Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Weigh In 4:4

Another weight gain.  Small, but I am going in the wrong direction.  I find that frustrating this week especially because I felt I had a pretty good week, and my points back me up.  I have had some big schedule changes, so maybe I can chalk it up to that, but all of these"reasons" for my lack of success are starting to feel like excuses, so I need to do better.  I am at 403.6 and if I am going to get to 375 by month's end I need to get on the stick.

Finding Support

This morning I read a pretty good article about emotional eating.  One of the symptoms the author highlighted was lying about what you eat for no reason.  I am unreasonably embarrassed by what I eat sometimes, and conversely I play up my healthier choices when they happen to perpetuate an illusion about my eating habits that makes me feel better about myself.  Logging my food of course helps with this, but compulsively lying about my eating really does indicate an unhealthy relationship with food.  Committing to this blog and to complete honesty here is really hard for me, but it will not be helpful to me unless I can do it.  There are certain things I just cannot be around.  I can't be around sweets right now.  I am incapable of control.  I came home from work super hungry last night and it took every bit of willpower not to just buy a frozen pizza.  If I could be moderate with it it wouldn't be so bad, but I would eat the whole thing.  I can't do that.  This part of my journey feels a lot harder this time.

This same article put a spotlight on an unfortunate truth about weight loss writing and products in America:  They are, almost without exception, all marketed to women.  This is lamentable for a couple of reasons.  Firstly it indicates the problem with the collective body images of women in this country.  That is not to say that those women have a problem, it is a societal issue.  Many women who are perfectly healthy and beautiful (curves are a good thing, ladies) are trying to achieve the near impossible.  And it is impossible for a reason.  I ran across a couple of internet articles debating the benefits of whether women's thighs should touch or not.  It was disgusting and had nothing to do with helping us be healthier.  But there certainly are plenty of people out there trying to make a buck off of this obsession.  It makes it so much harder for us to accept ourselves, which I have found time and time again is the key to making any sort of positive change in my life.  I imagine it is the same for everyone. When I came to terms with the fact I would never be skinny, but I could be healthy; that I didn't really want to be a stick, and that my self worth wasn't tied to my waist line I had a lot more success.

The second issue with the heavy focus on women in diet and weight loss marketing is the effect on men who need help.  It sends the tacit message that as a man this is not even a problem you are supposed to have.  Suck it up, get in the gym, and be a man.  Guys don't have enough emotional life to emotionally eat.  I am with weight watchers now and they have created a new portal "Weight Watchers for Men" to fight this, I suppose.  I don't imagine it is much different from the ladies' version, if at all.  It just serves to remind guys that they can use it too. Part of me feels dumb for even being mad about this.  I will say that among my friends I have tons of support and have gotten very little judgment.  I have a personal community that is fantastic.  But it would be nice to have a place to read what other gents have to say about their struggles.  I'd love to see some guy-centric writing about our unique struggles with health and diet.  Somehow it seems to be more ok for there to be a defined idea about what a guy's body is supposed to be.  Women get hit over the head with it a lot more, I will not deny, but there is plenty of pushback too.  We generally understand that it is not OK to fat shame ladies.  I would argue it is not so (or less so) for guys.  So here is my pushback.  My goal is to be the best version of me I can be.  Big arms and a six pack are not important to me and will say nothing about who I am or how much success I will eventually achieve.


  1. Maybe you're the first guy to start writing about his struggles and other gents will look to you as a role model now. You could be a trailblazer, Chase.

  2. I was thinking about this post as I was listening to a podcast last night. The guy kept bashing the calorie counting method (my method of choice) and saying "just eat better food" "just eat smarter" "just don't eat bad food" as if you "JUST" needed to hear him say those things and poof, there's the solution. What he doesn't take in to account, and what calorie counting/points counting/etc provides for me, is that sense of control. A system. Because without a system, yeah, I will eat the whole frozen pizza. I'm an overindulg-er. I'm an obsessive. I dealt with my emotions by abusing food, so it's not JUST an issue of vegetables vs. french fries. It's about feeling stable and in control.

    Anyway, sigh, I thought about this post and I keep thinking about the gender politics involved in the diet industry. And that's a doozy of a conversation in itself.

    Keep on keeping on!