Friday, August 28, 2009

The Myth

This week in Time there is an article about exercise leading to weight loss being a myth. They say that diet matters so much more.
Yes, I could have told you that. After doing P90x for six straight weeks this summer and seeing zero actual weight loss, I told my Ted's breakfast sandwich that he wasn't doing me any good. And why not? He's yummy, and protein filled, and packed with fat. After my discussion with him, I looked at my glazed doughnut right in the eyes and told her that if she did not get herself worked off by the end of my hour long squats session, I would be annoyed, and may not come see her again for at least two weeks.

The only one who listened to me at all during my 6 weeks of P90x was my shoulders, who decided to pop up out of nowhere and slink back into nowhere under my shirt sleeves. What good is having shapely shoulders if they don't connect to shapely biceps and forearms?
I'll tell you. No good.

Then we hit my 2 week vacation, on which the second half my P90x dvd's were temporarily stolen. Then I got back and started school.
I tell you. Working is an exercise killer. Because work is work and exercise is work and if you're going to drop one work, you're certainly going to be dropping the work that doesn't work at all.

So now that everyone and their mother and Time magazine is telling me to stop visiting Ted's for breakfast, and stop looking at Tastespotting on fast sunday, and stop going to birthday parties, I want to throw out a few other myths regarding dieting.

Eating a big breakfast does NOT make you less hungry at lunch. If your name is Mariko and you are eating a big breakfast, you are halfway starved by lunch. And if you eat a big lunch, it does NOT make you less hungry at dinner. Oatmeal has got to be the least sticking breakfast there is. My stomach can metabolize oatmeal in 30 minutes.

Stopping when you are "satisfied" does not leave you full 15 minutes later. My brain is quite hungry 15 minutes later.

Eating a piece of fruit or drinking a glass of water when you are hungry does NOT stave off the beast. Total LIE! Not only do you not care about eating a piece of fruit when you are hungry, but if you do force yourself to eat fruit instead of a Nutella sandwich, you are so about to eat a Nutella sandwich 5 minutes later. So not only have you consumed a Nutella sandwich, you have eaten the sugar from a piece of fruit. Actually, you have already eaten the sugar of 5 pieces of fruit, because getting full off of fruit is the biggest lie there is, but you were trying to believe in it anyway. And yes. You are still going to be hungry for dinner. In fact, you are probably going to be hungry after dinner too, because you tried to make part of your dinner a salad.

Exercise combined with eating less is supposed to work. Problem is, there is no way you are exercising when you feel like crap from eating less.

And the last myth. The killer. The one where people tell you you look fine and you don't need to diet. I know. People with eating disorders never believe it either. But when you weigh 20 lbs more than you did before you had a baby and don't fit your clothes without sporting a muffin top and people ask you all the time if you are pregnant...

The only thing about dieting that is true is that you're sick of talking about it, thinking about it, and doing it, and so is everyone else listening to you. But you can't stop anyway, even though you aren't looking for sympathy. When you're hungry, the only thing you're thinking about is food. And not eating it. And pretty soon you're Cathy Guisewite. You even look like her.

So I guess I'm about to eat another piece of canteloupe.


Damaris @Kitchen Corners said...

Christian was telling me about this article and I was all like "YES!" because I get no exercise ever but I also don't crave sugar except now in my last trimester where I find myself eating honey-nut cheerios with honey on top.

I'll start a diet with you (long distance) after this baby is born. We can obsess together

Sylvia Louise said...

Amen to that crap about eating a big breakfast. Eating breakfast makes me hungrier. If I don't eat breakfast, I don't get hungry until about 2 or 3 in the afternoon. But of course, "people who eat breakfast are skinnier." What's your take on that could-be myth?

I like to eat some enhanced* fruit for a snack. Like apple slices with huge gobs of peanut butter on them. But I still count it as just plain fruit. I have some denial issues with food.

And lastly, you know what I hate? I hate when I work out really hard, feel awful, and think to myself, "now, this MUST mean that I'm getting thinner." Then I go home and the scale has not budged. Robbed. Completely robbed. There's no justice in this world.

Masayuki said...

Or you could just be born skinny... For some of us it's a real problem. I try to gain weight. Really. I was up to 150 on my mission. That was when I was eating 5 meals a day at members houses and riding my bike 40 miles a day. No joke. There was a reason I was only in that area for 3 transfers. But now I'm back to 145. Nothing I can do to change that. At least I should start running so I'll look bigger.

April said...

