Once Upon a Fat Girl

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Fit and Fat?

Well, I couldn't resist.

I went to TOPS and I lost 3 pounds this week! (Yes, it's diety to care...but I care! Whoo!)

I've decided to stick with TOPS for a while at least. It's nice to get out by myself for a little while. And I like the old girls. They listened with interest to me talk about how I've stopped dieting, and about the benefits of exercise.

I went to Applebee's for lunch, and ordered a steak ciabatta sandwich. I was full after half, and brought the rest home. I was really surprised that I recognized my fullness immediately and didn't feel any anxiety over not cleaning my plate.

When I got home, I called the Applebee's 800 number to ask how many calories was in my sandwich. Turns out that Applebee's either really doesn't know how many calories is in their food, or they just won't tell. The guy I spoke with said "Applebee's uses so many regional venders that any number we gave you would be inaccurate." However, they DO provide information about the Weight Watcher's items. Maybe they don't use regional venders for those items? I'm pretty pissed about this. Enough that I think I won't be going back to Applebee's for a while.

I went to the YMCA after my TOPS meeting and did 30 minutes on the bike at a level 4 with random hills. I am definitely getting stronger!

I'm reading a book called "Losing It" by a journalist named Laura Fraser. The books takes a look at America's obsession with weight and the industries that feed them. The most interesting bit so far is this:

Studies on obese people who exercise, for instance-who live longer than lean people who don't exercise-may prove that inactivity is the cause of many of the problems we associate with obesity, not obesity itself. Steven Blair, an exercise physiologist at the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas, has done studies that show that if you exercise, your weight (up to a BMI of 40) doesn't put you at any increased risk for early death at all. It may turn out that obesity is, for the most part, a red herring in the health debate.

"Nobody ever dies of obesity," says David Levitsky, a nutrition and obesity expert at Cornell University. Obesity, he says, is often a marker for other health problems caused by a sedentary lifestyle, but is itself not necessarily dangerous. "If you're a large person and you do not suffer from any other health problems, then there is no reason for you to lose weight.

If a person does suffer from other health problems, however, then serious obesity may indeed aggravate the situation. Almost all of the studies that look at the health risks associated with obesity- ...high blood pressure, high cholesterol... or blood sugars, diabetes, or other conditions that often go along with being fat-show that those risks do increase when people are very fat, meaning about 100 pounds or so overweight. In particular, researchers have shown that having abdominal obesity-an apple shape-can be dangerous.

This hit home for me, because seveal times over the past couple of years I've thought about WLS. I've considered it, studied and researched it, dreamed about losing 20 pounds a month and finally being thin.

If my insurance would have paid for it, I think there's a good chance I would have had the surgery by now.

But it won't. So I've had a lot of time to keep thinking about it. And the fact is, I'm healthy. I have no co-morbid conditions for my weight to aggrevate. I don't have sleep apnea, or hypertension, or diabetes. No breathing problems or heart problems. Normal cholesterol and thyroid levels. Aside from some relatively mild backpain since I was pregnant with Ruby, and the hit to my ego over looking a way that American's pay tens of billions of dollars a year to avoid...I'm healthy. And getting fitter.

I told my TOPS group that I eat between 2000 and 2300 calories a day, exercise about 3 hours a week, and I've been losing 2 pounds or so a week consistantly for 7 weeks. She said, "once you get to a lower weight, you'll have to lower your calories to keep losing."

Or, just maybe, I'll have to accept that I'm a big, healthy person with a higher natural weight--rather than starving myself for a cultrual/societal/Hollywood ideal.


Blogger Stephanie said...

Congrats on that loss Shaunta!!!! That is AWESOME!!!!! I used this website alot when I was going to Weight Watchers: http://www.dwlz.com/restaurants.html It's called Dotti's Weight Loss Zone and it has a ton of helpful information on it. She has a list of restaurants with calorie information. (Most of them have WW Points info but she does have calorie information on some of them too). I have it bookmarked for when I want to go out to eat and I'm not sure about calories.

2:54 PM  
Blogger snackiepoo said...

Congrats on the loss, first of all.

Okay I had my browser up and ready to comment yesterday then it got crazy and I never said what I needed to say.

We are supposed to rally against the word "diet" but there are many "diet programs" that we can follow that teach us how to eat sensibly and to eat real food so it is not always a bad thing to stick with a program. I love WW because I have freedom to eat what I want and when I want.

Use that link that Stephanie gave you and there is another on my blog called DietFacts that has all the NI for fast food places too.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Jill said...

Hi Shaunta,
Sounds like you're doing great! I don't think I would do well on an unstructured 'way of eatting', but it seems to be working well for you! There's another girl's blog that I read that you may be interested in...if you haven't already found it before. She does count her calories, but they aren't ridiculously low and she's lost 135 lbs. Check it out if you'd like. http://jessica.l.scott.tripod.com/Blog/ Her latest blog made me think of you! :-)
I love reading about your journey! Keep up the great attitude! Jill

7:07 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Congrats of the lost poundage Shaunta. Yay you!

In my mind I'm working on my health. Heck yes I want to lose weight. Heck yes I'm going to. But I hope that when I get to a comfy place I'll be able to calm down. Even if that means I'm sporting a size 6.

Everyone will have a different way of doing this. I find it hard for me to follow a set plan so I'm doing what you are doing. Not a diet, a lifestyle change :)

8:35 PM  

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