Thursday, September 27, 2007

Not enough hours in the day

For the record, I eat relatively healthily. Sure, every once in a while I have ice cream and hamburgers, but more often than not, I have salads. I've pretty much given up "white foods" -- pasta, sugar, bread, and rice. And I exercise -- not as much as I would like, but I generally go to the gym a couple of times a week, I walk outside, and I occasionally take the stairs instead of the elevator.

But apparently, it's not enough. In order to lose weight, the contestants on shows like The Biggest Loser exercise four to six hours per day.

Yeah, you read that right -- four to six hours each and every day.

I think I probably get about six hours of exercise in an entire week -- when I'm being diligent. For me to get four to six hours of exercise every day, I would have to give up sleep. Or work. Maybe both.


Chaim said...

I don't think those shows are intending to portray a realistic workout regimen. If they are, they are insane. I don't think anyone who works full-time has time for such nonsense. Hell, I am between jobs right now, and even I don't have time to exercise that much!

dara said...

I think those shows are meant to motivate people with an "If they can do it, you can too" message. But it's kind of intellectually dishonest for the shows to not say how much exercise time is necessary to achieve similar results.

While I'm the first to admit that I'm not diligent enough about diet and exercise -- I drink too much, I don't drink enough water, I occasionally eat unhealthy things, and I don't have a set exercise routine -- I try. (I also don't have hundreds of pounds that I need to lose.) So, I pretty much gave up unhealthy carbs for the entire summer, and wound up losing 12 pounds -- most of it in the first six weeks. But when I watch those shows with people losing 12 pounds in one episode, I start to beat myself up for not being a more successful dieter. At least now I understand why.

Washington Cube said...

Interesting, because my trainer and I were discussing this show last night. I use him for personal training (mainly weights), and also for Pilates. He raised a valid point where they can be too much exercise, and an even more valid point that you are at higher risk for injury doing that. It is intellectually dishonest, and it again ties into that American obsession of "the quick fix." We are a country that loves the success story. Which is also why our situation in Iraq is interesting in terms of uh...history repeats and Vietnam and...who let you in the side door?

I, too, have pretty much dumped pasta, rice, bread, potatoes out of my eating regimen. I'm usually purdy darn careful what goes in and told a Pilates instructor recently that I view food solely as fuel now.

It's not that you're not a successful dieter. It is, as you say, they have greater poundage to lose, and those first pounds come off very quickly. It's that last ten or twenty you can do battle with. Just quote Patton to yourself in the mirror. "Rommel? You magnificent bastard? I read your BOOK!" Wait...that might not work. Try the no yellowbellies quote. :)

dara said...

When you're working hard at something (like dieting and exercise) and see people getting what seems like a quick fix, it's disheartening.

The food as fuel thing is tricky. I can do it most of the time. Sometimes, though, it's more of a social or comfort thing. That's what I need to work on.

And yeah, maybe I need to look in the mirror with better motivational quotes. Right now my mantra is more like "It's okay that you're not a toothpick -- just as long as you don't have to start shopping in special stores." It's the fear of having Anthropologie (and, to a lesser extent, the Gap) taken away from me that keeps me going.

Washington Cube said...

You want motivation through shopping? Go into Saks Jandel or Neimans where the largest size they carry is a 2. That will do it. And yes, I'm being flippant, but you know what I mean.

dara said...

That would just make me cry.

mineIsay said...

i have something that will cheer you up, long read, but in summation it says that there is 0 correlation between exercise and weight loss!

dara said...

Sadly, unlike Lance Armstrong, my body is "constitutionally set against not storing calories as fat," and my "fat tissue wants to store calories, leaving [my] muscles with a relative dearth of energy to burn." But I guess I can take solace in the fact that my low-carb lifestyle is better for me.