrible of me, because, I admit, there is a part of me that wants to know what happened to so-and-so and reconnect with my long lost buddies from Carey High. I got to do that with a few people, but there were also plenty of people who’s names I didn’t recall and some who I wondered, “how do THEY remember ME?” Geez. My friend list grew to over 400 people including my parents, my 16 year old sister (I never could understand any of her posts) and countless former classmates who now regaled me with their stories of hating work, having babies, and getting married. Snore.

I think my favorite thing about no longer being on f’book is that I don’t have to report on my life anymore. I don’t have to post “sitting on the couch with my baby watching the Yankee game”, which, let’s admit, sounds pretty lame. If I read a post like that I’d dream up an entire story of that person’s life (because remember, I don’t really “know” the person anymore) and how totally gay it is that she’s sitting at home watching a game with her “baby” (again, lame) and has totally lost her sense of self in a relationship with some Yankee fan. Meanwhile, I am actually sitting on my couch with my husband watching the Yankees game. Judge away.

I’ve been thinking a lot about deactivating f’book because I had a few shitty experiences on there that I figured I didn’t need in my life. Being “defriended”, finding out intimate details about an ex-boyfriend and just the general complaining that was going on there, was just too much negativity for me to sign up for.

The one good thing about f’book is that it helped me launch this blog and get plenty of readers for it. For that and the fat pictures of me, I’m grateful.

But I can’t read another post about how much “you fucking hate law school” or how much “you miss your husband when he’s away on business trips” or how “your fantasy football team RULZ”.

I don’t want to report on my life, I want to go out and live it. I don’t want to have 400 “friends” peering into my wedding pictures and monitoring how fat/skinny I am. I want to have good friends who I actually see and speak to. Is this too much to ask in our cyber saturated age?

I guess the bottom line/truth is, it was too painful to look at f’book some times. I’ll admit, there was something in my life that I wanted really bad and I didn’t get it. There are always these kinds of things we want and feel we deserve but for some reason the universe doesn’t allow us to have. This was one of them. I was devastated, hurt and confused. But in that haze of pain the one thing that was clear to me was that I don’t need to read about other people’s dissatisfaction with their lives as part of my daily news anymore. I especially don’t want to read about the thing that I wanted but didn’t get. So perhaps, I’m selfish and not really “taking a stand” here, but this is my life and I have to take it seriously and do some self-preservation here. I’m strong, I’m resilient and I’ll bounce back, of course. But in those moments of fragility when I’m holding a brick of cheese and a brownie and deciding which to eat first, I really have to think to myself, “am I surrounding myself with the things that are going to make me successful?” The answer was, no.

So goodbye f’book. I’ve enjoyed stalking people and looking at some hideous wedding pictures on you, but I’d decided to move on and fill my life with more positive status updates.

Now I’m going to ask my hubby to post this on his facebook profile so someone will actually read it. Call me what you will.

The Problem with 90210

September 21, 2009

The way I see it, there are 2 problems with the new 90210.

1) Rob Estes is the hottest guy and he plays THE DAD! No one was lusting after James Eckhouse last go around, am I right?
2) These girls are too. damn. skinny.

Granted, the previous version of 90210 – “Beverly Hills, 90210” had the super skinny Tori Spelling, but there was also Gabrielle Carteris (Andrea Zuckerman) to balance out the mix. This time all the girls look the same. Bean poles with big hair! Do they think the big hair balances out the fact that they are grossly underweight?

It makes me think of Friends, around season 3 or 4 when Jennifer Aniston tried to be as skinny as Courtney Cox and ended up looking like a scarecrow with boobs. As an actress and someone who struggles with weight issues, I can sympathize that watching yourself on screen can be torture. I remember looking at pictures from my engagement party and being MORTIFIED at how big I was. The day of the party I didn’t realize I was so huge, but then the hundreds of pictures showed me (from many angles) looking like a Thanksgiving float! I obsessed over those pictures for weeks. I thought of what I should have done to lose weight before hand. Of course, it was too late. That was in September of 2007…it took me until February of 2008 to join Weight Watchers and get my weight under control. Five months of looking at those horrible pictures and feeling bad about myself. It was horrible, and yet, I kept eating. Unfortunately, the pictures upset me when they should remind me of a very happy day in my life. It’s sad.

Now, I consider myself the “average” American woman. I wear a size 10. I am medically “overweight”. And I worry about my weight every day (which also seems to be a requirement). These women on television are NOT the average woman at all. Which, of course, we know when we watch them. But does it make it any easier to not compare yourselves to them? I look at thos 90210 girls and I shudder to thing at what other 16 year old girls are thinking when they watch. Knowing that in 2009 there are more overweight and obese children THAN EVER, we have to acknowledge that many of the girls watching 90210 are struggling with weight issues. The skinny-ness portrayed by the 90210 cast is so unattainable and unrealistic that any girl watching must feel like a hopeless cow.

How is this helping the obesity problem in America?

I felt like a fat fuck for FIVE MONTHS before taking action because of those damn pictures.  Are these girls going to be able to make the jump from “miserably fat” to “losing weight” like I did?  Or are we just too lazy?

I know this is such a clichè, but wasn’t Marilyn Monroe a size 14?  Can’t we get back a healthy image of an American woman on TV, instead of these ridiculous extremes?  The super skinny and the fat girls.  Who is representing me on tv?  Who is a size 10?

Plus, I’m such a product of the media environment…I just realized I was watching Amy Poehler and judging her for being heavier than she was before her pregnancy.  Shame on me!  She looks fine!  She looks HEALTHY!

So here’s my call to action to Hollywood, the media, casting directors and everyone who judges celebrities:  “Bring back the average size woman on TV/Film.  We need to see her so we can rebuild a healthy America.”

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