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Dying for Beauty (1 Viewer)

Serendipity

Senior Member
I have been on a diet since my teens. You’d think with the amount of time and effort I’ve put in, I’d weigh 50 pounds by now. But no such luck.

I trace it back to my mother, which is very convenient since she has crossed over into the hereafter and cannot object. Anyway, my mother was phobic about her own weight and, hence, was phobic about mine. I have perpetuated this little dance with my own grown daughters. The other day when I announced my latest and greatest diet plan, my daughter responded with, “For God’s sake, Mom, when do you get to stop and eat what you want?” (emphasis added.) I am 69 years old. She had a good point.

It’s the society we live in. Girls emulate fashion models who are literally walking racks for clothes to hang on as they strut down the runway. They look like Bangladesh babies, gaunt and emaciated. This is the standard that young girls try to emulate. Heroin chic. Some models even have their lives cut short by excessive dieting. There are high fashion ramp models who are literally dying for fashion.

Why is the standard of beauty so arduous and ridged? Why is it so thin? In poorer countries, models are bigger – thus showing that they have enough money to eat more. In richer countries, it is the opposite. It makes no sense. No one really looks like the fashion queens that set the bar. It is literally unattainable, and yet thinness is the cornerstone of the fashion industry. I have however, seen a few plus-sized models in magazines and on television. And do you know what I think every time I see one? Girl, how could you let yourself get so big? You see, it’s my conditioning.

I’m thinking of taking my daughter’s advice to heart and eating what I want from now on. It’s time to be enjoying the last years of my life, instead of counting every calorie I put in my mouth. There is no one I have to impress – not my husband – no one. If I can overcome my phobia, that is what I will do.
 

VRanger

Staff member
Administrator
As evolved as we are (or would like to think we are, there are a lot of humans who are not all that evolved), we are still animals with some instincts. I believe that, as in other animals, we have an instinct to recognize good health as a species survival mechanism. The hard truth is that, in humans, being overweight is a health risk. It puts extra strain on joints, can cause circulatory and heart issues, diabetes, and in some cases loss of mobility.

It's true that in today's world, maintaining a healthy weight can take daily discipline. Believe me, I've been there. Several years ago I was at a peak weight and decided to control it only with diet. I did a lot of research, and cut my calories down to 1000-1300 a day without ever "going hungry", just by concentrating on eating foods loaded with nutrition. Sadly, I had to cut out a lot of snacks and desserts, and replace them with nutritious alternatives. I lost 30 pounds from the first of July through the end of November. With that extra weight gone, I felt like I was walking above the floor. I actually GAINED 3/4ths of an inch, which shocked me. Evidently that 30 pounds compressed my spine and my hips by that much. I could stand tall again.

I'm not a fan of the current advice to people with high BMIs to be happy with extra weight and just go with it. I have friends who have been too heavy their whole lives, close friends, and most of them eventually developed diabetes. For anyone not familiar, once you develop diabetes, without taking drastic action, diabetes kills you, and years earlier than you need have gone.

Yes, staying too skinny with destructive tactics like bulimia isn't good, either, but there IS a sensible middle ground. I've seen too many friends over the years who started out with moderate weight issues enter a descending spiral of continuing to gain weight, leading to a cascade of serious health issues. It's tragic.

One thing I discovered is that eating on my "nutritional program" allows me an occasional splurge without it packing on pounds. So a couple of times a month, I can indulge in a high calorie dessert or eat a plate piled to the edges at a Mexican restaurant. I just can't do that all the time.

What was my big secret? A BIG vegetable portion at dinner did most of the work. By big, I mean a CUP of carrots (or zucchini, etc). It's nutritious, filling, and staves off craving for a later snack. Ok, big secret #2 ... instead of snacks like cookies or chips, I started popping two or three grape tomatoes. Three calories a tomato instead of a hundred calories for a cookie pulls a lot of that load. LOL
 
If I might add my own humble opinion... and you can take it or leave it, for what it's worth...

It breaks my heart when I see and hear people having issues with their weight... they diet, lose a few pounds, starve themselves, then gain it all back and then some in a moment of supposed "weakness". They count calories, cut portions to ridiculous levels, yo-yo back and forth for years and years... and all this does is shoot their metabolism to absolute sh** and make their bodies go into starvation mode constantly... so the body stubbornly refuses to let go of the extra fat. Why would it? If it gets signals that resources are scarce?

It breaks my heart to see young women of my generation (and younger!) eating the trash that passes for food, DAILY, and putting on so much weight that they look decades older than they actually are. Kids are dying from bad food and bad lifestyle choices, and no one's stopping them from doing it to themselves or to each other.

