For a few years now, Dave and I have been fans of the Houlihan's restaurant chain.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
For a few years now, Dave and I have been fans of the Houlihan's restaurant chain.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Dieting is one of the most unhealthy things you can do for your body. It slows your metabolism and often deprives you of necessary nutrients and energy.
The bottom line is that it's more important to be healthy than to be thin. And being healthy is the result of EXERCISING, not dieting. Oddly, The Guardian article openly admits this fact. As Terry Wilkin, professor of endocrinology and metabolism at the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth, explains in The Guardian article, "That's not to say that exercise is not making [us] healthy in other ways . . . just that it's having no palpable effect on their overall size and shape."
So Wilkin wants us to focus on our overall size and shape” rather than our health? What???
This guy ought to have his medical license stripped. After all the first part of the Hippocratic oath states, “First, do no harm.” And by focusing on “size and shape” rather than health, he’s doing us a world of harm.
Those of us who have brains know that health is obviously much more important than size or shape, but unfortunately this article is taking advantage of the fact that most people are obsessed with looking good in a bathing suit—whether that's possible or not.
It's also not true that long-term interval exercise won't help you lose weight, and if you read closely, you will notice how this article distorts evidence to match their ridiculous headline. Experts at The Mayo Clinic explain that "an exercise regimen… is unlikely to result in short-term weight loss beyond what is achieved with dietary change."
Did you notice what I noticed?
They said, SHORT-TERM WEIGHT LOSS. In fact, this article says nothing about long-term weight loss. And anyone who knows anything about nutrition or health knows that "short-term" weight loss is not desirable.
It’s also interesting that the people at the Mayo Clinic NEVER ONCE advocate giving up exercising, though this quote is used in support of that argument.
As has been proven time and again, over ninety percent of the people who go on diets gain the weight back, and that losing/gaining yo-yo is incredibly unhealthy. On the other hand, regular exercise is the best thing you can do for your body.
In addition, these studies focus on people who exercise once a day, but for years research has shown that we must exercise more than once a day to lose weight (not to be healthy—to be healthy you need only workout once a day—but to lose weight).
The Guardian wants to sell papers and increase readership for advertising purposes, and unfortunately, they are trying to do that by appealing to their readers' desire to be thin at any cost, ultimately, their vanity. The message they are sending is completely irresponsible and, honestly, disgusts me.
Obesity is a real problem in our society, and it keeps getting worse. Even the article admits that "Each successive postwar generation [has enjoyed] an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, and those lifestyles have been accompanied by an apparently inexorable increase in obesity. Three in five UK adults are now officially overweight. And type II diabetes, which used to be a disease that affected you at the end of your life, is now the fastest-rising chronic disorder in paediatric clinics."
If we’ve become more sedentary and we're also become more overweight, it's simply illogical to think the two are not related in some way. Of course, they are.
The authors of this article may believe these limited studies prove otherwise, but as I've already said, these studies FOCUS ONLY on the short-term and don't look at interval exercise or, more importantly, consider the HEALTH BENEFITS of exercise. No, they are only concerned with weight loss, which does not necessarily correlate with health.
Yes, we must do something about obesity, and as the numbers prove, dieting does not work in the long run, which is why the message of this article is grossly irresponsible.
Oddly, if you read to the end of the article, you'll see that most researchers think the claim that we don't need to exercise is complete bunk. Interesting that they buried those researchers at the end the article, isn't it? It's because The Guardian‘s real goal is to GET READERS. They clearly have no interest in helping people be healthier.
This is obvious when you look at all of the much more helpful info that was buried in the few paragraphs before the wildly irresponsible conclusion of this article:
• Dr Ken Fox, professor of exercise and health science at Bristol University and advisor to the [British] government's obesity strategy, claims, "It's far too early to start discounting things as important as physical activity. Those who are saying it has no impact are neglecting a huge amount of the literature."
• Professor Paul Gately of the Carnegie Weight Management institution in Leeds explains, for "people who have lost weight and kept weight off, physical activity is almost always involved. And those people who just do diet are more likely to fail, as are those who just do exercise." Notice that he mentions keeping weight off . . . IN THE LONG RUN, which is exactly what this article fails to address.
• "'What we want to avoid is people thinking they can control their weight simply by dieting,' adds Dr Susan Jebb, head of nutrition and health research at the Medical Research Council, who points out that this is the very scenario that encourages anorexia in teenage girls. 'Just restricting your diet is not going to be the healthiest way to live.' . . . scientific studies show that exercise is an important factor in maintaining weight loss and, Jebb adds, some studies suggest it can help in preventing weight gain."
