Posts in category Dieting

Chasing the Deep


The media teach us

that our primary goals as women

should be weight loss and the pursuit of beauty,

and this is particularly true of celebrities.


Maybe it's time for us all to stop chasing pavements

in that direction

and instead,

start rolling in the deeper goals.


  Original Quote: "I love food and hate exercise," she laughs. "I don't have time to work out. Go buy my record; then I'll be able to lose weight. I actually don't care. I don't want to be on the cover of Playboy or Vogue. I want to be on the cover of Rolling Stone or Q. I'm not a trend-setter -- I'm a singer. I never want to be known for anything else. I'd rather weigh a ton and make an amazing album then look like Nicole Richie and do a shit album. My aim in life is never to be skinny." -- Adele    

Beauty Magazines Make Us Feel Ugly


In a recent study, researchers found that 100% of women felt bad about their appearance after looking at beauty magazines for just a few minutes. From one of the authors: “Surprisingly, we found that weight was not a factor. Viewing these pictures was just bad for everyone,” said Laurie Mintz, associate professor of education, school and counseling psychology in the MU College of Education. “It had been thought that women who are heavier feel worse than a thinner woman after viewing pictures of the thin ideal in the mass media. The study results do not support that theory."


I happened upon this brilliant way of fighting back. This was part of a campaign by the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) in Canada that targeted beauty magazines. From NEDIC's website: "To involve the public in our campaign, this transit shelter ad appeals to dieters and those who feel the pressure to diet (virtually all women), empowering them with a way to really shed their weight problem."





Text at bottom of display:

"Recent studies confirm reading beauty magazines makes us feel fat."



Another study demonstrated "... the role of the media in shaping, rather than merely reflecting, societal perceptions of the female body. Consistent with our hypothesis, it was found that women's body image satisfaction is, indeed, influenced by their exposure to the thin ideal presented in fashion magazines."


(Want more? Here's one of my previous posts on this topic.)

No More Wire Hangers!


Introducing Skinny Hangers!

Because you can never be too skinny --

and apparently, neither can your hangers.




Just make sure to avoid this kind,

no matter how skinny they are:


Gaining Losses


We often measure our success as women in numbers -- judging ourselves in terms of pounds, size, and age.  Lower numbers indicate success, while higher equal failure. And as such, we’ve developed a counter-intuitive association between losing and gaining. In our worlds, losing equals success and gaining equals failure.


We focus on losing weight, lowering our sizes, taking years off our faces. But consider for a moment how refreshing it would feel to focus on losing the following instead:



self-critical voice


judging ourselves from the outside in


And instead of worrying about gaining weight, going up in size, or showing years on our faces, how great would it be if we could gain these?:

confidence passion intuitive knowledge joyfulness/hopefulness experiencing ourselves from the inside out


Our culture has taught us the convoluted notion that losing superficial aspects of ourselves like weight will lead to positive internal states like happiness. But then there always seems to be one more step to take, one more improvement to make, one more product to buy. That carrot is continually dangled farther and farther away, making us feel like failures, and drawing us toward that extra slice of carrot cake for temporary relief. This cycle may be self-defeating to us, but it also helps the beauty and diet industries gain billions of dollars in revenue, while losing nothing.


Maybe it’s time to reexamine what losing and gaining really mean.

Drive-Through Diet

© 2010 Nancy Lynne Kanter

See Victoria’s Secret Candies

I snapped this photo while shopping at my local mall. Seriously, what kind of sadistic bastard would put these two stores next to each other? They might as well go ahead and add a Lane Bryant to the mix and complete the body angst triad. Jeez.

Love Your Body (only if it looks good)

Every form of media reminds us that our bodies are not acceptable as is. Perfect female forms are used to decorate movies, magazines, music, makeup ads, and more. It’s hard to avoid seeing all those images and just as hard to avoid negatively comparing ourselves.
Thankfully, we women have empowering sites like this to balance that out. They even have a special “Love Your Body” section, dedicated to helping us, you know, love our bodies. Let’s check it out together, shall we?
Here’s a recent screenshot:

