Weight Loss TV

I’m not a big fan of TV in general.  I don’t really have the time to watch it, especially specific shows every week.  I do try to make the time to watch weight loss TV shows like The Biggest Loser on Hulu, though.

I’ve tried to analyze why I like this particular type of TV as opposed to regular shows or other reality tv.  I think it’s because I can see parts of myself and those I love in the people on these shows.  And I always love the transformations they go through and the emotional growth I see.  But I’m still dissatisfied – probably because the people on these shows are so overweight that they’re in even worse condition than most of the people I know.

I wish they’d make some kind of weight loss/healthy living show for people who don’t need to lose hundreds of pounds.  They need to make a show for people that really only need to lose 40 pounds or learn how to cook healthy foods or fit everything in with a super busy life.  It’s not just about the weight loss for the average person in my life.  It’s about other things as well.

I know the spectacle sells, but it doesn’t reflect the majority of what I see in my life.  I wish TV did sometimes.

Boxing and Peanut Butter Ice Cream

It’s Father’s Day.  One of those days that makes me just a little sad every year.  My dad passed away in 1999 from lung cancer – many years after he quit smoking, drinking and drugs.  I think it’s weird that I don’t really get sad around his birthday or near the anniversary of his death.  I guess it might make sense though.  My parents split up when I was young.  Dad came back briefly when I was 5, and then invited us back into his life when I was 11 or 12.  The memories I have are precious and few.  Father’s Day is the day that all the other kids get to spend with their dad, while I almost never did.

So, in honor of Father’s Day, I’ll share with you one of my favorite memories of my dad.

As I said earlier, we reconnected with Dad when I was 11 or 12.  We’d visit him once or twice each year.  Even though there wasn’t very much for a kid to do at his condo, I always loved to visit.

He had 3 televisions in his condo – 1 in the living room, 1 in the second bedroom/art studio, and 1 in his bedroom.  The living room TV was usually tuned to baseball or basketball.  The second bedroom TV was usually tuned to golf or tennis.  The TV in his room had the liveliest sports on it.

One time, when my brother and I came to visit, Dad was watching boxing in his bedroom.  I don’t know who the fighters were.  I remember climbing up onto his big 4-poster bed and reclining on the pillows next to him.  His girlfriend brought us big bowls of peanut butter ice cream and chocolate chip cookies.  Dad taught me about the different punches as we ate our ice cream and spent some quality time together.

Now, when I eat peanut butter ice cream or watch boxing/MMA fights, I feel connected to my dad once again.

My Offensive (?) Obesity Post

I’ve been thinking about a few things for awhile now.  Most of my conclusions are probably pretty controversial on these topics, but they make the most sense to me.  They do not reflect the views of my employer and may not necessarily reflect the views of my family/friends.  I apologize if the following post offends anyone.

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As a fat woman, I’ve heard/read many things by self-help and self-esteem gurus.  They usually say something along the lines of “Love yourself – embrace that beautiful (overweight) body.  There’s nothing wrong with obesity.”

I hate to break it to them, but there is something wrong with obesity.  We all know that obesity is a fully preventable and treatable problem (in most cases) that can be linked to major conditions like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.  These are all things that can lead to disabilities and early death.  Obesity costs this country and its citizens a lot of money in rising health care costs.  It also costs us in emotional damage when we can no longer fit on amusement park rides, when we become the butt of jokes, and when we feel as though we’re facing our personal demons all alone.

Please don’t tell me to embrace and love my fat.  Don’t tell my overweight neice and nephew to love theirs.  Don’t tell my brother that it’s OK for his dog to be overweight. Don’t tell me that my obesity is not my fault even as I make the choice to eat poorly and lead a sedentary lifestyle.  Stop offering the “magic pill” of gastric bypass and/or lapbanding when you know that patients see it as a magic pill.

I’m not condoning bullying by any means.  I do think, though, that there should be a stigma attached to obesity, just as there’s a stigma attached to alcoholism, drug use, and tobacco use.  If there were a way to tax obesity I’d probably support that too, so that at least we could recoup some of the money it costs this country to medicate these people. 

I know I sound harsh, but I’m coming from the position that our children learn what they see.  If mom and dad buy fast food every night and sit in front of the TV for hours on end, the kids will think that this is OK.  If mom and dad are obese, the kids will think obesity is OK.  Trust me, I know from experience!  My mom was obese.  Most of the food choices in our house were unhealthy.  We sat and watched TV.  And before I said “enough is enough” I was almost 200 pounds with joints that ached and problems sleeping because of my weight.  I learned how to be obese as a child and I accepted it as normal.  I didn’t learn how to be healthier until I was an adult and looked at my lifestyle objectively to see that it wasn’t (and should never be) normal.

