Thursday, March 13, 2008

Nothing Tastes as Good...

You've all heard that line, I expect.

Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.

It's supposed to be motivating.



Let's start off with a few simple comments... Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels. I don't know what being thin feels like. Back when I was thin (or, thinner, at any rate) was in high school, or the first few years of college, I didn't pay attention to it. I still thought I was fat. I have some photos of me, when I was thirteen or so, standing in a bathing suit, in the back yard, with my friend, Anne. Anne's got her arms crossed over her chest (or lack of chest). Even at that age, she was self-conscious about being a girl. We grew apart as she got into track and field sports and spent all her time running. Last time I talked to her, she was 19 years old, as thin as a rail, and still hadn't started a regular period yet because she was too thin.

In the picture, I'm standing next to her, my arms are out in a little "ooooh" sort of gesture. And you can see my belly. I have this nice, perfectly round belly, like half a basketball glued over my navel. I hated that picture. I have flared hips (perfect for giving birth, not so perfect for being attractive) and I'm short waisted, so that belly roll seems to start right underneath my already swelling bosom. I'm probably not the only woman who was wearing a C cup by the time she was sixteen (and at least in my high school, I was never a member of the IBTC - that's itty bitty titty committee, for those of you not in the know... girls are mean, had you ever noticed that? I mean, really, really mean.) but wow, I felt... awkward. And of course, guys are not entirely nice either. I can't tell you how often I had a freaking black and blue mark right in the center of my back from having my bra snapped.

Is that what being thin feels like?

I was probably officially thin, then. I weighed... 119 when I graduated from high school. I wore a size 10.

I had acne, I was overly chesty for a girl my age, I was too smart, I was too cynical, even then. Sarcasm was my first line of defense. My mother spent all her time telling me that my interests were stupid, that I needed to be prettier, funnier (but not too funny), more polite, a better cook. Rich Japanese men existed to buy me pizza. That was the motto I went off to college with. Find some nice rich boy and wrap him around your finger. That was all that was important. Not what I wanted to learn, or what I wanted to be. My destiny was to be a rich man's wife, and as ugly as I was, it wasn't looking too good.

Is that what being thin feels like?

My first few years at college, I was a slut. I admit it. I'm not proud of it, but it is the truth. I used men and sex as a way to feel good about myself, without really realizing what I was doing. I'd snare a guy, lead him around for a while, and eventually (not long) I'd notice I have very little in common with him, or all he wanted was sex, and I'd lose interest. Or he'd lose interest. And then I'd be depressed and feel guilty and horrible, and the cure was... You guessed it! Find another guy. This went on for longer than I really want to confess to.

Is that what being thin feels like?

Despite my over-sized carry-on baggage, I'm mostly happy with my life. I love my husband. I love my child. I mostly love my life. (Although sometimes it would be nice to have adult conversations more than once a month... and more money. Who doesn't need more money?)

I don't know what being thin feels like. I never thought I was, when I was, so I didn't take note of it...

I do, however, know what a double chocolate fudge cheesecake tastes like.



I don't really like the way Weight Watchers calculates Activity Points. Especially as I'm a heavy sweater. So I've been using Daily Plate as a way to track and calculate my exercise.

I enter the activity I did and how long I did it for, and it tells me about how many calories I burned, based on my weight (apparently you burn more calories when you're heavy because you have to move that many pounds around... I did not know that...) and then I took that number and rounded down, and divided by 50 (a point is ~50 - 70 calories, depending on fat and fiber content) and then subtracted one, just to be safe.

For instance: 20 minutes of high intensity aerobic exercise burns 287 calories in 20 minutes.

So 287 rounded down is 250. 250/5o is 5. So I would write this down as 4 Activity Points. And then I would only eat half of my Activity Points. So on a day when I did 20 minutes of cardio, I'd eat 2 APs.

Just recently, I discovered that Weight Watchers calculates its activity points on not the 50 calorie point for food, but on a 100 calories burned scale.


My problem is this: What I've been doing is working for me. I write it down as 4, I eat 2. When technically, burning 287 calories should have been 2.5 points. Should I change my journaling to reflect reality and admit that I'm eating all or most of my activity points? Or should I go on the theory that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Opinions? Anyone?


HappyBlogChick said...

The activity points question ... my opinion is to do it your way if your way is working for you. That said, you may find that your way may stop working for you at some point. As you lose more, you may have to become more "by the book" and be more true to the plan. If at some point your weight loss stops or slows down, go to the WW way.

The nothing tastes as good as thin feels statement ... I wouldn't say I find it motivating. But when I'm faced with a temptation I do have the thought "is getting the short-term pleasure of eating this cheesecake worth the regret and long term consequences? What do I want MOST?" And that thought does help me make better choices. I think that little saying does the same thing for some people, or so I gather. I guess we'll find out when we see your comments, eh?

Hanlie said...

I was exactly the same, too chesty, too pimply, too tall, too smart and sarcastic. And I was also promiscuous in an effort to feel better about myself. I have never felt normal. Now when I look back at the pictures of my youth, I can see that I was beautiful and normal, but at the time I just felt big. I'll know better when I get there again!