If you care about your health at all, please don’t buy into this propaganda. Because that’s all it is . . . propaganda designed to get you to buy newspapers. I know the newspaper industry is struggling, but misleading readers about their health is not the solution.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
May I please pay you to shriek feel-good
messages at me until my self-esteem rolls
out the door like a runaway treadmill?
Brad Pitt playing a personal trainer in Burn After Reading.
I’m seriously considering joining a gym this fall—not because my attitude about my body has changed, but simply because I got a raise.
As some of you know, I gained about thirty pounds during my first year of grad school in 1998. As a result, I started exercising every day pretty soon after that. During the seven years I was in grad school, I alternated between working out in the gym (free of charge when I was a grad student) and exercising outside. But when I finished grad school, I couldn’t afford the monthly membership fees and had to rely almost entirely on outdoor activities for exercise—mostly walking, biking, and playing tennis.
But now that I’m rolling in dough (I'm obviously kidding), I thought it might be nice to head back to a real gym. I have mixed feelings about it, of course.
It seems so American and decadent to workout in the gym—what’s wrong with exercising in the great outdoors after all?—and it goes against my belief that we should focus on exercise that feels more like play than work. But when I was walking in the dark one night last week, I realized that the winter months are fast approaching, and I’ll be happier if I have an indoor exercise haven.
So I finally put on my big girl panties and started looking for information about the gym closest to my house. When I got to the website, they were offering a free pass for newcomers, so I clicked on the link.
Like anything else, the free pass wasn’t completely free. You had to trade your personal information—including email address and phone number so that, I’m sure, they can call and bug you about joining—and answer a few questions about yourself.
Fine. No problem. I can handle that.
Or so I thought.
Because when I came to the first question, I found myself already beginning to get irritated.
The problem is that the possible answers for this question are quite limiting. Here are the choices you could check after you are asked, “What are your primary interests?”
Overall Better Health
Unfortunately, there is no “other” option, which is what I would have chosen if possible. But instead, I had these six, somewhat limiting options, most of which imply that you don’t like yourself the way you are.
1. Weight Management—the message is that I either don’t like my weight and want to change it or am terrified of gaining weight. But I do like my weight. Sure, it would be nice to lose a few pounds, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like my body the way it is now. And it seems to me that this option sends the opposite message.
2. Increased Energy—I’m not really joining a gym for increased energy. I already exercise every day and, as a result, have energy to spare. So this option doesn’t really apply. And I hate that there also seems to be the sense that someone who chooses this option might be feeling down. I don’t want faux happy trainers coming up to me at the gym and trying to cheer me up. That would make me want to hit somebody with a barbell.
3. Nutritional Guidance—This option is clearly just code for “diet,” and we all know how I feel about that. And I am certainly not joining a gym for nutritional guidance, nor do I don’t want ANYONE telling me how to eat, especially some hopped-up gym employee.
4. Motivation—I’m also already pretty motivated. I don’t need anyone—again especially not some obnoxious gym grunt—trying to motivate me.
5. Stress Release—same thing. I already have a stress release. I just want one that is indoors.
6. Overall Better Health—this option CLEARLY states the problem: “Better health.” Not “Overall Health,” which would be an option I’d be willing to check, but “Overall Better Health,” which again implies I’m not happy with my health right now.
I’m sensing a trend here—they seem to be implying that no one joins a gym to maintain their current lifestyle, which is what I’m doing. But rather that people only join the gym to change.
But I don’t want to change!
I just don’t want to walk in the dark all winter. And maybe I’d like to hit some aerobics classes and lift a few weights while I’m there too. Is that really so hard to believe? Why are “exercise indoors” or “use better equipment” not options??? Even something to the effect of “maintain overall health” would work for me.
We probably all know these options are not available because gyms don’t make money off of happy people. No, the workout and weight loss industry makes it money off of people who are so desperately unhappy that they’ll do anything—even go to a hot, sweaty gym with perky “trainers” who shout obnoxious feel good messages at you while you’re trying to burn a few calories—to feel good again.
Honestly, I just don’t know if I can put up with all that bullshit. And my fear is that the you-must-lose-weight-to-be-happy message will be omnipresent, blaring at me like an alarm clock I can’t shut off.
I guess what I’m really afraid of is that no one at the gym will accept that I don’t want to diet and that I like myself the way I am.
Truth be told, I’m terrified of that.
It’s almost as scary as not working out.