Me, I'm in my 30s, and the only reason – the only reason I don't have a big paunch and diabetes and joint pain and other horrible effects of obesity by now... is because I've been cutting carbohydrates since I was 19.

Everyone on the internet and their dog and their grandma LOVE to crap on the low-carb/high-fat diet, on keto, on paleo/primal, etc. etc. etc. but it's the only thing that actually works. I did, like, practically grad student-level research on this, AND I experimented with this way of eating on myself, like my own body was my guinea pig.

And every time I reduced my carbs while simultaneously upping animal protein and animal fat, not only did I feel and look better, but my weight was reasonable and healthy for my age. People have told me I look like a model, but I chalk that up to good posture and fashion sense, not just my weight. That said... holy hell... I look better than most of the 20-year-olds walking around these days! And it's so, so unfortunate. And so, so avoidable. It starts with cutting out grains and vegetable oils, and going from there.

I'm sorry, guys. I don't mean to preach. Other members here may vehemently disagree with me on this, and that's ok. I'm not here to change anyone's mind, or enter into any arguments or debates. This is simply my personal experience. I'm slim. I have boatloads of energy for weight training, jogging, walking, and pretty much any other way I want to move my body. I don't worry about eating too much or too little. I eat til I'm full, then go on about my day. It doesn't get any simpler than that.

To be completely honest, I don't tell anyone about what I eat. I simply don't talk about it. Because nobody understands, and they're happier living and eating along the party line. And more than happy to give me their opinion, having never stepped into my shoes nor tried it for themselves. Frankly, I don't care what other people eat. It's none of my business, but it does make me say a silent prayer for the fate of humanity. Because it doesn't look good, the way things are going...

But when someone asks me about it from a position of genuine curiosity... I'm more than happy to share. And it sounds to me like you're open to new ideas, Serendipity... hopefully this is one you might find worthy of consideration, at the very least.

The 'mainstream dieting' life is not the life for me. I don't know if my post (essay by this point... oops) is useful or interesting to you, Serendipity. I don't know where you're at, or what your situation is like. I don't have any context. All I can suggest is, maybe, possibly, potentially look into low-carb and decide for yourself if it's something you'd be willing to try. It worked for me. Like, ridiculously well. And I've seen the miracles it can manifest, in people of all ages, ethnicities, and health levels.

Anyway. I meant this post to be much shorter than it is. And I'm on a writing forum, for Pete's sake, not on keto subreddit. Even if no one gives a damn about this all, at least I got to write it out. I feel very passionately about the subject, as it's very near to my heart, and I don't get many opportunities to discuss it.

Anyway!

Good luck and best wishes to you, whatever you decide to do!
 

Private Universe

Senior Member
@Serendipity, your piece captures nicely the agonising phenomenon of intergenerational transmission of weight complexes.

What's worked for me: going entirely plant-based. Technology is so good these days that any food you like you can get a good vegan version of. Same texture, same flavouring, just without animal suffering involved (or less directly involved). My latest find is Magnum ice creams that are vegan. They taste so good, I can't see why one would ever need or think of putting milk in it. Better for one's weight, one's health, the animals, the environment and climate change. I take an iron and vitamin B tonic daily from the health shop.

A plant-based diet seems to bypass cravings, so you can eat as much as you want without putting on weight. My theory is that the hormones and anti-biotics that they pump into animals distort the human metabolism in unnatural ways. I believe that so long societies are consuming meat and dairy, they will be overweight - with all the attendant medical costs. Factory farming requires use of antibiotics and hormones etc, as it's unnatural to have so many animals packed so closely together, so it's perpetual epidemic risk. A plant-based diet solves all these issues.

This topic seems to lend itself to people giving their penny's worth. This was mine!
 

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
What I do for dieting is basically, one cup rice (measured), 1 cup beans, and 2\3 parts of the plate is salad. That 1 cup extends itself to fruits. This has led to starving myself to avoid diabetes and other heart conditions. Basically 2/3's of the plate means that two thirds is a lot of salad. It's a simple guideline, but I think I am starting to get some results. My mom has done it and has not had any operations. She is heart healthy which is what I meant.

My mom has hypothyroidism which must be constantly monitored since it makes cholesterol and triglycerides higher than normal which is important. She had that diagnosis since age 3 or 4 and complains she eats too little. But surely enough it has kept her alive.

Not to mention the cheese and everything a person eats must be measured. For cheese, I think it is less than what fits in the palm of your hands. For meat it must fit in the palm of your hands.

I try to exercise 30 minutes if I am not in the mood for doing 1 hour worth of exercise.
 
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