Felicia said...

I have to agree that "nothing does taste as good as thin feels". I think though that it probably is because of how big I started out though. There is no food today that I would eat that I would give up the thin I am now for. Food is just food at the end of the day. It was a friend. A comfort. A security when I was obese. But now its what fuels the body. Do I love food? Of course! I just put it in a different category now.

For me.. seriously nothing does taste as good as *this* thin feels. And as for what it feels like? Well I am not sure I am what others would consider thin but for me its not an actually body feeling.. its more of a life feeling. Thin feels like living life instead of watching it go by with out me. To me thin isnt how I look but more about how I feel.

Not sure any of that made sense lol.

Great post!

Hope you have a SUPER day!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post. I've tried to use that statement as motivation in the worked until I really stopped and thought about it - as you obviously have too! - and thought, "Um...bulls**t. Sorry, those chips tasted pretty darn good and while I'm sure being thin feels great for the first couple of weeks after you get that way, eventually it doesn't feel like anything except normal life. Whereas those chips taste good every blessed time I eat them."

BUT I agree with Happy too...If you can break it down into a logical discussion of whether or not the short-term enjoyment is worth giving up the ultimate goal...then it is a different matter. Then the mind comes into play and the knee-jerk urge to eat can be circumvented.

I think we all gravitate toward quick, catchy little phrases that will prompt a particular reaction in us. I have a ton of them taped to my computer monitor right now. "If it is to BE me, it is UP to me"; "Go for the fairy tale"; "It doesn't have to matter" (that one's more stress-reduction than health motivation)...and they do the trick at first. After a while though I look at them and go, "Oh, just shut up." :-)

I think they're more reinforcement for existing (or previously existing) motivation...not really motivation in themselves. Once the underlying motivation wanes, the phrases themselves become really annoying.

I will say though, it feels pretty good to be thinNER. :-) (Haven't made "thin" yet!) But that goes away when you stop losing, so that's definitely not going to make me put down the chips once I'm at goal. That sort of scares me, I will admit...


Manuela said...

I say if it ain't broke don't fix it. Happy is right though. As you lose more weight you may have to adjust this. You'll know--you're body will tell you what's working, just listen to it.

I now know why I enjoy your posts, the sarcasm. I am the same way--a know it all, brainiac, etc. You sound as though you've come a long way and feeling skinny is a state of mind. Looking forward to a new week of posts :)

Cammy@TippyToeDiet said...

I understand the intent of the quote, but to be honest, I don't really want to be thin. At least, not thin as I think of it. I want curves and softness. Which is all pretty good, considering being thin is not very likely for me. :)

If your exercise program is working for you, I'd say go for it. You can always re-evaluate and retune it if it stops working.

Anonymous said...

I think thin feels like...

having more energy, living longer, enjoying life more, smiling more.

I do like the "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels" because it helps me to fight off temptations.

The last time I was thin, I looked great, but I wasn't healthy. I was broke all the time and walked everywhere because I didn't have a car.

This time, for me thin means different things and that's why it's so much harder.

Carolyn said...

Your blog is like an addiction to read... I need to write in mine when I have the time (and energy! My ever-lazy internal hampster falls exhausted off his little wheel whenever I walk out classroom doors!) to really sink into my thoughts.

It's funny you should mention "when I was thin..." I think back to when I was thin too, and I still felt fat. I fear that happening now... that, or that I'm better than everyone else who never even tried to lose weight. Who am I to be so pious? I didn't give a rat's behind 8 months ago how many points was in a Wendy's Single with Cheese and extra mayo... ouch. Physical work aside, losing weight is a head game, and you certainly learn alot through it.
I read some of your previous posts, and I can completely relate to 'love-hate' relationships with people.. especially competitive friends. Keep posted on my blog mid May, and you'll see my struggle when I travel home to see my old friend (an family.. it's gonna be a month long trip... ouch.).
Good job on keeping up though... awareness of our insanity keeps us sane!

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking that isn't so much what "being thin" feels like, as what "being a teenager" feels like. Now that you're older and wiser (or something ;) ), maybe you can enjoy the benefits of thin and fit that teenagers take for granted, without the angst. (Do I sound like a diet food commercial? "New, improved Thinness! Now with half the angst!")

That said, platitudes like "nothing tastes as good..." have never done much for me, particularly when there's something tasty right under my nose and goal weight seems so very, very far down the road. What's helped for me is to think of that double-chocolate fudge cheesecake in terms of wasted effort... losing weight takes so much *work*, and I am at heart a lazy wench. If I think about that cheesecake as an hour and a half of exercise totally down the tubes (er, literally, even), I'm going to be less tempted to indulge. And it's a balancing act... if giving in on something medium-bad for me means that I won't be inhaling a trough of Ben & Jerry's at 2 a.m. next week when my willpower breaks under the strain, then maybe I *will* eat it... after cutting the slice in half. (But it'll get written down.)