I’m reading the book “Switch” by the Heath brothers.  One of the vignettes in the book talks about being specific when seeking change.  We can tell people over and over to “eat healthy” but most people only have a vague understanding of what healthy eating entails.  So instead, you need to be specific.  Community leaders in one city focused on getting people to switch from whole milk to 2% milk.  They showed the community how much fat and saturated fat is in whole milk, and told the community what ingesting all that extra fat could do to them.  They illustrated the problem, and then told the community they should switch to buying 2% milk to avoid these problems.  It worked. 

I know that the answer isn’t for someone to tell me (or anyone else) to love their fat.  And the answer may not be taxing obesity.  And telling people to make healthy choices is too ambiguous.  So maybe, instead, we should focus on one food choice and one activity choice each year.  This year we’ll focus on replacing sweets with fruit, and walking around the block as a family after dinner instead of turning on the TV.  Those goals are specific and doable first steps for most people. 

I’m not sure what’s bringing out this tirade.  Maybe I’m just tired of the campaign to make obesity acceptable.  Maybe I’m tired of hearing people make excuses  for their obesity.  Maybe I’m tired of going out to eat on a date with my husband and trying to make a healthy choice only to find that the healthiest thing on a menu is onion rings.  Seriously – ONION RINGS!  It’s just so disheartening to believe with every fiber of my being that it is within my power to be healthier only to find that the media, my family, and even date night restaurants are against me making the best decisions for my health.

What Else Are You Half-Assing?

I finally got around to watching last week’s Biggest Loser episode – my guilty pleasure.  Much like any other show, some episodes have lines that just make you think, ya know?  Last week’s was one of those for me.

After a few workouts where the contestants were running sprints at 8 or 9 (not sure if that’s mph or difficulty level), Jillian made them run one sprint at 11 or 12.  Everyone looked at her like she was insane when she said to bump up the speed, but they did it anyway.  Boy, were they thrilled when they finished!  In the little interviews they do at different times during the episodes Jillian talked about that particular workout.  She said something along the lines of “If you’ve been running sprints at 8 when the whole time you could have done it at 12…  what else in your life have you been doing half assed?”

That struck a nerve with me.  How many times do you find yourself doing something one way because it’s easier or because you simply don’t believe you can do it any other way?  Have you even tried doing it differently?  Have you even tried putting forth the effort to improve your performance?

I asked myself these questions and had that little voice in the back of my head calling it “perfectionism.”  But striving to improve yourself, to improve your life and that of those you love is not perfectionism.  Working towards any improvement in life is about loving yourself and others to the extent that you know that your current experience just isn’t good enough AND you’re actively trying to make it better.

I really think that I’ve been half-assing a lot of things in the past few months.  I wonder if there’s a touch of depression, mostly because things haven’t felt “right” for awhile.  So, instead of working towards the goals that I’ve set for myself and my family, I’ve been sitting on my ass paying lip service to those goals hoping that they’ll just go away.  But goals that are verbalized (and published) on the internet never go away.  They stare at you every time you look at your blog stats and see that someone out there has read your post on that particular goal.

Half-assing is definitely easy, but it doesn’t feel good.  Here’s my question then: How do I get out of this funk and whole-ass everything from now on?  Any suggestions?

Super Bowl Half-Time

I don’t typically watch football, mostly because unless someone is actually running into the end zone or kicking the ball between the goal posts I don’t get what’s going on.  But today was the Super Bowl, so I sort of watched.  By that I mean that I cleaned the house and went out to a restaurant with the in-laws to celebrate SIL’s birthday while the game played in the background.

So we’re just getting ready to place our food orders when the half-time show comes on.  I was a bit excited to see it because I’d heard so much about how awesome the half-time shows are.  Once it started, however, all I could think was “Really?  Millions of people are seeing you perform and you suck this hard?  Wow.”  Other people at the restaurant had similar expressions on their faces, and some even voiced my thoughts.

I’m not sure what, exactly, I was expecting.  Something with life perhaps.  Something that didn’t sound so terrible.  Something that was imaginative (although the box-head people were an interesting concept – DH says they reminded him of the box-head guys who chased Gumby).  Either way, the Black Eyed Peas sucked hard.  Better luck next time “singers.”

Home Again

I ended up staying home again today.  Stomach issues that don’t let you be too far from a bathroom aren’t fun.  So I laid on the couch and watched TV all day.

Since I’m all caught up on Biggest Loser, I watched other things.  MTV has a show called “I Used to be Fat” about teens that are graduating from high school and want to use their summer to lose weight and get in shape.  They’re furnished with a personal trainer and a diet plan to accomplish this goal.  It was entertaining, but MTV’s online video playback sucks.  I could only watch 3 episodes and the others were “temporarily unavailable.”

