Thursday, May 8, 2008

WTF, Low Cal Gal?

I thought I was going to blog today about how my job search is close to causing me panic. However, I did have a second interview this morning with one place, and I thought it went okay. I have a second interview that I'm really looking forward to next week. If I don't get either of these jobs, I think my nerves will be shot. But I decided after watching some lunchtime TV that's not what today's blog is really about.

There is this show on the Discovery Health channel around noontime called "Weighted". I don't normally watch it, because I'm usually catching up on the "What Not to Wear" rerun on TLC, however I'd seen today's WNTW like 3 times already. I switch over to Discovery Health to find a pear-shapely, pretty-faced blonde lady (hereafter PFBL) crying to her personal trainer because she DOESN'T WANT TO eat healthy whole grains. PFBL is literally crying over a suggestion of healthy carbs!

Honestly, if I didn't know that carbs could be healthy, I would be crying tears of joy if someone told me to eat them as part of a weight-loss plan!

Poor PFBL has herself all worked up into a major tizzy because her trainer/nutritionist is telling her it's okay to eat carbs. The trainer gets so fed up with PFBL's refusal to accept a healthy, balanced diet that she actually quits. I don't think I've ever seen a personal trainer quit on a diet/fitness show before! I don't really blame her, though. PFBL has some kind of incredible mindset that she should just never eat carbs. Ever. In fact, she also wants to eat a low-calorie diet because she knows she'll lose more weight. I think if you're trying to lose weight, it's okay to eat fewer calories, but wait until you see where PFBL wants to take this.

Trainer #2 shows up. He has her doing an activity where they compare healthy lunch ideas. He has a low-fat turkey sandwich made with whole-grain bread, plus lettuce and mustard. He has a low-fat yogurt cup, some fresh fruit as snacks, and some carrots. PFBL sneers at his carrots. "They have SO many carbs in them!" she practically gags.

I am thinking, "Wow, if that's something I can eat to be healthy and lose weight, why am I not eating that right now? I love carrots and low-fat yogurt!"

She shows the trainer her lunch. No fruits. An afternoon snack of a bit of cheese and two Melba toasts. (So, if you don't know what Melba toasts are, think 2 crackers.) Only some iceberg lettuce salad with a carefully measured ounce of cheese and some meat from a can. I can't tell if it's tuna or chicken, but she says it tastes awful. The trainer says, "So you're telling me you don't like this at all, but you're eating it anyway?"

"It's how I'm going to lose weight," answers PFBL. "Low-carb, low-calorie. I'm only eating 800 calories a day."

That's not a typo, kids. Pretty-Faced Blonde Lady said eight hundred calories. The trainer almost flips on her. He scolds her that she's starving herself, and she's NOT going to keep the weight off because she'll yo-yo back up again when she starts to eat normally. I think she starts crying again--she's worked so hard, how could he be so meeeean, waaahhhhh.... By this time, I am so irritated with this woman that I go off to make my own lunch--a big bowl of veggie soup and a peanut butter sandwich.

OMG! CARBS!! But I digress...

I was even more irritated with the end of the program, where PFBL finds she has lost 41 pounds and a total of 22 inches. She looks good, but I am certain that she is not following the trainer's food advice. She never indicated any interested in it. However, once she completed a 10K run, showed the trainer her improved time on the obstacle course, and had her final weigh-in, no one seems concerned that this poor lady is a Diet Nazi who beats herself up emotionally for wanting a slice of bread once in a while. Suddenly, everyone is all, "Oh, how great for you PFBL! You're amazing!"

PFBL comments, "I've never been this thin before! I think I want to lose even MORE weight!"

And I change the channel. What was I learning from that show? What was anyone learning from that show? I think people get too obsessive about their diets and about losing weight, and a show that is supposed to help the participants feel better about themselves just perpetuated the cycle of keeping us a diet- and thin-crazed nation.

Let's all go out and only eat 800 calories a day! Of course the pounds will melt right off! We'll all be single-digit sizes in no time!

People who obsess about dieting really irritate me. It's one thing if you do it to decrease your insulin resistance or some other health reason, but honestly, we don't all need to be a size 4. Or a 6. What is our country's collective obsession with being a single digit size? If I drop some pounds or inches, I'd hope to make it down to a size 14--I think that would rock.

I don't know about you, but I think PFBL and many others could learn the virtues of healthy eating by holding a party in their tummy. Remember, kids, the carrots, green beans, and even (gasp!) carbs all wanna go to the party!! See?


  1. I was SO HAPPY when the song kicked back in! Can't leave poor carrots and green beans out of the fun!!


  2. party in tummy = yay. that video was amazing.

    i can't deal with ridiculous-dieting-to-be-skinny people either. in our craigslist ad we posted to find a third roommate, we actually put "good eater" on there, right along with non-smoker and queer-friendly.

    good luck with job stuff, i hope something turns out soon.


Remember to use your commenting powers for good, not evil. Excelsior!