A too hot Memorial Day = Too much daytime TV.
Monday, as I waited for the stroke of 5 to cook dinner, I found myself with a rare free moment. Miles was playing Peek-A-Boo with the 3-year-old neighbor who likes to stand in front of our front windows; Mark was grading papers; and Denali was taking a nap. I played on my Kindle for a bit, bemoaning the fact that no one was taking their Words With Friends turn, before I found myself aimlessly flipping the channels in an effort to keep myself occupied.
Dr. Oz was talking to curvy women about, well, curvy clothes and curvy exercises and a curvy diet.
The Doctors were discussing laughing your way to weight loss. And, no, I'm not joking - though I wish I were.
For an entire hour, I learned about what to eat and how to exercise in order to lose weight. What I didn't learn about was what to do once I lost the weight. These shows love to tell you the secrets to weight loss and offer tips and tricks but rarely - and I mean rarely - do they offer you a picture of what's next after weight loss.
They don't tell you about that there are parts of your old body that refuse to leave. I know I've talked about this before but this girl has got some skin - and not the good kind. I have extra skin from knee to rib cage and while it doesn't bother me most days, it does keep me from getting good race photos and wearing a bikini. Sure, neither is important but when you lose 115+ pounds, it would be nice to have both.
They don't tell you that weight loss does not equal confidence. I was watching Rachael Ray this week (I may have to check myself into some sort of program), and these teen girls who lost weight talked about how much confidence they found in their new bodies. Maybe it's related to above but I didn't feel a surge of self esteem because I looked different. Even today, I struggle with physical confidence. I only found a positive image through accomplishing goals and, mostly, running.
They don't tell you about just how hard it is to keep up the good habits. I'll be honest: If I don't track what I eat, I can easily eat too much. A Hershey Kiss here, two plates piled high at the Indian buffet there. It's like the food doesn't count unless I see it on a screen or in a notebook.
They don't tell you that, if you lost a significant amount of weight that you'll never be able to eat like other people.
According to the HBO documentary, "The Weight of the Nation," if a
woman who weighed 180 pounds lost 40 pounds, she would have to eat 20
percent fewer calories per day to maintain her weight than a woman who
weighed 140 pounds her entire adult life. It's no wonder that people
struggle to keep off excess weight.
They don't tell you that losing weight opens the door to intensely personal questions and criticism. I have a blog and shared with my story with Woman's Day so it should be no surprise that I am open with my weight loss. However, I can't tell you how many times I've had random people ask me how much I used to weigh and how much I weigh now. People often like to tell me that I was too thin pre-baby or I looked a certain way when I was heavy. While I enjoy people's interest in my story, I think there's a time and a place - and it's not usually while I'm hitting up the community coffee at work.
They don't tell you that people will always question your methods. When people hear that you have lost weight, they want to know how and usually it's because they want to know a secret. They want you to tell them that you can lose weight and eat cookies all day, every day. They don't want you to tell them that you ate less, worked out more or followed a specific program. Why? Because they hate running, they tried Weight Watchers, they can't eat a certain thing. I'll admit that I've judged people for following plans that I couldn't but I never scoff at their choices. I merely say that I admire them for doing something I can't.
They don't tell you that you can find support in the unlikeliest of places. I would have thought that my family and friends would have been the most excited and encouraging of my results - but they weren't. But I haven't been alone. I have found the blog world to be incredibly fantastic, and I thank you all - especially if you have read this far.
So ... what are your thoughts on all the "lose weight now" segments on TV?