Or it could be your thyroid. I have eaten the same for my entire life and in the past 5 years I have dropped 60 pounds. No exercise. All thyroid. I eat the same. Don't get me wrong. I am happy. But just the opposite can happen at any time. I can put it right back on. And then I will cry.

Mariko said...

Da: Well, with you it's crazy because you love to eat bacon and cream just as much as I do. So I think you break all myths.
Syl: ENHANCED FRUIT. I so do that. I love that term. I don't really understand people who just eat fruit anyway. And I eat breakfast. EVERY SINGLE DAY. So I'm pretty sure that's not true. I think what they're actually saying is that most people do eat breakfast, and some of those people happen to be skinny. And I agree about the robbery. I think the same thing when I diet. Like the scale should show me some major change in one day. Or two at the most.
Kegan: Um, I'm pretty sure you were a chubby baby. And luckily for you, I foresee a pot belly in the future.
I do think if I go on the Kegan diet (get bored with the food before I'm actually done), I'd probably lose weight. You could go on the Mariko diet if you want to gain weight.
April: Sometimes I think I'd be very happy if that was the case, but I doubt I want to be on some drugs. I don't have any of the other symptoms. I didn't know that the thyroid thing went the other way though-- You certainly never hear anyone complaining about it.

cailin said...

Well here's one that's no myth. The 30 milestone--aka metabolism bomb. I hit thirty and immediately gained 10lbs. What's up with that? I've lost 3 since I joined the YMCA but I think the rest is here for good. So I say--forget about it and get new cute clothes that fit right and cheer me up. Soooo much better than sweating over the P90X--though I do miss doing that with you. And laughing at my inability to get through a single routine properly.

Melinda said...

did i tell you that you inspired me to get P90X? we got it like 3 weeks ago, and so far i've only done like 3 videos. no weights, no pullups. i'm pretty casual about it.
the cool thing is ephraim's started doing ab ripper x every other day. he'll actually turn on the video, get on the ground, and exercise with me! that's worth enduring all of tony horton's obnoxiousness. (doesn't he remind you of michael scott?)

anyway, no weight loss yet. for either of us. and not really expecting it. i believe weight change is basically beyond human control.

i wish you and cailin were here to to banana/superman with me.

Robbie said...

Exercise should feel good when you're done! And eating should be a positive experience, too, Mighty. I know you love really good food too much to feel guilty for eating it, and I love you for that. I know deep down, you can't care that much about losing weight as you express in your blog posts. But they sure are fun to read! I love your writing and wish I could be half as good with words as you are.

Whatever--people are NOT asking you all the time if you're pregnant! I don't believe it, anyway.

Unknown said...

Eating apples make me hungrier. I was eating one at recess one day and the whole time I'm eating it, I was thinking, I'm hungry. I thought fruit was supposed to make you full. lies. I was super hungry by the time lunch rolled around. apples must be eaten with something else. Like caramel.

Damaris @Kitchen Corners said...

people are asking you if you're pregnant not because you look fat but because it's about time you get pregnant! hehehe

Smiths said...

I couldn't agree more. With all of it.
And this to maybe help you feel better: I've noticed I've been gaining weight and figured if I just exercise more it'll go away. Instead I get the bulky awkward chubs, like a weightlifter. So I'm aware I've been gaining weight and kind of in denial, but on saturday someone asked me if I'm pregnant. Ouch. I'm officially back on the "diet", or what I call eating how I know I should be anyway but wasn't cuz I have no self control. It stinks.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Ha ha. I think you should have said, "okay, I'm going to go eat another glazed donut."

You crazy girl. You are so perfect just as you are. And if you have a little muffin, who cares? You've got that silky hair and flawless skin to distract from it.

I totally agree with you though about the work and work not working at all.

And you're right about eating big and then being starved quicker. Food is just like . . . An appetite just grows bigger the more often it's fed.

Mariko said...

Cailin: You've just made me extremely depressed to turn 30.
Melinda and Cailin: You guys have to come back so we can do P90x together and be awesome with our one-armed push up mania.

Robbie: Too kind. I knew we were friends for a reason. Plus you inspire me to make DOUGHNUTS. Yes.

Carol: EXACTLY! Or chocolate. Or how about in cake?

Da: Ha ha ha ha ha. Not really.

Jill: Suddenly I have no hope left. For a second I was hoping that it was Micah writing that, but if people are asking you that question, I'm going to have a problem.

Crash: Little muffin, FINE. Big muffin, I have to wear an undershirt. A girl can only own so many undershirts.