During the past two weeks, there has been quite a bit about Kirstie Alley’s recent weight gain. You may remember that she was the face of Jenny Craig, while she struggled to whittle her body back to it’s former glory days. After her success, she was replaced by Valerie Bertinelli, who at 49, has just posed in bikini-perfect body thanks to the Jenny Craig system. Responding to Alley’s weight gain, Bertinelli stated (and this isn’t a direct quote) “I’m only one jalapeno popper away from gaining 80 pounds!” I completely understand it (though for me, it is a pound of chicken wings and mozzarella sticks).
I have never, ever stepped foot into a Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers – while the idea of a support system is kind of cool, I just don’t like having to pay extra to loose weight. I also know that Kirstie Alley is not alone in her weight gain; I have witnessed people struggle though Weight Watchers, only to gain all of the weight back shortly after quitting the program. Truly, there isn’t a 100% guarantee for any method. Part of me would like to believe that the harder you work at loosing the weight, the less likely you will be to allow it to return. That is why I am somewhat adamantly opposed to diet pills and gastric bypass (and yes, you can still get fat after gastric bypass!). Unless you are severely, severely overweight, pills and optional surgery kind of scare the hell out of me.
Unfortunately it doesn’t matter how hard you work at it – once you let up on yourself, or allow yourself to return to former bad habits…well…the weight comes back. Last month I decided that I was hungry. Wait, no…not just hungry…I was CRAVING cr*p. And so I ate it. The result? An almost instantaneous 6 pound weight gain. No time at all. The kicker? It takes no time at all to gain 5, 10, 15 pounds. It takes triple the time to loose it though. So, after two weeks of hard work, and the most boring diet ever, I have taken off about 7 pounds. Awesome! Unfortunately I had to waste time and energy to get back to where I was, so really there has been no progress made in the battle. A never ending cycle right?
Even after all of the work, all of the tears and struggling, I am still powerless against fighting the cravings that got me here in the first place.
And sometimes I would just like to forget; go ahead and buy those cute cake squares that Safeway sells. Or go to our neighbourhood bakery and stock up on pastries and Persians (the real Thunder Bay treat). How about swinging through Tim Horton’s on the way home and grabbing a couple of donuts? I love donuts.
What do I resent? There are people who could do this – just binge on whatever crap is thrust in front of their faces, and walk away none the worse for it. But those people are getting fewer and fewer.
The first time I went to the UK was in 1999. Ten years ago, I was fairly thin, but I felt like a beached whale in England. Everyone was beautiful and waifish (or so I thought). Unfortunately, as the American fast-food diet becomes more appealing in Europe, even Britons are starting to resemble the American physique they like to joke about. Hmmm….
I do partially blame evolution for our bad metabolism – as I have mentioned before, it is very hard to combat an evolutionary history that includes preparation for periods of famine. Our internal mechanisms are still hardwired to hold on to calories – the problem is, we don’t need to hold on to calories in quite the same way that we have throughout history. The fact of the matter is, 200 years ago we didn’t have had the number of people waddling around that we do now. And yes, I do mean waddling. Or jiggling. And yes, my belly still jiggles (but not in that cute Santa Claus way that our culture has learned to adore)
It isn’t just evolution that has screwed us. Nah, our eating habits have definitely helped us. I laugh that McDonald’s does the number of charity days they do – (I am not opposed to charity!) – here is what I think about McDonald’s and their children’s charities: “We’ll help the children, because we are killing yours by encouraging bad eating habits, trans fats, supersized portions, and clogged arteries!”. Now that’s what I call, “giving back”. Before I get hit with a lawsuit from McDonald’s (because I’m sure they care about my blog), I am in complete agreement that they have done beneficial things for children. I am just saying that they have also contributed to an international obesity problem, that continues, and have negatively impacted the diets of the past two generations. Not to mention their contributions to pollution (I’m not sure what their present policies are, but 5 years ago they were still using polystyrene containers in Eastern Europe – long considered passé in North America). I’m not here to discuss the environment though.
It shocks me to see parents allowing their children (toddlers included) to indulge in McDonald’s combo meals (or any other fast food chain) on a regular basis. Oh and the neighbourhood diner, that hasn’t come under international scrutiny and still serves up greasy crap hidden beneath mounds of gravy, extra fatty beef products, etc, etc….why? why? Why? I don’t understand it! Why are parents so eager to ensure clogged arteries in their children?
Let me pass a cigarette to a toddler…
I’ll even teach the toddler how to properly smoke it.
Hell I’ll even buy the kid a pack.
Most parents wouldn’t like this.
Because smoking kills.
It doesn’t take long to get a smoker’s cough.
There is tangible proof.
And yet, the fact that there are eight year olds wearing adult sized clothing (due to obesity, due to bad eating habits) has no impact.
Smoking can have fairly fast negative consequences. Parents don’t like that. Encouraging poor eating habits; well the reprocussions are a lot slower (even though overweight 20 year olds periodically have hard attacks) and it takes a lot longer to clog an artery. Let the kids eat whatever.
Do you see what I am saying?
Smoking + fast results = bad
Bad eating habits + slow results = ok
So that’s the ranting portion of the blog.
As for my own diet confessions…
I am still trying to be meatless. Over the course of the past two months I have eaten meat twice, and regretted it both times. Again, I do not consider myself a vegetarian – I still believe that humans were meant to eat meat, and that we are evolutionarily hardwired to do so. If I were living in Europe, I likely would start eating meat again, because Europeans do not pump the hormones and chemicals in to their animals that we do in North America. While not eating meat, I am actually consuming more calories as a pseudo-vegetarian than I did as a hardcore omnivore.
Kirstie Alley switched over to vegetarianism and gained weight because she started eating breads. I can empathize because at the end of the day, I would eat an entire loaf of bread. Because I am fairly lazy, I’ve taken to preparing soups (heaven forbid I should actually make the effort to cook a proper meal!). My mishmash soup consists of vegetable broth, a mix of vegetables, fake chicken, canned diced tomatoes, oregano, lemon pepper spice, and diced garlic. It might sound gross, but I’m not really fussy about what I eat and I kind of like it. The switch to soups has also helped me loose that weight I gained a couple of weeks of ago (though I’m fairly positive that the caramel frapaccino that I’m presently drinking, is not a step in the right direction).
My time is up, and my interest has waned (I’m sure yours has too).
Link to Kirstie Alley