Weight Science from Linda Bacon’s Body Respect – HAES Book Summary

We are constantly warned about the dangers of obesity and urged to manage our weight. These messages come from all directions, including authorities we trust and peers who judge us. But consider for a moment that our accepted assumptions may not represent fully what we know from scientific evidence.

To begin with, the following facts are from Body Respect by Linda Bacon, and you can confirm them in the peer-reviewed article at http://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-10-9

  • People who are categorized as overweight or moderately obese have shown time and time again to live as long as or longer than people with weight in the normal category (confirmed even by the CDC)
  • BMI standards were written by the pharmaceutical industry to increase weight loss drug profits, ignoring that health decrement hasn’t shown to occur until a BMI of 40 (they funded the international obesity task force that determined the WHO’s standards and therefore the U.S. standards)
  • Larger people are more likely to develop several diseases but fatness is not the cause – there are many confounding factors like fitness, stress from discrimination, and inflammation from calorie-restriction dieting and weight cycling – “blaming fatness for heart disease is a lot like blaming yellow teeth for lung cancer”
  • “There has never been a research study that has demonstrated long-term maintenance of weight loss from lifestyle change for any but a small minority” – the rare person who does maintain weight loss is as lucky as the smoker who lives to be ninety
  • Health can improve when diet and/or exercise improve – not as a result of weight loss – yet at the same time, health behaviours account for less than 1/4 of differences in health outcomes, while social differences (i.e. poverty and discrimination) are the main determinants (again confirmed by the CDC)

If you’re like me, you’re probably tempted to object to the above sample of facts because we fear fat so strongly. However, ignorance has hurt us through lifetime yo-yo dieting, obsession with food and body, disordered eating, weight discrimination, and even poor health, the very thing we think we’re helping by stigmatizing fatness.

Honestly, though… even if I can be healthy at my current weight, I still deep down really want to look the way I did when I was slimmer. In the past I was able to lose weight by manipulating calories – if only I’d just tried harder and longer! Mind you, I’m still stuck with these feelings years after I learned exactly why the belief that I can just force a caloric deficit long-term is, well, unfounded. So let’s forgive each other for not being without bias and just open ourselves up a little more to the possibility that there may be a better way than constantly forcing an attempt to lose weight.

Weight-Loss

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Rapid Fat Loss Program – My boyfriend lost 50 lbs!

Over four months, my boyfriend lost 50 lbs using Lyle McDonald‘s Rapid Fat Loss diet. It’s a Protein Sparing Modified Fast. He ate a LOT of lean meat, very few carbs, and huge cheat meals twice a week – I’m talking 6 beers, McDonald’s, and candy.

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2 Weeks In & 10 Pounds Down with Tracy Anderson

In 2 weeks of Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis exercise and diet, I have lost 9.6 pounds! According to my weight scale’s body fat estimate, about 5 of those pounds have been fat loss (the remainder likely water weight, bloat I’m just as happy to lose). I also reduced my waist by 1.5 inches, my thighs by 1.5 inches, my chest by 2 inches, my hips by 2 inches, and my arms by 0.5 inches each. I’m very happy with the results!

159 progress

I hear most people say the diet is the hardest part, but the exercise has been hardest for me. My energy is still pretty low. Which is not to say the diet was easy – there were times I didn’t want to eat the same pureed carrots as yesterday and times when I wanted to indulge in extra chocolate. I was able to remind myself of my goals, though, and there was no rationalizing an unhealthy decision. Now that I’ve decided to go off the Tracy Anderson diet, it’s even more difficult to resist those temptations. I already had two bowls of mangos and pistachios.

The Tracy Anderson program definitely works, but I’m not sure at what cost… besides which, I worry this is yet another “crash diet” that will only result in regained weight “and then some.” Still, I’m committed to being healthy so I’m hopeful.

Tracy Anderson Method Day 8

In 7 days following Tracy Anderson’s Metamorphosis exercise plan and her book’s meal plan, I’ve gone from 168.6 pounds and 34% body fat to 161.6 pounds and 33% body fat!

