WEIGHT LOSS MAKING SENSE OUT OF WEIGHT LOSS NONSENSE
Claire Dorotik LMFT
You’ve been counting calories, exercising diligently, drinking more water, and learning about the “right” foods to eat. You even went to the health food store. As you have thoroughly raided your cupboards of any evil temptations, and thrown away all of the unfinished ice cream containers in your freezer, you stop to wonder: is this really going to work? Pondering that question the absurdity of the attempt to lose weight hits you. Here we are in a society somehow maliciously determined to make ourselves suffer. We create the richest chocolate shakes, the juiciest burgers, the cheesiest pizzas, and the biggest servings of everything. Heck we are the master of the supersize. And then, we create these movie stars, celebrities and public figures that make even Barbie’s unrealistic measurements seem too big. She would have been a 34, 24, 38.
What are we supposed to do? There is even a new diagnostic category in the DSM-IV manual for binge eating. These people have become so addicted to the food they have lost control. If being super-thin is considered “good”, then why do we have all this good stuff? It seems absurd to you as you reach for your last half eaten container of ice cream and toss it on top on the “People” magazine cover with the picture of Angelina Jolie.
It seems fitting that both of those things should go in the trash. After all, you just read an article on the National Institute of Health website that reported that the average mood of people when watching a sitcom was mild depression. Perhaps reading People magazine has the same affect. After all, all those actresses and models look the same. In fact, they kind of look about as plastic as the ice cream that is melting onto Angelina face. If the website also said that eating “fake” foods like every diet food these days, is bad for you, then, it occurred to you that possibly the same bad affect the doctors are warning you about might happen if you are exposed to those “fake” people. And what isn’t fake these days? More than 65% of the U.S. population is currently trying to lose weight, according to the website. When you went to the grocery store, it certainly wasn’t hard to find what you wanted in a diet version. As you piled the low sugar jam on top of the low sugar, low carb bread, you felt as though you had discovered some hidden treasure. Everything came in a diet version. You could even get Ben and Jerry’s chocolate explosion ice cream in low sugar. It even felt like an explosion in your gut as you got so excited and downed the whole thing, only to read the label and discover that the “fake” sugar, aspartame can have laxative effects. That’s when the People magazine came in handy as you were stuck in the bathroom for the rest of the night to predicament you were in. What is going on here, you wondered? No wonder that website also said that we are the most depressed nation on the planet.
As you take a look at your zippy new Nike running shoes staring across the room at you, you think to yourself, no wonder we are all gaining weight, nobody feels like exercising when they are depressed. Or, wait, are we so depressed because we have gained weight? This is all getting so confusing. Good thing that website included a mental health section, thinking about all this weight loss stuff is enough to make anybody crazy. Hey wait a minute, they did say sunlight was good for ADD kids. As you look back at your Nikes, they do seem to be pointing toward the door. Maybe if sunlight helps those ADD kids, it will help make sense out of this mess.
You lace your shoes and step outside, thinking maybe, just maybe you’ll find some answers. You start down your block, and head to the nearest park, if sunshine is good, grass, and trees might be better still. The more nature, the better right?
Then it hits you: the website said sunshine is good for the mental health of ADD kids, yet all those weight loss products never mention anything about health. In fact, neither do the celebrities. And they sure as heck don’t all look so healthy. If Brittany Spears, Mel Gibson, Pamela Anderson, and Michael Jackson are any example of health, we all better pick up our needles and start aiming for the nearest vein. Wait a minute, you stop dead in your tracks. Didn’t that weight loss product Metabolife get implicated in several deaths? Whoever thought getting thin could kill you? The doctor told you to lose weight or else you could die early, but he didn’t say losing weight could kill you. He must have meant that you should lose weight to get healthy, but he sure probably didn’t mean you should lose your health to lose weight. Or your mind for that matter.
You shake your head, losing weight shouldn’t come with a warning label. Neither should the people we look to as healthy. As you approach the park, you think to yourself, since when did the focus on health get lost with all the weight we are supposed to lose? Something moving quickly to your left catches you eye. As you turn your head, you see your neighbor’s daughter racing across the grass with the reckless abandon only a six year old could know. Now that looks healthy. You think back to when you felt that energetic. It must have been 10 years since you bothered to break into a trot. And that was only to snatch the last chocolate chip cookie from your husband’s hand. What the heck, you decide to give it a try. You gingerly take a few steps. Hey this doesn’t feel so bad, you think, impressed with the little bit of spring in your step. Maybe you haven’t lost it after all these years. This actually doesn’t feel too bad, and you stretch your stride out a little, then a little more, and before you know it, you’ve crossed the grass. A little sign posted on the fence catches your attention. It’s a brochure for a 10K race in your neighborhood. Something tells you to take a look. 10K seems far, actually 10 of anything athletic seems daunting. But wait, it supports leukemia. That seems noble. Those poor kids with leukemia go through a lot more than running a 10 K you think. And there’s a walking division. Now either the sun has really gotten to you, or you are actually considering doing this. Well it doesn’t come with a warning label you laugh to yourself.
And it does seem to make more sense than spending endless hours comparing low carb, low sugar, high protein, zero calorie, and “lite” versions of everything food item known to man. Or was that chemical item known to man? Your head spins with the thought.
At least this $25 entry fee supports a charity. That a heck of a lot more than any of those diet products can say. And you never know, this running stuff just might catch on, you think to yourself as you take down the number and head off across the grass again. Compared to the weight loss efforts you’ve been trying, maybe this health stuff isn’t so bad. And that website was right, the sunshine did help your temporary case of ADD.
As a recovering anorexic, and a licensed clinical therapist (MFT), with a B.S. in Kinesiology, Claire possesses the pivotal life experience combined with the clinical understanding of the debilitating effects of chronic dieting, restricting, overeating, and the resultant feelings of guilt, shame, and self hate. Because recovery is a lifelong journey, Claire has made it her passion to provide the understanding and guidance that was so vital to her recovery. Claire recognizes that in a thin obsessed society traditional diet programs chronically fail as they neglect to address the underlying emotional etiology of eating behavior. Claire was drawn to Live In Fitness because of the comprehensive approach that she believes imperative in overcoming the cycle of dieting and overeating. Claire holds a B.S. in Kinesiology, and an M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy, and is licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Additionally, Claire is a certified personal trainer (ACSM, ACE, ISSA, AFFA) and has worked for over 13 years in the fitness field as a certified personal trainer, wellness consultant, biomechanics consultant, and rehabilitation specialist. Claire has developed programs for many organizations, including Nokia, Bally’s, Miracles For Moms, Prototypes Women’s Center, and Fitness Together. Claire has been a featured author for several publications including Trail Runner, Her Sports, and Ride magazines. Additionally, Claire also writes continuing education courses for International Sports Science Association, in the field of improving the education and knowledge of personal trainers. Claire has spent the last four years focusing on the substance abuse recovery population and possesses a comprehensive understanding of chemical dependence and addictions, and the effect they have on weight, metabolism, and eating behavior. For more information on Claire Dorotik, go to her website www.clairedorotik.com.