With that disappointment, I went on to another show called “Intervention.”  That one involves alcohol and drug addicts who think they’re doing a documentary about addicts only to find that their families are staging interventions.  Sometimes the interventions work, sometimes they don’t.  Watching their addictions is super sad though.

Then I found a show called “Kicked Out.”  It’s based on the idea that lots of adults are still living at home, but not because they’ve experienced hard times.  It’s because they’re slackers.  Their parents are sick of the mooching, so they kick the slacker out for 2 weeks while the slacker learns to live on their own.  This one was entertaining, but annoying at the same time.  I was amazed at how many of the parents were complete enablers who placed no limitations on their children or required them to meet minimum expectations for staying at home.

DH and I were talking about this issue of spoiled children.  When we were just out of high school there were minimum requirements to be met for our parents to allow us to stay at home.  My mom’s requirements were that I go to school full time or work full time and pay my own bills.  DH’s parents had similar requirements. So my question is: why haven’t the parents in this show even attempted something similar with their children?

I’m not saying our parents were perfect by any means, or that we moved out very quickly (I think we were 27 when we finally flew the coop) but at least we had expectations to meet.  Those expectations got us into the mode of taking care of ourselves.  Why is it so hard for those other parents to do something similar with their kids?

Ugh.  I can feel this starting to be a rant about kids and parents and what I see at the library every day.  But I’ll stop here by saying that everyone needs limits and expectations to meet.  Especially people that are too inexperienced to set them for themselves.

County Fair and Birthdayness

Yesterday was my birthday.  I had a party with Warp Core Breaches and Borg Spheres (very alcoholic beverages), BBQ, and friends.  Maybe it’s a sign of me getting older, but I was ready for the party to end about 2 hours before it did.  It was nice though.

My sister and I successfully completed the Shop Hop.  I got all 14 of my charms for the charm bracelet and some awesome fabric for 2 quilt tops.  Once those are done I’ll pick out the backing fabric.  I spent way more than I really wanted to but I had so much fun!  We’re already talking about going on the March Madness Shop Hop next year.

Today my hunny and I went to the Alameda County Fair.  Even when it’s hot, I like to go.  It’s an excuse to see all kinds of quilts, crafts, animals and a few interesting vendors.  I was disappointed though.  Instead of using the Young California building for the quilts and crafts, they smooshed it all into the science building.  The end result was fewer quilts displayed, no crocheted/quilted projects, and a lot of disappointment on my end.

Tomorrow’s plan is to shop for my hunny’s wedding band.  I have an idea of what it might look like but he needs to be happy with it.  After all, he’ll be the one wearing it.  I also have to get my engagement ring cleaned, and my set sized down a little.  Even though I haven’t lost any more weight, my ring has gotten looser and I’m afraid it might fall off.

That’s about it over here.  I think we’re going to try to watch an episode of The 4400… so far it hasn’t lived up to its pilot’s potential.

Battlestar Gallactica

My hunny and I have watched this show since it began as a mini-series… and now it’s ended. I am truly saddened. Although I understand why it had to come to an end, I wish it could have continued.

For those who don’t know, Battlestar Gallactica was a show on the Sci-Fi network. It was a remake, and it was better than the original. If you assumed that it was merely another Star Trek wannabe, you’d be sorely mistaken. The story lines grip you. The acting is wonderful. There is rarely a “feel good” moment or a happy ending.

This is a show I’d recommend to anyone, regardless of whether they are fans of science fiction. It talks about God, creation, love, death, and more. Give it a chance, I know you’ll like it.

Fraggle Rock!

Do you remember Fraggle Rock? It’s a TV show by Jim Henson that was on when I was a kid. I used to watch it all the time, but it was with much trepidation that I checked it out from the library when I saw it on the shelf. I don’t know why I was so worried. I suppose I worried that it just wouldn’t be as cool as it was when I was a kid. But I can tell you that I was concerned for nothing. It’s still awesome!

So here’s the theme – enjoy!

Fraggle Rock Intro

Futurama

For those of you that don’t know it: Futurama ROCKS!  Tonight just reminded me why.

Awesome quotes from tonight’s show:

Niblonian: They travel from world to world making everyone stupid in order to wipe out all thought in the universe.
Leela: Wipe out all thought? My God, they’re like flying televisions.

[in the library, absorbing all of Earth’s knowledge]
Chief Giant Brain: Pathetic human race. Arranging their knowledge by category just made it easier to absorb. Dewey, you fool! Your decimal system has played right into my hands! Ha ha ha ha!

Fry: [writing] “Leela cried as Fry lay crushed under the book case. The giant brain laughed ‘Ha ha ha!’ Then, for no reason, he left Earth, never to return. The end.” There. Now he’s trapped in a book I wrote. A crummy world of plot holes and spelling errors.
Chief Giant Brain: The big brain am winning! I am the greetest! Mwa-ha-ha-ha! I must now leave Earth for no raisin!

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