Yesterday was my rest day and boy did I rest. I made meals from leftovers because that day seemed so unappetizing, but I still based it around previous days on the meal plan. Despite the great results, I’ve been contemplating ending the plan earlier than 30 days… maybe 2 weeks… I’m worried I’ll injure myself working out because I don’t have a strong enough foundation. The moves requiring core strength are particularly tough for me to keep balance, nevermind complete the move properly, which Tracy emphasizes is key. And I’m not feeling in a rush to lose all the weight in a month. 

Mixing it up and hopefully making the eating side of things easier, I’m moving from the book to the Metamorphosis meal plan. It starts with a “nutrient boost” week of pureed foods, the same meal every day. We’ll see how satisfied I am eating the same thing every day – I don’t actually anticipate a problem. And preparing all the meals in advance should be a lot easier than last week.

As planned, I ate about every 2 hours. I don’t have or want a juicer, so I bought freshly juiced kale, spinach, carrots, and celery which was fine, I’ve had it before. Second was blueberry applesauce, which I’ve also had last week, and it was much appreciated. Third, sweet potato and corn didn’t blend too well in my Magic Bullet but still tasted pretty good. Fourth, carrot and parsnip puree was good too! Fifth, gazpacho… not so good, but tolerable. I may switch it out for Tracy’s broccoli soup. Sixth, the chicken vegetable soup is good, also a repeat from last week. And finally, the chocolate chestnut pudding. The Magic Bullet let me down again but it was still delicious! I love having chocolate on a diet!

I decided to do the muscular structure workout before cardio this time because I was really struggling last time. I performed a teeny tiny bit better. And then I slacked off in cardio, taking breaks the whole way through. I still worked up a good sweat but didn’t feel over-winded afterward like usual. I feel like doing a bit of an experiment – do I need to go 100% in cardio or can I get my desired results by challenging myself at an enjoyable level?

Tracy Anderson Method Days 2-6

In 5 days on the Tracy Anderson Method, my weight has dropped from 168.6 to 162.8 pounds and the scale says my body fat percentage has gone down with it! I feel very good about what I’ve accomplished already. I did just under an hour of intense sweaty burning exercise 6 days in a row and I’ve been committed to the meal plan.

It’s been tough, though not exactly in the ways I expected. I knew the cardio would be very difficult so the first day, I just did as much as I could, which was 15 of the 29 minutes. Each day thereafter, I’m proud to say I’ve added one minute more, plus two minutes at the very end. So today, Day 6, I completed 22 minutes of jumping nearly non-stop. It’s very challenging, but each extra minute has been doable when I make it a must. 

I thought the toning, the muscular structure workout, would become easier as I grew more familiar with the movements. I improved over the first few days, but today I regressed a bit taking several big breaks and really half-assing the final set of reps. I felt like I just couldn’t do more. I know I could, though, because I did just yesterday. I think part of it was fatigue from a long day yesterday and a generally lower mood today than the previous 5 days. I have to remember why I’m doing this and insist on a regular habit to achieve those results.  

Now, the diet was the area where I anticipated the most trouble but it’s been a breeze compared to the exercise. Sure, a few of the meals haven’t been very unappetizing, but I haven’t really been hungry and I haven’t really had cravings – which quite rare for this Miss Emotional Eater. I’ve even gone out with friends a couple times and watched everyone else eat while I sit there with my water, not hungry, only feeling a little weird. Still, I haven’t been able to be 100% because of mistakes I’ve made with grocery shopping, cooking, and understanding the portions from the book. 

Thank God tomorrow is a rest day from exercise! I need it! It’s so hard I’ve contemplated a few times trying something less intensive, more diet-based, but then I recommit to the original minimum 30 days. One thing I’m changing is from the book’s meal plan to the Metamorphosis dynamic eating plan. The biggest frustration with the diet has been unclear portions and wasteful ingredients, which doesn’t look to be an issue with Metamorphosis. I’m excited to make that component easier (and have chocolate every day for the first week) plus hopeful the rest day will help me get back to progress with the exercise.