Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 122

Stupid shit I have considered doing to lose weight:
• Illegally importing diet drugs
• Taking ecstasy and dancing all weekend
• Getting myself lost in the bush for a few days (just kidding)(sort of)

Whenever I need to study, in the spirit of procrastination, I respond by wanting to do one of three things: sleep, fuck or eat. How very primal. Not particularly constructive though.

I have weight watchers jelly fruit cups and sugar free red bull. They have 12 and 8 calories respectively. It’s comforting to think about just how many fruit cups I could eat in a day and still lose. This makes me feel very safe. Also it’s fruit. Fruit has vitamins. Vitamins are good.

I was reminded today of a conversation I had with Dr. Douchebag, a guy that K dated once or twice. He knew about the surgery and in the course of discussion he explained how the body is very efficient at turning energy to fat, but incredibly inefficient at converting fat to energy. I was reminded of this conversation when I read the following response to a reader comment posted on fiercefatties.

‘Evolutionarily speaking, our bodies have adapted to gain (or maintain), not lose, weight. If you’re a hunter gatherer and you’re losing weight, your body interprets this as a famine and begins protecting its stored energy (fat). It does this by turning down your metabolism, turning up the hormones that encourage you to seek food (hunger and appetite), and resetting your homeostatic system to protect you from starvation.

Your modern body cannot tell the difference between famine and caloric restriction. If you drop from a 2,500 calorie-per-day diet to a 1,800 calorie-per-day diet (or less), your body switches into famine mode and does everything it can to undermine your weight loss efforts.

The longer you diet, the greater response your body has. Eventually, dieters exhibit what is known as semi-starvation neurosis, which basically means you think about food constantly. You become obsessed with every meal, every morsel, and every image, utterance or imagining of food around you. When it gets bad enough, you break your diet and begin binging (which is what your famine-brain wants you do to) until you’ve essentially undone all your work.

Now, you say that starving yourself doesn’t work, but exercise is an incredibly inefficient means of losing weight. It is much easier to restrict your caloric intake than to burn it off through exercise (although exercise does increase lean muscle mass which, in turn, turns up your metabolism, but each person’s individual metabolic range is genetically determined).

So, the most effective way to lose weight is caloric restriction, but this leads to famine-mode and semi-starvation neurosis and your body and mind sabotaging your weight loss efforts.

Older studies have shown that 95% of those who lose weight will regain all the weight they’ve lost (and possibly more) after five years. Critics say Stunkard’s research was old and inadequate, but even the NIH has admitted that long-term weight loss is nearly impossible.

And you’ll notice that there are virtually zero studies of the long-term success of any particular weight loss method. The exception being this JAMA study which compares various weight loss strategies, including Atkins, Zone, Ornish and LEARN (LEARN being Kelly Brownell’s “slow and steady” method of lifestyle change).’

I was devastated. Oh cruel fate, am I destined to sweaty summers and plus sized fashions?

It took me a day or two and some encouraging words from C to realise that even lovable, huggable fat appreciators have their own agendas.

The majority of people do not succeed at weight loss long term. This much is true. For a plethora of reasons. Some within and others outside the scope of their control. And fat acceptance is a movement that is absolutely fantastic for those who would prefer to be fat and happy than to live a life of miserable struggle. There is nothing wrong with this. Embrace every delicious moment! There is nothing wrong with a focus on health at every size. But of course this doesn’t necessarily mean that we are stuck with our lot. In the majority of cases though we could realise a higher level of happiness by adjusting our expectations. Happiness of course simply being a function of the differential between desire and reality. This I can agree with and live by.

The moral of course is that just because some fat, fabulous person put a well researched smackdown on some random via the internet does not mean that I am going to exceed 100 kilograms for the rest of my life, or even the rest of this quarter. I mean I’ve had a fucking weight loss surgery for fuckssake. If I had a band I would probably not struggle with the same doubts about the efficacy of the device, but being that this is a trial sometimes I just freak the fuck out. Basically.

Also, I should probably just let go of the fear that the whole international fat acceptance movement are going to rock up on my doorstep with torches and pitchforks just because I chose to have a spot of weight loss surgery. It’s clear that I think fat is just another type of beautiful amongst many others, but I’m still not sure how my desire to be a bit less fat slots in with their world view. Either way, I’ve finally moved into an apartment with a back door as well as a front so if they do arrive with a thirst for vengeance and blood I can just head out through the back.

In an effort to increase positive self-efficacy beliefs I have taken two steps in tandem:
1. Joined calorieking again. The site makes it really easy to see where you are making poor food choices (e.g. piece of cold kfc for breakfast, sunday morning); and
2. Started consulting and inputing my calories consumed, recorded via calorieking. Their calorie calculator will project weight loss or gain over time based on your stats.

I am using the power of the internet to assure myself that loss is inevitable. So really, I should just give myself a fucking break.

Yours sincerely,

Broken Record


  1. try self hypnosis. i did it made me feel better and went walking to feel better too , so maybe what your eating isnt really the problem but just exercise so try walking for 30 min a day and do it for a week and if you feel better doing it then continue.

  2. You and C make a very good point about the agenda of others. It does seem that to boost their self-esteem some will try to sabotage the efforts of others. But you know what, any one who doesn't support you in wanting to do this for yourself can go take a runnning jump, as my mum used to say.

    P.S. I always get excited when I see there is a new post, not only for the text, but the anticipation of what pic you'll inlcude as well. Heart!

  3. sounds like you realllllly need a willy. and a cheeseburger.

  4. extra pickles please (on the willy).