First of all, if I looked like the “Love Your Body” flexing girls at top, I’d probably love my body too. The rest of the page isn’t that bad though. I can get behind dressing in a way that best flatters my shape. By the way, it’s refreshing to see a photo of the not-stereotypically-perfect-looking Queen Latifah. Moving on … yes, hydrating oneself is good … and one can do this with Crystal Light Pure Fitness, apparently. (Question: if I turn my water into fitness water, will it turn my body into a fitness body?)
Scroll down to next screenshot:

First, we have “10 Healthy Things You Can Do In 10 Minutes.” Sounds good. Hold on now … what’s this? “Look Amazing By Next Monday” accompanied by a picture of stereotypically-hot-bikini-girl. What’s today? (checking calendar) Wednesday? Well crap – I’d better hurry up then! I’m pretty sure that no matter what I do though, there’s no way I’ll look like her by Monday. However, if I glance to the right, I find that there are 6 ways I can look amazing in just 48 hours. Well which is it?! Do I have 48 hours or until Monday to look amazing?! Someone please tell me! I need to know how much Crystal Light Pure Fitness I have to drink!!!
Scroll down again:

Now this is interesting. Just when we thought that hitting legal drinking age was the time of our beauty peak, a new survey finds that it actually occurs 10 years later. Good news – all that drinking has served us well! Next time someone tells me, “Looks like you’ve been partying a lot,” I’ll consider it a compliment! I appreciate the ethnically diverse photo of women who also seem to have partied a lot. And we move on to the next story … “5 Healthy Tips to Look Hot in 3 Days” … wait a second. WTF? I’m so confused! Do I have 48 hours, 3 days, or until Monday?! I won’t be able to sleep until I find out! This is driving me nuts! It’s enough to make me want to just jump off a bridge and forget it.
Scroll down yet again:

I give up.

I Lost 50 lbs. by Eating Cardboard, & You Can Too!*

* Results not typical
I know that this may come as a shock to some, but those prepackaged, Lean Cuisine®-Nutrisystem®-Jenny Craig®-style meals are not food. They’re simply not meant for human consumption. Lean Cuisine® is hardly cuisine in any traditional sense of the word, Nutrisystem® has a negligible number of natural nutrients, and I’m willing to bet that Jenny Craig’s curriculum vitae doesn’t contain any kind of culinary career.
Each cellophane-film-covered plastic tray contains a chemically-enhanced food-like product (and maybe a few extra hyphens). The colorful photo on the box fools us into thinking that the contents are appealing (and only 300 calories!), but once we open that box, we’re dealt the harsh hand of reality, and we find that it’s full of jokers.
Advertisements for these “foods” feature B-list celebrity endorsers standing in front of the camera and striking three-quarter poses in their new Vogue-worthy bodies. They sneer at their ghastly “before” photos snapped by sneaky paparazzi, and treat their old selves with the same disdain reserved for the fat girl in gym class. They wordlessly admit that they’ve given into the shame of being caught fat in public. And damn, if they aren’t going to do something about it! [Enter cape-wearing diet program.]
These celebrities stand there claiming they lost weight by eating delicious treats like pizza and chocolate! OMG! But that sounds crazy, because we all know that pizza and chocolate aren’t diet foods. Duh! ... But wait! Sometimes they are! And if Kirstie Alley and Marie Osmond can drop 50 pounds indulging in such “treats,” then you can too! (Be sure to note the “Results not typical” message in tiny print at the bottom of EVERY one of these ads: Go on and check … I’ll wait.)

Have you ever tried frozen diet pizza? (Choking down a microwaved frozen diet pizza in a cubicle is a sure-fire way to kick off an existential crisis in anyone.) Have you peeled off the cellophane and folded the box over to reveal the advanced science of a crisping tray? Have you stuck it in the microwave, all the while talking yourself into how it’s really not that bad, and you wouldn’t SO rather have the giant carne asada burrito from that delicious Mexican take-out place that your co-worker is devouring (BTW -- she's devouring the burrito, not the place)? Have you bitten into said pizza, burning the roof of your mouth and adding more misery to an already miserable meal? Oh you have? Well, then you most assuredly know that these “pizzas” taste like they smeared a dab of Prego sauce on a slice of cardboard and dusted on a pinch of waxy cheese product. In fact, the box could even double as seconds!
You might as well be eating this:

In other words, it’s delicious!
Look – it even has stuffed crust!

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